Apple iPhone XS, XS Max and XR: all you need to know

The wait is over: today, Apple unveiled its newest iPhones and there are three of them, and all look just like the iPhone ten with edge-to-edge screens and a notch, Face ID and a gesture navigation.

You have two premium models: the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max, both with vivid OLED screens, a stainless steel body, and dual camera systems, and a third, more affordable (yet still very expensive) model, the iPhone XR that has an LCD screen and one camera, but keeps the same new Apple A12 chip inside.

XS and XS Max

Starting with the XS and XS Max, the two differ mostly by their screen size: the XS is a direct successor to last year’s iPhone X and has the same, 5.8-inch OLED display, while the XS Max sports an even larger, 6.5-inch screen in a body the size of an iPhone 8 Plus.

The big new features for both these iPhones are the faster Apple A12 chip inside, the screens that now have better dynamic range, one to a million contrast and a faster response of the screen; big improvements to the camera in both photos and videos; a louder and boomier sound and a slightly longer battery life than before. You also have a massive 512 gigabyte version that is just crazy. Oh, yes, and a new gold color that looks really good, so now you have three colors to choose from.

So, should you be excited and why? The first reason why we are excited is the Apple A12. Yes, smartphones are fast enough already, but this chip is really something special. It is the world’s first 7 nanometer chip, a technology that is very complex and gives a big boost in performance. You get up to 30% faster app loading times and a lot of new AI capabilities that you may not see initially, but that are there under the hood.

Apple keeps on perfecting the cameras as well and here it has connected the ISP to the neural engine in the chip, which in simple terms means that you get better quality photos and better quality videos. Apple goes on to say that the improvement marks a new era in smartphone photo and video, that’s how big it is. The improvements are in the dynamic range, in the reduction of blurry shots, in an improved flash that takes away red eye from photos and a lot more. The two key new camera features are Smart HDR and better background blur in portrait shots. Smart HDR now shoots faster and more photos than ever, so you get sharper pictures with better dynamics. Our favorite, however, is the background blur, or bokeh: you get creamier bokeh and you can adjust it after you have taken a picture, right in the Photos app. And yes, you finally, finally get stereo sound recording for videos.

Learn more...

iPhone XR

And then you have the iPhone XR. It’s made of aluminum rather than stainless steel, and it comes in a variety of fun colors. In addition to the standard black and white, you can get the XR in blue, coral, yellow and there is a product RED version as well.

It has the same chip and it delivers an hour and a half better battery life than the excellent iPhone 8 Plus.

There is just one camera on the back here, but you can now shoot portraits with just one camera as well, and you get the same adjustable bokeh as on the premium models. One other cool thing is that all three new iPhones come with a super responsive screen.

Learn more...

Prices and Details

The iPhone XS starts at one thousand dollars, just like the X, but the iPhone XS Max starts at eleven hundred and goes up to a whopping fourteen hundred and fifty dollars. The iPhone XR starst at $750. Finally, pre-orders for the XS series start this Friday with availability next Friday, September 21st, while the iPhone XR pre-orders open on October 19th with sales starting a week after that.



1. banglazbless

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 05, 2014

Lol. What a joke these over priced trash is.

30. chenski

Posts: 768; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Samsung note series is pretty overpriced as well, even though it has more features

44. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 592; Member since: May 26, 2011

I prefer Samsung over Apple any day. I must admit that both phone manufacturers prices are starting to become utterly ridiculous. I'm not spending a damn penny over $850 and even that's ridiculous.

7. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Ooooooo.....let's rim Apple..... They allow the bokeh effect to be adjusted after the photo is taken and shoot stereo sound in videos.....ALL HAIL APPLE

9. John-Knotts

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Yeah, Note 8 did that a year ago. lol

10. baldilocks

Posts: 1505; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

What a bunch of whiny babies. Nothing here but negativity. Some of you need to get out of your parents basements and live a little. If you have to resort to making fun of an inanimate object, your lives are worthless.

21. cheetah2k

Posts: 2254; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

yep, especially when Apple produce the same sh1t every year and bump the price by $200

11. SyCo87

Posts: 305; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

Wow, 120hz screen response. Time for more Android phones to add that in(excluding the Razer phone).

25. Xavier1415

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

Thanks for pointing out it was already done before lol

35. audibot

Posts: 634; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

wow stereo recording time for more iphones to add that. think much?

36. WingMan

Posts: 263; Member since: Mar 28, 2008

The display is not 120 Hz. On the even they said that it has 120 Hz touch sensing :).

37. hamaidx

Posts: 96; Member since: Apr 28, 2015

You apparently are really an Apple Fan as you're dumb as it can get.. Apple can never come up with a 120hz Screen Refresh Rate and what apple is effin you guys is with just 120hz of screen response and not what you think it is... Get a life Hon!

39. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015


13. kevin007in

Posts: 327; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

XS is exactly same as IPHONE X .Just New color added and so called A12 chip. Why the hell anybody would pay $ 1700 in CAD for this sh#t ? I would give a down payment for any good car for that price. Overpriced , Non-innovative gimmick . They know how to get that money out of some ifans pockets and every time they get fooled. lol

15. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

There are going to be clients that are going to be paying this price just like there are going to be clients that are going to pay rasiale equally high prices for phones that are going to get updated "sometime". Both types of clients have their reasons, even though we sometimes don't understand them.

18. MarmiteTheDog

Posts: 191; Member since: Jul 31, 2017

I think there is a mistake in the specs for the XR model. PhoneArena reports its screen as being 828 x 1792 pixels (324dpi) which must be wrong. No smartphone manufacturer would use a screen that poor on a $749+ phone unless they had nothing but contempt for its customers.

20. cheetah2k

Posts: 2254; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

the iPhone Max is the only 6.5" phone?? whaattt?? Many have done it. if you need 6.5" save yourself some coin and get this instead

22. gigicoaste

Posts: 456; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

same design and yet nobody is bored as in other brands. :)) 512Gb now suddenly becomes "just crazy" while the option is available in other brands for some time but was considered gimmick. You funny PA! I'll say nothing about the price, at the end of the day, the one which asks for the money cannot be blamed...

24. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Tim Cook is now ready to slow down older iPhones.

27. toll123

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

Gorgeous looking phones but Wow just as expensive as the Samsung note 9 .way over priced both

28. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2186; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

I see that Apple missed the mark with the iPhone event and this entire event. I walked away more excited about Apple Watch than this iPhone Xs Max. Wow!

38. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

All that money and they can't tell you how much RAM? Wth?

40. Obie-Wan

Posts: 112; Member since: May 24, 2012

Probably 3 / 4 gigs, apple user don't usually care about those anyway.

41. midan

Posts: 2858; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

you mean 95% of people who buy any smartphones doesn't care those stuffs.

42. Obie-Wan

Posts: 112; Member since: May 24, 2012

That's not quite true, in my country 90% android phone vendors will always market specs on paper, like core counts, ram amount, android version, etc. and the average consumers buy phones based on that numbers whether they truly understand it or not. But it is the fact. Now, from the very beginning apple don't usually reveal the amount of ram on iPhones, that's why apple users don't really care about it, as long as it works right.


Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

The v35 I'm writing this on also shoots stereo video I believe with it's far-field microphones. Overall a very nice upgrade from my g5. Give me an iPhone X-whatever I'd sell it. iPhones have always been pretty nice hardware-wise, I just never cared for the iOS.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.