All the cool new iPhone XS, Max and XR features you might've missed

All the cool new iPhone XS, Max and XR features you might've missed
Tucked among all the major new features for the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR that Apple announced during its keynote presentation in the Steve Jobs Centre, are a few developments you might've missed.

Those weren't touted on stage or in Apple's promotional materials on the phones' dedicated website, but a brief look at the specs and deeper dive in the terminology reveals that there is more to the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR than meets the eye.

A record number of LTE bands are supported by the new Gigabit LTE modems



Apple's Phil Schiller said on the stage the other day that the new iPhone XS and XS Max support more LTE bands than any other phone at the moment, making them the globetrotter's dream. Apple usually beats that record with each subsequent edition, and we didn't pay much attention to the claim, as it is par for the course now. 

We just looked at the model and country pages of Apple for the list of LTE bands, and, lo and behold, the model for Japan supports no less than 29 LTE bands, an absolute record. The other make do with 27 bands, but that is still one more than last year's record holders, the 2017 iPhones. This way, you can use your US-bought iPhone XS and XS Max all over Europe and Asia with fast download speeds.

Of course, Apple is cautioning that it depends on individual carrier settings, saying that "unlocked models may support LTE networks outside the country of purchase when using a valid SIM from a supported carrier. Contact your carrier for more details,. If history is any indication, though, most of the times you can just pop a local LTE SIM card if you've bought your device without a contract, or have unlocked it, and enjoy the blazing download speeds that the local carrier in question offers you.



Highest 12-bit Dolby Vision HDR support on the largest mobile OLED display


These were also present on the iPhone X, and are supported by the XS, too, but Dolby Vision HDR with its record 12-bit color support has never been on a mobile screen as large as the 6.5" one of the iPhone XS Max. Coupled with the enhanced stereo audio output, watching Dolby Vision content from Netflix, Amazon Prime or iTunes, should be a sight to behold.



Highest water-resistance rating of all major flagships for the iPhone XS and Max


Apple dedicated a whole section of its iPhone XS and XS Max presentation to their water-resistance rating, which is now bumped from IP67 to IP68. The IP68 basically means that you can dunk the gadget in more than three feet of water for up to 30 minutes, and nothing is guaranteed to happen. The kicker, however, is that IP68 also means that the manufacturer itself is setting the upper depth limit for its device, based on lab tests. 

Apple set it at 2 metres for the XS and XS Max, or about seven feet, while phones like the Note 9, LG G7 or Xperia XZ3, are also IP68-rated, but their depth limit is set at five feet (1.5 meters). Perhaps this is why Phil Schiller was so confident when he said they've tested the things in the sea, and even in beer glasses, and they escaped unscathed. Just a reminder, the IP ratings are typically only valid for fresh water, not craft brew.



Tap to Wake goes LCD on the iPhone XR


Tap to Wake has long been a staple on many Android phones. It has proven to be so useful and natural to use, that folks moving to phones that don't support it feel a bit out of whack until they rewire their muscle memory to press the power/lock button each time.

Apple's iPhones, however, never supported the Tap to Wake feature up until it introduced it with the iPhone X which was the first Apple handset without the signature home key at the front. You can wake up the display of the iPhone X by tapping it once anywhere on a locked screen. Needless to say, its successor, the iPhone XS, as well as the larger XS Max, also support Tap to Wake, but Apple kept a small surprise in store. 

The most affordable, XR model of the iPhones that Apple announced today, also has Tap to Wake functionality, it turns out. In fact, Apple explicitly boasts with the fact that "tap to wake comes to LCD," hinting that it will be a staple now on all of its handsets, regardless of whether they ship with OLED or LCD displays. Sweet!



Finally, stereo audio recording even with the iPhone XR


Not all phones are created equal when it comes to video sound or general audio recording with them. Nokia started a very welcome trend with the Rich Recording functionality built into the first 808 PureView. It used tailor-made mics to achieve wide-range stereo audio recording. A bunch of other manufacturers started paying more attention to the audio recording abilities of their handsets, and it all culminated with not the one or two, but the three directional mics on the Note 4, which recorded with a very high bitrate at that.

Well, when we said not all phones are created equal we meant that some of the world's most popular handset brands (cough, iPhone, cough) still record mono sound in videos, even last year's iPhone 8, Plus and X. 

Well, no more, as the new iPhone XS, its Max sibling, and even the lowly XR, finally record stereo sound while shooting video, and with four omnidirectional microphones at that, so we can't wait to put those puppies to the test against the best out there.

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16 Comments

1. dubaiboy78

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Very basic features but cost a fortune! Only isheep can appreciate!!!

2. troutsy

Posts: 383; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

Couldn't just be happy for them? iPhones aren't my personal preference, but I think Apple did a good job this year and a lot of Apple users are going to be happy with XS, XS Max, or XR.

6. dubaiboy78

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Be happy with the price?!?? Milking isheeps badly so sad

3. midan

Posts: 3016; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

why so insecure and bitter?

7. dubaiboy78

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Im not bitter. Please check the pricing!!!

12. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 703; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

yes, you are bitter.

13. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

Its major features are iOS and  logo. Butthurt people for iphone prices. If you can’t afford then don’t buy, stop complaining about prices. Its a luxury phone and should be expensive. Its not just an android where you can choose thousands of cheap phones. Get Note 9 instead if u think you can have a value of ur thousand bucks.  will still lead in high end market and will get the most profit of mobile industry. There are many people who doesn’t care about price.

16. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The XR isn't so bad and honestly nobody has a reason to buy anything other than the XR tbh lol.

4. japkoslav

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

So apart from stereo recording, there is no difference. I really can't wait for first video samples, first decent sounding videos on iPhones are coming. Finally!

9. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

The XR has no HDR support because of its low contrast LCD display. Not to mention it has a low resolution HD+ display.

15. japkoslav

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

So there is no difference, compared to older models.

5. Wazupmrg

Posts: 189; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

Hahahahahahahaha So you think several items android has had for years are "cool features"? They don't even have Dolby Atmos speakers like Samsung and Sony already have. And it's missing several better features Samsing Note 9 has. But, spinning is what you guys do best

8. darkwintercloud

Posts: 35; Member since: Oct 04, 2017

About the Stereo Sound record capabilities, that really took a while to appear on iPhones, but the most bizarre thing is that since the iPhone 6S, iPhones have 4 mics in their hardware, two on the botton (where the speaker grills are theres two, one on both grills), one on the left side of the earpiece (used for front facing video calls or loud speaker calls) and the last one being the one on the back of the device used for rear cam video record or noise reduction during calls... Well... Go figure why took so long... Software limitation maybe?

10. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Better buy a Mac with this kind of money or a decent gaming rig.

11. Reybanz88

Posts: 101; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

So they finally added the features from the Galaxy S8 to this year's iPhone

14. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

Butthurt Sammy! I guess too many android will switch to iPhone because of that feat! Get 10 Note 9 coz sales are no where to be seen.

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