Apple iPhone XS and XS Max Review

The new iPhone XS and XS Max are the best iPhones ever, and they’re also Apple’s most expensive phones ever. Starting from $999 for a 64 GB XS and going all the way up to $1449 for a maxed-out XS Max, Apple sure is asking a lot for its latest pocket gadgets. Are its products delivering with the same intensity, though? Is there reciprocity in this deal?

These are tough questions, and ones which can be answered only after careful examination of the phones’ inner and outer workings.


New Gold option comes to shake things up a little

Not much has changed in the iPhone XS’s design since last year. Actually, nothing has changed, with the exception of a new antenna band here and there. The biggest novelty as far as design goes is the new gold color variant. Our XS Max is in gold and it looks creamy and delicious. However, if you’re the kind of person who gets quickly bored by any single color, getting the space grey or silver variant may be the smarter way to go.

The new iPhone XS and XS Max may look the same as the X, but they are more tightly constructed than ever, now supporting IP68 water and dust certification, instead of IP67 in the iPhone X. It’s not a big difference, but theoretically, the iPhone XS and XS Max should be able to remain in up to 2 meters of water for up to 30 minutes now. What’s probably cooler, Apple explicitly states that its new iPhones are now resistant to spills from different kinds of beverages, not just water. That includes coffee, tea, soda, and others.

So, reliability is going up, and that’s always great. Another thing that’s going up is the size!

Apple iPhone XS

Apple iPhone XS


5.65 x 2.79 x 0.3 inches

143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm


6.24 oz (177 g)

Apple iPhone XS Max

Apple iPhone XS Max


6.2 x 3.05 x 0.3 inches

157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm


7.34 oz (208 g)

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9


5.81 x 2.7 x 0.33 inches

147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm


5.75 oz (163 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9


6.37 x 3.01 x 0.35 inches

161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm


7.09 oz (201 g)

Apple iPhone XS

Apple iPhone XS


5.65 x 2.79 x 0.3 inches

143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm


6.24 oz (177 g)

Apple iPhone XS Max

Apple iPhone XS Max


6.2 x 3.05 x 0.3 inches

157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm


7.34 oz (208 g)

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9


5.81 x 2.7 x 0.33 inches

147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm


5.75 oz (163 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9


6.37 x 3.01 x 0.35 inches

161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm


7.09 oz (201 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page

The XS Max size

There is not much use talking about the design of the XS. It’s still gorgeous and super-premium, it still has a notch, and it’s still a bit thicker and heavier than it has to be. What’s more exciting this year is the new size: the iPhone XS Max.

The iPhone XS Max is about the size of the iPhone 8 Plus, and to be honest, no one really loved the design and dimensions of those Plus phones. However, now that the entire front is a 6.5” OLED screen, things change, and the surfboard design is suddenly not as absurd. Make no mistake – the XS Max is big. And heavy! It tips the scales at 7.34 oz / 208 g, which is about 17% heavier than the XS (but about as heavy as the iPhone 8 Plus).

If you've already gotten used the to the Plus size, though, or feel ready to finally take the plunge, you'll be happy to know that Apple's bezel-less design translates quite well. It's not annoying as the bezel-rich design of previous Plus iPhones. It looks nice and modern, and sure – it does come off rather large, but you feel like you're getting enough in return for having to carry around such a biggie. But again, the point stands that Apple needs to slim the whole thing down a bit, and if possible, make it weigh less, so that you don't have to fasten your belt extra tight.


In big and bigger

Protected by what Apple calls the strongest glass used on a smartphone, are the same 5.8" OLED display and the brand new 6.5" OLED display. Aside from the bigger diagonal on the XS Max, the properties of the screens are the same: Apple has kept the same 458 ppi pixel density on both handsets, by increasing the resolution of the XS Max. With no other differences to speak of, we're basically looking at identical picture quality on both phones. One is just... bigger.

These displays are as good as can be, delivering lively and vivid images that will almost spill over the edges. And the good news is that a year after the iPhone X debuted, we're yet to hear of any reports about burn-in on these displays, which means Apple's custom OLED preservation tricks are working.

The iPhone XS Max has a gigantic display. It's massive. If you're coming from an iPhone Plus, the change won't be so staggering, but any of Apple's "regular"-sized phones are dwarfed by the Max. The Max's screen will prove to be beneficial in scenarios where the user tends to enjoy a lot of media content, like video, photos and games. If your usage habits don't heavily gravitate around these things, the practical benefit over the XS's already sizable screen seems to be marginal.

For example, if we compare how much content we see in different apps, we get just one more email visible in Mail on the XS Max, a note and a half more in Notes, a couple more items in Settings, or just a tiny bit more of a website in Safari.

One of the bonus features that you get on the XS Max is split-view, where for example in Mail, when viewed in landscape, you get a list of mails on the left, and the selected email on the right. However, that’s not really knew, as we already had this feature on Plus iPhones. At this point with iOS 12, Apple isn’t taking advantage of the iPhone XS Max’s gigantic screen in any significant way. Instead, the big screen will be making its biggest impact when the user is enjoying media, like video, games, or books.

True Tone is great, but not perfect on OLED

One of the more ingenious display features in recent iPhones, True Tone, where the phone uses your surroundings to balance the display's colors so that they look nice and natural all the time, is back again here on the iPhone XS and XS Max. However, just like on the X, True Tone tends to be a bit heavy-handed. In some environments, it works beautifully, but in many others, it often overreacts, making colors needlessly warm. Comparing its performance against LCD Apple devices, like the iPhone 8 or the iPad Pro, we find Apple's OLED display to be less accurate in setting the right white balance, often ending up looking too yellowish, instead of naturally white. For some reason, the tech seems to work better on Apple's LCD displays.

HDR Display

The iPhone XS and XS Max, just like the X, support both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. These HDR video standards mean that the OLED displays have the needed high contrast and wide color gamut support in order to properly showcase content that’s been recorded in HDR format.

HDR movies can generally have richer colors, as well as more preserved detail in highlight and shadow areas, for a fuller, more lifelike look. While the effects of HDR video are more pronounced on the bigger scale of a living room TV, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have these visual enhancements running on the phone as well. After watching some HDR10 and Dolby Vision footage on the XS and XS Max, we can’t say that we notice any groundbreaking improvements over a quality, non-HDR mobile display, but of course this will also be heavily dependent on the material that you’re playing: some movies may take fuller advantage of HDR than others.

If you want to find some HDR content to play, Apple has quite the catalog in iTunes, but you can also find compatible titles in Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Complementing the great visual experience are the improved stereo speakers, which not only continue to pump out amazing sound for a phone, but now also do so a tad louder and with a more spacious stereo effect.

Interface and features

Powered by iOS 12, the iPhone XS and XS Max come with outstanding performance and a host of fun and useful features

Case in point, Memoji! Now you can not only select from a predefined roster of Animojis to play and record messages with, but you can create a brand new one which may or may not look like you – the choice is yours. More often than not, you'll want it to at least resemble you in some way, so that you can troll your friends with FaceTime calls where you have your virtual Memoji avatar overlaid on top of your own face. Now that's what we call quality fun!

But iOS 12 is not all about entertainment. In addition to a very real and meaningful performance boost for iPhones old and new, it also brings useful new features such as grouped notifications, enhanced AR capabilities, Screen Time (a new wellness feature that can help you reduce your, well, screen time to healthier limits), as well as new FaceTime that can do video conferencing with up to 32 people. That last one is coming with an update soon.

The more powerful A12 Bionic chip in the iPhone XS and XS Max, however, enables some improvements unique to Apple's new flagships. Utilizing the excess processing power and new Neural Engine for machine learning and similar operations, the XS and XS Max enable things like even faster Face ID, or a smarter contextual search in Photos. For example, if you're looking for a specific picture of your dog, you can just type in "dog" in the search box, and you'll get relevant results, without any prior tagging or labeling of your photos. Unlike Android applications of this technology, Apple doesn't utilize computing power in the cloud to accomplish such tasks, but uses exclusively on-device processing, which, at least in theory, is better for your privacy.

Performance: A12 Bionic and the Neural Engine

Apple lays the groundwork for the future with real-time, on-device machine learning

We're used to seeing Apple make humongous performance leaps with each new generation of its custom-designed A-series chipsets, and this year's iteration doesn't disappoint. However, it may be an upgrade that aims to deliver improvements in some more specific areas, and not necessarily pure performance. This may be indicated by the fact that Apple has chosen to keep the same "Bionic" branding as in its previous chipset.

According to the company, the A12 Bionic brings up to 15% increased performance for the two high-performance cores, while the four low-power cores consume up to 50% less energy. That's not very indicative of the real performance gains, but we guess those aren't tremendous. This does bode well for battery life, though.

Meanwhile, the new GPU is said to be a monster (yet again), with a new, quad-core design (it was tri-core in the A11) that allows for up to 50% better graphics performance. It's really difficult to test this, considering that Apple's previous chips already excel at all kinds of tasks, but if anything, we guess Apple is just future-proofing its products, which is great.

And if the pure processing benefits don't sound all too exciting, it's because there's more to the A12 Bionic than just raw numbers. More specifically, there the new Neural Engine and the new ISP (image signal processor). The Neural Engine is what's powering Apple's machine learning efforts – it can handle on-device, real-time machine learning that enables the phone to recognize patterns, make predictions, and learn from experience. As computers become smarter, more advanced and more proactive, it becomes clear that such technologies will be very important in the future. Thus, the new Neural Engine in the A12 Bionic has become way more capable.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Apple iPhone XS 358091
Apple iPhone XS Max 336882
Samsung Galaxy S9 244207.33
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 244787
JetStream Higher is better
Apple iPhone XS 267.92
Apple iPhone XS Max 265.74
Samsung Galaxy S9 61.834
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 63.24
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Apple iPhone XS 59.7
Apple iPhone XS Max 59.3
Samsung Galaxy S9 43.33
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 56
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Apple iPhone XS 4806
Apple iPhone XS Max 4821
Samsung Galaxy S9 3709
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 3612
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Apple iPhone XS 11416
Apple iPhone XS Max 11299
Samsung Galaxy S9 8814.66
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 8927

The thing is that we don't get to enjoy the fruits of all this work yet. Apple itself doesn't provide too many examples of how this technology may be useful in the now. We know the phone can do better in things like contextual searches in the Photos app, but aside from that, we don't know exactly where or when the iPhone uses machine learning to enhance our experience.

Memory: up to 512 GB storage!

Last year, Apple's iPhone X and 8 came in 64, 128 and 256 GB variants. The company is now looking to sweeten the deal for consumers reaching for higher configurations, as the iPhone XS and XS Max are now available with 64, 256, or 512 GB of storage! Sadly, the base configuration remains at 64 GB, but even that is still plenty of storage for apps and games. If you are really into 4K video recording, especially at 60 fps, then it might be wise to think about getting either the 256 GB variant, or even the 512 GB one, if you're that extreme.

Apple is also stepping up its RAM game. It's going up from 3 GB in the X and 8 Plus, to 4GB on the iPhone XS and XS Max. Again, these are mostly future-proofing measures. At least at the current rate, iOS shouldn't outgrow this amount of system memory for at least another 2-3 years.


Smart HDR is a game changer, but the bigger sensor helps as well

Continuing the photography-centric theme that we've been seeing with Apple smartphones in the last few years, the iPhone XS and XS Max bring meaningful upgrades to the camera systems yet again.

The killer new feature here is called Smart HDR. The new iPhones will be using their more advanced ISP (image signal processor), the Neural Engine and the better internals to achieve overall more complex processing of the images going into the camera. Smart HDR relies on a ton of computations in order to achieve brighter, yet balanced images. Kind of where Google has been taking its Pixel phones and their critically-acclaimed cameras.

Like any HDR feature, Smart HDR aims to deliver more nuance and details in highlight and shadow areas, all the while presenting a properly lit subject. We've taken a bunch of photos using the new XS camera and compared the results with what's come out of the iPhone X's camera, and we can say there's indeed a marked improvement. Smart HDR works and it's a welcome improvement over last year's camera. Smart HDR currently exists as a toggle setting which is 'on' by default. As far as we can see, there's no reason to have it off.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPhone XS 0.9
No data
No data
Apple iPhone XS Max 0.9
No data
No data
Samsung Galaxy S9 0.7
No data
No data
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 1.1
No data
No data

The other interesting new camera feature debuting with the iPhone XS and XS Max is Depth Control. What it does is it lets you change the amount of bokeh (background blur) that you get in Portrait mode photos. So, imagine that you take a portrait of someone using Portrait mode. After that, if you view the image in the Photos gallery and engage the editing options, in addition to the well-known lighting effects, you'll also get the option to change the amount of background blur (Depth Control). It tries to emulate the amount of bokeh that you'd be getting from lenses with apertures from F1.4 to F16.

We tried tweaking Depth Control in a number of shots and we can say that even though the default, F4.5 setting seems to be bang on in most cases, you can still get a pretty rad effect by tweaking the amount of blur to your liking. What's more, say the camera couldn't map your subject too precisely, resulting in a couple of unsightly artifacts here and there. By lessening the blur effect manually, you can end up with a more tolerable and usable photo.

Improved sensors

Now, let's talk hardware! The main 12 MP camera has received a new sensor, with bigger and deeper pixels for improved fidelity and light-sensitivity. And while there don't seem to be any interesting improvements done to the secondary, 12 MP telephoto camera, the True Tone flash has been further improved with an advanced flicker-detection system.

The front-facing 7 MP camera is also new, with a faster sensor that will lessen the chance of you meeting a celebrity and walking away with a blurry selfie. The front camera has also benefitted from the new ISP and Neural Engine, inheriting the same Portrait mode improvements and Depth Control from the main camera. The selfie snapper has also scored 1080p video recording at 60 fps, along with the awesome Cinematic Video Stabilization feature. Talk about upgrades!

Image quality

The iPhone XS and XS Max take terrific photographs. In comparison with last year's iPhone X, things have improved mostly thanks to Smart HDR. The bigger camera sensor pixels also have an effect, in that the XS and XS Max capture just a tad more fine detail than the X, but the way bigger difference comes from Smart HDR and how it manages to properly expose the entirety of the shot.

Not every image will greatly benefit from Smart HDR, but many will. Take a look at this portrait photo captured with the iPhone XS Max on the left, and the X on the right. Because it’s a dynamic scene and there’s a lot of light coming in from behind the subject, Victor appears fairly dark in the photo from the iPhone X. With its more sophisticated processing, though, the iPhone XS manages to properly expose both the subject and the background.

Here is another example, where, in order to properly expose the darker, central area of the scene, the iPhone X had to seriously overexpose the objects to the right. The iPhone XS, on the other hand, demonstrates a way greater dynamic range, and thus has everything exposed correctly – there is no detail or color information lost in its photo.

Speaking of colors, the iPhone camera continues to favor slightly warmer tones, but the effect is not excessive at all, so images tend to look very realistic most of the time.

Video recording

There are some interesting improvements in the video capturing department. In a similar manner to still images, dynamic range has been extended in video recorded with the iPhone XS and XS Max as well (only at up to 30 fps). And then, there’s also stereo recording now, providing a more spacious sound to videos you’ve captured.

The other improvements, which we already mentioned, have to do with the front-facing camera, which can now capture 1080p video at up to 60 fps (before it was limited to 30 fps), and there’s Cinematic Video Stabilization. Plus, the extended dynamic range is supported by the front camera as well, albeit when recording at up to 30 fps again.


iTunes, Apple Music and App Store feel right at home on the large OLED screens

Even with these peculiar display notches, the iPhone XS and XS Max are probably the best phones to enjoy multimedia on right now. Obviously, the XS Max is the way to go if you tend to watch a ton of video or play a lot of games on your phone. That 6.5” OLED screen is so big and so beautiful, it’s hard to resist! Seriously, you don’t need a tablet if you have this phone.

But there’s more to the XS and XS Max than the big, lush screens, if you happen to a media buff. Their stereo speakers are simply amazing. At times, we’ve been questioning how it can be at all possible for such small speakers to output such strong and deep sound. The speakers on the X were already great, but the iPhone XS and XS Max take them to a whole new level with an even stronger output with greater sense of stereo.

So the iPhone XS and XS Max are great devices for entertainment, and the iTunes, Apple Music, and App Store platforms are outstanding places to get your media from. The iTunes store for movies is particularly great, because it offers a wide selection of HDR10 and Dolby Vision-ready films, properly labeled so that you know exactly what kind of quality you’re going to get.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Apple iPhone XS 0.42
Apple iPhone XS Max 0.42
Samsung Galaxy S9 0.75
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Apple iPhone XS 76
Apple iPhone XS Max 78
Samsung Galaxy S9 78
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 74.6

Call quality

Loud and clear

There are no issues to report of when it comes to call quality on the iPhone XS and XS Max. Sound coming from the earpiece is loud and clear, with good audio characteristics. Of course, this is network and coverage dependent. Over on the outgoing side, callers reported similar results, having been hearing us in a loud and clear manner.

As mentioned already, the stereo speakers on the iPhone XS and XS Max are spectacular, which means using the speakerphone for audio calls is a great idea.

A brand new feature that debuts on the new iPhones is dual SIM support. Apple's implementation uses the built-in eSIM slot, along with the physical nano SIM card slot. To get it working, one of your carriers needs to support eSIM, so that they can activate the service on your iPhone. Then, you just pop in the SIM card from your second carrier into the nano SIM tray, and you're good to go. You can choose which SIM will be handling your data transfers, and when it comes to calls, the supported standard is Dual SIM Dual Stand-by. This means that if you're currently having a conversation through SIM 1, and at the same time someone calls you on SIM 2, they'll go straight to your voicemail.

Battery life

It's good, but expect no wonders

Battery life is an area where we expected a slight uptick in longevity versus previous-generation iPhones, but at least our initial battery testing doesn’t seem to suggest such an increase.

For the iPhone XS and its 2659 mAh battery, Apple is promising up to 30 minutes longer battery life than the iPhone X. However, our custom test reveals results that are pretty much the same between the two phones. Apple does go on to specify that the XS should get about an hour less in a controlled talk time battery test (20 vs 21 hours), while in continuous video playback it should be slightly ahead (14 vs 13 hours). All other numbers are shown to be equal: 12 hours of internet usage and 60 hours of audio playback. So, it’s unclear exactly where this half-an-hour overall increase in battery life is expected to come from.

As for the XS Max, Apple is promising up to 1.5 hours longer use than the iPhone X. On the PhoneArena battery test, the iPhone XS Max scored an hour more than the iPhone X, which is a pretty good result, but not as high as what the iPhone 8 Plus scored. Either way, the XS Max is shown to achieve higher numbers than the X in all categories, from internet browsing to video and audio playback, thanks to its larger, 3179 mAh battery. As expected, it is the longer lasting phone of the new duo.

At the end of the day, if we talk absolute numbers, both the iPhone XS and XS Max achieve great results. Considering all the punch they pack, it is a real achievement that they can last as long as they do on a single charge.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Apple iPhone XS 8h 37 min (Excellent)
Apple iPhone XS Max 9h 34 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S9 7h 23 min (Good)
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 8h 56 min (Excellent)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Apple iPhone XS 185
Apple iPhone XS Max 209
Samsung Galaxy S9 107
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 109

The stock chargers Apple ships with the XS and XS Max are, as usual, very slow. Even though the phones support fast charging technology, the bundled 5 W chargers can in no way take advantage of that. And thus, using the stock charger, the iPhone XS takes a total of 3 hours to go from 0 to 100%. And as if that wasn’t long enough, the humongous XS Max will take even more: 3 hours and 29 minutes for a full charge! Unfortunately, while we’re waiting for the day when Apple will finally start shipping its iPhones with more powerful, fast chargers, the only option for quicker charging would be to purchase them separately. Even a 12 W iPad charger will net you way faster charging speeds, but if you really want to take full advantage of the built-in quick charging capabilities, you’ll need an even more powerful brick, as well as a compatible cable such as the Thunderbolt 3 to Lightning cable that Apple sells.

Alternatively, you can always invest in a wireless charger and use that as your primary means to top up your phone.


The iPhone XS and XS Max are your best choice if you’re looking for a no-compromise smartphone experience (and money’s not an issue). They are not perfect, but their few imperfections are vastly outnumbered by the many, many things they get just right.

Hardware-wise, the XS and XS Max are second to none. Performance is unwavering, the OLED screens are large and beautiful (and reliable), and the new cameras are spectacular. The design speaks for itself. It’s a bit pretentious, sure, with all the glass, polished stainless steel and considerable heft. But it manages to keep its feet on the ground, and through a series of practical decisions, such as the big camera bump, the display notch and the multiple antenna bands, it remembers that it’s first and foremost a tool.

A tool, which can take advantage of every ounce of its incredible power thanks to iOS 12 – a platform that is as beautiful as it is versatile. Whether you’ll be using this powerful tool as a $1000 Facebook machine, or as a pocket computer for photography, media creation, reading, or life organization is up to you. Either way, it won’t fail you. We’ve reached a point where you can do everything with any mobile operating system (read: iOS and Android). There are no limits; so which one you’ll prefer is just a matter of budget and style.

And when it comes to choosing between the XS and the XS Max, it’s actually a very simple choice. Do you live on your phone? Is it your go-to device for all things digital? Do you watch a ton of video, and play a lot of games? Do you have really big hands? You get the idea. If the answer to all these is yes – get the Max. But if you’re more of a casual user, stick with the more convenient gadget, which is the iPhone XS.


  • Fancy design
  • Outstanding OLED displays
  • Unwavering system performance
  • Superb cameras
  • Incredible media & productivity apps
  • Future-proof


  • Very expensive
  • Display notch and camera bump

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

3 Reviews



2. Tipus

Posts: 894; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Up to 512 gb storage! With up to $2000 price! :))

139. yann

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

A lot of CONS, that phonearena is giving usually, are missing: - no headphone jack; - no SD card slot; - charging time is worst; - not included fast charger in retail box; - battery life is awful - for XS model. Max is little better; etc. Where is Victor to put a comment? Hiding?

18. jellmoo

Posts: 2627; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

You know, these are fine devices. They do what they do well, I'm sure. But there is zero way that they are worth the price being asked of them. Listing the price as a con isn't enough, the ludicrous price needs to be reflected in the score. A device this expensive needs to be exponentially better than the handsets priced hundreds of dollars less. And they really aren't.

26. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Hay phonearena, note 9 is 710 nits not 575. How about the connections problem and the blue screen problem. Oh and that low light photo of purple hat girl is awful.

119. Metalspy8

Posts: 148; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

And to top it off Consumer report said note 9 I'd phone of the year. .no article on that.

28. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

As expected, they refuse to write the obvious CONS that they usually write for other smartphones, like: - No fast charger and cable included in box - No headphone jack - No fingerprint scanner - No USB-C - Small battery size And extra cons: - Video sound muffled - No 3.5mm dongle in the box - Not a huge upgrade over the iPhone X (PA write something like this on Note9's review) - Up to $599 for replacing back glass

102. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also poor LTE and Wi-Fi reception in low signal strength conditions compared to other phones

108. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

I'm trying to think of something amusing to say but I really can't because PA is unashamedly hypocritical and Apple are trillion dollar grifters.

114. rubyonrails3

Posts: 375; Member since: Oct 01, 2014



Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Let's see if this gets deleted.... You are sensoring negative comments. You as a tech site should be neutral and objective when reviewing a product. You should measure one product with the same ruler you measured other products. For years this site has maintained that phones as Big as the Note 9 was too big for most people including yourself. Now Apple is making a big screen which is mainly your only option and it is the best phone on the market. No headset dongle, a small upgrade minus the processor and camera. With the lower pixel density screen per size ratio, size and lack of headphone dongle would have caused the note series to have multiple cons. The size would have made it more difficult for you to recommend to the average user unless they had large hands.... Not any more since the larger iPhone is here to stay Then the super high cost would have been a nay no f or anyone wanting to by a Samsung device. I rarely come to this site unless I want a laugh, because of the biased reviews.. I bet That you get free IPhones for making biased reviews for Apple..... Sad..... Just my opinion.

120. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

It’s not an android phone lol.

43. cmdacos

Posts: 4267; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

That unwanted and non-switchable beauty mode that is showing in several YouTube camera reviews really drives this to a deserved 9.3 for me, lol.

49. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 593; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

Cons: Very expensive Display notch and camera bump Really? Let me add a few more for ya since ya guys are incapable ;) No sd card slot, No 3.5mm audio jack to save room on a phone that weights 208g No fast charger with the device, No more usb to 3.5mm headphone adaptor, No fingerprint sensor. On the note 9 review you said "Not a huge upgrade over the Note 8" pretty sure the Iphone XS or XS Max arent a huge upgrade over the Iphone X. Alot of websites are saying if you coming from an Iphone 7 or 8 its worth it but not from an Iphone x ;)

53. Sakeem

Posts: 862; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Was it this same author that reviewed the Note 9? If not then it's different opinions and different focus placed on value of each device. If it was the same guy, then I would probably agree but PA seems to draw straws to see who will review what device.

104. damonarena

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 30, 2018

Note 9 was a much bigger update than Note 8 compared to the 99% same iphone xs. Note 9 has a whole new bluetooth powered s-pen, phone converting into desktop without dex, 512gb storage and 8 gb ram option. iPhone XS is barely 15% faster than iphone X and that's it. Nothing else is distinguishable.

54. Valdomero

Posts: 698; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

I think I'll skip the Xs and Xs Max... they're not appealing at all, probably getting a secondhand X or the Xr when it gets a discount. At least my iPhone 6 has iOS 12, I can keep it for a while.

77. luis.aag90

Posts: 277; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

No $1000 flagship should ever get a 9.5 score if it comes with a puny 5W charger . The fact this is not listed in the Cons is hilarious

80. darkkjedii

Posts: 31322; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple needs a major software shock in iOS 13, to go with the new hardware. It’s really time to revamp iOS, and cater to the power users too. Great phone, beautiful, and the best hardware and eco system out there, but damn Apple, it needs to take more and better advantage of the huge canvas. No split screen, no picture in picture, no pencil support, no free placed widgets. I love my Max, but the Galaxy Note 9 is still the best phone on the market. I’ll sum it up like this: I have to put my Max down to use my Note, more than I have to put my Note down to use my Max...fix this Apple. Software makes it a true phablet, instead of a super sized iPhone XS. 9.3 on the Darkk meter, better multitasking and Pencil support makes it a 9.9. Also, why in the hell does Apple’s biggest, newest iPhone not work with Apple’s own native stylus?

89. akistz

Posts: 31; Member since: Sep 26, 2018

Very true what you said. Overall great phones but the pricing and the lack of the software features you mentioned pretty much killed it for me. They also need to make Face ID a bit faster without having to swipe

109. darkkjedii

Posts: 31322; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I actually don’t mind the swipe, cause there’s a purpose for it. When you unlock, it stays on the lock screen so you can see you notifications, after you view them, or choose not to, you simply swipe up to go that’s a cool feature to me. It needs to do more software wise though.

112. kucma

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 01, 2017

Couldn’t agree more! Can’t believe they didn’t give the new phones pencil support. That would be so handy and I can’t imagine it is very hard to implement for Apple. It’s beyond me why they don’t integrate all their devices with each other to their full potential, especially at the price they charge for them.

122. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Sup darkk just wondering why you want Apple to copy note 9 with iPhone XS max? They already have an iPad for these features so no need to add to iPhone to add more features for bigger screen of iPhone XS max since few people using these features on note line.

124. darkkjedii

Posts: 31322; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well, iPads aren’t as portable as iPhones are. We don’t carry them in our pockets, I think it’d be cool to have those features on tap, on all of my devices. The screen size and powerful hardware of the Max and the XS certainly allows for them. Having said that, I really live the Max, great device. The Series 4 is this years start though.

125. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Can’t argue with you bro you always comes with the right answers haha. Agree with you, but Apple doesn’t want to kill iPad market still the best selling tablet who knows might adding pencil support to iPhone XS max with IOS 13! You know Apple style.

128. darkkjedii

Posts: 31322; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yeah, I think that’s why they hold back. They don’t want to cannibalize iPad sales. I can understand that.

129. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013


100. skips

Posts: 486; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

wow, they removed most comments. woow.

101. Pcworld1976

Posts: 179; Member since: Sep 18, 2018

You can see them in options

105. cocoy

Posts: 463; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

Because it hurts to see the truth. Just wait for another year and let's see the customers rating. They should have learned proper rating from the past reviews if they were looking into it. If not, then expect that this will continue to happen in the future.

103. Whitedot

Posts: 833; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

Oh boy, somone spent all night deleting all those comment. Review seems to be written by somone who went from feature phone to smartphone.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

iPhone XS
  • Display 5.8" 1125 x 2436 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A12 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2490 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2659 mAh(20h talk time)

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