gearbrain
Apple

Apple unveils three new iPhones with big screens and bigger prices

iPhone XS, XS Max and XR range from $749 to $1,449

Like GearBrain on Facebook

Apple has revealed three new models of iPhone at a media event at its California headquarters, called the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.

Announced at the Steve Jobs Theater at the company's Apple Park headquarters, the trio of new handsets come a year after the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

Read More:

The iPhone XS is an upgraded version of the year-old iPhone X, featuring the same 5.8-inch OLED display, stainless steel chassis and glass back to enable wireless charging. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max combines the same design but introduces a huge 6.5-inch display, the largest ever fitted to an Apple smartphone.

Finally, the company revealed the iPhone XR, which has a 6.1-inch screen, the same X-inspired design, and a range of color options at a more affordable price point.

iphone XSApple

iPhone XS

The iPhones XS (pronounced 10S) follows the same naming convention we have seen from Apple in previous years, taking the 12-month-old iPhone X, adding an S and giving it a range of performance upgrades. Apart from the shiny gold color option, the iPhone XS' design remains unchanged from the X of 2017.

Apple claims the iPhone XS has a tougher glass screen, and it is now water resistant to a depth of two meters for up to 30 minutes - this includes salt water, Apple claims, along with other liquids smartphones commonly fall into, like wine and beer.

Processor

Inside, the iPhone XS (and XS Max) is powered by Apple's new A12 Bionic processor, which includes a "next-generation neural engine" which uses real-time machine learning to boost the phone's performance over its predecessors. Apple claims the XS is up to 15 percent faster than the iPhone X, while consuming up to 50 percent less power.

Camera

Apple

The iPhone XS and XS Max both have the same camera system. This includes a dual-camera system on the rear with a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 12MP telephoto camera. Both have optical image stabilization and six-element lenses. On the front, the phones have a 7-megapixel camera and the same Face ID system as the iPhone X.

What's new for the XS is how the phone's A12 Bionic chip works to improve each photo using a system called 'Smart HDR'. This takes multiple images to manage exposure levels, bringing more highlight and shadow details into photos. The new processor also improves the background blur or 'bokeh' of portrait images compared to the iPhone X,

A new feature called Depth Control lets you adjust the background blur of a portrait image after the photo has been taken, by artificially changing the exposure - something that isn't possible on other smartphones, or on SLR cameras. Pixels which are deeper and larger than those of the iPhone X promise improved low-light performance.

Battery life

The iPhone XS is claimed to have a battery which lasts 30 minutes longer per day than the iPhone X, while the XS Max promises an extra 90 minutes per day.

picture of new iphone xsThe iPhone XS comes in two sizes, with the larger called XS MaxApple

As for storage, the new iPhone will be offered with three options. These are 64GB, 256GB and a huge 512GB, putting it on par with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in terms of maximum internal storage capacity. That said, the Samsung has a microSD card slot to increase this by up to an additional 512GB, whereas the iPhone - as ever - does not.

The iPhone XS also comes exclusively in a new shiny gold color - handy when you want everyone to know you've bought the latest model - and all of the handsets announced today will ship with iOS 12, Apple's new mobile operating system.

iOS 12 will also be rolled out for owners of older iPhones and iPads on September 17. The update includes a new feature called Screen Time, which makes users aware of how much time they spend on their device, how long they use certain apps for, and lets them impose daily limits to help curb any addictions they might be concerned about.

Screen Time can also be enabled by parents on their children's devices, shutting down access to certain apps after their daily usage limit expires.

picture of new iphone casesColor options are silver, space gray and goldApple

iPhone XS price, colors, storage options and release date

The iPhone XS comes with storage options of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB, and is available in space gray, silver and the new gold color option. The handset is priced at $999 for 64GB, $1,499 for 256GB and $1,349 for 512GB.

Pre-orders for the iPhone XS open on September 14 and the first deliveries will begin on September 21, which is also when it arrives in stores

iPhone XS Max

Alongside the iPhone XS, Apple announced the larger XS Max, which features a huge 6.5-inch display - the biggest ever fitted to an Apple smartphone. The Max has a screen resolution of 2,688 x 1,242, compared to 2,436 x 1,125 for the iPhone X and XS.

For context, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a 6.4-inch display with a resolution of 2960 x 1440.

picture of new iphonesApple

Big-screen phone fans will welcome the XS Max, as last year's offerings asked consumers to buy either Apple's flagship (the X) or its biggest phone, when measured by surface area, the iPhone 8 Plus. Now, those who want the biggest and the best can opt for the XS Max, while the XS acts as a smaller but equally powerful alternative.

Other than the screen, the XS Max shares the same design as the iPhone XS and is powered by the same A12 processor. In fact, the XS and XS Max are identical, save for their screen sizes, resolutions, and battery life.

iPhone XS Max price, colors, storage options and release date

The iPhone XS Max also comes with storage options of 64, 256 and 512GB, and is available in space gray, silver and gold. The handset is priced at $1,099 for 64GB, $1,249 for 256GB, and $1,449 for GB.

Just like the XS, pre-orders for the iPhone XS Max open on September 14, and the phone goes on sale a week later, on September 21.

iPhone XR

pictures of new iphone xr smartphonesThe iPhone XR is available in six colorsApple

Finally, Apple showed off the new iPhone XR, which has a 6.1-inch screen and also shares the same design as the XS and XS Max. However, it is fitted with an LCD display instead of the superior OLED technology of its stablemates.

The lower-quality screen tech inherently gives the XR a mid-range smartphone vibe, but does so while offering consumers a range of new colors to pick from. Where the XS and XS Max are limited to three colors (including the new shiny gold), the XR comes in red, yellow, coral and blue, as well as Apple's usual choices of black and white.

Apple iphone XSiPhone XS and XS Max, left, and iPhone XR, rightApple

Other differences can be found with the rear camera, which employs a single lens and sensor compared to the two used by the XS and XS Max. The iPhone XR's single camera has a resolution of 12 megapixels - the same as its relatives - and can produced blurred-background portrait photos.

The XR is powered by Apple's new A12 Bionic processor and offers IP67 water resistance.

In what will surely be disappointing for small phone fans, Apple has discontinued the iPhone SE. Earlier in 2018 it was rumored that the entry-level handset would be updated, but this has not materialized and the iPhone XR is now the entry-level model.

iPhone XR price, colors, storage options and release date

The iPhone XR comes with storage options of 64, 128 and 256GB, and is available in black, white, red, yellow, coral and blue. The handset is priced from $749.

As had been predicted ahead of Apple's event today, the iPhone XR will be arriving to market a little behind its siblings. Pre-orders will open on October 19.

Like GearBrain on Facebook
Show Comments ()

The GearBrain

See which products "work with" either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa by clicking on the device below.