With this year's iPhones, Apple built upon the success of the iPhone X in a somewhat iterative manner. All three phones borrow from the 2017 flagship's design, which many praised as being the best in years. They also tried to help those of us who don't have more than a grand to spend on phones, creating a new product with a few compromises.
The 2018 iPhone lineup has something for everyone. They all share mostly the same specs, except for the camera, display, and other minor aspects in the most inexpensive model, the iPhone XR. As for the iPhone XS and XS Max, they're really the same phone, with only the screen size and battery capacity being different.
The iPhone XS & XS Max
There is far more similar between the iPhone XS and XS Max than different, which makes it easier to talk about them together. Both devices bring back the Super Retina display from last year's iPhone X, which used an OLED panel. Both panels support HDR and True Tone.
The cameras are the same on both models as well. Both use dual 12 MP camera with OIS. One lens is wide-angle while the other is telephoto, which provides 2x optical zoom.
Both models lost Touch ID, opting for Face ID as the only biometric authentication method. As a result, both phones have the same 7 MP TrueDepth Camera in the front. All three cameras can can use Portrait Mode and the new Depth Control, a feature which lets you adjust the depth of field after taking the photo.
Both models have support for dual-SIM, and include stereo speakers via the earpiece and a bottom-firing speaker. Wireless charging makes a return to both models as well.
The only difference between the two phones is the screen size, resolution, and battery. The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch screen with a 2436 x 1125 resolution. The iPhone XS Max increases both specs with a 6.5-inch display at a resolution of 2688 x 1242. Despite the differences in screen size, they both have the same pixel density at 458 ppi. As for the battery, the capacity is unknown at this time, but the XS Max will have a larger one.
The iPhone XR
The most exciting model is the iPhone XR. The spiritual successor to the iPhone 5C, the XR is the XS "lite." There are a few compromises here and there that bring the price down by $250, making it the iPhone of choice for those on a budget.
The iPhone XR doesn't have the top-of-the-line Super Retina HD display. Instead, it has a new display called Liquid Retina which is based on IPS LCD. Apple enhanced the panel to perform better while benefiting from its low cost. The XR also has a larger screen than the XS at 6.1 inches. Unfortunately, the resolution is lower at 1792 x 828, resulting in a much lower ppi of 326.
Apple also subtracted the telephoto lens from the rear, leaving it with only the single 12 MP wide-angle lens. The camera can perform all the software and post-processing feature such as Portrait Mode and Depth Control but lacks optical zoom.
It is also less resistant to water and dust by a bit. The iPhone XR has an IP rating of IP67 compare to the XS and XS Max IP68. There isn't a 512 GB internal storage variants like the XS and XS Max. Instead, the largest capacity is the 256 GB model.
Finally, there's one design discrepancy, but you wouldn't notice by just looking at Apple's renders. The bottom bezel on the XR is significantly larger than the top bezel (or the bottom bezel on the XS and XS Max), presumably due to its use of an LCD screen instead of OLED. If you're a fan of symmetry, this might be hard to ignore.
But the XR does have one advantage: colors (and lots of them). The iPhone XR has six different colors, many of which have never been seen on an iPhone. Whereas the iPhone XS and XS Max have traditional colors such as Gold, Space Gray, and Silver, the iPhone XR has colors like red, blue, and yellow.
As you can see, when you consider the price difference, the iPhone XR is the best bang for your buck. At the same time, if you're only looking for the best of the best, the XR shouldn't even be on your radar. But that's indicative of Apple's strategy with these new iPhones: there's something for everyone.
What are your thoughts about the new iPhones? Which one are you getting? Let us know in the comment section below.
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