The 10 Best iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Features

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 12 Sep 2018

New flagship iPhones are here. Yes, plural. This time, Apple has gone back to the tradition of releasing two new flagship iPhones. But we’re living in the post iPhone X world. This means edge-to-edge displays, the notch, Face ID and more importantly, no going back to the old naming scheme.

Want to know about the best iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max features? Read on!

Top 10 Best iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max Features

1. New 6.5-inch Model

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First of all, the iPhone Xs is not just one model, but two. Apple has taken the iPhone and iPhone Plus models and transitioned them in the iPhone X world. The updated iPhone X model is called iPhone Xs. It has the same 5.8-inch Super Retina Display.

But there’s a whole new iPhone Xs model with a 6.5-inch display. And because it adds an extra inch of display in the same physical size as the Plus model, Apple thought it needed a new name. Well, meet the iPhone Xs Max. It’s mouthful yes, but this is where we are now.

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But let’s get over the name and talk about the display itself. It’s an OLED display, the largest Apple has ever put in the iPhone. It supports HDR and wide color. Both displays are 458 pixels per inch. The iPhone Xs Max bumps up the resolution to 2688 x 1242.

The iPhone Xs looks just like the iPhone X and the iPhone Xs Max looks like a larger version of iPhone X.

2. A12 Bionic Chip: First Ever 7nm Chip

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This is the big one. The A11 Bionic chip last year was already a beast. It was beating entry-level MacBook in benchmarks. And the A12 Bionic chip is supposed to be up to significantly faster!

In an industry first, Apple has built the A12 chip using 7nm fabrication. That’s something companies like Intel have been chasing and delaying for years. The A12 Bionic system on chip includes three things: a CPU, a GPU, and a Neural Engine.

The CPU is 6-core. Two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. Now, Apple can run all 6 cores at the same time! The performance cores are up to 15% faster than A11 and the power efficiency cores are up to 50% more power efficient.

The GPU is 4-core. The A11 was already industry leading. Now the A12 is up to 50% faster. That’s a huge gain that will make games and AR experiences much better.

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Plus, the A12 has Apple designed 8-core Neural Engine. It can perform 5 trillion operations per second, up from the 600 million operations from the Neural engine on the A11 Bionic. The 8-core chip is amazingly powerful and helps the iPhone offer features like Real-time Machine Learning, Smart HDR, Core ML, and more.

How does this manifest in real life? Apple says that app launches are going to be up to 30% faster. And that’s compared to an already breathtakingly fast iPhone X. This thing is just going to fly!

Plus, both new iPhones now have 4GB RAM, compared to the 3GB in iPhone X.

3. IP68 Rating

The new iPhones get an upgrade when it comes to dust and water resistance rating. Both new iPhones are now IP68 certified. This means they’re now rated to survive for up to 2 meters deep for 30 minutes. For comparison, the iPhone X features an IP67 rating which certifies it to be water-resistant for a depth of up to 1m.

4. Smart HDR

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Interestingly enough, Apple has kept the specs of the iPhone mostly the same. Both iPhone Xs and Xs Max get a dual camera setup with 12MP sensors. The tech specs are all same as the iPhone X. The sensors though are much faster.

But what’s more interesting to talk about and watch out for is what Apple is calling Computational Photography. Basically, Apple is using the Image Signal Processor and the Neural Engine in A12 Bionic chip to do some really interesting things with the camera.

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The poster child for this is Smart HDR. Apple says you’ll be able to take amazing photos in even the harshest conditions (against direct sunlight or in low light) using Smart HDR. The camera does facial recognition, facial landmarking, depth mapping, segmentation mapping and more.

When you tap the shutter button, there is zero shutter lag. In fact, Smart HDR captures 4 main high res frames. Plus it captures 4 middle frames in between. On top of that, it captures a long exposure frame before that. Then it uses the Neural Engine to combine all the photos. It takes the best elements from each photo to create the resulting image with better dynamic range and more details.

5. Editable Depth Effect

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Apple is taking the bokeh game to a whole new level with the improved Portrait mode. The new iPhones are now much better at facial segmentation. This means no longer weird blurs around glasses and hair. What’s more interesting is the fact that you can now go in and edit the depth effect later on. You can adjust the bokeh all the way from f1.4 to f16! This is applicable for the front as well as the rear cameras on the handsets.

6. A New Gold Finish

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The iPhone Xs looks just like the iPhone X and the iPhone Xs Max looks like a larger version of iPhone X. It comes with a surgical-grade stainless steel band on the side while glass takes over the back.

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There’s a gorgeous new Gold option for the iPhone Xs. It looks like the gold color we first saw in iPhone 5s.

7. Faster Face ID

Face ID is faster and better in the new iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max. Both devices share the same Face ID technology. The new system uses better algorithms and has a faster Secure Enclave and Neural engine for faster processing. This means that Face ID recognizes your face much faster.

8. 512GB Model

iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max now have three storage tiers. They come in 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. That’s half a TB of storage on your iPhone!

iPhone Xs 64GB costs $999. The 256GB model is $1149 while the new 512GB model will run you a whopping $1349.

The iPhone Xs Max 64GB model starts at $1099. The 256GB model is $1249 while the 512GB model is $1449! That’s almost 1500 dollars for an iPhone!

9. Dual SIM

Both models come with another first for an iPhone. Dual SIM support. Actually, this is a bit of a cheat. Apple doesn’t have two SIM slots. Instead, it’s using eSIM technology it has used previously in iPads and Apple Watch.

For eSIM to work, your carrier has to be on board. Apple is bringing major carriers like Vodafone, T-Mobile, Airtel and Jio on to the platform. So chances are, your carrier will support it.

In China, Apple is actually selling a version of the iPhone Xs Max with physical dual-SIM support. And Apple’s design is quite clever. It’s stacking two sims, upside down, in the same slot so as to not waste any space.

Both iPhones also get Gigabit-class LTE support and according to Apple, the best worldwide roaming support in any smartphone.

10. Better Battery Life

This might not seem like a lot at first, but the battery life in the new iPhones is much better. Compared to the iPhone X, the new iPhone Xs will last up t0 30 minutes more.

But the iPhone Xs Max is a beast of its own. It has the largest battery Apple has ever put in an iPhone. Combine it with the efficiency of the new A12 Bionic chip and you get an iPhone that lasts for 1.5 hours more than the iPhone X. And the iPhone was already a solid daily driver, going more than a day of heavy use.

Differences Between iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max

We’ve talked about what’s common. Now let’s go over the differences.

The biggest difference is the size itself. The iPhone Xs has a 5.8-inch screen while the iPhone Xs Max stretches out to 6.5 inches. The iPhone Xs is 5.65 inch high compared the 6.2 inches for the Max. iPhone Xs is 2.79 inches wide while the iPhone is just over 3 inches wider.

The iPhone Xs weighs 177 grams while iPhone Xs Max is significantly heavier at 208 grams. The iPhone Xs Max lasts more than iPhone Xs. iPhone Xs Max gets an extra hour of internet use and video use and 5 extra hours of audio playback.

There’s a pricing difference as well. The iPhone Xs Max is $100 more expensive compared to iPhone Xs.

ReadiPhone Xs vs iPhone Xs Max: What’s the Difference

Which iPhone Are You Buying?

The iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max can be pre-ordered on September 14 and they’ll ship on September 14th in countries like US and UK.

Apple has discontinued the iPhone X. Are you more likely to buy the $749 iPhone XR or the new flagship iPhone Xs? Share with us in the comments below.