Should You Upgrade from iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 to iPhone XS? A Decision Calculator

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 16 Sep 2018

iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 vs iPhone XS

Every time a new iPhone launches, the thought of upgrading to it will flash across the mind of every iPhone owner out there. Are you an iPhone 6s or iPhone 7 owner who is looking to upgrade to the iPhone XS but are confused if the jump is worth it or not? Read our guide to find out.

The iPhone XS represents a huge jump over the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 in almost every aspect. But it is also very expensive. Before you think about upgrading to the iPhone XS, you need to figure out the reasons for making the jump. Is it battery life? performance? better camera?

If you are overall satisfied with your iPhone 6s or iPhone 7 but are simply frustrated with how slow it has become, you might want to wait until the release of iOS 12 before taking any decision. This is because iOS 12 brings about major performance improvements on older iPhones which should breathe a lease of new life on your iPhone 6s or iPhone 7.

iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 to iPhone XS – Upgrade or Not?

Design and Display

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 both come with a 4.7-inch Retina display. Apple is known for using excellent LCD displays on its devices and the iPhone 6s and 7 are no exception. But they completely pale when compared to the 5.8-inch True Tone OLED display of the iPhone XS.

The OLED panel on the iPhone XS offers far better color accuracy and vibrancy, contrast, and image quality. Plus, unlike the iPhone 6s and 7, you also get True Tone, HDR10 and Dolby Vision support for an excellent video viewing experience.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

The iPhone XS is slightly bigger than the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 and yet it packs a significantly bigger display — 5.8-inch vs 4.7-inch. A bigger screen means a higher information density which is always a good thing.

Even in terms of design, the iPhone XS represents a huge leap forward over the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. With a bezel-less front, the iPhone XS has a very futuristic design, something which cannot be said about the iPhone 6s or iPhone 7 which have significantly larger bezels at the top and bottom.


The iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 still perform admirably for their age. There’s no doubt that they are both getting old in the run and they now take their own sweet time in loading heavy apps and games. Plus, many of the latest games lag or are simply unplayable on these handsets. The iPhone 6s and 7 also lag a Neural engine which means they take a long time to complete any AI-related task.

Being the latest iPhone from Apple, the iPhone XS packs the absolute best of what the company has to offer. Its A12 Bionic chip is based on the 7nm fabrication process and packs a staggering 6.9 billion transistors. It features a 6-core CPU, a custom designed 4-core GPU from Apple, and an 8-core Neural engine that can process 5 trillion operations per second, up from 600 million on the A11 Bionic chip found inside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

TrueDepth Camera, Face ID

While the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 come with a regular FaceTime HD camera, the iPhone XS comes with a TrueDepth camera sensor. The latter is significantly more complex and consists of a bunch of sensors alongside a 7MP shooter. This allows the TrueDepth camera system to capture depth information. It also allows Apple to offer Face ID on the handset which is now even faster than on the iPhone X from last year.

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 rely on Touch ID for biometric authentication. While it is more reliable, fingerprint scanners are now a thing of the past in Apple’s world with the company now heavily pushing its Face ID technology as it is more convenient and futuristic.

The TrueDepth camera on the iPhone XS Max also allows it to offer features like Animoji, Memoji, and capture Portrait selfies with depth control. All these features are missing on the iPhone 8 Plus since it lacks the necessary hardware. While not an immediate reason to upgrade, there’s no denying the fact that Face ID is more convenient than Touch ID — at least when it works properly. And Memoji, Animoji are cool new ways to interact with your loved ones.

iPhone 8 Plus Touch ID button


All the three iPhones come with a 12MP primary shooter at their rear. However, the iPhone XS uses a newer 12MP sensor with a wider f/1.8 aperture and large 1.4um pixel pitch which gives it a huge advantage in low-light scenarios, details, and dynamic range. It also has Smart HDR which Apple says will help the iPhone XS capture photos with more details and better dynamic range.

The iPhone XS is also capable of recording videos 4K videos at 60fps and records stereo sounds while at it. It can also record videos with less noise, higher details, and more dynamic range while recording videos at 30fps.

The iPhone XS also comes with a secondary 12MP telephoto sensor which allows it to offer 2x optical zoom and capture Portrait photos with fake bokeh effect. The A12 Bionic chip inside the device also allows it to edit the depth details after capturing a photo — a feature that is exclusive to the iPhone XS series.

Overall, in the camera department, the iPhone XS is a huge upgrade over the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. If you are someone who clicks a lot of photos, the iPhone XS is going to bring about a massive improvement in the quality of the photos you take.


The iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 both come with a paltry 32GB of base storage and top out at 128GB. If you own a 128GB variant, you are probably going to be okay but the base 32GB storage is simply not enough in this day and age. The iPhone XS, on the other hand, comes with 64GB of base storage and tops out at a massive 512GB storage. There’s also a 256GB storage variant which perhaps offers the best bang for the money for most people.

Dual SIM, Better Connectivity

The iPhone XS comes with a Gigabit LTE modem which means it supports far higher LTE speeds than the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. It will also be able to better latch on to a network in areas with spotty reception. There’s also faster Wi-Fi and a newer version of Bluetooth onboard.

The biggest highlight with the iPhone XS is support for dual-SIM functionality. However, unlike other dual-SIM phones, the iPhone XS features an eSIM slot. This means you will have to register on the second network from within the device. This feature is carrier dependent and right now, it has only been rolled out in nine countries.

Battery Life

In this day and age, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 simply don’t offer enough battery life to last through a day of even medium use. Most iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 owners are usually totting around carrying power banks or a charger with them and have to frequently charge their devices to make it through the day. The iPhone Xs, on the other hand, offers significantly better battery life. While the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 offer up to 14 hours of talk time and 10 hours of internet use, the iPhone XS offers up to 20 hours of talk time and 12 hours of internet use.

Overall, the iPhone XS represents a huge upgrade over the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 in every key department. For an iPhone 6s or iPhone 7 owner, it definitely makes sense to upgrade to the iPhone XS. However, with a starting price tag of $999, the device is easily out of reach of most consumers. If the iPhone XS is stretching your budget, you might want to look into buying the $749 iPhone XR which offers largely the same experience as the iPhone XS.