Which iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max Storage Capacity Should You Buy — 64GB, 256GB or 512GB?

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 13 Sep 2018

With the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max this year, Apple is now offering its iPhones in three different storage capacities — 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB. That’s up from the two storage variant — 64GB and 256GB — that the iPhone X was available in.

While expensive, it is important that you pick the right storage option for your iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max right from the get-go. You obviously don’t want to go overboard because Apple charges a bomb for a jump in storage tier. So, should you buy the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max with 64GB storage? or will 256GB be good enough? While 512GB storage might seem tempting, it is going to burn a hole in your pocket. Let’s consider some factors which will help you decide which storage variant you should buy for your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max.

Capacity and Pricing

First, below is a quick rundown of the pricing of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with their different storage tiers.

iPhone XS 

  • 64GB – $999
  • 256GB – $1,149
  • 512GB – $1,349

iPhone XS Max

  • 64GB – $1,099
  • 256GB – $,1249
  • 512GB – $1,449

As you can see, Apple charges a $150 premium for a jump from 64GB to 256GB storage for both iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. This difference then jumps to $200 when going from 256GB to 512GB.

General Storage Guidelines

If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep their entire music library offline on their iPhones, or you download a lot of movies or apps, it’s best if you don’t skimp on your storage. If you like to keep your entire photo library available offline on the device, it’s best if you go for the largest possible storage capacity.

On the other hand, if you use music streaming services, stream movies and TV shows exclusively and you back up all photos and videos to iCloud Photo Library, you might just get away with the lowest storage tier. But even then, you should be prepared when you hit the wall. You’ll need to delete apps and back up photos actively to make sure there’s enough storage space available.

Who Should Buy the 64GB Model?

A base storage of 64GB is going to be enough for most users. If you are an average joe, go ahead and simply buy the 64GB variant of the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max. With most users now streaming music and movies, they are at best going to carry around 5-10GB of media files on their device. And even if you are someone who shoots plenty of pictures and records plenty of videos, the HEIF and HEVC encoding will ensure they take up less than half the space of regular JPEG and video files. iOS also comes with plenty of features which frees up storage space automatically so you are going to be sorted.

You will save a couple hundred bucks by going for the 64GB iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max which you can then use towards buying a case, AppleCare+, and other accessories for the handsets.

Who Should Buy the 256GB Model?

If you intend on using your iPhone XS or XS Max for at least 2-3 years, are a heavy gamer and prefer to have a local copy of all photos taken from your iPhone, you might want to consider buying the 256GB storage variant of the handsets. This is because apps and games are only going to continue to increase in size over time and so will your picture library. While 64GB of storage space might seem sufficient now, you will end up hitting that ceiling a year or two down the line.

256GB of storage space is definitely going to be overkill for most people. But for power users and people who want that extra room for that additional peace of mind, the 256GB variant makes a lot of sense. You might also want to check the amount of storage space you are currently using on your iPhone and how much it bugs you. If you own a 64GB iPhone which has around 45-50GB of storage space occupied, it makes sense for you to go for the 256GB iPhone XS or XS Max. If you are only using around 20-30GB of space, with most of them occupied by apps and photos, you are going to be just fine with the 64GB variant.

Who Should Buy the 512GB Model?

The 512GB iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max is straight up going to be overkill for almost everyone. Until and unless you have very specific needs like you want to carry around your entire library of FLAC music or Blu-Ray rips of movies and TV shows with you around, there’s little reason for anyone to buy the 512GB variant of the XS or XS Max.

Anyone who is interested in the 512GB iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max already knows their use case which is why they are looking at the handset with such a massive storage capacity in the first place.

Which Capacity Will You Buy?

So, what have you decided? Will you be buying the 64GB or 256GB iPhone XS or XS Max? Or do you have some specific requirements which is why you are looking to buy the 512GB iPhone XS or XS Max.