Apple Highlights iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Reviews

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Reviews for the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max went live this morning ahead of Friday's launch, and in a new press release, Apple has highlighted reviews from several members of the media who were able to spend some time with the new iPhones.

Apple shared key passages from sites that include Mashable, TechCrunch, Daring Fireball, The New York Times, Best Products, Hypebeast, Tom's Guide, Dailymail, TechRadar, Hardwarezone, Sydney Morning Herald, and photographer Austin Mann.


Daring Fireball's John Gruber, for example, praised the iPhone's custom silicon and software and its always-in-your-pocket convenience for photography.
"iPhones can't compete with big dedicated cameras in lens or sensor quality. It's not even close. The laws of physics prevent it. But those traditional camera companies can't compete with Apple in custom silicon or software, and their cameras can't compete with iPhones in terms of always-in-your-pocket convenience and always-on internet connectivity for sharing. In the long run, the smart money is to bet on silicon and software."
The New York Times praised the way Apple increased the iPhone XS Max's screen size without adding bulk or compromising usability, while Tom's Guide did some benchmarking on the A12 and declared the iPhone XS models the fastest iPhones available.
"[To transcode a 2-minute 4K video to 1080p,] iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max knocked it down further to 39 seconds. ... The Galaxy S9+ took 2 minutes and 32 seconds to complete the task, and that's the fastest we've seen from an Android phone. ... Based on our testing, the A12 Bionic processor inside the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max make these the fastest phones you can buy."
Apple, of course, focused on the positive elements in these reviews and while reviewers did generally offer praise for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, especially for the camera improvements and the larger screen size, most agreed that iPhone X users may not be tempted to upgrade just for a new processor and a better camera.

Apple's full list of review selections can be seen in the article shared via Apple Newsroom. More reviews can also be found in our review roundup, shared this morning.

Customers who pre-ordered an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max will be able to get their hands on the new devices starting on Friday, September 21, the official iPhone XS and XS Max launch date.

Article Link: Apple Highlights iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Reviews
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,927
14,611
Central U.S.
Something interesting that I noted in Gruber's interview is that he confirmed with Apple that the iPhone XS wide angle camera has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 26mm vs. 28mm on the iPhone X, which makes it a bit wider to fit more in the frame at once.

He also confirmed that the new sensor is 32% larger, which is actually pretty significant if you know anything about smartphone camera sensors. I have no idea why Apple buried a detail like that which will truly improve image quality in low light conditions.

They also undersold smart HDR if you check out the photos in his review. He has some good real-world examples. It also seems like the neural engine coupled with the ISP has improved fine hair details on the edges of the faux blurred background bokeh in portrait mode, which is something I have complained about in the past.

So if you look at the camera spec sheet you won't notice many improvements, but in reality it's actually a pretty solid upgrade for people who take a lot of photos with their phone. And compared to an iPhone 7 or 6s it's going to blow it away.
 

roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
6,714
1,799
My 2017 iPhone X is pretty amazing and the reviews have all said if you have the X you don’t need to get the XS.
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,186
5,922
Toronto, ON
Something interesting that I noted in Gruber's interview is that he confirmed with Apple that the iPhone XS wide angle camera has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 26mm vs. 28mm on the iPhone X, which makes it a bit wider to fit more in the frame at once.

He also confirmed that the new sensor is 32% larger, which is actually pretty significant if you know anything about smartphone camera sensors. I have no idea why Apple buried a detail like that which will truly improve image quality in low light conditions.

They also undersold smart HDR if you check out the photos in his review. He has some good real-world examples. It also seems like the neural engine coupled with the ISP has improved fine hair details on the edges of the faux blurred background bokeh in portrait mode, which is something I have complained about in the past.

So if you look at the camera spec sheet you won't notice many improvements, but in reality it's actually a pretty solid upgrade for people who take a lot of photos with their phone. And compared to an iPhone 7 or 6s it's going to blow it away.
I wonder if they fixed the issue with reflections on the camera glass. Ever since Apple started adding a flat glass cover to the camera lens, any lights in the field of view of the camera will reflect in photos ruining them completely. It's more noticeable in video. People have mislabeled this lens flare but it's definitely not flare and actually a reflection. I can't believe this keeps getting overlooked, specially on a premium priced device.
 

Sefstah

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2015
589
1,066
For a company that pushes their camera features so hard, I find it ridiculous that you can’t even change the camera settings in the app.
“Hold that pose, let me go into settings, scroll down to the camera, fiddle with the settings, then open the camera app back up. Ok, say cheese!!”
You can forget it if you’re trying to record a certainty moment.
A settings button or slider control directly in the app would be so much better. I can’t believe they still haven’t implemented such a simple feature yet. Come on Apple!
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,927
14,611
Central U.S.
I wonder if they fixed the issue with reflections on the camera glass. Ever since Apple started adding a flat glass cover to the camera lens, any lights in the field of view of the camera will reflect in photos ruining them completely. It's more noticeable in video. People have mislabeled this lens flare but it's definitely not flare and actually a reflection. I can't believe this keeps getting overlooked, specially on a premium priced device.
I mean, in all the photos of the new device it looks like the same flat cover glass that goes over both lenses so I doubt it. I haven't noticed much trouble with reflections over the years, but I'm also a professionally trained photographer who has a deeper understanding of how light works and how to best position my camera, subject, background elements (including lighting) to get a good photo. Perhaps that is why I haven't had problems with it? And seriously I'm not trying to come across as bragging or anything but those things do matter a lot when taking a photo and I do it without thinking so you might be 100% right about the lens cover causing problems. I just haven't seen it. Now the green spot on the iPhone 4 camera—that I could see, lol.
 

bluush

macrumors 6502
Apr 20, 2007
336
455
As someone still using an iPhone 5s, I cannot wait for my XS to show up Friday! It's going to be a huge change for me. Watching everyone complain about this phone it seems they're forgetting one small yet critical detail: not everyone already owned an iPhone X. Many of us were using older phones for one reason or another. For that reason, the XS looks more appealing (especially for those of us who rely on our phones to take a lot of photos) than any other phone on the market. Period.
 

Tozovac

macrumors 68000
Jun 12, 2014
1,764
1,713
Apple handpicks and highlights the reviews lol
Looking at the app store on my macbook air, High Sierra OSX has only 6 reviews but you can't see each individual review...I remember when Yosemite first landed, the reviews were appallingly bad, but somehow the average was always at least 3.5, and then reviews on Apple apps disappeared for a while...

Apple PodCasts app has no reviews....come on Apple, at least pretend that you're not cooking the books and show a few 4 or 5 star reviews...

CD40D0E7-41C0-427B-A234-D4AEF1627014.png
 

frankly

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2003
636
66


The New York Times praised the way Apple increased the iPhone XS Max's screen size without adding bulk or compromising usability, while Tom's Guide did some benchmarking on the A12 and declared the iPhone XS models the fastest iPhones available.
I think you have a typo there. Tom's Guide said, "the A12 Bionic processor inside the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max make these the fastest phones you can buy." We don't need a review to know they are the fastest iPhones ;)

RE: "In the long run, the smart money is to bet on silicon and software."

AAPL does NOT have even a single Board member who is an EE OR Software Developer !
And this has prevented them from creating some of the most amazing silicon and software on the planet how? You made that statement as if it proves something. The board does not create the chips or write the code.

My 2017 iPhone X is pretty amazing and the reviews have all said if you have the X you don’t need to get the XS.
Did you actually need the X?

LOL at anything Gruber writes as remotely a “review”.
I would consider your statement unfounded and unfair. If Gruber is not to your taste, so be it, but no need to disparage him as a writer and purveyor of honest writing.
 

Gudi

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2013
2,723
1,381
Berlin, Berlin
He (Gruber) also confirmed that the new sensor is 32% larger, which is actually pretty significant if you know anything about smartphone camera sensors. I have no idea why Apple buried a detail like that which will truly improve image quality in low light conditions.
Larger sensor with larger individual pixels was mentioned in the keynote, people didn’t take notice because the camera is always better in an S-year. I remember Gruber making the point about always-in-your-pocket camera years ago.
 
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