iPhone XS and XS Max Reviews: Not Dramatically Better Than iPhone X, Consider Waiting for iPhone XR

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews have hit the web, three days before the smartphones are released in stores.


    2018 is what is known as a "S" year--hence the XS branding--in which Apple retains the same physical design of the iPhone, for the most part, and instead focuses on internal improvements to the display, camera, performance, and so forth. Previous examples include the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 6s series.

    Not only that, but Apple said last year's iPhone X set the standard for the next decade of the smartphone, with its premium design and nearly edge-to-edge display, leaving the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with big shoes to fill.

    All that considered, let's dive in and see how they stack up.

    After nearly six days of trying out the devices, many media outlets agree that the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are "evolutionary, not revolutionary," as Wired's Lauren Goode put it. TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino went as far as labeling the smaller-sized iPhone XS as "one of Apple's most 'S' models ever."

    That's not necessarily a bad thing. As in many "S" years, if you already own the previous-year's device--in this case the iPhone X--Panzarino said there are only "about a half-dozen definitive improvements" in the iPhone XS. But, for customers upgrading from an older iPhone, he said they'll be in for "a huge win."
    In terms of specific features, The Verge's Nilay Patel has good impressions about Face ID, the rear camera, performance, battery life, and more. As he reminds readers, the only differences with the iPhone XS Max versus the smaller iPhone XS are its larger 6.5-inch display and longer battery life.

    Patel on Face ID:
    On the rear camera:
    Battery life:
    If you are a diehard Apple fan who can't wait to get your hands on the latest and greatest iPhone, you're probably going to choose the iPhone XS, or specifically the iPhone XS Max, regardless. For others, it may be best to wait until Friday, October 19, when the lower-priced iPhone XR becomes available to order.

    iPhone XR is often described as the iPhone X for the rest of us. While reviews of the device are not out today, we know it has a nearly edge-to-edge display, Face ID, glass casing, wireless charging, and many other advantages of the iPhone XS, including new camera features such as Depth Control and Smart HDR.

    CNET's Scott Stein:
    The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern:
    Many other publications have shared iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews that are worth a read. We've rounded up links below.
    The New York Times
    USA Today
    Tom's Guide
    The Telegraph

    iPhone and iPhone XS will go on sale, and begin arriving to customers, this Friday. For those who decide to wait for the iPhone XR, reviews of that device will likely hit the web a few days before its October 26 release date.

    Article Link: iPhone XS and XS Max Reviews: Not Dramatically Better Than iPhone X, Consider Waiting for iPhone XR
  2. JCCL macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2010
    Just as expected. Huge upgrade for users of older phones, but for iPhone X owners quite marginal, with almost the same experience unless you want bigger screen. I’ll pass on this one.
  3. yaxomoxay macrumors 68020


    Mar 3, 2010
    Not surprising to be honest. I don’t think that we’ll see revolutionary changes anymore, the technology is mature enough and honestly I don’t mind skipping one or two iterations.

    I never had the problem Patel mentions and I wear eyeglasses. Maybe his phone is telling him “don’t look at me first thing in the morning!!”.

    Also, I truly wonder why FaceID can’t work in landscape mode. Anyone knows why?

    On the other hand, iOS 12 is a huge improvement. Smoking fast in all our devices, including the SE’s.
  4. gsmornot macrumors 68030


    Sep 29, 2014
    I did nearly hold off for the XR. I really have nothing bad to say about it. In the end I went with the XS Max but only because of the overall screen size.
  5. johnyslats macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2012
    Leeds, UK
    Waiting on those Series 4 reviews tbh. Will have it on my wrist come Friday, but I can never pass up on more hands on/unboxing videos
  6. newyorksole macrumors 68040

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
    Consider waiting for the XR? There are so many people out there with iPhone 5/6/7, so the XS isn’t a good upgrade for them either? Lol.

    The XS may not have a TON of differences from the X, but it’s still a great phone. It’s a worthy upgrade for many people. These reviews really should be speaking to people who hold onto their phones for YEARS.

    And the XS Max is definitely worth it regardless if you have an X or earlier.
  7. DotComCTO macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2006
    Perfect! That's exactly what I wanted. I'm upgrading from a 4 year old iPhone 6 Plus. I almost pulled the trigger last year with the X, but I really wanted the bigger display along with another year of refinement for Face ID. I'm quite happy I ordered the Xs Max.
  8. ipponrg macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    I’m guessing Apple is delaying horizontal faceid as a new feature to sell more phones later
  9. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    It's interesting that they improved the speakers again.
    From what i remember the speakers in the iPhone 7 were a big improvement. Then they improved them in the X again.
    And now again in the XS.
  10. Godzilla71, Sep 18, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018

    Godzilla71 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 16, 2009
    WA state
    That's what I may end up doing. I originally planned on picking up a cheaper X. Well since they eliminated that possibility. I might upgrade my 7 to a 128gb XR. which is perfect for my needs. 64gb is too small and I really don't need 256Gb for the extra $$$ but who knows I may change my mind LOL
  11. iScone macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    No surprises, then. They're the best phones you can get, if you can afford them.

    If you want to wait, the X is still OK. If you want to compromise, try the XR.
  12. lsutigerfan1976 macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    I didn’t upgrade my X to a Max for performance increases. I ordered it for the screen size. In my case that will make a huge improvement. And worth the upgrade alone. Especially for ppl like me with bad eyes that could use a bigger screen.
  13. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    here's hoping they can make it work in the new iPad at least... there it would be really annoying if it didn't work.
  14. joueboy macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2008
    We'll be seeing MFi sunglasses soon and of course we'll be paying premium for these sunglasses. Thanks Apple I'm super excited with this knowing that my sunglass is MFi I'm sure it's a good quality and up to Apple quality standard.
  15. Bornee35 macrumors regular


    May 6, 2013
    I want that purple background from the verge review
  16. yaxomoxay macrumors 68020


    Mar 3, 2010
    From a 5/6/7/SE owner perspective, the XR is already a very good upgrade.
  17. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    If the XS and XS Max are not dramatically better then the X why would you want to wait for the XR? Using that logic would make the XR worse then the X. When you are paying that much money you might as well pay a little more and get the best especially when you purchase a luxury brand like Apple. The XR just screams "I want an iPhone, but I really can't afford it." The extra money you spend will make your experience better and people will notice you have the best iPhone.
  18. jona2125 macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2010
  19. bjoswald, Sep 18, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018

    bjoswald macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2016
    I’m happy with my X - skipping this upgrade cycle.
  20. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    The Verge review: shows dramatically better XS pictures, says Pixel is better, lists XS camera among the "cons".
  21. zetti macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2012
    This is why after I changed my mind from getting an XS Max for 1249 and opted to get an XR when it releases. The size, and the features is an upgrade from my current iPhone. I do not feel I'll be missing out if I do not get a XS Max and opt for the XR.
  22. dcopelandia macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    Des Moines, IA
    Like many other people.....the only reason I am upgrading from the iPhone X to the Xs Max is screen size. The only question I have is there some software tweaks like taking a selfie with an AR item in the background reserved for just the XS's?
  23. HacKage macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2010
    The XR is imo a downgrade for anyone using an iPhone 8 series or X, for anything older, it may be worth waiting for. That being said, if you are in any way sensible you would look at the deals that are being offered on the X which is still a better phone than the XR, but at a very discounted price in the places I've seen. The screen resolution alone is reason enough to skip it.
  24. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    Still can’t narrow down between the Xs and Xs max. What a conundrum.

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