As a person who's into photography and uses full frame cameras with nice lenses, I'm pretty impressed with the iPhone Xs/Max.
The best thing about it to me is the smart HDR. The end result almost never has blown highlights, and great shadow detail. It looks natural too, for example, if you shoot into the sun it doesn't boost the shadows to an unrealistic degree. The blacks are still crisp in every shot... Really impressed with the algorithm. It is close to how I edit photos from raw myself, without the workflow.
In previous generations, iPhones would underexpose dramatically in low light, and now this generation doesn't. There's tons of noise, sure, but you can at least see stuff.
Looking at the xs and pixel 3, I find it fascinating how they're finding software methods of overcoming hardware limitations. The pixel stacks photos for a bright nighttime exposure, which can actually have less noise than larger sensor devices.
All that is technical... Photography is really about composition and understanding light. No amount of tech can overcome that.