Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Apple is always Apple and the release of a new iPhone is always a highly anticipated moment that dictates certain fashions for years or generations to come. Let’s discover the new Apple iPhone XS (Check on Amazon.com).
Let’s start with the packaging, which is rather disappointing. Apple has never been very generous in terms of accessories and its policy has always been that of less is more. The power adapter is still the “slow” one despite the support for fast charging. We have stereo headphones with a lightning connector and a USB/Lightning cable. A pity that the device hasn’t adopted the USB-C standard, which is also curious considering that the new Macbook now only has these kinds of ports. In addition, the lightning/audio jack adapter has disappeared as well.
Build and Ergonomics
From a build point of view this iPhone XS is exactly like an iPhone X (Check on Amazon.com) and, if it wasn’t for the new gold color, it wouldn’t be possible to distinguish it from the previous model. It’s actually a little bit heavier and the camera is just a little bit wider. It is also made of stainless steel, but the glass is now more robust. This is good news given the ease of scratching the previous smartphone. The iPhone XS is also IP68 certified. The use with one hand is manageable and the use of gestures makes it less prone to slip from the hand. The iPhone XS is one of the most pocket-sized top-of-the-range smartphones in the market.
Read more: iPhone X review
The iPhone XS makes a good leap forward, the RAM now reaches 4GB, but and the processor is the new 6-core Apple A12 Bionic, which is even more powerful and it’s made with the new 7nm production process (that means it has more power and lower power consumption). It is accompanied by a quad-core GPU and a new octa-core Neural Engine for artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The connectivity is also great with LTE Gigabit, Wi-Fi ac dual-band, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and 3D face unlock. All these are small improvements to an already very good base. The audio jack and the fingerprint reader are absent. The iPhone XS is also the first dual SIM iPhone. The second SIM is an eSIM, something that could change in the near future.
We find a 12 megapixel ƒ/1.8 main sensor combined with a 12-megapixel ƒ/2.4 secondary one. Both are optically stabilized and the secondary camera has a telephoto lens for 2x zoom. The sensors’ pixels are wider (they capture more light) and the Neural Engine works wonders with the smart HDR. The results of this camera are really amazing. The photos present a gentle contrast and are rich in detail and colors. Exposure is one of the best improvements, thanks to HDR, with a sharp decrease in dark or overexposed areas. If we have to find a flaw that is probably the tendency to warmer tones.
The portrait mode has an even more precise blur effect than before, and now is much more realistic, and offers the ability to adjust it manually. The photos are therefore excellent. The good front-facing camera is still 7 megapixels ƒ/2.2 one.
Videos are also excellent with a 4K resolution at 60fps, well stabilized and with a good dynamic range. Slow-motion videos in Full HD at 240 fps make a comeback. The real novelty is that the front camera can now shoot Full HD video at 60fps.
The iPhone XS is equipped with the same 5.8-inch display with a 2436×1125 pixel resolution. The panel is OLED and therefore very bright, with excellent contrast and extremely deep blacks. The format of the display remains unchanged compared to last year’s model, it is an almost borderless display and has a notch at the top that contains the front-facing camera, the headphone capsule and the 3D sensors for the Face Unlock. The display has great colors and supports HDR10 and Dolby Digital. True Tone is also here (it calibrates the display temperature according to ambient light) as is the 3D Touch support.
The iOS 12 was welcomed by many as manna from heaven. There are not many innovations and the overall user experience has remained unchanged: we have some new features and some new Animoji (and Memoji), the new ARKit 2 for creating augmented reality apps and some improvements in notification management.
The iOS experience pampers the user with crystal clear controls, impeccable animations and fantastic haptic feedback that can make touch controls feel almost like physical buttons. The integration of iCloud with the Apple ecosystem is an important feature, that can make the purchase of this smartphone easier to justify to those who are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem.
The battery is a little smaller at 2658mAh but the autonomy has increased. It will get you at the end of the day with a medium to heavy use. It supports both fast charging (but no fast charging power adapter is included) and wireless charging.
The price of the iPhone XS (Check on Amazon.com) is very high, but always in line with the Apple lineup.
The iPhone XS is an incremental update to the iPhone X but it succeeds in putting Apple back on top of the food chain in two key aspects of smartphone technology: unparalleled performance and photo quality.