iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max Review

by birtanpublished on May 21, 2021

This is Lisa from mobile tech review and it's that time of year new iPhones we have the iPhone 10s and the new bigger 10s Macs or for those who you think the prices are totally absurd you're probably go with calling it the XS as an XS get it all right maybe the joke so anyway this is an S here that means for our smaller friend here the 5.8 inch which already existed last year with the introduction of the iPhone 10 incremental and small changes I think that for a lot of you watching this probably you're more interested in the Macs for those who used to be iPhone plus users for example or for those of

You who bounced back and forth between Android and the iPhone and like the phablet sighs this is 6.5 inches not too too much heavier though 208 grams versus 177 so the weight difference doesn't feel humongous in your pocket anyway too long didn't watch if you want to hear it right at the front if you're if you have an iPhone 10 I probably wouldn't go for the 10s unless you have that upgrade every year time playing with your carrier if you've just been waiting for the bigger iPhone well you certainly should jump on it if you're an iPhone hater oh well you're probably just

Watching this so you can say something smart you snarky in the comments we're gonna review them now now you know what the drill here is with iPhones you got three different capacities as you go up in each storage capacity that's $100 more so for the smaller iPhone the 5.8 inch model the XS it starts at $9.99 US dollars for the Mac's it's $100 more its 1,099 dollars yes my eyes are crossing to what is with smartphones getting so darn expensive right that is what it is the base model is 64 gigs which in the old days might have seemed like well that's nice that's none

Gonna rock my world and excite me that much it's what most high-end smartphones have regardless of platform Android as well of course there's no expandable in every year there's no microSD card slot for example but you know things have changed a lot where I used to want to have the higher storage capacity on my phones not so much anymore because a lot of media that I consume is streaming these days probably the same for YouTube music videos you've got Netflix you've got an Amazon video you have Apple music you have Spotify so I find I put less stuff on my phone and mostly what is

There are the photos and the videos that I actually with it now your mileage may vary you know how you use the phone so you decide about the storage capacity the highest capacity is 512 gigs a half a terabyte so just like the note 9 it's a lot of money but it's a heck of a lot of storage if you know that you need it the phones are once again glass front and back so even though Apple says it's tougher glass an early drop test showed that it is actually a bit less breakable than the iPhone 10 which isn't hard honestly molasse you're still going to

Want a case and speaking of a case thanks to our sponsor quad Dhabi and their sheath cases which are so thin and light they're even thinner than the Apple silicone case yet they offer a good deal of draw protection and obviously scratch protection I'm using their last year's model for the iPhone 10 which is a clear case and it's holds up well too it's not stretched out it doesn't look terrible it's a good case one good thing going back to our iPhones again is that whether you get the smaller the larger model you get the same stuff inside it used to be that

You've got better cameras if you won't got the bigger phone you got more RAM that sort of thing so now you get the same cameras whether you go big or small you get the same amount of RAM which is for gigs good times if you go with that iPhone are coming out later that one is only going to have three gigs of RAM you've got the same Apple a 12 Bionic CPU with the knurl engine processor that we're gonna talk about in a bit so everything is the same obviously except for the physical size the resolution is a little higher on the larger model so that the pixel density

Settings in the stays the same the PPI and obviously they have more room for a bigger battery and they have a bigger and display to drive in the bigger model so you do get a bigger battery in the bigger one just like with the iPhone plus models in years past that one's pretty exciting because well with that bigger battery it is noticeably you're gonna have it run longer whereas the ten versus the 10s the battery life so far to me seems pretty similar the 10s max is lasting noticeably longer up to about 45 minutes more screen on time which is significant that's actually used time

Not sleep time you get the idea face ideas here once again no fingerprint scanner and the true depth and sensing camera on the front that lets you do an emojis and me emojis so you can be a talking tiger or koala bear whatever it is that floats your boat still the fastest most secure facial recognition system that you're going to have phone that's one of the things I really do like about the iPhone there's no waiting an eternity for an iris scanner or worrying about say the oneplus six a phone I love that one just those facial recognition not terribly secure even a

Picture from you might fool it well and this is extremely secure works pretty well in the dark for me works with glasses again for me I found it one of the more delightful things about the iPhone when it comes to the looks if you're talking about the XS vs. the X they are the same size just about everything is the same in fact old cases might even work the only differences are at the bottom where the speaker holds on stereo speakers at the bottom used to be symmetrical now they're not because they've added in antenna line on one side I'll take improve reception over

Symmetry I guess and because the cameras now have larger not only sensors at pixel sites and physical cameras are slightly larger so the outline around the camera bump there is ever so slightly just a teeny bit bigger so some cases might fit a little too tight there some might be okay somehow the phone feels more gripping which is pretty weird the last generation iPhone 10 felt like clinical stainless steel which is to say pleasingly secure rigid but also very slippery this year's model feels like it has a little bit more grip it's not that

Slippery soap bar kind of sensation good times for that also this year it's ip68 water-resistant rating instead of ip67 so that means instead of one meter three feet for 30 minutes and some submersion you can go down to two meters or around six and a half feet or so so you're having a drunk pool party and you drop your phone in the pool if it's a toys a deeper end you have a whole half-hour to sober up and figure it out the new color for this year is gold this is the new one right here this is the iPhone 8 plus in the old rose gold so you can see the difference in the color it's a little

Deeper it's a little darker some people have called a band-aid color I do not leave that up to I really like it I think it's very pretty this one looks like milk glass the older one which is nice but this is a little more subdued and the edges are kind of bronzy so for those of you who are still hung up on gender issues well you know this one looks less feminine the new model I think it's gorgeous now one thing that's not talked about so much and I think should be at this point is privacy one of the reasons Syria is not as smart as Google's assistant and

Alexxa for example is because Apple is not sending all of your data your queries and all that stuff up to the cloud and storing it for later use so these days will be any tracked by everything and you feel like your phone must be watching because ads are following you what's really going on there and part of this is just I owe s12 which you can get on older model iPhones now to free download you know the drill anyway Safari is gonna stop fingerprinting now so that's a good thing so part of what happens you look at a product and it follows you for a

Week every time you look at it on the webpage you're seeing an advert that's gonna stop that from happening and also they're finding ways to use their new neural engine that processes like five trillion operations per second a core neural processor to do things that are real life useful without infringing on your privacy while doing AI and all that certainly so that's pretty cool so you've got your AR features if you're into augmented reality probably this we're still in early days for that might not excite you but a couple of useful things I gave you like the measuring

Tool which is good for ballpark measurements that's nice they're all engine is used to vastly improve photography so you're gonna notice that it's a lot more saying you know the pixel to in pixel to excel the camera phones you were jealous of last year the photos are approaching that level of goodness because it can do multi frame HDR so quickly for each element in the scene on the iPhone 10s and 10's max that you're going to get better pictures out of it now so another nice use of AI without invading your privacy I'll take that any day when it comes to this place

You know they're always getting a bit better and I'm sure that we're gonna see display may say that this is the best iPhone screen ever and we'll see how it does versus the note 9 which is Samsung's best OLED screen ever these are both OLED which is a selling point over the iPhone 10 are that will be coming out in October of 2018 and they both support HDR 10 and Dolby vision and the difference is noticeable when you're watching videos more so premium content that was filmed perhaps in HDR mode versus your average YouTube video but even in YouTube you can see the

Difference between the old model iPhone 10 and then mixed in the 10s max you can see that the Blues in my shirt would verging more towards black on the older models show a more rich blue which is more accurate that's the color of my shirt my skin tones look a little bit better so it's subtly better and more alive particularly in the darker tones which is where Oleg can sometimes crush the blacks so definitely a good job it also looks brighter I know when the iPhone 10 came out as I a Paloma a display some people felt it looked

Darker even though it wasn't in terms of myths and brightness and where it's 625 nits O'Brien is pretty much like last generation model but they managed to bring up the the dynamic range so the brides do look brighter so you don't look at the display and say you know all the colors maybe look a little deeper and makes it a little bit darker before now it all looks more natural again it's a very good display the speakers are a bit improved there's still stereo speakers you have one bed's at the top of the earpiece and then the down firing ones they're low ladder and they're a

Little fuller still particularly on the max which has room for slightly larger speaker drivers honestly listening particularly to the max it's got to be the best sounding smartphone speakers I have heard in a long time it's as good as some laptops they did a very good job with that now there's what I call max screen minimum advantage taken just like with the iPhone plus series you kind of wish that they would do a little bit more at that extra screen real estate though some things like split screen view that's on the iPad and so on Android devices I honestly don't use it

Much like on my note 9 but it's nice to have it and particularly I like the floating video player feature that would be available on your Android phones but still is not here on the iPhone you don't even get a landscape mode on the home screen that does not really make much of a difference to me I did not use the home screen in landscape mode but I think that the reason they're doing that is because face ID only works when you're holding the phone upright and looking at it doesn't work if the phone is in landscape mode so that's probably the reason for that still it would be

Nice to see them give a few more concessions also just like with the plus miles for most programs and for the home screen everything just looks larger which if you're like me and you're a person of a certain age is probably a good thing if you've hit the bifocal age where a little things close start to look a little hard to see but I think everybody finds that content is more immersive on a bigger screen that's why we all have bigger monitors for our computers these days that's why we have big screen TVs even though the resolution is not increasing beyond 4k

With your 4k TV is it no matter which size you're buying so it's still enjoyable yes but there's nothing that they're really doing particularly to make you Wow that maximum is doing something really cool there and the keyboard I'll just moan about this every year why can't I have a number of on my Mac sighs fine I'll use the note 9 for example our galaxy s 9 plus or any big Android phone and you have that nice number line right at the top so you don't have to keep switching between numbers letters numbers letters especially if you're

Entering passwords or something like that so I guess nobody's doing because you're using face ID and keychain in iCloud and all that sort of stuff that answer all your passwords for you anyway when it comes to 4G we now have a gigabit LTE modem again which brings a nun to parity with the samsung galaxy note 9 and the s9 which came out later than last year's iPhone 10 so that's fair they didn't have a chance to get gigabit LTE in there no 5g no phone has 5g yet the closest you can get is the 5g modem on for Verizon right now but there's no 5g

Service really it either oh well you still have the usual NFC for Apple pay we have Bluetooth 5 in the usual dual band Wi-Fi 802 them an AC onboard now everything is Intel the Intel modems are all you're gonna get you speak both Qualcomm and Intel and some enthusiasts we're always convinced they're the Qualcomm modems are better and they were trying to pick one phone model over the other to get that well Apple and Qualcomm are having a spat and ongoing legal spats oh there goes that they're not gonna be using Qualcomm modems for now it's Paul Intel but it's also

Simplified now there used to be several iPhone models with different bands for different regions and all that so things so there's only two models now there's the one that most everybody is going to have outside of China which is the one that has an e SIM built-in and a nano SIM so an e sim is clearly what's in an Apple watch or an iPad you know it's not a removable SIM you don't have to use that though it still has this typical nano SIM carrier as well so there's that the China model has a double-sided SIM card carrier for to actual SIM card slots no ECM carrier so is ever Apple is

Leading with mobile CPUs you Android people are gonna be pitching a fit about this but you know it's true what can you do so the a12 Bionic CPU is even faster than the a11 replace I don't think anybody was saying that their iPhone 10 or even their 8 or 8 plus felt particularly slow and the biggest speed improvements may really come from iOS 12 which is available to install on many iPhones going back many generations can watch our iOS 12 what's new video to learn more about that but they focused on performance improvements and bug fixes and oh my goodness and makes an

Even older phones feel faster it's pretty good but here you are actually getting a faster CPU it's a six cord CPU it's seven nanometer which means it's SuperDuper tiny and that's pretty impressive stuff because Intel and AMD are still working on their seven nanometer CPUs it's not a easy thing to do it does increase power efficiency it reduces temperatures leaves more room for other components that's pretty awesome sauce in itself you have apples on in-house GPU grows up from three cores to four cores this year from even better performance

On synthetic benchmarks its smokes Android in most cases if you look at keep bench scores if you look at graphics bench tests and you can see these on-screen versus the note 9 and the iPhone and XS max the only one that stays really on paradis is the 3dmark sling shot extreme test and i've actually written to them ask them why that is but they're the only one that's the outlier on tests so yes it's technically faster than android processors right now it's technically faster than any mobile cpu out there the gist of this is even in real-world

Performance to be doing things like working with video encoding in adobe clips or certainly apple's built in imovie application it's gonna be very fast it's gonna be super fast you're playing games you doing 49 Pub G mobile 3d racing games anything that's really demanding you're gonna have performance and then some it's sweet but like I said in most cases I don't think people with last generation iPhones are really just dying for more speed anyway but it makes him feel more future-proof lastly there's the cameras which certainly need a little improvement when the iPhone 10

And the iPhone 8 came out they were doing pretty good but then the Samsung Galaxy S 9 came out and well obviously the pixel 2 into Excel and they kind of put the iPhone to a little bit of shame so Apple has up their game here you still got 12 megapixel x 2 rear cameras on again like I said larger sensor sights larger sensors in general let more light in so particularly one of the places where the iPhone was losing it was in low-light photography and I suppose that worked out well here in Dallas we've been having unseasonable monsoons it rained just seven inches

Since yesterday so we have pretty low light conditions going on here so I have some low-light samples so you can see what's going on with that and it is improved certainly gained parity again I would say with the Galaxy S nine family of phones still doing on the warmer side for the image processing versus the galaxy but you can't will with those things afterwards to taste anyway if you want a warmer if you want a cooler that sort of thing so definitely an improvement there approaching pixel to excel that's a

Tough call that pixels who may still be a winner there but the way they're achieving the better picture is basically using the computational photography the neural engine processor like I said so what they're doing is multiple exposures basically while you're taking a picture and taking the best parts of each photograph merging them to create HDR on steroids basically a very well exposed shot more color saturation in dark situations particularly certainly plenty of sharpness going on also with the bokeh thing even though Apple in their

Presentation try to make it seem like they came up with this first now we have adjustable after-the-fact bokeh for portrait mode photos which uses the the portrait mode lens which is 2 X optical zoom lens so you've got background blur initially and then if you want to adjust it after the fact using a slider you can like on the Galaxy S again family of phones and then no.9 it's pretty effective done I still say that they do the best job of bokeh because you see less outlining less weird things going on with stray hairs which I always have plenty of and they're doing a gradual

Blurring because as you would see if you're using using a digital SLR camera which is this is trying to mimic with a fast lens the things that are the farthest away are usually the most blurred and the things are in the mid-ground or some I've learned and hopefully your subject is sharp so that's what they're doing so the portrait mode looks really very good I mean you're still not an SLR but hang for a phone in your pocket this is the best attempt I've seen yet at a portrait mode so there you have it the iPhone 10s and the iPhone 10s Mac soon to be joined

By the iPhone 10 are the one that is relatively cheap for an iPhone at $750 and will be in an in-between size between the two of these we'll have a whole lot of colors available I'm jealous about that like I said at the beginning if you already have a 10 you're probably not so interested in upgrading though the screen is certainly a little bit better the camera is significantly improved but it won't rock your world unless you really use your camera phone a lot for those of you just casual snappers once in a while you probably don't care so

Much for those who do a lot of photography yeah definitely particularly if you have that carrier upgrade plan where you get to upgrade every year if you want to anyway for those who wanted that big phone this is everything you had ever hoped for in a big iphone that is now in a trendy current design with the barely there bezel is a nice OLED display and all that stuff that you can get over an Android land – the pen if you're a note 9 person or are considering a note 9 as well I'm a super mobile tech review be sure

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