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iPhone Xs Max, Xs and Xr: All you need to know



6 minute read

Can you believe it’s already been a year since Apple announced the iPhone X? Since then there have been tonnes of rumours circulating the Internet about the next one and it was finally time to put those rumours aside. There are officially three new iPhones this year and here’s everything you need to know about them.

Apple Keynote 2018

Apple’s Special Event took place in the Steve Jobs Theatre. The announcement we were all anticipating was about to be made but not without the new Apple Watch being revealed first. Half an hour into the Keynote and it was finally time for the big reveal. Tim Cook took the stage to tell us exactly what we’ve all been waiting for.

There were lots of thoughts about what the next iPhone was going to be called, especially when Apple skipped ‘9’ and jumped from the 8 and 8 Plus to the X. What some may have missed is the fact that we were actually going to get more than one iPhone this year and it’s official; the iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr are the brand-new iPhones for 2018.

iPhone Xs and Xs Max


The Xs and Xs Max are successors to last year’s iPhone X but the Xs Max is essentially the Plus version. Instead of a 5.8” Super Retina OLED display, it boasts an incredible 6.5” Super Retina OLED display. Even though this sounds absolutely huge, due to its edge-to-edge display its physical size is basically the same as the iPhone 8 Plus; you just get much more screen.


Aside from the name and display size difference, the Xs and Xs Max pretty much resemble the design of the iPhone X. Apple didn’t really change the design, which makes sense because they went for a major design change just last year.

You’ll find the new iPhones made from surgical grade stainless steel and they look incredibly sleek. There’s an all-new Gold finish, which looks beautiful. I’m not usually a fan of Gold but this particular finish looks stunning. If Gold isn’t your colour, then they are both also available in Silver and Space Grey.

iPhone Xs Gold Finish


Whether you’re big on selfies or simply love capturing moments to look back at, a good camera is important and the new iPhones sure meet that requirement. They boast a 12MP wide angle camera with f/1.8 aperture as well as a 12MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 aperture. These also include true tone flash, optical image stabilisation and there’s a 7MP camera at the front. So, it’s not a major upgrade from the iPhone X at all but the camera specs are certainly good enough.

What stood out during the Keynote was taking photos in Portrait mode. Once you’ve taken a photo, you can go into edit mode and adjust the depth of field. How cool is that? I love it.

iPhone Xs Camera

Dual SIM

For the first time ever, Apple are introducing Dual SIM in an iPhone. They’re using something called DSDS (Dual SIM Dual Standby), which allows both SIMs to be used but if a call comes through to one number then that will become the active line.

Instead of two physical SIMs though, Apple are introducing eSIM technology so there will only be one physical SIM inside the iPhone. The second one can be setup easily by simply scanning the label. This eSIM technology is not yet supported widely yet though, so we’ll have to wait before we can take advantage of it.

On another note, China will be getting a Dual SIM in the form of a single tray that will hold both SIMs on either side. This will be so convenient.

Tech Specs

Looks and features aside, below are the main tech specs for the iPhone Xs and Xs Max.

· 5.8” and 6.5” Super Retina OLED display

· Apple designed A12 Bionic Chip (The smartest and most powerful chip in a smartphone: 4-Core GPU and a 6-Core CPU. 5 Trillion operations per second and apps load 30% faster)

· IP68 (can go 2m under water for unto 30 mins)

· Internal Storage options: 64GB | 256GB | 512GB

· Battery life (Xs: 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X. Xs Max: 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone X)

· iOS 12 pre-installed (otherwise the official release is on 17th September). You can read about its features here


The iPhone Xs will be available from £999 and the Xs Max will start from £1099. They’ll be officially released on 21st September but will be available to preorder from 14th September.

iPhone Xs and Xs Max

iPhone Xr

Immediately after showing off the Xs and Xs Max, the Xr was revealed in 6 different colours: Black, White, Blue, Yellow, Coral and Product Red. Now, that’s what you call a variety and they all look so good too. It’s cool to see Product Red as an option.

Colour aside, the Xr looks just as stunning as the Xs due to the edge to edge and top to bottom 6.1” Liquid Retina Display. It doesn’t boast an OLED display and instead has a LCD display but the bigger display doesn’t mean a bigger size. It’s actually physically smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus, which is brilliant.

iPhone Xr

It also comes without 3D Touch, which may be a slight downside for some but on the up side it has Face ID; the most secure way to unlock your iPhone. So, this is a bonus.

Just like the Xs and Xs Max, it runs on the A12 Bionic Chip and has the exact same camera. On the contrary, it has an IP67 water and dust resistance rating; one below IP68 that the other two models have. As for the battery, you’ll get an hour and a half more than the 8 Plus so it’s definitely been enhanced.

When it comes it storage you can choose from 64GB (starting at £749), 128GB or 256GB. If the Xr sounds perfect for you then you can pre-order it on 19th of October.

iPhone Xs VS Xs Max VS Xr

I think it’s great that Apple introduced three iPhones this year because each one could be suited to different people and they fall under different pricing brackets too, especially the Xr.

The Xs Max definitely stands out for me though, purely because of its 6.5” OLED display. I mean, can you imagine watching HD videos on that? It’ll be quite the experience.

Overall, the iPhones this year are not a significant upgrade from last year’s X but, honestly, it was to be expected. I love the new colours on the Xr and glad to see battery improvements have been made. I’m looking forward to preordering my Xs Max.

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Written by shadylady

Sadia produces tech reviews, tech tips & tutorial videos at XALIRATE.