This month, Apple held their annual press conference to unveil the latest version of the iPhone, following, per usual, months of leaks and rumors. The result: the announcement of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Following the mid-September Apple event, the iPhone XS on September 21st, which means these are already in some people’s hands! Many are currently reporting that the XS and XS max have sold out and will be re-shipped in a few weeks. The iPhone XR, however, will be available for pre-order starting on October 19th and will be in stores on October 26th. What is the difference between these three new iPhones? We will lay out the differences, and similarities, below to help you decide which iPhone is right for you!
On a basic level, the iPhone XS is a slight upgrade of the 10th anniversary iPhone X, which has now been discontinued in place of these new launches. The XS Max is a larger version of the XS; a true phablet at best. The iPhone XR, which some are comparing to the iPhone 5C from past, is a more affordable version of the XS, with very few differing features from more expensive counterpart.
One of the biggest differences between the iPhone XS and the XR is the main camera, however, all three devices certainly have great cameras, a 12-megapixel f/1.8 primary camera. The iPhone XS and XS Max feature a telephoto zoom lens that is missing from the XR. Yet, all three devices feature an “all new sensor” according to Apple, which allows for higher quality photos in a greater depth of range. Also, all of the devices are capable of shooting 4K video through the main camera. So, while there is a difference between the cameras on the XS and XR, it is most likely not something that would be missed by photography novices.
All three phones come with the newest A12 bionic processor. Simply put, all of the phones will boast the fastest processing times of any iPhone to date and should be able to complete your regular tasks (and games) in lightening speed. The iPhone XS and XR have no difference in their processors.
The front facing camera, which Apple refers to as the “TrueDepth” camera, is a 7-megapixel-f/2.2 sensor across all three devices. Similar to the iPhone X, the front camera allows for Animoji, Memojis and FaceID (the home button and TouchID sensors are gone for good). There is no difference between the front facing camera on the XS and XR.
Apple announced that the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR all feature new and improved stereo speaker for listening sans-headphones. Speaking of headphones, the headphone jack is also missing from each of these devices. Though the packaging comes with EarPods with a lightening connector, Apple is clearly pushing consumers toward their wireless AirPods.
Dual-SIM Card Capabilities
Great news for businesses and international travelers! The new iPhones feature capability for an eSIM and an actual nanoSIM card per each device. This means that each device can support up to two phone lines, with two different numbers and two different carriers. That means there is no more need for a work phone and personal phone, you can have them both all in one.
When it comes to display, there is a difference between the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. All three displays feature what Apple refers to as True Tone technology, which adjusts the devices’ display temperature based on the lighting around you. However, the display difference between the three devices is that the iPhone XS features an OLED display, while the XR has an LCD display. While OLED is widely considered the cutting edge of display technology, the LCD display on the iPhone XR is still sure not to disappoint.
The iPhone XS and XS Max are available in what you could refer to as the “standard” colors: gold, silver and space grey. However, the iPhone XR will be available in 6 vibrant colors: red, black, yellow, blue, coral and white.
Price & Storage
The iPhone XS, with a 5.8-inch display, is available starting at $999 with 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options. The iPhone XS Max, with a 6.5-inch display, is available starting at $1,099 with 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options. The iPhone XR, with a 6.1-inch display, will be available starting at $749 with 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options.