iPhone Xs: release date, price and features

by Rob Duke | Sep 13, 2018

picture of iphone xs and protect your bubble logo on background

Rejoice! The iPhone Xs and Xs Max were officially announced this week. Here's everything we know so far about Apple's fancy new flagship handsets.

Release date

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max will be available from 21st September. That’s a lightning fast turnaround compared to last year, when Apple held their premium smartphone back until November.

Price

You might want to sit down for this. Many industry sleuths predicted that the standard iPhone Xs would be less expensive than the X at launch. Turns out, it ain't.

The iPhone Xs starts at £999 for the 64GB handset, rising to £1,349 for the 512GB version.

The iPhone Xs Max starts at £1,099, with the 512GB version going for a wallet-compromising £1,449. C’est incroyable!  

Features

Refined aesthetics, new colours

The iPhone Xs is handsome but familiar. As expected, Apple stuck with the base design of the iPhone X and focused on improving functionality and user experience. 

The handsets come in Silver, Space Grey and Gold, and there’s also a wide range of rather swanky looking official cases available if you want something a little more colourful in your life.

Choice of screen size

The main difference between the handsets is the screen size. The Xs measures up at 5.8 inches, whereas the Xs Max has a whopping 6.5 inch screen - the biggest ever seen on an iPhone.

If you can contain your excitement until next week, we recommend popping into a store to try both handsets before you make a purchase. Unless you’ve got gigantic thumbs, in which case, crack on. 

Super retina display

You can always count on Apple to deliver incredible image quality. Predictably, the new ‘Super Retina’ display is razor sharp - thanks to the custom-built OLED screen which has the highest pixel density ever seen on an Apple device.

Improved Face ID

One of the bugbears with the iPhone X was the slight delay people experienced when using Face ID to unlock the device. *Cough* first world problems *cough*.

Apple heeded the complaints. The iPhone Xs will open quicker due to improved algorithms, faster secure enclaves and other technical words I don’t really understand.

Advanced processor

The new A12 processor builds on last year’s chipset, using improved ‘Neural Engine’ technology and real-time machine learning to deliver an even slicker experience.

Put it this way: if the A11 was the T-800, then the A12 is the T-1000. Except its end-goal isn’t to terminate, but to deliver cat memes to your greedy eyes as fast as computationally possible.

Durable glass

In drop-tests, the iPhone X was quite vulnerable to cracks and breakages. Considering the price of the handset, this put a few people off last year. The Xs handsets are reportedly more robust, with extra-durable glass and a stronger stainless-steel chassis. Fantastic news.

Liquid resistant

I'll never forget the time my iPhone 5 fell out of my pocket, slid down the arm of my chair and arched directly into a pint of ginger beer. HOW WAS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?

Now, hopelessly clumsy people like me can breathe a sigh of relief. The iPhone Xs and Xs Max have improved water resistance (to a depth of 2 metres for a maximum of 30 minutes). They're also better at resisting dust. Result.

Improved camera

Many people were expecting the new iPhone to have a three-camera array, but it seems Apple weren't interested in getting in a slap-fight with Huawei.

The camera on the Xs is still a big step up. It takes better photos in low light and uses advanced sensors to deliver improved image depth and colour definition. You can also adjust the intensity of the bokeh blur in portrait mode and tweak the depth of field after the photo is taken.

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