It’s that time of the year again, where Apple refreshes its iPhone lineup. This year, Apple has introduced the S version of its devices, meaning they’re incremental updates to the previous generation. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are the latest and greatest from the Cupertino based company. Both devices sport a similar design to last year’s iPhone X and retains the edge to edge display along with a notch. The only major design change is the addition of a Gold colour option.

Edge to edge display across the board!

Now, with the addition of the iPhone XS Max,the Plus variant is no longer available. This version sports a larger screen than the iPhone 8 Plus but manages to pack a smaller footprint thanks to thinner bezels. When it comes to specs, both phones pack identical hardware save for screen size and battery capacity. The iPhone XS Max sports a 6.5-inch OLED display while the iPhone XS packs a 5.8-inch display. These are feature packed displays as both support Dolby Vision, HDR10, and also True Tone display, allowing it to adjust its white balance based on the surrounding ambient light.

Under the hood, both smartphone are powered by the A12 Bionic Chip which is manufactured based on a 7nm process. Containing a new Neural engine to handle AI tasks, Apple says it’s able to process 5 trillion neural engine operations every second. This is a huge jump from the 600 billion operations per second achieved by its predecessor, the A11. While RAM wasn’t disclosed during the Keynote, we do know that storage options of 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB will be available.


The new image sensor on the two devices should offer better low light performance compared to the iPhone X. This is due to the larger 1.4-micron pixel size on the image sensor. As for the rest of the camera, it largely retains a similar setup to the iPhone X. This includes a dual 12MP rear camera with a main f/1.8 shooter coupled with a f/2.4 telephoto lenses. Also, both cameras pack OIS and are coupled with a quad LED true Tone flash. While camera hardware remains largely unchanged, Apple has added theability to adjust the bokeh effects in Portrait Mode. Scrolling along the Depth Control will allow you to change the effects from f/1.4 to f/16.

As for video, the new iPhone now has the ability to record audio in stereo. Other than that, videos can still be shot in 4K up to 60fps and also 240fps slow-mo at 1080p. When it comes to selfies, both iPhones pack a 7MP f/2.2 camera up top with support for Animoji and Portrait Selfies. Also, Face ID is still available as the fingerprint scanner has now been removed across the board.

Better Battery Life & Improved Water Resistance?

When it comes to battery life, Apple has stated that the iPhone XS will offer 30 minutes more of battery life than the iPhone X. Meanwhile, the large iPhone XS Max can last up to 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone X. Like the previous generation, both devices support wireless charging as well as fast charging. However, a fast charger will not be included in the retail box and will have to be purchased separately instead.  IP68 rating is now also part of the iPhone XS, whereby you will be able to submerge the phones for up to 30 minutes in 2 metres of water.

As for connectivity, Dual SIM is supported but there’s a catch. iPhones sold in the Chinese market will be able to pack two SIM cards in one phone, but those in other markets will only be allowed to use a second SIM in the form of an eSIM. 

Pricing and Availability

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are already available for pre-order and are set to go on sale on 21 September. This only applies to countries in the first wave, and Malaysia will likely receive the devices sometime in October. As for pricing, these smartphones will not come cheap, and will cost:

iPhone XS 64GB – $999
iPhone XS 256GB – $1,149
iPhone XS 512GB – $1,349

iPhone XS Max 64GB – $1,099
iPhone XS Max 256GB – $1,249
iPhone XS Max 512GB – $1,449

However, these prices will likely be much higher once they are made available in Malaysia.