Guide to iPhone XR, XS and XS Max

September is always an exciting month, thanks to Apple's annual launch of its new iPhones. Today we look at the three new 2018 iPhones; Apple iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. Let us help you decide which model is right for you!

Last updated: 10th Jun 2019 at 10:25am

Let’s dive right in...

Apple iPhone XS Review

The Apple iPhone XS is the model that most people will want to buy, particularly if they are looking for a mobile phone without an enormous display!

Display and design

The Apple iPhone XS has a 5.8” Super Retina display that fills the entire front of the screen, like the iPhone X. Everything is sharp, clear and easy to read, with a very detailed resolution of 2,436 x 1,125 pixels.

There is no doubt to the quality of this iPhone. The phone incorporates a fantastic surgical-grade stainless steel frame and a front and back that is made from strengthened glass.

The iPhone XS is available in Space Grey, Silver or Gold. The iPhone XS is rather light at 177g and at 7.7mm thick, making it a comfortable fit in hand or pocket.

For people prone to accidents and hazards on a daily basis, the new 2018 iPhone is protected against these with IP68 water and dust certification.  

We must applaud Apple this year for upping the amount of internal memory! If you don’t store many photos, videos or apps on your phone then you can opt for the standard 64GB. If you require more, you have the sizable 256GB or 512GB.


The iPhone XS really does deliver when it comes to taking photos or shooting video.

The dual 12MP camera has Smart HDR technology and this works in half the time. This tech uses a second image frame to capture highlights and shadows, showing off more detail than ever before. There is also a 7MP TrueDepth selfie camera. The single camera lens uses a special software-driven Portrait Mode to help you capture selfies with bokeh blurred backgrounds.


The Apple iPhone XS uses Face ID and just like before it measures 30,000 dots on your face to ensure high levels of phone security. The main difference with Face ID on the iPhone XS is that it works even faster.

Machine learning has be employed so that Face ID learns what you look like, even when your appearance changes. You can put on a hat, scarf or glasses and Face ID will still recognise that it is you!


The Apple iPhone XS is powered by the A12 Bionic chip and this opens up the possibility for you to play AR games or enjoy other immersive AR experiences. The chip has both efficiency cores and performance cores. The efficiency cores use 50% less power, while the performance cores are 15% faster.

New technology inside this iPhone lets you watch HDR10 and Dolby Vision content on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. There are plenty of apps to enjoy as part of the iOS 12 operating system, including:

  • Maps
  • Siri
  • News
  • Numbers
  • Pages
  • Health
  • Podcasts
  • GarageBand
  • Four new Animoji
  • Keynote
  • iMovie


You can now enjoy an extra 30 minutes of use per charge, which is great news for iPhone users! Individually, you should be able to enjoy up to:

  • 60 hours of music
  • 12 hours of internet browsing
  • 14 hours of video
  • 20 hours of talk time

When you do need to recharge the phone, you can fast charge the battery to 50% in just 30 minutes! How exciting!

Available from £999.

If this doesn’t charm you, then the colossal iPhone XS Max will.

Apple iPhone XS Max Review

The Apple iPhone XS Max is the iPhone for those who want a huge display or a longer lasting battery. Apart from the display size and the battery, the iPhone XS Max is identical to the iPhone XS.

Display and design

The Apple iPhone XS Max has an ample 6.5” display with a resolution of 2,688 x 1,242 pixels.

The display uses HDR and OLED technology and this gives you darker blacks and better contrast.

The stainless-steel alloy body is paired up with the most durable glass ever used in a smartphone. The colour options include Gold, Silver and Space Grey. The phone is 7.7mm thick and weighs a bit more than the iPhone XS at 208g.

The same level of water resistance is offered. This allows the phone to be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes at a depth of up to two metres - fantastic!


The dual camera has a telephoto lens and a wide-angle lens, essentially giving you 2x optical zoom. You can add lighting effects to portraits through the Portrait Lighting feature. Effects include:

  • Contour
  • Stage
  • Studio
  • Natural
  • Stage Mono

A new image sensor reduces low light noise and you can now record 4K video with stereo sound at a rate of 60 frames per second. If you want to have a little fun, then you can use the Memoji feature. Here, 50 facial muscles are tracked so that your avatar moves and reacts exactly as you do.


The iPhone XS Max also sports Face ID security. You can use this to log into apps, so you can leave your passwords behind.


This iPhone has an octa-core processor, and this is ideal for gameplay with 3D graphics. Graphics get a 50% performance boost to enable this.


Compared to the iPhone X of last year, you now get an extra 1.5 hours of use. Individually, you could get up to:

  • 65 hours of music playback
  • 13 hours of internet use
  • 15 hours of video playback
  • 25 hours of talk time

The iPhone XS Max supports wireless charging. You will however need to buy a wireless charger if you want to experience this.

Available from £1099.

Apple iPhone XR Review

The Apple iPhone XR is the more affordable option in the new iPhone range. This phone still has a lot of the best features that you will see on the iPhone XS and the XS Max, such as Face ID and iOS 12.

Display and Design

The display on the Apple iPhone XR is a Liquid Retina screen. This is one of the most advanced LCD screens used on a smartphone.

Apple has used an advanced backlight that makes the 6.1-inch display which stretches to the corners, fantastic for immersing the user into video and gaming action. The display has a resolution of 1,792 x 828 for 326 pixels per inch.

The Apple iPhone XR has been released in six colours; Black, White, Blue, Yellow, Red and Coral.

The overall glass and metal construction give this phone a high-quality feel. The handset is lightweight at just 194g. The iPhone XR measures just 8.3mm thick so it fits nicely in the hand and doesn’t feel too bulky when using one-handed.


The Apple iPhone XR has a 12MP camera on the back and a 7MP FaceTime camera on the front. Although this phone doesn’t have the dual camera that the more expensive models has, you can still capture great photos.

The camera includes advanced technology and algorithms to make sure that your photos and videos are always good. The Apple iPhone XR camera features include:

  • Smart HDR
  • Bokeh and Depth Control
  • 4K video recording

The 7MP camera on the front can be used for FaceTime chats and taking selfies. There is a fun Animoji and Memoji feature that allows you to create animated versions of yourself. These can be used during chats and will move and make facial expressions just as you do. Both cameras include Portrait Mode, which can capture professional looking portraits using different Lighting modes, such as Studio or Contour.


Apple has included the advanced Face ID security feature to the iPhone R. This technology creates a map of your face using 30,000 points. While that may sound like it would take a long time to recognise you and unlock the phone, Apple has honed the software to be extremely quick.

Face ID also uses machine learning to recognise you if you put on a hat or a pair of glasses.


The Apple iPhone XR has an impressive list of features and one of the standout ones is the new A12 Bionic chip. This latest processor is incredibly efficient and improves overall performance and efficiency of the phone.

The fast processor and Neural Engine allow you to enjoy AR gaming and use AR apps on the iPhone XR. This new and improved processor also makes the phone incredibly responsive. You will find apps launch instantly and the phone can run videos or demanding games lag-free.

The latest iOS12 gives you all your favourite apps pre-loaded. These are just some of the apps you will find on the Apple iPhone XR:

  • Siri
  • Pages
  • News
  • Numbers
  • GarageBand
  • iMovie


With each new release, Apple aims to give you better efficiency and even more phone use before you need to plug in and recharge. The battery on the Apple iPhone XR will give you up to:

  • 25 hours talk time
  • 15 hours of internet use
  • 16 hours of video playback

So, which iPhone is right for me?

There is no denying that Apple’s new iPhones are impressive! Apple took a chance that people would pay more for the latest gadget. Hands down the XS is the best phone Apple have ever created! The question is how much are you willing to spend and ultimately, what do you need from your smartphone?

iPhone XR

iPhone XS

iPhone XS Max

Starts from £749

Starts from £999

Starts from £1099

Still not sure? You could always consider the iPhone 8 which starts from £599.

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