Just a year after the release of the original iPhone X, Apple is back with a revamped 2018 phone lineup with multiple new handsets, starting with the iPhone Xs pronounced "iPhone 10 S" – all improving on last year’s $1,000+ flagship phone: The iPhone X now has a super-sized big brother in the new iPhone Xs Max.
Here’s the Short Version (TL;DR* for those in the know)
- It's equipped with a dual-lens 12-megapixel camera on the back of the phone.
- Its battery lasts 30 minutes longer than last year's iPhone X, Apple said.
- The camera has "zero shutter lag," Apple said, so it should be able to snap photos fairly quickly.
- It also supports two SIM cards, allowing you to use two phone numbers on one phone.
- It has IP68 water-resistance, so it can be submerged in water about 6 feet deep for up to 30 minutes.
- Apple's chip is called A12 Bionic and has special hardware for machine learning.
- Apple said its facial-recognition software, Face ID, is the "most secure facial authentication ever in a smartphone."
- The display is covered with a "new formulation" of glass that Apple said is stronger than that of previous iPhones.
- The display has a high-dynamic color range that's 60% wider than previous models.
- Your existing iPhone X case will fit the new iPhone Xs, but not the Xs Max or the Xr. Both of those are completely new sizes and will require new case designs.
And a link to Apple’s massively over-produced video.
Available in gold, silver, and dark gray, the smaller Xs sport a 5.8-inch screen, and the new Xs Max gets a huge 6.5-inch screen that’s larger than a Samsung Galaxy Note 9; both with OLED display technology for rich colors in pictures and videos. Amazingly these devices are not any larger than previous models. Thanks to the slimmer bezels, the iPhone Xs Max is only the same size as last year’s iPhone 8 Plus.
Apple says its OLED screens are even brighter and refresh at 120Hz. The screen now offers HDR support for enhanced viewing and smoothness, and the rumor that 3D Touch was going away turns out to be nonsense. A good viewing experience isn’t just about the screen: sound matters too. For those of you that aren’t married to your headphones, Apple has given both phones new speakers and their calling it “wide stereo sound”.
The Future of Face ID
It took me a while to love Face-ID. Thankfully Apple is only making improvements. So, of course, all three models are getting notches on top for all the sensors required to pull off Face ID.
Inside that little notch is an ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, flood illuminator, infrared camera, and a 3D dot projector that can scan your face to make sure that you—and hopefully only you—can unlock your device. Apple claims an upgrade of the iPhone’s algorithms means Face ID recognizes you faster.
2018 Camera Improvements
On to the single best feature of new mobile devices: Apple has redesigned the iPhone Xs’ camera with dual 12-MP sensors: one for wide-angle shots, and one for telephoto. And both cameras will come with optical image stabilization. When you shoot your world with portrait mode or special depth effects, both cameras work together to add extra dimension to your shots. Not sure what “Extra Dimension” really means. We need to see it in action before accepting the gospel from Cupertino.
And for 2018, Apple’s new Smart HDR feature will now shoot a four-shot burst to make sure you don’t miss anything, and maybe improve the chances of catching that perfect shot.
More an evolution than a revolution, Apple says the standard X will last 30 minutes longer than last year’s iPhone X. That’s an incremental increase at best. This is where Apple uses every bit of the larger devices to cram in more battery. The iPhone Xs Max features the biggest battery Apple has ever put in an iPhone, resulting in an extra 90 minutes of runtime compared to today’s iPhone X. If you can handle the larger devices, you will probably love the new batteries.
Does Anyone Care About SIM Cards?
If you travel internationally is matters and both the iPhone Xs and Xs Max come with space for dual SIMs. Switching between carriers should be a breeze.
Price and availability
Both the iPhone Xs and Xs Max will be available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage sizes, with the smaller Xs starting at $1,000, and the larger Xs Max starting at $1,100. They will be available for pre-order on Friday, September 14, with shipments going out a week later, on September 21st.
Watch this space for updates on real wood phone cases. It makes sense to embrace the newest technology, but wrap it in a case with some soul.
*TL;DR (Too Long, Didn’t Read)
Owner, President-CEO, WUDN and WUDN Promo. After 25 Years in the corporate world, I am creating my own destiny. I bought the business so we can continue delighting our customers with real wood products that are beautiful and functional. Follow us on Instagram, tweet to @cechrist or email me.