Which iPhone should you buy, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, or iPhone XR? I will tell your how to choose iPhone for beginners and evaluate it mainly based on criteria of design, display, camera, battery, and hardware. And there are other detailed comparison for pros in terms of sound and connectivity.

Design

  • All have bangs screen with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9
  • All have no Home Button and are controlled by virtual buttons.
  • In the bangs area of the screen, there are front camera, speaker, TrueDepth camera enabling Face ID, and other sensors.

  • All have ultra-narrow bezels.But if you take a look at iPhone XR, you will find its bezel broader than the others.

iPhone Xs vs. iPhone Xs Max vs. iPhone XR

  • On the left upper side of the back of the phones, they all have main cameras and flashlight. iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have dual cameras, while iPhone XR features a single lens.

iPhone Xs vs. iPhone Xs Max vs. iPhone XR

  • On the side of the phones, all have power buttons, volume buttons, and mute button, so there is no change. You can long press the power button to turn on Siri and click it twice to enter Apple Pay interface.
 iPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XR

Colorsilver, space grey, goldsilver, space grey, goldwhite, black, blue, yellow, coral, red
Size143.6*70.9*7.7 mm157.5*77.4*7.7 mm150.9*75.7*8.3 mm
Weight177 g208 g194 g
Materials1. front- and rear-facing 2.5D scratch-resistant glass
2. stainless-steel frame
1. front- and rear-facing 2.5D scratch-resistant glass
2. 7000 series aluminum alloy frame
Dust/waterproofIP68
(totally dustproof & water depth of 2 meters up to 30 minutes)
IP67
(totally dustproof & water depth of 1 meter up to 30 minutes)
Facial recognitionFace ID
Display pressure sensor3D TouchNo
Hall SensorYesNo
  • The frame of iPhone XS series is made of stainless steel, which makes it more durable and solid compared with iPhone XR.
  • iPhone XS series can be in the water depth of  2 meters for 30 minutes, which shows the better ability of water-proof than iPhone XR does. But be aware that damages caused by liquid is not covered by warranty.
  • All are equipped with Face ID. In theory, how it works on iPhone XS series and XR is the same as on iPhone X. It can be applied to unlocking your phone, logging in to your apps and private accounts, and mobile payment. Thanks to improvement of processor performance in the latest iPhone series, its authentication process becomes much faster.

  • Only iPhone XS and XS Max are equipped with 3D Touch. When users press an app on the iPhone, the screen can accurately detect how hard users press it and then the screen vibration engine can make a reaction and send it back to the display. E.g. press an app and then a shortcut menu pops up.

  • iPhone XS series has Hall sensor that supports a leather case wisely protect your iPhone. In other words, when you close your case, you phone automatically becomes turned off. So does the otherwise.

Display

 iPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XR
Size5.8 inches
(84.4 cm2 & 82.9%)
6.5 inches
(102.9 cm2 & 84.4%)
6.1 inches
(i90.3 cm2 & 79%)
TypeOLEDOLEDIPS
(TFT-LCD)
Resolution2436*1125 pixels
(19.5:9 & 458 ppi)
2688*1242 pixels
(19.5:9 & 458 ppi)
1792*828 pixels
(19.5:9 & 326 ppi)
OtherHDR10/Dolby Vision & 1,000,000 : 1 contrast ratio
1400 : 1 contrast ratio
  • iPhone XR’s display features LCD. Although it is hard to design a LCD display with narrow bezels, Apple still achieves this impossible mission. To break a record, it redesigned its backlight module and improved it. So iPhone XR become the LCD phone with the slimmest bezels.
  • All support P3 color gamut have color management systems.
  • iPhone XS series are installed with OLED which emits visible light without a backlight. This display material creates a wider motion range and achieves a higher contrast ratio than LCD. As a whole, OLED display is better than LCD display.

  • iPhone XS series supports HDR. If it plays HDR videos, compared with usual displays, it can present more realistic colors and more outstanding contrast. However, we still don’t know if iPhone XR can display HDR videos. Even if so, its display will not be as brilliant as iPhone XS.
  • Even with bright light outside, iPhone XS is expected to display images with better quality than iPhone XR

  • Apple stated that OLED has a disadvantage of screen burn in and color fading. This is an unsolvable problem and caused by OLED materials. So it is suggested that users should not stay in the same scene with high brightness.
  • All have 120HZ touch sample rate, 60HZ screen refresh rate, and True Tone.
iPhone XS vs. iPhone X
iPhone XS vs. iPhone X

Camera

Main Camera

  • iPhone XS series consists of wide-angle and telephoto cameras as iPhone X does. Its pixel and aperture don’t change.

iPhone XS camera

  • iPhone XR only has one wide-angle camera, which also features 12MP f/1.8 wide-angle lens.

iPhone XR camera

  • One of the biggest improvements is upgradation of wide-angle camera. The pixel size of wide-angle camera is increased from 1.22µm to 1.4µm. This shows the greater ability to collect light when users take a phone at night.
 iPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XR
Pixels12MP (wide-angle) &12MP (telephoto)12MP
Aperturef/1.8 & f/2.4f/1.8
Photography featureswide-angle: 28mm, 1/2.55", 1.4μm, PDAF, OIS
telephoto: 52mm, 1/3", 1μm, PDAF, OIS
Overall: 2x optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x/6x (photo/video)
wide-angle: 28mm, 1/2.55", 1.4μm, PDAF, OIS
digital zoom up to 5x/3x (photo/video)
Smart HDR, P3 color gamut, True Tone flash, six-element lens, Sapphire crystal lens cover, new ISP
Portrait lightingnatural, studio, contour, stage, stage mononatural, studio, contour
photography modeauto, portrait (depth of field adjustment), filter, pano, time-lapse, live photo
Video4K video recording at 24/30/60fps
slow-motion: 1080p HD video at 120/240fps
Video featuresextended dynamic range up to 30 fps, stereo recording, EIS video stabilization 720p and 1080p, supports HEVC format, continuous auto focus
  • All have Smart HDR. The new image processor and algorithm improvement lead to faster and more accurate multi frame technology. This is also helpful for larger motion range. Beside this, highlight and shadow detail becomes more balanced and more sophisticated, especially with backlight.

  • All have P3 color gamut. Compared with sRGB color gamut, it can present more color details.
  • All have True Tone flash featuring slow synchronization. In the environment with low brightness,  It can synchronize the subject’s and background’s brightness.
  • iPhone XS series has an extra telephoto camera which not only has double optical zoom but also achieves better digital zoom than iPhone XR. This strength benefits close-ups pretty much.
  • All feature enhanced portrait mode. With the new image processor plus Neural Engine, the latest iPhones can quickly scan faces, landmark faces, and accurately separate the subject from the background. This function enables background blur and allows more light effects. And finally, you can adjust the depth of field before or after you shoot.

  • With the new-generation CPU, tone, focusing, and exposure adjustment will be all faster in video recording.
  • The new technology of extended dynamic range is an application of Smart HDR. It balances out highlights and shadows in the video.

Front Camera

 iPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XR
Pixels7MP
Aperturef/2.2
FeaturesTrueDepth Camera, Smart HDR, 3P color gamut, portrait mode (depth of field adjustment, 5 portrait lighting effects), Animoji/ Memomoji, multiple stickers
Video1080p at 30/60 fps
(EIS video stabilization, extended dynamic range up to 30fps)
  • The new Animoji system has more new cute emojis and add the motion of tongue out.
  • The new Memoji enables you to create your personal emojis.

Hardware

 iPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XR
Operating systemIOS 12
ChipsetA12 Bionic chip
(TSMC FinFET - 7nm)
CPU6-core
(2 performance cores - 15% faster/40% less power usage, 4 efficiency cores - 50% lower power
usage
GPU4-core
(50% faster than A11 Bionic)
Memory4GB4GB3GB
Storage64 / 256 / 512 GB64 / 256 / 512 GB64 / 128 / 256 GB
  • The hugest upgradation is Neural Engine. From 2 cores to 8 cores, machine learning speed becomes 9 times faster and undergoes 5 trillion operations per second. It can achieve real-time authentication and real-time operations. So this enhancement can enable users to efficiently perform amazing tasks, such as playing 3D games and AR experience.

Battery

 iPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XR
Talk time20 h25 h25 h
Web12 h13 h15 h
Video14 h15 h16 h
Music60 h65 h65 h
  • All support PD 15W fast charge and 7.5W Qi wireless charge.
  • Users have to buy an extra charger allowing USB Type-C to get connected with Lightning adapter so that they can charge phones fast.
  • The capability of fast-charge means up to 50% charge in 30 minutes.

Others

Sound

 iPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XR
Speakerstereo speakers
3.5mm jackno
Hi-res audiono
FeaturesApple Lossless, wider stereo playback
  • All have two stereo speakers. One is at the receiver, while the other one is at the bottom.
  • Speakers are improved to increase maximum volume limit and enhance Dolby sound system.

Connectivity

 iPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XR
USBLightning (2.0)
Wi-Fi2*2 MIMO
(802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)
Bluetoothv5.0
(A2DP, LE)
OthersNFC (Apple Pay), OTG, GPS, AirPlay, Lightning Connector, Siri
[Read more] Cheaper iPhone XS is good? Warranty is more important!

 

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