iPhone XS Review

2018 is one those years in which Apple releases an ‘S’ line model of their existing iPhone that they introduced last year. This year, we got the XS (Pronounced as 10-S, not xs or excess), the XS Max and the cheap XR which is not that cheap either.

Coming to iPhone XS, which is the true S-line descendant of iPhone X, it does not look new and refreshing. In fact, if you placed an iPhone X and an iPhone XS together, it would be hard to tell them apart. It is on the inside that the iPhone XS shines brighter than its predecessor, and that is what the S-line of Apple iPhones are all about- internal changes.

Spectacular on the outside, as always

Although I mentioned that the iPhone XS looks almost identical to iPhone X and you can’t tell them apart, there are a few tweaks on the outside of the new Apple phone.

The first thing you’d notice is the Gold color offered with the iPhone XS which was previously not an option with the iPhone X. Some people love the color, some people don’t, but it is a good addition to the color line up. One thing that I must mention is the fact that the stainless steel sides are really bright gold.

The next minute physical difference is the addition of 2 antenna bands. One of them is on the top right, just above the camera, the other on the bottom left, beside the speaker grill. The bottom antenna band ruins the symmetry of the phone as it replaces three of the speaker openings on the left as compared to six on the right.

And that’s pretty much all the physical changes in the iPhone XS. It is still the same glass phone with a familiar feel and weight

The New A-12 Bionic Chip

The new iPhone XS is equipped with Apple’s latest 6 core A-12 Bionic chip and a 4GB ram. The iPhone XS shares the exact same chipset and ram with its elder brother, the iPhone XS Max.

The A-12 Bionic chip is smooth and fast. It is reported that it is as much as 30% faster in opening apps, camera and much more. It performed quite well on GeekBench as well, snatching a score of 4774 on a single core and 11308 on multi-core. To put in simple words, it is noticeably fast.

iPhone XS

The New Camera Module

The new camera module is the biggest improvement in iPhone XS when compared to previous year’s iPhone X. And you may be relieved to hear that both the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max share the same camera module so there is no difference between the two in terms of camera. The camera unit, on the whole, is just slightly larger than its processors. It is a 12-megapixel dual-lens set up with the primary one being a f/1.8 wide-angle lens and the second one being a f/2.4 telephoto lens, accompanied by a quad-led flash. Both the lens are optically stabilized, which comes in very handy while shooting a video. The video recording is top notch at 4K 60FPS with a stereo microphone.

The Smart HDR is the new feature that Apple is boating in their new camera. What it basically does is that it can bring out the detail in the whole shot and do it really sharply, without over-exposing or blurring. The processing is possible only due to the new A-12 chip. The portrait mode has also been improved. The new portrait mode uses the dual camera along with the software to create a depth map. A depth map determines which object is closer to the camera and which is farther away, creating layers based upon the distance. The objects that are farther away will be more blurred as compared to those close to the camera.

Final Words

The iPhone XS is undeniably an excellent phone, one of the best that Apple has to offer right now (although I’d be saying the same words for the next year’s iPhone). But should you upgrade from last year’s iPhone X? Probably not. iPhone XS does offer a few minor tweaks over the last years phone, but it is not worth it to upgrade. However, it may be a great choice for those who are still stuck on iPhone 6 or 7. But if you’re an iPhone X owner and dead set on upgrading, then I’d recommend opting for the iPhone XS Max rather than XS.

Pros:
  New and Improved Camera Module
  Advance and Fast A-12 chip
  Comes in gold and 512 GB variants

Cons:
  The same old design with unnoticeable tweaks
  Hefty Price tag

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