The Apple iPhone XS and XR – Feature Review

Danielle Johnson

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday edging ever closer, it certainly pays to know what you want before the record-breaking, money-spinning weekend begins. If you’re after a new smartphone and already have your eyes on one of the latest game-changers from Apple, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re paying for. With new models unleashed in the months building up to November 23, getting an idea of which smartphone is right for you will help in sniffing out the right deals.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the most advanced Apple iPhones ever are going to be available at a significant discount price. However, this doesn’t mean that the iPhone XS and XS Max, and iPhone XR won’t become part of any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. For example, last year, Walmart were among the many stores who offered an enticing and rewarding $300 gift card when an agreed installment plan was activated. Be sure to look for similar in-store and online incentives when you’re making your purchase, and your new smartphone could help you out with the rest of your holiday spending.

Apple iPhone XS and XS Max

Available in stores since September 21, Apple announced the release of its most advanced iPhones ever earlier that month. The iPhone XS and XS Max hit the shelves first, bringing with them the incredible power of the first 7-nanometer chip to be used in a smartphone.

The A12 Bionic chip is the smartest and most powerful of its kind to be used in handheld mobile technologies. This means more memory, faster processing, and a new level of experience and immersion if you love games, photography, video, and in-depth graphics on your smartphone.

This enables you to take full advantage of the iPhone’s breakthrough 12-megapixel dual camera system, which can pack previously implausible detail into a depth of photography never before seen in a mobile device. Bringing state-of-the-art photo-capturing techniques into the hands of all of its users, the iPhone XS or XS Max will let you see more highlights and shadow detail in your images, more sophisticated portrait images – with professional-level bokeh depth – and improved video stabilization.

When it comes to playback of your videos and scrolling through your images, you’ll also be engaged by the sharp, vibrant, all-screen 5.8-inch Super Retina display (or 6.5-inch with the XS Max). With custom OLED design, and supported by Dolby Vision and HDR10, the XS has the highest pixel density of any Apple device.

Incredibly, even with all of this extra power and enhanced features, the iPhone has also been upgraded in battery life with the XS. Compared to the iPhone X, the XS will save you a full 30 minutes extra between charges. This battery life increases by one hour if you purchase the XS Max.

Available in the traditional space gray and silver finishes, both models also come in a new gold finish. With storage capacities of 64GB, 256GB, and a billboard-topping 512GB, the prices of the XS and XS Max start at $999 and $1099 respectively.

Apple iPhone XR

However, if you want to stay even further ahead of the curve – and save a little cash – then another iPhone will be on the market by the time Black Friday lands. The iPhone XR is available from October 26, but is available to pre-order on October 19, starting at a price of $749. It features an all-new Liquid Retina display – the most advanced LCD in the entire smartphone industry – and is available in six stunning new finishes: black, blue, coral, red, white, and yellow.

Although a 512GB model will not be released, the XR is available with 128GB storage. With a 6.1 inch display as standard, the XR also boasts all of the benefits of the A12 Bionic chip built into its siblings released slightly earlier, though the XR does feature only one 12MP camera.

While this means that it doesn’t offer the same level of video stabilization as the other models, you will still experience professional-level bokeh and see the genius of the smartphone at work as it recognizes sharper foreground and softer background in images. A feature unique to the Liquid Retina LCD is that Apple’s innovative backlight design allows the screen to stretch all the way into its corners. This makes viewing your images and videos a breath-taking, true-to-life color experience, from one immersive edge of your smartphone to the other.

The only other significant difference between the Apple iphone XS and XR models – other than the cost – is that the XR is only water resistant up to one meter, as opposed to two. So, unless you intend to follow your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping with a dip in your nearest lake or pool, you can be guaranteed that the XR is a viable, reasonably-priced alternative to the XS models released in September.

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