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Apple iPhone XS and XS Max review roundup: To upgrade or not to upgrade...

Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are great devices, but they don't serve as a great upgrade over last year's iPhone X

  • Published: September 19, 2018 3:52 PM IST

Apple iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max were easily one of the most anticipated phones of 2018 and they are finally here. Apple took the wraps of the two iPhones last week along with the iPhone XR at its Gather Round event in California. From the looks of it, the new iPhones do justice to what was suggested by the rumors. Apple took the notch approach with the all the iPhones it unveiled this year and that also includes a Plus variant, which now it calls iPhone XS Max.

But while the design might seem the same, Apple claims to have improved on the new iPhones with its new A12 Bionic chipset which it states helps boost performance in multiple areas. Along with that the camera performance has touted to have been improved as well. But while there might be some noticeable difference, the biggest one comes with the price. Apple will be retailing the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max at Rs 99,900 and Rs 1,09,900 respectively and that’s just for the base variant.

Considering all of that, the big questions still remain, are iPhone X and XS worth the price or upgrading too from an older iPhone? Lucky for us the first batch of the reviews are out and here is their take on them.

Let’s begin with The Verge, where Nilay Patel in the closing lines of his review states, “I would not rush out to spend another $999 on the XS if you have a X, but if you’re already deep into a preorder, don’t worry: you will love the iPhone XS. I definitely prefer the Pixel 2’s camera, but the iPhone XS isn’t that far behind, and it’s still a significant improvement over previous iPhones.”

On the iPhone XS Max he mostly states his disappointment about Apple not capitalizing on the phone’s bigger screen. He states, “The XS Max also doesn’t really do a ton in software to take advantage of that big display: there’s no extra row of home screen icons or picture-in-picture for video,” further stating “Everything else is mostly just bigger; apps like Slack, Gmail, and Twitter show you the exact same amount of information as the smaller XS.”

Scott Stein’s review for CNET, also talks about the new iPhones not being substantial upgrades over their predecessor. He states in his review, “The XS is an incremental step up from the iPhone X. Speed gains are hard to judge, and aren’t nearly as dramatic at first as the X felt compared to the iPhone 7 of the prior year. The camera is certainly better, but the X already takes great shots. Battery life is close enough, and the XS’ general design is identical. This isn’t a reason to upgrade from the X to the XS. The exception to that rule may be the XS Max. iPhone X owners who want more screen real estate may find the 6.5-inch screen worth the cash, but that’s strictly a personal preference.”

From Wired, Lauren Goode writes, “There are obvious differences between last year’s iPhones and this year’s iPhones, like the new processor and the giant display on the Max. But there are subtle differences too. It’s that subtlety that makes it hard to conjure up strong feelings around the new phones. It is an “S” year for iPhones, after all.” She also states, “I still think you shouldn’t feel like you have to upgrade if you invested in last year’s phones—or even if you have a slightly older phone, like an iPhone 7.”

Watch: Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR First Look

Based on these reviews, it’s quite obvious that new iPhones are in fact great devices. That said however, there is consensus that it might not serve as a big upgrade over the older iPhone X. The iPhone XS Max is pretty different, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table except for a bigger experience via the bigger screen. Being ‘S’ variants, the new models stick to offering a slightly better performance. The reviewers also point out that it might be worth waiting for the iPhone XR, which offers similar features at a much affordable price.

  • Published Date: September 19, 2018 3:52 PM IST

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