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Review

Apple iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max first impressions

Apple’s iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max go on sale in India on September 28. Ahead of the availability, here are our first impressions.

apple-iphone-xs-xs-max-hands-on-1

Image Credit: Rehan Hooda


Highlights

  • Apple iPhone XS, iPhone XS will go on sale in India on September 28.

  • Prices start from Rs 99,900 for the two iPhones.

  • Both feature powerful hardware, and iPhone X-like design.

We are only a couple of days away from Apple’s two new iPhones (iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max) going on sale in India. Not surprisingly, the new iPhones are currently hogging most of the spotlight in the smartphone world. Ahead of the official availability, I’ve had the opportunity to use the iPhone XS, and the iPhone XS Max for sometime, and here are my first impressions.

Design upgrade

As you may have already seen in the photos, the new Apple iPhones follow the design language introduced last year with the iPhone X. Essentially, the front is dominated by a full-screen display with a wide notch at the top. Gone is the Touch ID button completely as Apple has now completely switched to gesture-based navigation and Face ID for security. If you are upgrading from an iPhone X, you won’t notice any difference. But for someone like me who is upgrading from an iPhone 8 Plus, it’s a massive jump.

Gorgeous Display

Speaking of jumps, this year Apple has introduced the biggest display on an iPhone yet. The iPhone XS Max flaunts a large 6.5-inch screen, while the iPhone XS retains the 5.8-inch screen from last year. The OLED displays are a treat for the eyes, and again they prove to be a big upgrade for those switching from an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus.

Despite the iPhone XS Max featuring a big display, the overall form factor is similar to the iPhone 8 Plus. In fact, it is slightly smaller and slimmer than last year’s device.

Power

Both iPhones are powered by Apple’s new A12 Bionic chipset, which the company claims is much faster and efficient than last year’s chipset. While it is too soon to comment on the efficiency part, the device’s overall performance is silky smooth. Playing graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 9: Legends is a lag-free experience. Also aiding the overall experience is the set of stereo speakers on board, which are quite loud even in noisy environments.

The latest iOS 12 also aids in the overall performance, and you don’t see any lags or stutters. Navigating iOS using gestures is quite smooth, and is something that one will no doubt get used to quickly.

Cameras

On paper, Apple has retained the same dual 12-megapixel camera configuration as last year’s iPhone X. But when you look deeper, you will see the upgrades. Apple says that the wider pixel size on the iPhone XS means more details in good lighting conditions as well as low light conditions. It is too soon to pass a judgement on just how much of an improvement the new cameras are, and you will have to wait for our detailed review.

The new iPhones continue to shoot excellent portrait shots, but this time there’s a difference. Apple is now offering you the ability to change the depth-of-field effect on a photo after it has been shot. So far the feature has worked well, but again we will take a more detailed look in our review.

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

First impressions

Apple iPhone X users won’t feel like they are missing out on a lot. But the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are surely huge upgrades for users of other iPhones. These huge upgrades however come at a price. Prices for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max start from Rs 99,900, and Rs 109,900, respectively. They go up to a whopping Rs 134,900, and Rs 144,900 for the top-end variants.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has already defended the pricing saying that the new iPhones are worth it. But will it feel the same to someone who will be shelling out their hard-earned money? This question is something we will answer in our detailed review, so stay tuned.

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  • Published Date: September 26, 2018 5:18 PM IST