iPhone XS: Price, release date and features

Everything you need to know about the iPhone XS − Release date, price, specs, and how to pre-order the iPhone XS

Apple has recently completely refreshed its iPhone range, adding a few new models and removing a couple of old favourites. The iPhone XS sits at the top, along with the bigger iPhone XS Max. There’s also the iPhone XR, which looks a lot like the others but comes in at £749/$749.

The iPhone X, meanwhile, has been discontinued and you’ll no longer be able to buy this iconic device directly through Apple.

Here’s everything you need to know about the company’s 2018 iPhone X update, including its price, release date, specs, and how to pre-order the new iPhones.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max key features at a glance

  • Release date September 21 (pre-orders open now)
  • 5.8-inch/6.5-inch Super Retina OLED screen
  • iPhone X-style ‘notch’
  • Improved Face ID
  • No physical home button
  • Faster Apple A12 Bionic 7nm SoC
  • Dual-camera with completely new sensor
  • IP68 water- and dust-resistant (up to 2m for 30 minutes)
  • Gold, silver and space grey colour options
  • iOS 12 (available to all September 17)

iphone xs iphone xs max

iPhone XS − Price and release date

Apple’s iPhone X successor is available in two different screen sizes − we have a 5.8-inch iPhone XS and a 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max. That 6.5-inch screen is the biggest to ever sit on an Apple phone and it’s larger the Android competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (6.4-inch) and OnePlus 6 (6.3-inch).

They’re each available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB configurations, and both handsets come in three finishes: gold, silver and space grey.

Now for pricing. Take a deep breath, and possibly a seat too.

  • The 5.8-inch iPhone XS costs £999 for the 64GB model, £1149 for the 256GB model, and £1349 for the 512GB model
  • The 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max costs £1099 for the 64GB model, £1249 for the 256GB model, and £1449 for the 512GB model

iPhone XS – Pre-order

Pre-orders are now open (as of Friday September 14), and the new iPhones will start shipping on September 21.

Here’s where you can pre-order the iPhone XS and how to get the best iPhone XS Max deals early on.

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iPhone XS − Screen

The iPhone XS Max is the biggest-screened phone Apple ever made. However, thanks to that, ahem, “edge-to-edge” screen, the XS Max is physically smaller (0.9mm less, to be precise) than the iPhone 8 Plus.

The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch, 2436 x 1125 resolution Super Retina OLED screen, with the Max model featuring a 6.5-inch 2688 x 1242 Super Retina OLED screen. Pixel density stands at 458ppi on both models.

There’s also HDR10 and Dolby Vision support on both handsets, and Apple says the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max offer a million-to-one contrast ratio and 60% greater dynamic range of colours for HDR photos than the iPhone X. Hopefully we’ll know more about these changes once we’ve properly reviewed the new duo of phones.

Of course, both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max (plus the iPhone XR) sport the notched screen and rounded corners.

Read more: iPhone XS vs iPhone X

iPhone XS − Design

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max can both be easily mistaken for the iPhone X, with Apple deciding against updating the look of its flagship this year. This is common for an ‘S’ year, though.

Both little and large versions of the XS feature a “surgical-grade” stainless steel frame, which joins the glass front and back panels up. Apple also said the glass it has used here is stronger than before.

And yes, that means support for Qi wireless charging is back. The iPhone and iPhone XS Max will work with any wireless charging pad, but Apple’s own solution ‘AirPower’ is still not available. AirPower was first announced alongside the iPhone X in 2017 and has so far been absent from Apple’s online store.

The phones are IP68-rated for water- and dust-resistance too, which Apple saying they’ll survive a 30-minute dunk to a depth of two metres.

Unsurprisingly, the 3.5mm headphone jack has not made a comeback and this year you don’t even get the 3.5mm dongle included in the box.

Read more: Best smartphone

iPhone XS − Specs

Both phones are powered by the Apple A12 Bionic hexa-core 7-nanometer chip, which should apparently help apps launch 30% faster.

Apple says it’s up to 15% faster than the A11 Bionic, and up to 50% more power-efficient. Graphics performance, meanwhile, is claimed to be up to 50% faster with the A12 Bionic than the A11 Bionic.

“A12 Bionic features a six-core fusion architecture with two performance cores that are up to 15 percent faster, four efficiency cores that are up to 50 percent more efficient, a four-core GPU that is up to 50 percent faster, powerful Apple-designed Image Signal Processor (ISP), video encoder and more,” the company says.

Both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are also dual-SIM-compatible, meaning you’ll be able to use two numbers in one device. This works slightly differently to dual-sim Android devices as in all countries aside from China the secondary sim is an e-sim.

There’s also support for gigabit LTE speeds and Apple is also promising wider stereo sound from the stereo speakers and faster Face ID.

There’s no word from Apple on RAM yet. Regardless, we’ll have to wait to spend some time with the XS phones before jumping to any conclusions about performance enhancements.

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Read more: Apple A12 Bionic

iPhone XS − Camera

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max both feature the same dual-camera setup around the back. This is great news as previously you’d have to sacrifice a secondary lens if you wanted a smaller phone.

It’s an upgraded version of the dual-camera setup we saw on the iPhone X, and combines a 12-megapixel f/1.8 wide-angle sensor and a 12-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto lens, with dual optical image stabilisation, 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.

Portrait mode is back, and there’s a new feature that lets you manually alter the how strong the bokeh-effect is after you’ve taken the picture. Another new feature is Smart HDR which should give improved shadow detail and highlights.On the front is a twice-as-fast front 7-megapixel f/2.2 TrueDepth camera.

Both phones can also shoot 4K video at 24fps, 30fps or 60fps, 1080p HD video at 30fps or 60fps, 720p HD video at 30 fps, and record stereo sound.

Read more: Best camera phone

iPhone XS − Battery life

Apple says it has improved battery life from the days of the iPhone X, and is promising up to 30 minutes of extra stamina with the XS, and up to 90 minutes more with the XS Max.

Claimed talk time for the iPhone XS is up to 20 hours, claimed internet use is up to 12 hours, claimed video playback is up to 14 hours and claimed audio playback is up to 60 hours. It’s also fast-charge capable, with Apple saying a 30-minute charge can get you up to the 50% mark. However, you still get the same 5w charger in the box that you’ve always got with iPhones. If you want proper

Claimed talk time for the iPhone XS Max, meanwhile, is up to 25 hours, claimed internet use is up to 13 hours, claimed video playback is up to 15 hours and claimed audio playback is up to 65 hours. It’s fast-charge capable too, with Apple once again saying a 30-minute charge will get you up to the 50% mark.

The iPhone X’s battery is good enough to get you through a day of use quite comfortably, so we have high hopes for the XS and XS Max.

Are you tempted by the iPhone XS or the iPhone XS Max? Or neither? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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