Five reasons not to upgrade to iPhone Xs

iPhone (Image credit: Apple)

Apple announced three new iPhones during the September keynote, and while we may all be enticed by shiny new things, you may be debating whether or not to upgrade this year.

For the 2018 lineup of iPhones, Apple is introducing the iPhone XR, Xs, and Xs Max. That's a lot of phones to choose from, and a lot of money to spend. Here are five reasons why it's not worth it to upgrade to the iPhone Xs or Xs Max.

  1. Overall cost
  2. Virtually identical to the iPhone X
  3. The iPhone XR is a better value
  4. Very minor upgrades from last year
  5. Your current phone is good enough

1. Overall cost

The biggest reason to not upgrade is the price. The top of the line iPhone Xs Max with 512GB of storage costs about $1,500. Think about that — you can buy a new computer with that kind of money!

Even if you don't opt for the top of the line Max model, the regular iPhone Xs starts at $1,000, and the model you'd probably want, the 256GB Xs, is $1,149. That's still a lot for a phone.

If you're on a budget, or don't want to finance your phone but want to upgrade, try picking up an iPhone X instead. Unfortunately, Apple has taken the iPhone X off of its website, so you'll have to find other means of obtaining it, but a used one costs around $700, which is far cheaper than a new iPhone Xs.

2. Virtually identical to the iPhone X

Speaking of the iPhone X, when you do a side-by-side comparison of the iPhone X and the Xs models on the Apple website, the features are pretty much the same. Not to mention the fact that the X and Xs look exactly the same, so if you're wanting to show off that you have the latest iPhone, it's rather pointless (unless you get the expensive Max).

That's right — you get pretty much the same dual lens and TrueDepth cameras, video recording (very minor spec bumps), screens, and more. The only real differences are the A12 Bionic chip with improved Neural Engine in the Xs, and one more meter of water resistance.

If you don't already have the iPhone X, then sure, the Xs models can be a good upgrade from what you already have. But if you already have an iPhone X, then there's really no point in upgrading unless you just want to throw away over a thousand dollars.

3. The iPhone XR is a better value

Let's not forget that Apple also introduced the iPhone XR, which won't be available until Oct. 19. However, if you can hold out that long, then it proves to be a better value for your money.

The iPhone XR comes with most of the same features as the iPhone Xs models, but with a more reasonable price tag. The iPhone XR starts at $749, and it just sacrifices the screen (LCD Liquid Retina instead of OLED), has a single camera system, no 3D Touch, and a longer battery than the iPhone 8 Plus. Another bonus with the XR devices is the fact that they come in fun colors, including blue and red on launch.

If you want most of the Xs features but without the sticker shock of the price, then the XR is an overall better device for your wallet.

4. Very minor upgrades from last year

Pressing back on the iPhone X, honestly, the improvements Apple made for all of the new iPhones is very minor. If you have an iPhone X already, the "upgrades" are just tiny spec bumps compared to last year. The iPhone X was already an excellent phone, and these new models just don't bring enough to the table for iPhone X owners to upgrade.

However, non-iPhone X users may be able to justify getting an Xs, just because it has slightly better improvements over last year's device, and it's time to ditch that Home button. Still, you'll want to think about the overall cost, as well as our last point...

5. Your current phone is good enough

You may think your old phone's running a bit slow, and that's fine. If that's the case though, and you want to get a new device just for that reason, you may want to hold off.

That's because you should try putting iOS 12 on your current device first and see how it performs. Apple does say that each new iteration of iOS makes old phones feel snappier again, but really, iOS 12 helps. Numerous reports from people running the iOS 12 beta on older phones say that their phones feel much faster and smoother after using iOS 12. So give iOS 12 a try first before making any decisions.

Another reason to hold off on upgrading is the fact that Apple is designing their phones to last for a longer period of time. They mentioned in the keynote that they're going to stop mining the earth to make new iPhones, and this is possible because they're made to last.

Are you getting a new phone this year?

Are you upgrading to the iPhone Xs or Xs Max? Or are you waiting for the more reasonably priced iPhone XR? Or are you skipping the upgrade this year and holding out for 2019? Let us know in the comments!

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.