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iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: Everything you need to know!

Apple announced new iPhones today, the two new flag high-end phones are called the iPhone XS (pronounced "ten S") and the iPhone Xs Max. Here's everything we learned today about the new hardware!

What's the difference between the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max?

iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch OLED display and the iPhone XS Max has a 6.5-inch OLED display, meaning the iPhone Xs Max is larger; however, other than that, there is no difference between the two new phones on the inside.

One notable difference is the battery. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are both going to outperform last year's iPhone X when it comes to battery life, but the iPhone XS Max does have a bigger battery than the smaller iPhone XS.

Specs

Here are some main specs of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Battery life

Apple states that the iPhone XS will last up to 30 mins longer than the iPhone X, while the bigger iPhone XS Max is quoted as lasting 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone X from last year.

The Insides

The iPhone Xs and iPhone XS Max use the new A12 Bionic chip. Both phones have a 6-core CPU and a 4-core GPU, both of which are faster and more powerful than iPhone X from last year.

The Camera

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max both come with a dual camera system on the back that consists of an f1.8 12MP wide-angle lens and an f2.4 12MP telephoto lens. The cameras have new and upgraded sensors over the iPhone X last year and Apple claims it will produce pictures with greater detail and sharpness.

The same front-facing selfie camera that was on the iPhone X is back on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The selfie cam is a 7MP camera with an f2.2 aperture that can record 1080p video and Portrait Mode photos as well!

The new A12 Bionic chip has a new feature Apple calls SmartHDR, which is able to produce HDR photos in faster and with much better detail and exposure.

Plus, the Portrait Mode can not only let you apply lightning filters, but the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will let you adjust the depth of the photo with a slider in the edit screen. This will allow you to take a photo and adjust the level of blur in the background!

The Video

The video capabilities are the same as the last year's iPhone X, meaning you can expect the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max to have the following video specs:

  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Optical image stabilization for video
  • Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps

Apple says that with the new A12 Bionic chip combined with the new sensors in the cameras on the back will provide better low-light video and performance.

The Augmented Reality (AR)

The new GPU is much better at handling AR and has been tailored made for ARKit 2 meaning everything from games to animoji is going to look better and run more smoothly!

Apple showed off a few new apps that took advantage of the new specs of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The most amazing one was a basketball training AR app called Homecourt.

The app can watch you take shots around a basketball net and give you real-time feedback of shot percentage and other important stats — super neat!

The Wireless Charging

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will both have Qi wireless charging and Apple says it will charge slightly faster than the iPhone X!

Waterproofing

Both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max come with an IP68 ingress protection rating, meaning it's even more water-resistance than last year's iPhone X.

The IP68 theoretically means the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max is "protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure by the manufacturer." Apple hasn't announced that pressure as of yet.

When will it be available?

Both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will be available to order on September 14 and will ship on September 21!

How much will it cost and how much storage will it have?

iPhone XS

The iPhone XS will come in three different storage options (listed below) and pricing starts at $999.

  • 64GB will cost $999
  • 256GB will cost $1,149
  • 512GB will cost $1,349

iPhone XS Max:

The iPhone XS Max will come in three different storage options (listed below) and pricing starts at $1099.

  • 64GB will cost $1,099
  • 256GB will cost $1,249
  • 512GB will cost $1,449

What colors will it come in?

Both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will come in space gray, silver, and gold!

Will the iPhone XS & iPhone XS Max come with iOS 12?

Yes! Both models will ship with Apple's newest operating system iOS 12 right out of the box!

Will I need to buy new cases?

The iPhone XS is the exact same size in all measurements as last year's iPhone X, so you shouldn't need a new case for the iPhone XS if you already have an iPhone X case lying around.

Of course, the iPhone XS Max is a brand new phone size and configuration we haven't seen, which means, you're going to need to buy news for it, should you want a case!

What do you think?

Are you excited for the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max? Let us know in the comments down below!

Updated September 13 2018: Added new information concering battery life of both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 


Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

133 Comments
  • Notice Apple's choice of wallpaper for marketing these phones. They are embarrassed about the notch.
  • Yeah, I'm sorry, I don't care that the notch doesn't bother current X owners. It still looks stupid. Not for most uses, I could care less, but for full-screen pics and video, it looks like crap to have that notch.
  • "I don't care that the notch doesn't bother current X owners." Which basically means you're judging a product that you haven't even used, like most negative iPhone comments on this website. You forget the notch is there pretty quickly when you're using it on a daily basis
  • Why would he pay $1,000+ for something he finds unsightly to look at. It’s the face of the phone. It’s not like that ugly glass panel that is on the “earlier” Pixel phones. Do you even think before you type? Ever..?
  • It's clear that he hasn't even gone into an Apple Store or phone shop to see the phone in person, he just saw "NOTCH" and decided he would join the hate-bandwagon. If he went into the store, and played around with the phone, I'd bet money that it wouldn't bother him nearly as much as he makes out it will
  • It's like me going onto Kotaku and saying "I'm not buying that game because I don't like the way the battle mechanic looks", when in reality all I've only SEEN it and not played the game. On playing the game, I might actually find it's really intuitive. Seeing the notch in a screenshot is nowhere near the same as trying the phone out in-store.
  • How drunk can you be on Rene's Koolaid that you can't comprehend the simple fact that many people find that notch ugly and unsightly?
  • I don't know why you're still here, you're planning to go to Android just because you don't like Face ID, AndroidCentral is the place for you
  • It can't be that many people considering the iPhone X sold like hotcakes, and I doubt the XS/XR will be any different
  • Just because something sells well doesn’t mean there aren’t people that still do not like it...Honda Civic sells like hot cakes too but i don’t care for it.
  • XperImnenT said "many people", which in the grand scheme of things, isn't true at all
  • It's absolutely true.
  • Maybe in la-la-land, but in the real-world, the majority are enjoying their iPhones and don't care about the notch
  • Well the fanboys don't have a choice but to put up with the notch. Bet the majority actually would rather not have the notch if they had a choice
  • The notch probably won't be a permanent thing, so either way it doesn't really matter
  • It really does matter because the Notch does exist now and what *you* *think* may or may not happen in the future is irrelevant
  • The notch wasn't the most ideal solution by Apple, so it's obvious it's only temporary (but for how long that lasts is unknown). There isn't much you can do about it, you either stick with the iPhone 8/switch to Android, or you realise that the Notch isn't that big of a deal given that it's temporary
  • That's fine but then stop defending the notch by say unintellectual and fanboy comments like no one notices it bla bla... man up to this obvious design flaw
  • What I was saying was that it's nowhere near as bad as people are making it out to be. Having an air bubble from a screen protector is something you can't unsee, the notch is merely like an oddly shaped frame
  • It sold very well, actually
  • In any case, iPhones are still popular which is the point I was making, hyperbole or not
  • You're doing the same thing, even if it's just with another company
  • You're now a blind lemming jumping off someone else's cliff instead, except now it's a cliff which doesn't get security updates nearly as frequently and the cliff is less stable, so it'll be much easier to fall off it
  • I don't need to edit my comments to make you look dumb, you do that all by yourself. It's quite a talent, I've never seen someone look so dumb in my life
  • “You forget” Hey smart guy. Quit thinking for other people. Another I’m gonna push my OPINION on you person.
  • $1,099 for a 64GB phone is ridiculous.
  • Try being in another country. In the UK, it's £1,099 (approx. $1,432)
  • I know. I just preordered the XS MAX 256 gig, and with the $50 case, the Canadian price came to $2010.00 including tax.
  • omg! I'm going with the XR........cheaper and the colors are nice.
  • Other people buy a car
  • $1,519 in Canada. What's more, you look up a Note 9 pricing. It's $999 US and they are charging $1,299.99CAD. You look at the same price on Apple's website, $999 USD for the XS, and it's $1,379CAD. So they are also inflating the exchange rate more than they have to. Honestly, it's stuff like this that vexes me greatly. I love iOs but it's becoming harder to stay with all the options out there. How much value do I attach to iMessages, iCloud and device compatibility?
  • I can’t believe the pricing. Is it me or does Apple take advantage of its users. Why are these phones better than the note 9 or any android phone? Samsung has better displays and they charge $999 for 128GB. 1099 for 64GB! Wow and the cheaper “r” version is not even 1080 screen display. Someone help me figure this out.
  • Why would they change the pricing when the fanboy cult buys no matter what crap or at what price they dish it out?
  • It's just logical business. You price something, and see if people buy it at that price. If people buy it, then you keep the price. If they don't see a significant drop in sales with these prices, then they'll stick, and anyone in Apple's position would do the same.
  • That's exactly what i said in much fewer words.
  • It's not necessarily a "fanboy cult", have you heard of brand loyalty? People continue buying the products because they work great, hence Apple's incredibly high customer satisfaction rate
  • Brand loyalty = fanboy cult.
  • No it doesn't, brand loyalty is continuing to purchase from a brand that you trust, because the products you have used from said brand have all been great
  • And obviously, Apple products have been great for me, so why would I change?
  • you thinking that every product put out by a company is absolutely "great", product after product, year after year, is fanboysim. Esp when millions if not billions of people think otherwise
  • I don't think that EVERY product is great, I think that most are great. No company is perfect
  • whatever you say, fanboy.
  • Main thing is, there's a difference between fanboyism and brand loyalty. Former suggests you're just buying for the sake of spending money on your favorite brand, whereas following brand loyalty means you're still open to choice but you prefer to stick with a brand that you trust. If someone comes out on Android which really entices me to switch over, I will try it out and if I really like it, I'll get that device. But so far nothing has enticed me that much, so I stick with the brand that I trust
  • A brand loyalty that translates into you always trying to defend flaws and shortcomings is fanboyism.
  • I don't always try to defend flaws, e.g. I don't agree with how expensive the iPhones are, Touch ID was flawed, and you can find other comments I've made where I've criticised Apple
  • Well listen, 98% defending is not much better than 100% defending. Throwing a comment or two among an ocean of Apple defending doesn't take away from the fanboyism.
  • I'll only defend if I think there isn't a flaw, or if I think the flaw isn't nearly as big as people are making it out to be, I don't get anything out of defending if I think it's flawed.
  • I guess you didn’t put the boots on today. lol
  • “Is it me or does Apple take advantage of its users.” It’s you. “Why are these phones better than the note 9 or any android phone?” Because they are not running Android.
  • From your username i can tell intellect is not your Forte.
  • Whereas YOUR name indicates you are a genius, right? All you have shown is that you have no reply. Attack the message, not the messenger.
  • “Attack the message, not the messenger”...that made no sense, further proving my point. Should we also start putting handguns on trial instead of the person that used the handgun to shoot someone?
  • Apple products are great, if they were really that **** then people wouldn't buy them because they wouldn't be usable. I switched to iPhone from Android many years ago and haven't regretted it since.
  • The desktop/notebooks aren't really behind aside from that they should consider touchscreens.
  • What does Windows 10/Linux have that macOS doesn't? Because using macOS both professionally and casually, I haven't noticed any limitations
  • haha @ finger gymnastics I'm not a big windows fan myself but to answer Rene's dingleberry, Windows does have clear advantages in several areas. 1) still to this date has significantly more software including several health care softwares that we use at my hospital 2) even if there is a mac version of a software, In many instances the PC version has more functionality. Examples include Adobe acrobat professional and Office products. 3) All desktop gaming which constitutes a good portion of professional gaming community is all done on Windows based machines 4)much greater flexibility in terms of what sort of machines you can get it on. Full operational Windows can be found on many tablets which gives it real meaning to a "pro" tablet as opposed to a joke of an Ipad pro that only runs cellphone apps
  • "1) still to this date has significantly more software including several health care softwares that we use at my hospital" There's no software on Windows that you can't find a good alternative of on macOS, so this point is irrelevant. "2) even if there is a mac version of a software, In many instances the PC version has more functionality. Examples include Adobe acrobat professional and Office products." This is absolute nonsense. If these pieces of software have less functionality, that's the developer's issue, not Apple's. Most software that is on both Windows and Mac have the exact same feature set, and if they don't, that's not a problem with macOS. "3) All desktop gaming which constitutes a good portion of professional gaming community is all done on Windows based machines" Whilst Windows does win in gaming, the game collection for Mac is growing very fast. Around 70% of my Steam library is supported on macOS. "4)much greater flexibility in terms of what sort of machines you can get it on. Full operational Windows can be found on many tablets which gives it real meaning to a "pro" tablet as opposed to a joke of an Ipad pro that only runs cellphone apps" macOS has nothing to do with the iPad. And yes, macOS is only on Macs, that's more of a problem with Apple's anti-competitive practices rather than macOS as an OS.
  • "There's no software on Windows that you can't find a good alternative of on macOS, so this point is irrelevant." That's a pretty dumb comment. You can't use an "alternative" software by yourself in a major organization. Everyone has to use the same software...this ain't kiddy land. "If these pieces of software have less functionality, that's the developer's issue, not Apple's." Developer issue or not, there are powerhouse softwares that have better functionality on Windows. "Whilst Windows does win in gaming, the game collection for Mac is growing very fast." Fast or not, there is no competition here "macOS has nothing to do with the iPad" Precisely my point...less flexibility and compatibility. You can get a fully functioning Windows in many different types of hardware.
  • Ignore the comment above this one, that was to someone else. "That's a pretty dumb comment. You can't use an "alternative" software by yourself in a major organization. Everyone has to use the same software...this ain't kiddy land." If you're in that kind of organization, you probably can't use another OS either, so this point is still invalid. This is the kind of organization that forces you to access their Company portal via Internet Explorer because that's the only browser it works with. "Developer issue or not, there are powerhouse softwares that have better functionality on Windows." Very few, I've used plenty of powerhouse software which has identical functionality on macOS. "Fast or not, there is no competition here" And yet again this isn't a fault of macOS, yet this "fault" is quickly being fixed, but you don't seem to give a **** as per your dumb response. "Precisely my point...less flexibility and compatibility. You can get a fully functioning Windows in many different types of hardware" Which goes back to many Surface owners saying that they very rarely use the touchscreen (aside from people doing art/graphics design) because most of your "powerhouse software" isn't touch-optimized, so really the variety of hardware makes no difference
  • Wow, I already mentioned the touchscreen you dumb ******* сunt, what ELSE other than touchscreens?
  • Apple is a symbol which people like to show or others they buy them because they do not know how great android is. Usually I buy every iPhone but this year I did not even think about that. Nothing that makes me upgrade
  • If you're happy with your Samsung, why worry about Apple's happy customers? 134 million used iPhones will be sold this fiscal year, giving Apple's customers a virtual rebate from their used phones.
  • This! All day. I'll never ever understand why people need to find the time to come here and crap all over Apple. Makes no sense. I think Android phones and their terrible OS are garbage, but you don't see me touting that on AC. It's simple really. If you don't like the iPhone, don't f'ing buy one. Move on.
  • I read that there is no 3D Touch on the Xr but is it still in the Xs?
  • Man I was really hoping they'd put them at the price of the 7's/8's and the X last year was a premium price. Was hoping I could grab a 128 XS for the same Upgrade Program cost or less as my 64GB X. Guess I'm going to skip the upgrade program this year and see if the 128 is the base storage next year.
  • Super excited! I’ll be getting. The gold Xs max with 250 gb. Can’t wait!
  • Will definitely check them out in an Apple Store but not rushing to upgrade from my trusty iPhone 8 Plus. I wonder how reachable stuff is on the iPhone XS Max. I guess it'll take even more stretching than on the plus model. A positive move is the landscape mode on the Max model. That said, it might be worth skipping a generation or two until Apple manages to get rid of the notch by embedding the finger print scanner in the screen (2022 maybe?)
  • Apple aren't going to re-implement a fingerprint scanner which they've taken away from the phone, Face ID replaces the fingerprint scanner. The Mac will get Face ID eventually too
  • “The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will both have Qi wireless charging and Apple” And Apple what? The good news is my 256gb 8 plus will be fine for a few years.
  • I was hoping they’d have 10-Bit recording for video in these. They don’t, so I’m safe to go with the Note 9 this upgrade cycle. I’m tired of dealing with these QuickTime files and borderline inaccessible DNGs, anyways; and I’ll save $300 over the Xs Max with a storage upgrade since the Note 9 is base 128GB. Will enjoy using the SPen in my sports video analysis apps... again. If the Xs was priced like an 8 Plus I may have impulse bought that, to experience a “small phone” for a year... but it isn’t.
  • someone please make a dictionary for apple marketing terms. it seemed to me that they were struggling during the presentation themselves.
  • To be fair, the new iPhone is an S model, so I didn't really expect much new. The Apple Watch is cool but still needs an always-on display, I really can't believe they haven't done this yet
  • Except for better screens, better cameras, better speakers, better battery life, more RAM, more storage, and way faster performance. Other than that, exactly the same.
  • The "layman" is probably not the person that the latest and greatest iPhone is aimed at. Apple want people to buy the newest iPhone, but they know the majority are either people who have been Apple fans for a long time, people with a lot of money or techies. The performance is better in each phone, but yes for the average task it's pretty indiscernible. Extra performance now is really just for gaming or some app which requires a lot of computational power. More ram mainly give you more apps open at once, this used to be a big problem on the earlier iPhones, however on the newer ones it still allows you to work with more apps than you were working with before. Camera differences are significant even if not major, especially when dealing with different lighting, and there was a huge upgrade in general with the lenses starting from iPhone 7 Plus. Face ID is fantastic, I don't know why you hate it so much. Finally I can unlock my phone reliably every time, unlike Touch ID where it was hit and miss, but I can say with certainty that Touch ID isn't coming back since Face ID is leaps ahead of it
  • Sure not everyone has the same problem, but the authentication method should work for as many people as possible. Face ID doesn't create a situation where some people can't use it due to genetics and the like.
  • If your Touch ID was hit or miss, either its user error, or Apple’s Touch ID isn’t up to par. I have had close to 100% success with my phone’s fingerprint scanner. Unless you don’t have a finger, there are no “genetics” that would prevent you from having success from using a fingerprint.
  • Then it's Apple's Touch ID not being up to par, because there's an abundance of iPhone users with the same issue.
  • My point stands. either the technology in your koolaid product is not up to par or as Apple loves to say "you're all using it wrong". I have had zero issues with my Samsung's fingerprint scanner.
  • Ok, well then it's Apple's version of the fingerprint scanner that's the problem. I don't really care what it is, I just want an authentication system that works, and Face ID works flawlessly
  • That's great that it works flawlessy for you. but you're n=1. what works for you may not work as well for others That's why having options is great.
  • By "not working" I mean potential situations where the technology used may falter. Fingerprint sensors in general do have some limitations, and maybe these were worsened by Apple's implementation of the technology. The idea is that Face ID works based on your facial shape which is determined by infrared so that it can detect your face in light or dark. Your face can be dirty, or you can be wearing glasses/[certain types of] sunglasses, it'll still work. In fact the only three limitations I know of with Face ID are:
    1. The identical twin situation. Even if you did have an identical twin, this would only affect you if you don't want them to have access to your phone, so this one isn't a very big deal 2. Can't unlock your phone when sat on a desk. Honestly this is something some people are used to doing, but it really doesn't hurt just to pick up your phone, and if you're not picking it up, can you not just add the quick functionality you need via a widget (i.e. scroll left and you have access to widgets). This one really just feels like people who it does affect, just very slightly have to change the way they use their phone in this scenario 3. It sometimes doesn't work in direct sunlight. I've not had this happen, and I've not had chance to test it, but if this is true then this is the only more serious limitation, and I'm sure improvements to the Face ID tech will solve this one, if it's not already solved in the new iPhones. When you compare this to Touch ID, where it could not read your finger if you're hands are dirty/wet/sometimes when too cold or warm/sweaty or sometimes it just struggles to work with older people as well, you see that Face ID is much better. Again, this could just be Apple's fingerprint sensor as opposed to fingerprint sensors in general. Here's what I experienced with Touch ID:
    https://twitter.com/_inside/status/925814711807021056
  • Again, what you like and enjoy doesn't mean others should enjoy or prefer too.. I personally prefer fingerprint and thankfully I have the option of going with what I prefer.. And if someone else preferred face ID, they can use that on the same exact phone as mine. Options. You get it?
  • The fact of the matter is that Touch ID was flawed and Apple replaced it with something better. Your "options" are a variety of Android devices, or the iPhone.
  • Totally agree with you! I bought the iPhone 8 a year ago (I had an iPhone 5s) also because of TouchID - even though I was offered a very good deal on the iPhone X. I hate the fact that Apple decided to replace TouchID with FaceID (it seems the iPhone 8 was the last one with TouchID) when they could actually have both systems. Seriously thinking of moving to Android if Apple carries on behaving like they are from North Korea.
  • Why do you hate Face ID so much? Ok so you can't unlock it from a desk without picking it up, that's the _only_ disadvantage barring the whole twins thing.
  • I love it because it works all the time, unlike Touch ID. I love it because I find it really intuitive. I don't have to "stick my face into the phone", I just pick up my phone and look at it normally. You have to pick up your phone to use it comfortably anyway so I don't see why it's an issue
  • So if it works all the time for you, it must work for everyone, right? Dumbass
  • Hardly a minority when a few of my friends, and someone big in the iPhone scene on Twitter also have the same problem with Touch ID. I pointed my ******* phone at me anyway to use Touch ID for Apple Pay you dumbass, so there's no difference with Face ID. You're just a fussy twɑt
  • The sales numbers are still strong, hence why Apple is still selling phones with Face ID…
  • How are Apple behaving like they are from North Korea? They replaced an inferior authentication method with a superior one. If they had both systems that would just confuse customers
  • Lol we know having options is confusing for the fanboys since they’re used to being forced what they can or can’t have. For the rest, having options is a blessing and just common sense.
  • It's bad design, if the iPhone had two home buttons, you'd get plenty of people coming into phone stores asking which one should they use. The same kind of thing would happen if the iPhone asked you "would you like to use Touch ID, or Face ID?" What you're asking for is duplication of functionality, which is bad design.
  • I'm sorry but if you get confused by simply having an option of face ID and fingerprint scanner, then maybe you're not very intelligent. I have both such options along with tens more options on my Android than you do on your Apple and I'm not one bit confused about anything.
  • My point still stands, it's bad design. Go and ask a designer, a specific feature in the phone should not have two different ways of going about it. People will be confused about which is better, and if one is better, then why haven't Apple just provided one?
  • Then we both agree that Apple's touch ID is bad design. My point stands. If you get confused by options then you're either not very intelligent or not very technologically savy. I have both options on my phone and both work flawlessy, however for me, fingerprint is more convenient and I made the CHOICE of using that OPTION instead. Hope you can still understand the meaning of those two words
  • The choice is being able to buy whatever phone you want, we both know that Apple dictate many things for you, so if you want choice then Apple isn't the way to go. Your fight is with Apple, all I'm saying is that Apple are very design-focused and want to make their devices simple, so to do what they have done does make sense from their point of view.
  • "so if you want choice then Apple isn't the way to go" Not gonna argue that one
  • And that's the end of that. iPhones don't offer much customisation, generally Apple believe they know best, which to be honest given their customer satisfaction rate, you can't blame them
  • You're right! That is why lay persons will purchase 134 million used iPhones this fiscal year.
  • Usually the S model get something new. Like speed,Siri,forced touch.
  • Because we all know Samsung and other manufacturers come out with some new and groundbreaking every 9-12 months?
  • Am I the only one that finds incorporating the notch when looking a