Apple Launches the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max

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It’s that time of the year again.

Apple is here with a new trio of iPhone X lookalikes, aptly named the XS, XS Max and XR (pronounced ten-S, ten-S max and ten-R). They look exactly like their predecessor, the iPhone X, but that’s not the point with the S models is it? Historically iPhone S models usually feature upgrades in hardware and performance, retaining the same design as before.

Let’s dive in and see what Apple has in store for us with the new iPhones.

Design and Display

As mentioned earlier, the design is exactly the same as before, you still get the large nearly bezelless screens on all three models with a sizeable notch at the top. Unlike some of the mid-range Android phones that use the exact same notch, the notch on the iPhones do serve an important purpose.

They hide a range of different sensors including a dot projector, a flood illuminator, an IR camera, front speaker and the microphone.

Starting from the bottom, iPhone XR features an aviation grade aluminum body, with a 6.1-inch 1792 x 828 (slightly lower than Full HD) resolution “Liquid Retina” LCD display which Apple calls the best LCD display ever made. You know how Apple markets their iPhones.

On the plus side, it features a 120Hz refresh rate, just like the ill-fated Razer Phone. Let’s see how Apple manages battery life with these.

The XS and XS max share a Super Retina OLED display with the former coming in at 5.8 inches and the latter featuring Apple’s largest display on an iPhone yet, with a 6.5-inch panel. Apple says they outfitted the phones with their most durable glass ever, along with a surgical steel frame, we’ll have to see how they fare in drop tests against Android phones.

The two also support HDR 10 and Dolby Vision for HDR content as well as a 60% greater dynamic range.

The XR sticks with the IP 67 rating for water and dust resistance while the XS and XS Max up it to IP 68, surviving up to several minutes under two meters of water. Apple tested the S models with a variety of liquids including beer and orange juice.

FaceID is now faster and more secure on all three iPhones as well.

Internals and Storage

Apple also introduced their first ever 7nm chip (Huawei unveiled their 7nm Kirin 980 chip first) called the A12 Bionic. It comes with a 6-core processor (15% faster than A11 from last year), a quad-core GPU (50% faster) and an updated octa-core neural engine (up from dual core on A11) which helps with the AI features included in the camera and other stuff around the iOS 12.

Rumors pointed towards 3 GB RAM for the iPhone XR and 4 GB for the XS and XS Max. Apple didn’t mention the RAM capacity so that leak is still unconfirmed.

Apple will offer the XR in three storage variants, 64, 128 and 256 GB. The more expensive XS and XS Max will be available in 64, 256 and 512 GB options. No 128GB option on the XS siblings is a bummer.

All three will come with iOS 12 out of the box. Arguably the biggest addition to the iPhones is dual SIM capability, which uses an embedded or eSIM as well as a slot for another SIM card. The eSIM will be pre-installed when you buy the phone from a carrier, it’ll be interesting to see how it ends being used in Pakistan.

Cameras

iPhone XS and XS Max will both feature the same dual camera setup with a 12MP wide-angle f/1.8 sensor paired with a 12MP Telephoto f/2.4 lens. It comes with optical image stabilization onboard, with the new Image Signal Processor and Neural Engine in the A12 chip lending itself well to the improved image and video quality. You also get stereo sound recording in videos on the XS and XS Max.

The depth of field of the images can be adjusted manually after you shoot the picture, a feature that’s been on Android for quite a while to be honest. Glad to see finally make it to the iPhones.

The cheaper iPhone XR makes do with a single f/1.8 shooter, but it does come with OIS and the improved True Tone flash featured on the XS and XS Max. Apple was keen to point out that XR also achieves bokeh effect in portrait images using AI and also said that the XR is their best single camera phone yet. We’ll have to see how it compares with the iPhone 8.

Battery and Price

Being a typical Apple event, the company didn’t give any concrete numbers for the battery capacities on the three iPhones. What they did say that the XS lasts 30 minutes more than the iPhone X while XS max lasts 1.5 hours more than the iPhone X.

For the XR, Apple compared it with iPhone 8 Plus, which was lauded for its impressive battery life, saying that it lasts 1.5 hours more.

Lastly we come to the prices. Here’s what you’ll be paying for the new iPhones:

  • $749 for the 64 GB iPhone XR
  • $1000 for the 64 GB iPhone XS
  • $1100 for the 64 GB iPhone XS Max

They also reduced the prices for iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 to $450 and $599 respectively. iPhone XS and XS Max will be up for pre-orders this Friday, with shipments starting from 21 September. The XR pre-orders will begin from October 16th with the phone being available on October 26th.

Apple iPhone XR Specifications

  • CPU: 7nm Hexa-Core
  • GPU: Quad-core Apple GPU
  • Chipset: A12 Bionic
  • OS: iOS 12
  • Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE; Dual SIM
  • Design:
    • Aviation grade aluminium frame
    • 120 Hz True Tone display
    • FaceID
    • IP67 dust/water resistant
  • Display:
    • 6.1″ Liquid Retina LCD 828 x 1792 resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 328 PPI
  • Memory:
    • RAM: 3 GB
    • Internal: 64/128/256 GB
    • Card slot: No
  • Camera:
    • Primary: 12 MP, f/1.8, OIS, PDAF, Quad LED Flash, [email protected], Stereo sound recording, HDR
    • Secondary: 7 MP, f/2.2
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0,
  • Battery: Unknown, fast charging (50% in 30 minutes), Qi Wireless charging
  • Colors: Black, Red, Yellow, Blue, Coral
  • Price: Starts at $749 (64 GB)

Apple iPhone XS and XS Max Specifications

  • CPU: 7nm Hexa-Core
  • GPU: Quad-core Apple GPU
  • Chipset: A12 Bionic
  • OS: iOS 12
  • Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE; Dual SIM
  • Design:
    • Surgical Steel frame
    • 120 Hz True Tone display
    • FaceID
    • IP68 dust/water resistant
  • Display:
    • 5.8″ Super AMOLED 1125 x 2436 resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 458 PPI (XS)
    • 6.5″ Super AMOLED 1242 x 2688 resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 458 PPI (XS Max)
  • Memory:
    • RAM: 4 GB
    • Internal: 64/256/512 GB
    • Card slot: No
  • Camera:
    • Primary: Dual 12 MP f/1.8 and 12 MP f/2.4, OIS, PDAF, 2x optical zoom, Quad LED Flash, [email protected], Stereo sound recording, HDR
    • Secondary: 7 MP, f/2.2
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0,
  • Battery: Unknown, fast charging (50% in 30 minutes), Qi Wireless charging
  • Colors: Space Gray, Silver, Gold
  • Price: Starts at $1000 (XS, 64 GB) and $1,100 (XS Max, 64 GB)

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Daily InfoTech: Apple Launches the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max
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