30 September 2018
As expected, Apple has taken wraps off the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max smartphones at the "Gather Round" event where it started off by unveiling the Apple Watch Series 4. As always, Apple is touting them as the most powerful and advanced iPhones it has ever made where the duo is accompanied by a relatively affordable iPhone XR.
The major difference between the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max is the display size which is 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch respectively. This makes the "Max" one of the biggest smartphones out there. Both come with OLED Super Retina display with a pixel density of up to 458ppi and Dolby Vision and HDR10 support which should deliver a premium viewing experience. Since no viewing experience is complete without a good sound experience, these iPhone models will offer stereo sound speakers. In terms of the build quality, Apple has made use of surgical grade stainless steel and "most durable glass ever" on both the front and back panel.
Apple debuted Face ID on the iPhone X last year and this time around, it has been improved with the help of faster algorithms and faster security enclave. In other words, it should be faster than the previous generation when it comes to recognizing the face of the user and eventually unlocking the iPhone.
With the new iPhones, Apple also unveiled its newest chipset A12 Bionic which is a successor to last year's A11 Bionic. As you would expect, there are a bunch of improvements which makes it more powerful and faster at doing different tasks. The biggest difference is that the newer one is a hexa-core chipset with a quad-core GPU. It is the world's first chipset built using 7nm manufacturing process and is claimed to be 15% faster and 40% power efficient. It goes without saying that there is a neural engine as well.
In the camera department, there is a 12-megapixel dual rear camera setup where one is a wide-angle lens (f/1.8 aperture) and another is a telephoto lens (f/2.4 aperture). It is accompanied by improved True Tone flash, optical image stabilization, and 2x optical zoom. Apple said that the new A12 Bionic chipset and improved neural engine helps in delivering an even better image processing.
There is a new feature called Smart HDR which captures four frames with zero shutter lag with several interframes and a long exposure for shadow detail. It will be more helpful when the subject is moving. Apple is now also allowing users to adjust the field of depth in bokeh photos by using an aperture slider. It will work even after the shot has been clicked. As for video recording, it can capture stereo sounds as well. On the front, there is a 7-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture.
Apple did not offer any absolute numbers about the battery capacity. It only mentioned that new iPhone Xs can last up to 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X and the iPhone Xs Max can last for up to 90 minutes longer. And yes, there is support for dual SIM cards like we heard in the rumors. The second SIM support will be in the form of eSIM but as for China, there will be a special model with two physical SIM cards support.
Both iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have been unveiled in 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options with the base model priced at $999 and $1099 respectively. There are three color variants Silver, Space Gray, and all-new Gold. The new models will run iOS 12 out of the box which will be released for existing eligible devices on September 17th.
It will go on pre-orders this Friday with sales starting September 21st in over 30 countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UAE, UK, US and US Virgin Islands.
These new models will be made available from September 28th in Andorra, Armenia, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and South Africa.