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iPhone XR, XS, XS Max: Beautifully overpriced phone.

Apple a technology giant which started from small garage to become a trillion dollar company has launched three new iPhones. Apple a name known for bringing new innovations in the market has started evolving into a luxury brand.

All the three iPhones aka iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR continue the same design language of previous generation iPhone X, aspire to offer a little something for every Apple fan and enthusiast. But they carry better hardware and improved software than previous generation iPhones.


The design is carried forward from previous generation iPhone X but size has been revamped to meet latest trends. The phones have a military grade steel frame around the edges, with thin bezels and of course no home button. The top notch is still present which makes room for Face ID facial recognition and more, proximity sensor, infrared camera, dot projector, front camera, a speaker, ambient light sensor, microphone, and flood illuminator. The silencer rocker switch and the volume buttons remain on the left side while on the right of the phones is the larger lock or Siri button. There are also dual speakers at the bottom and top of the phones.

The water resistance is revamped for iPhone XS and XS Max as they have IP68 water rating, which means phones can handle a depth of 2m for up to 30 minutes. While the cheaper version Phone XR is rated IP67; it can handle a depth of 1m in water for up to 30 minutes,

Specifications for the new iPhone models:

iPhone XS Specs
iPhone XS Max Specs
iPhone XR Specs
Available Colors
Silver, Space Gray, Gold
Silver, Space Gray, Gold
Blue, White, Black, Yellow, Coral, Red
5.8 inches OLED
6.5 inches OLED
6.1 inches LCD
A12 Bionic chip
A12 Bionic chip
A12 Bionic chip
Storage Capacity
64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB
64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB
64 GB, 128 GB and256 GB
IP Rating
IP68 (up to 30 minutes in a depth of 2m)
IP68 (up to 30 minutes in a depth of 2m)
IP67 (up to 30 minutes in a depth of 1m)
6.24 ounces
7.34 ounces
6.84 ounces
3D Touch
HDR Display
Video Recording
4K at 60 fps, 30 fps, or 24fps
4K at 60 fps, 30 fps, or 24 fps
4K at 60 fps, 30 fps, or 24 fps
Digital Zoom
Up to 6x
Up to 6x
Up to 3x
Optical Zoom
Video formats supported
HEVC, H.264, MPEG-4 Part 2, and Motion JPEG
HEVC, H.264, MPEG-4 Part 2, and Motion JPEG
HEVC, H.264, MPEG-4 Part 2, and Motion JPEG
Battery life
Lasts 30 minutes longer than iPhone X
Lasts 1.5 hours longer than iPhone X
Lasts 1.5 hours longer than iPhone 8 Plus
Dual SIM support
nano-SIM and eSIM
nano-SIM and eSIM
nano-SIM and eSIM

This is the iPhone XR's biggest pinching point compared with the XS and XS Max. While the two flagship iPhones feature Super Retina OLED screens with remarkable contrast, deep blacks and have 458ppi, the iPhone XR uses 6.1-inch "Liquid Retina" display which is IPS LCD screen with a sub-1080p 1,792-by-828 resolution for 326ppi, this means the display is not Full HD. This is massive step back from the iPhone XS, XS Max, and last year's iPhone X. Meanwhile Samsung Galaxy S9, features display with 2,960-by-1,440 OLED screen having 570ppi and is less expensive than iPhone XR

Even though iPhone XR is cheaper than its bigger siblings, Apple has not comprised its processing power, even after making some heavy compromises for its screen. All the vaients of iPhone uses most advanced, in-house developed A12 Bionic chip. The chip is hexa core with two powerful cores for achieving maximum performance while other four power efficient cores for extending battery life. On paper A12 Bionic is actually 15% faster and up to 50% lower power usage than A11 Bionic. This may actually mean we are getting the same battery capacity with the older iPhone model.The chip is integrated with next generation neural engine and have quad-core GPU. While the iPhone XS and XS Max have 4 GB of ram the iPhone XR have 3GB of ram same as iPhone X.

Also the device features dual sim for targeting markets such as China, India and Hong Kong. You cannot put two sim cards together but it will have an e-sim card which can be activated by your network provider. So you can insert one physical sim card and have one e-sim card

Additionally the device have fast charging technology which will charge the device to 50% in 30 min, but you will need to buy fast charger separately as apple does not provide it in box.

There is little improvement in camera segment, the XS and XS Max have dual 12MP rear-facing camera sensor with an f/1.8 aperture. With A12 bionic's neural engine, hardware and software will work together to for generating great quality shots. The XR on the other hand have single 12MP unit which will limit certain photography effects, like creating bokeh effect when capturing portraits. On the other hand front camera of all devices feature 7MP unit with f/2.2 aperture..

Apple is hesitant about telling us the battery mAh rating but it is reveled that iPhone XS battery is smallest among all the new flagships with 2,658mAh rating. But with improved software and hardware Apple alleged that the iPhone XS battery lasts up to 30 minutes longer than iPhone X. While the iPhone XS Max has battery capacity of 3,174mAh and will last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone X. Apple rated the iPhone XR battery as the best for internet use, with same rating as of iPhone XS Max it can last up to 15 hours, probably because of the LCD screen setup. The phone’s battery is said to last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 8 plus.

Apple is moving forward for making itself as a luxury brand because the most affordable iPhone of this year is $749, which is more than flagship devices by other countries. The iPhone XR have processing power same as its siblings but its low-resolution LCD screen seems like too great a compromise for the $250 you would save, considering flagship devices provide OLED screens with same price as the XR. Honestly the devices are too overpriced comparing with features it have. Additional strategy by making the XR available in more colors and if you do not want dual sim support then upgrading from iPhone X within 11 months is very unlikely and it just depends on your opinion.


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