Apple iPhone Xs

8.9/10 AVG.
RATING



8.9/10
Informr score
The Apple iPhone Xs currently has an Informr score of 8.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 39 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

Unless you already own an iPhone X, the Xs is a worthy upgrade to just about any other phone on the market. It offers a great camera, unmatchable performance, a beautiful display, and a sleek design -- but it comes with a hefty price tag.

What's good

  • Fastest mobile phone to date
  • Solid, classy design
  • Great display
  • Fast, detailed cameras
  • Powerful speakers
  • eSIM support
  • IP68 rated

What's bad

  • Price
  • No microSD support
  • No fast charger included
  • No 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter included
  • No 3.5mm jack

Apple’s latest release brings their S Series approach to the iPhone X. This means it’s more of a subtle boost than a full-on sequel. But as the iPhone X broke new ground in terms of design for Apple and it’s still one of the most powerful smartphones to date, the iPhone Xs has big shoes to fill.

It features the same stainless steel frame with reinforced glass front and rear panels as the previous release. However, this time the design is IP68 rated -- allowing for submersion in up to 2m of water for up to 30 minutes. 

The design is so similar to the iPhone X that many reviewers had trouble telling the difference between the two. There is a new colour available for the Xs and the larger Xs Max -- gold -- and the camera is a few millimetres lower on the back. Otherwise, they’re identical apart from screen size.

There’s still no headphone port or home button, instead requiring a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter for your headphones and touch gestures to access features usually reserved for the home key. Reviewers note the adapter is not included with the phone. Still, the package includes Lighting earbuds -- so you’re not out of listening options if you don’t want to carry around an adapter.

There’s also stereo, front-facing speakers that reviewers loved. They found them well balanced and punchy for mobile speakers with some even calling them the best phone audio to date.

You’ll also find a 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display running at 2436-by-1125 pixels. If you were not a fan of the notch design, it’s still present and appears to be the future design for iPhone models. Switching to OLED seems to be a smart move for Apple as reviewers raved about brightness, colour accuracy, and detail. HDR 10 and Dolby vision support are also available to make video and games pop.

Apple chose a six-core Apple A12 Bionic processor with 4GB of RAM to power all those pixels. They claim it offers a 15% increase in performance and 50% increased graphics performance over the iPhone X. Tests from reviewers appear to confirm these claims and benchmarks show it is the most powerful smartphone to date.

The phone runs the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system -- iOS 12. Paired with the new processor, the interface is fluid and reliable. Reviewers had no complaints of slowdown or annoyances.

As with all iPhones, you cannot use a microSD slot to expand storage. However, the phone is available with 64 to 512GB of internal storage -- so planning ahead makes it easy to avoid storage concerns down the road.

The phone offers dual SIM support -- but not in a traditional sense. You can use one standard SIM and an eSim. This new approach makes it possible to download SIM settings from a carrier and switch the virtual SIM in the eSIM when you please.

The Xs sees an upgrade on the camera front -- though it doesn’t look much different. A dual-lens 12MP rear camera with 2x telephoto zoom and 7MP “TrueDepth” front-facing lens are now paired with an image signal processor to provide better results. 

The rear camera also features a larger sensor and bigger sensor pixels. Reviewers found this helped to capture much better shots in low-light. SmartHDR also helps to bring out more detail in shots regardless of lighting.

Finally, there’s adjustable blur after shooting and 4k 60 frames-per-second video recording.

Reviewers found the cameras stellar in terms of colour accuracy, detail, and speed. Many reviews felt the Pixel 2 still offered superior camera performance -- but only slightly.

The Xs includes a 2,658mAh battery. Reviewers found this good enough to reach the end of the day -- if only just. While the phone supports fast charging and wireless charging, it includes neither of the required accessories in the box. So expect to wait awhile for charges to finish unless you buy a fast charger. 30 minutes of charging is good for 22% with the included charger, while a fast charger reaches 55% in the same time.

Overall, reviewers love the phone. But many question whether it’s worth it to upgrade from an iPhone X. If you’re using an iPhone 8 or Android device, the upgrade is likely worth the price. GSM Arena says, “It's the fastest, the prettiest, the sturdiest, the most luxurious, the most skilled, the most expensive. And yet, it's the same iPhone.”

Engadget declares, “These aren't just worthy successors; they're fantastic smartphones in their own right. And thanks to Apple's growing focus on machine learning and the A12 Bionic's Neural Engine, both of these phones have been set up for success as our smartphone software continues to become more sophisticated.”


Operating system
iOS
Processor
2.49 GHz
Screen Size
5.8"
Camera
12+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


IT Pro

If you’re after a sub-6in iPhone, the iPhone Xs is what you want, with an outstanding camera, blazing performance and a truly top-notch screen. If you don’t mind a bigger footprint, however, it’s outclassed by the Xs Max - and it’s not that much more expensive.

- Jonathan Bray, IT Pro
Ars Technica

The iPhone XS is the smallest year-over-year update the iPhone has seen to date. In most ways that matter, it is the iPhone X. But consumers who held off on the first generation of a new design have been rewarded with small but welcome refinements in performance, the camera, Face ID, durability, wir...

- Samuel Axon, Ars Technica
AnandTech

Overall, are the new iPhones worth it to upgrade to? If you’re an iPhone X user, I think my answer is no. If you’re coming from an older device, then my answer is… wait it out. The value proposition aside, the new iPhone XS and XS Max are, as always, extremely polished devices, and the best phones t...

- Andrei Frumusanu, AnandTech
The Guardian

The iPhone X set a new bar for what an iPhone could be. It was a massive step forward for Apple and put it ahead of many competitors in smartphone design and function. The iPhone XS maintains the forward-looking design and function, feeling wonderful in the hand, has a noticeably better camera and i...

- Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian
Alphr

The iPhone Xs is undoubtedly one of the best phones we’ve ever seen. The problem is that, brilliant as it is, it just isn’t worth £999. It’s cheaper than the iPhone Xs Max, but if you are dead set on Apple’s latest and greatest, you may want to spend the extra for the bigger battery and screen real...

- Alan Martin, Alphr


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Apple released the iPhone Xs on September 21, 2018.


The iPhone Xs price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Apple iPhone Xs prices from around the web here on The Informr.


Apple backs up the iPhone Xs with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your iPhone Xs has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Apple support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Apple's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
5.8"

The Apple iPhone Xs's screen size is 5.8 inches with 1125 x 2436 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.49 GHz

There is a Apple A12 Bionic Hexa core 2.49 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the iOS 12 operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 7+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64/256/512 GB

Internal memory is 64/256/ 512 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
2658mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2658 mAh battery. Apple's performance ratings are 1200 minutes, 720 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

iPhone Xs Specs

Overview
Release date September 21, 2018
Regions available USA, Canada, UK, India
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
800/850/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600/2300/2500 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card Nano-SIM
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System iOS 12

Compare iOS Smartphones

Processor Apple A12 Bionic Hexa core 2.49 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 64/256/ 512 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.19 W/kg
Body: 1.18 W/kg
Languages English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headphones, Data Cable
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2658 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging Yes
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 840 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 720 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1200 minutes
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Stainless steel
Colors Gold, Space Gray, Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.3 x 7.1 x 0.8 cm (5.6 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 177 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 68
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology OLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1125 x 2436 pixels
Pixel density 458 pixels
Size 5.8 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touchscreen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.8
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Dual lens
Yes
Zoom
2x optical, 10x digital
Flash
Yes (Quad LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, Red-eye reduction, Self-timer, Dual camera feature (12 MP 2nd camera, f/2.4), HDR, Slow motion recording
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 60 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
7+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Aperture f/2.2
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 60 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack No
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, RTF, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT, HTML
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments
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Critic Reviews


IT Pro

A genuine pocket rocket

from IT Pro

If you’re after a sub-6in iPhone, the iPhone Xs is what you want, with an outstanding camera, blazing performance and a truly top-notch screen. If you don’t mind a bigger footprint, however, it’s outclassed by the Xs Max - and it’s not that much more expensive.

Read full review

If you’re after a sub-6in iPhone, the iPhone Xs is what you want, with an outstanding camera, blazing performance and a truly top-notch screen. If you don’t mind a bigger footprint, however, it’s outclassed by the Xs Max - and it’s not that much more expensive.

Read full review

Less

Ars Technica

The second iteration is always better

from Ars Technica

The iPhone XS is the smallest year-over-year update the iPhone has seen to date. In most ways that matter, it is the iPhone X. But consumers who held off on the first generation of a new design have been rewarded with small but welcome refinements in performance, the camera, Face ID, durability,...More

The iPhone XS is the smallest year-over-year update the iPhone has seen to date. In most ways that matter, it is the iPhone X. But consumers who held off on the first generation of a new design have been rewarded with small but welcome refinements in performance, the camera, Face ID, durability, wireless data performance, battery life, and charging speeds.

Read full review

Less

AnandTech

Unveiling the silicon secrets

from AnandTech

Overall, are the new iPhones worth it to upgrade to? If you’re an iPhone X user, I think my answer is no. If you’re coming from an older device, then my answer is… wait it out. The value proposition aside, the new iPhone XS and XS Max are, as always, extremely polished devices, and the best phones that Apple has released to date.

Read full review

Overall, are the new iPhones worth it to upgrade to? If you’re an iPhone X user, I think my answer is no. If you’re coming from an older device, then my answer is… wait it out. The value proposition aside, the new iPhone XS and XS Max are, as always, extremely polished devices, and the best phones that Apple has released to date.

Read full review

Less

The Guardian

Two steps forward, one step back

from The Guardian

The iPhone X set a new bar for what an iPhone could be. It was a massive step forward for Apple and put it ahead of many competitors in smartphone design and function. The iPhone XS maintains the forward-looking design and function, feeling wonderful in the hand, has a noticeably better camera a...More

The iPhone X set a new bar for what an iPhone could be. It was a massive step forward for Apple and put it ahead of many competitors in smartphone design and function. The iPhone XS maintains the forward-looking design and function, feeling wonderful in the hand, has a noticeably better camera and is still arguably the best phone on the market right now at balancing screen size with usability.

Read full review

Less

Alphr

A wonderful smartphone

from Alphr

The iPhone Xs is undoubtedly one of the best phones we’ve ever seen. The problem is that, brilliant as it is, it just isn’t worth £999. It’s cheaper than the iPhone Xs Max, but if you are dead set on Apple’s latest and greatest, you may want to spend the extra for the bigger battery an...More

The iPhone Xs is undoubtedly one of the best phones we’ve ever seen. The problem is that, brilliant as it is, it just isn’t worth £999. It’s cheaper than the iPhone Xs Max, but if you are dead set on Apple’s latest and greatest, you may want to spend the extra for the bigger battery and screen real estate. After all, if you’re already spending a grand, what’s another £100?

Read full review

Less

New Atlas

The best iPhone yet, but not for everyone

from New Atlas

Even though we love the iPhone XS a lot, we can't wholeheartedly recommend it for everyone, not with those other two options around – and if you're already using the iPhone X, there's maybe not enough new stuff to convince you to upgrade. If you're not already using an iPhone X, however, then t...More

Even though we love the iPhone XS a lot, we can't wholeheartedly recommend it for everyone, not with those other two options around – and if you're already using the iPhone X, there's maybe not enough new stuff to convince you to upgrade. If you're not already using an iPhone X, however, then the iPhone XS Max or the iPhone XR could perhaps suit you better, depending on your budget and how much you like large screens.

Read full review

Less

Expert Reviews

A fabulous smartphone

from Expert Reviews

If you’re firmly an iPhone fan but prefer a smaller screen, then you won’t be disappointed. It has much better battery life than the iPhone X, a better camera with better portrait photos, HDR capabilities and video, and it’s a faster performer too. If you’re coming from an iPhone 7 or a 6...More

If you’re firmly an iPhone fan but prefer a smaller screen, then you won’t be disappointed. It has much better battery life than the iPhone X, a better camera with better portrait photos, HDR capabilities and video, and it’s a faster performer too. If you’re coming from an iPhone 7 or a 6s, it’s an even greater step forward. The iPhone Xs is a superb phone, but if you’re going to spend this much you might as well go one better and get the Xs Max instead.

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

A great choice for anyone upgrading from an iPhone 6s Plus or 7 Plus

from Tech Advisor

The XS is super-fast, looks wonderful, and is a pleasure to use. The only downer is that punishing price tag, but if you can look past that, this is a terrific choice for those upgrading from a pre-X iPhone, and particularly (in our view) from one of the older Plus models like the 7 or 6s.

Read full review

The XS is super-fast, looks wonderful, and is a pleasure to use. The only downer is that punishing price tag, but if you can look past that, this is a terrific choice for those upgrading from a pre-X iPhone, and particularly (in our view) from one of the older Plus models like the 7 or 6s.

Read full review

Less

Gear Patrol

The most powerful iPhones ever

from Gear Patrol

Don’t expect it to feel drastically different than an iPhone X. If you have an iPhone X, there are really two reasons why you’d upgrade to these new models. One, if you want a bigger smartphone and thus you’d go for the iPhone XS Max. Or two, you take a ton photos and videos and want the iP...More

Don’t expect it to feel drastically different than an iPhone X. If you have an iPhone X, there are really two reasons why you’d upgrade to these new models. One, if you want a bigger smartphone and thus you’d go for the iPhone XS Max. Or two, you take a ton photos and videos and want the iPhone with the best camera. If you haven’t upgraded from an iPhone 8/8 Plus or before, on the other hand, these new iPhones are an expensive-yet-worthwhile upgrade.

Read full review

Less

Gizmodo

Killer camera and a processor so powerful you won't know what to do with it

from Gizmodo

There’s nothing new about the design, which is fine with me because the design is terrific. Performance-wise, the iPhone XS is just marginally better than the iPhone X. It is tremendously better than the iPhone 8 or the iPhone 7, however, the iPhone XS also promises to remain excellent for seve...More

There’s nothing new about the design, which is fine with me because the design is terrific. Performance-wise, the iPhone XS is just marginally better than the iPhone X. It is tremendously better than the iPhone 8 or the iPhone 7, however, the iPhone XS also promises to remain excellent for several years to come. At least that’s how it feels.

Read full review

Less



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