iPhone XR, XS, XS Max: Apple's three new iPhones start at $749, $999, $1,099

Apple's high-end iPhones have dual 12-megapixel cameras, OLED displays and faster A12 Bionic chips. A cheaper, colorful version comes with an LCD screen.

The iPhone XSiPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, Apple's new iPhones for 2018, are officially here. While the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have virtually the same guts, just in two different sizes, the iPhone XR introduces a profound shift in Apple's strategy by folding its "bargain" phone into the premium iPhone mix.

 

Apple has dabbled in cheaper iPhones before, with the iPhone SE and iPhone 5C, but their designs stood apart from the mainstream iPhones, and didn't last. Here, the cheaper iPhone XR shares the design and many of the same specs as the top-tier iPhones. It comes in bright colors and has some slimmed-down features, like a smaller battery than the new iPhone XSes. The pricing is the most attractive for iPhone loyalists. Although there's nothing "budget" about the iPhone XR's $749 starting price, people looking for a new iPhone this year could easily gravitate to the relatively cheaper, more colorful XR.

This reveal of Apple's 2018-2019 lineup is a big moment for the tech giant, which shook up its iPhone range in 2017 when it introduced the iPhone XiPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, effectively killing any chance of a future iPhone 9 and turning its whole iPhone naming scheme on its head

iPhone XS and XS Max quick specs

  • Two sizes: 5.8-inch (458 ppi) and 6.5-inch (458 ppi), with OLED HDR screen (Super Retina displays)
  • Colors: Gold, silver and space gray finishes
  • Dual camera: 12-megapixel wide and telephoto lenses
  • Front-facing cameras: 7-megapixel camera will bring depth to portrait mode photos
  • A12 Bionic chip: 7-nanometer processor promises to launch apps 30 percent faster than 2017 iPhones
  • Storage options: 64GB, 128GB, 512GB
  • IP68 water-resistance rating (2 meters depth; up to 30 minutes in water)
  • Battery life: iPhone XS should last 30 minutes longer than iPhone X; iPhone XS Max claims 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone X
  • Dual-SIM card support through eSIM technology
  • Face ID promises to work faster at unlocking the phones
  • 3D Touch pressure-sensitivite screen
  • Stereo sound with a wider stereo field than 2017 iPhones
  • iOS 12 software
  • Pricing: Starts at $999 (£999, AU$1,629) for 64GB iPhone XS

 

iPhone XS and XS Max cameras

The iPhone XS and XS Max cameras share the same specs (see above), but don't be dismayed. Apple promises you'll get more from the camera than you did with the iPhone X, specifically because of the power of the A12 Bionic chip inside.

The camera's algorithms detect people's faces and bodies, and kick into instant red-eye reduction. Smart HDR can identify highlights and find shadow detail.

Even more interesting, you can now adjust the depth of a portrait mode photo (called the bokeh effect) after you take the photo, which gives you complete control over the blur. All editing happens in the Photos app through a slider.


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