iPhone XS vs iPhone XS Max | Specs & Features Compared

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Apple’s newest flagship is the iPhone XS. But the iPhone XS range comes in two models. You have the regular iPhone XS and then there is the iPhone XS Max. As you can probably tell from the name, the Max has a bigger display. But is that the only difference? Let’s take a look and find out.

iPhone XS vs iPhone XS Max Specs – Quick Comparison

iPhone XSiPhone XS Max

Display: 5.8-inch OLED display with a 2436x1125-pixel resolution at 458ppiDisplay: 6.5-inch 1242 x 2688 OLED 
Dimensions: 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm (177g)Dimensions: 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7mm (208g)
Storage Options: 64, 256, or 512GBStorage Options: 64/256/512GB
RAM: 3GBRAM: 4GB
Camera: Dual-lens 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Dual optical image stabilisation, Optical zoom, 4K videoCamera: Dual-lens 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Dual optical image stabilisation, Optical zoom, 4K video
Battery Size: 2658mAhBattery Size: 3174mAh
CPU: A12 BionicCPU: A12 Bionic
Wireless Charging: YesWireless Charging: Yes
Water Resistant: NoWater Resistant: Yes - IP68
Price: 
Price: 

Design

  • iPhone XS – The iPhone XS has a 5.8in display and features Apple’s biometric authentication system called Face ID. It’s steel frame and all-glass back make it an absolutely gorgeous phone.
  • iPhone XS Max – The iPhone XS Max has a 6.5in display, features Apple’s biometric authentication system called Face ID. It’s industrial design feature an all-glass back and a stainless steel frame.

Winner? Draw – Both phones look identical, besides their sizes.

Displays

  • iPhone XS – The iPhone XS features a 5.8-inch OLED display with a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi.
  • iPhone XS Max – The iPhone XS Max features an edge-to-edge OLED display that is 6.5in and has a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi. Without a doubt, the iPhone XS Max’s display wins the day here.

Winner? iPhone XS Max – Its Display Is Bigger And More Beautiful.

CPU/Processor

  • iPhone XS – the XS features the A12 Bionic chipset. This A12 is a 7nm chip with 6 cores, which is absolutely INSANE. The CPU is almost twice as fast as the A11.
  • iPhone XS Max – the XS also features the A12 Bionic chipset. This A12 is a 7nm chip with 6 cores, which is absolutely INSANE. The CPU is 15% faster and 40% more energy efficient than the previous A11. The GPU now has 4 cores and is 50% faster. Finally, the Neural engine now has 8 cores for machine learning and is almost 10 x faster.

Winner? Draw – Both have the exact same CPU.

Camera

iPhone XS
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  • iPhone XS – The iPhone XS features a 7MP front-facing camera. But the killer benefit is in the rear camera. The iPhone XS features a dual-lens 12MP rear camera complete with a wide-angle and telephoto lens and dual optical zoom. It also supports advanced photo features like portrait photography. The iPhone XS also features depth control AFTER you take a photo.
  • iPhone XS Max – The iPhone XS Max features a 7MP front-facing camera (as does the iPhone 7). But the killer benefit is in the rear camera. The iPhone XS Max features a dual-lens 12MP rear camera complete with a wide-angle and telephoto lens and dual optical zoom. It also supports advanced photo features like portrait photography

Winner? Draw – Both have the same camera setups.

Storage Options

  • iPhone XS – 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB
  • iPhone XS Max – 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB

Battery Life

  • iPhone XS – The iPhone XR’s battery will get you about 12.5 hours of battery life with mixed usage. It also features wireless charging.
  • iPhone XS Max – The iPhone XS Max’s battery will get you about 13 hours of battery life with mixed usage. It also features wireless charging.

Winner? iPhone XS Max – It has just a bit more battery life than the iPhone XS.

Price

  • iPhone XS – The 5.8in iPhone XS costs £999 (64GB), £1149 (256GB), or £1349 (512GB)
  • iPhone XS Max – The 6.5in iPhone XS Max will cost £1099 (64GB), £1249 (256GB), or £1449 (512GB).

Verdict?

The only reason to go with the iPhone XS Max is if you want the bigger display. Otherwise, the phones are nearly identical. So, if you want a bigger, more detailed display go with the iPhone XS Max but if you want a more portable experience, go with the iPhone XS. 

Another option worth considering, however, is picking up a newer refurbished iPhone – something like the iPhone X or iPhone XR, which you can get for 40% less than retail via Gazelle, our #1 pick for refurbished iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and iMacs.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max (Full Comparison)

iPhone xs max sideways
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Apple has introduced its newest flagship phones, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The iPhone XS is the successor to last year’s iPhone X, while the iPhone XS Max is a completely new model of the iPhone XS series. The Max replaces the “Plus” moniker that Apple previously used for its largest phones.

I’m going to be honest, this VS is going to be VERY, VERY easy. That’s because there is hardly any difference between the two phones besides screen size. We’ll start by running through the specs below and you’ll see just how similar the devices are.

iPhone XS vs iPhone XS Max: Specs

Here are the specs for the iPhone XS:

  • Display: 5.8-inch OLED display with a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi
  • Dimensions: 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm
  • Weight: 177 grams
  • Storage: 64, 256, or 512GB
  • Processors: A12 Bionic
  • Front camera: 7 MP photos and 1080p HD video.
  • Rear camera: Dual-lens 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Dual optical image stabilization, Optical zoom, 4K video
  • Battery: Up to 12.5 hours of battery life mixed usage
  • Other: Face ID, NFC, Wireless charging, 3D Touch, IP68 waterproof
  • Color options: Silver, Space Gray, and Gold

And here are the specs for the iPhone XS Max:

  • Display: 6.5-inch OLED display with a 2688×1242-pixel resolution at 458ppi
  • Dimensions: 157.5mm x 77.4mm x 7.7mm
  • Weight: 208 grams
  • Storage: 64, 256, or 512GB
  • Processors: A12 Bionic
  • Front camera: 7 MP photos and 1080p HD video. 
  • Rear camera: Dual-lens 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Dual optical image stabilization, Optical zoom, 4K video
  • Battery: Up to 13.5 hours of battery life mixed usage.
  • Other: Face ID, NFC, Wireless charging, 3D Touch, IP68 waterproof
  • Color options: Silver, Space Gray, and Gold

iPhone XS vs iPhone XS Max: Display & Design

Okay, the main difference between the two phones is the screen size. The iPhone XS is a 5.8in OLED display, while the iPhone XS Max is a 6.5in OLED display. The Max, by the way, is the largest display ever on an iPhone.

The Max does have a higher resolution due to the fact that it is physically larger, but both the XS and XS Max has the same pixels per inch at 458ppi. This means the pixel density is EXACTLY the same on both devices.

Obviously, the Max is physically larger, but what’s a first is both screen sizes are exactly the same thinness–7.7mm. Both phones are also waterproof, rated IP68, which means they can stay submerged for 30 minutes up to two meters deep.

iPhone XS
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iPhone XS vs iPhone XS Max: CPU, Battery, and Storage

The iPhone XS Max a much larger battery than the iPhone XS, simply because it has a larger body and Apple can put in a physically bigger battery. But that larger battery also has to power that massive, higher resolution display, which means you won’t see that much better battery life in the Max. Overall, in mixed usage, you’ll get an hour more battery life. Here’s how the battery life compares between the two in Talk Time, Standby Time, Internet Use, Video Playback, and Audio Playback:

  • Talk time: iPhone XS – 20 hours. iPhone XS Max – 25 hours.
  • Internet use: iPhone XS – Up to 12 hours. iPhone XS Max – Up to 13 hours.
  • Video playback: iPhone XS – Up to 14 hours. iPhone XS Max – Up to 15 hours.
  • Audio playback: iPhone XS – Up to 60 hours. iPhone XS Max – Up to 65 hours.

Both devices also feature wireless charging.

As for storage, both come in three sizes: 64, 256, or 512GB. As far as the CPU is concerned, both sport the A12 Bionic chipset–and upgrade over last year’s A11 Bionic. The new A12 is a 7nm chip with 6 cores. The CPU is 15% faster and 40% more energy efficient than the previous A11. The GPU now has 4 cores and is 50% faster. Finally, the Neural engine now has 8 cores for machine learning and is almost 10x faster. Apps launch 30% faster on the XS and XS Max and Machine Learning runs nine times faster on 1/10th the energy. In other words, the A12 Bionic absolutely flies.

iPhone XS vs iPhone XS Max: Camera

iPhone XS
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There is literally no difference between the camera systems on the XS and XS Max. Both the front and rear are identical. The front features a 7MP TrueDepth camera for Face ID. The rear is a dual-lens system including wide-angle and telephoto cameras. The rear camera in the iPhones also sports dual optical image stabilisation and optical zoom.

iPhone XS vs iPhone XS Max: Cost & Verdict

And then there is the cost. The iPhone XS Max will be available on September 21 and cost £1099 (64GB), £1249 (256GB), or £1449 (512GB). The iPhone XS will be available on September 21 and cost £999 (64GB), £1149 (256GB), or £1349 (512GB). That £100 Max premium over the iPhone XS gets you the bigger display and not much more.

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