iPhone XS vs iPhone 7 – What’s The Difference?

By Michael Grothaus •  Updated: 09/16/19 •  8 min read

iPhone XS vs iPhone 7 Quick Comparison

iPhone XSiPhone 7

Display: 5.8-inch OLED display with a 2436x1125-pixel resolution at 458ppiDisplay: 4.7in display with 1334x750 resolution at 326ppi
Dimensions: 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm Dimensions: 138.3mm  x 67.1mm x 7.1 mm
Storage Options: 64, 256, or 512GBStorage Options: 32 or 128GB
CPU: A12 BionicCPU: A10 Fusion
Camera: Dual-lens 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Dual optical image stabilisation, Optical zoom, 4K videoCamera: 12MP camera, 4K video
Water Proof? YesWater Proof? Yes 
Battery Size: 2658mAhBattery Size: 1960mAh

If you’re interested in Apple’s first OLED iPhone, which is now A LOT cheaper, make sure you check out our iPhone X Review.


Winner? iPhone XS – It’s a work of art compared to the 7.


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

iPhone XS
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Winner? iPhone XS – It’s 50% More Powerful Than iPhone 7.


iPhone 7 gold
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Winner? iPhone XS – No contest. The dual-lens camera setup destroys the single-lens found on the iPhone 7.

Storage Options

Battery Life

Winner? iPhone XS – It Has Better Battery Life Than iPhone 7 and it has wireless charging.



Apple introduced the new iPhone XS not too long ago. The phone is Apple’s latest flagship device. And as with all new iPhones, once it comes out, it pushes previous iPhones down the rung. Now Apple’s cheapest iPhone offering is the iPhone 7–which first debuted two years ago. While the iPhone 7 is a great phone for the price, it really can’t compete with the iPhone XS.

The iPhone XS is the pinnacle of Apple’s innovation. It has the best camera, the best performance, and the best operating system. It also features the company’s FACE ID and it looks totally stunning. If you want the best of the best, Apple’s iPhone XS is what you go for.

The iPhone 7, while good in its hay day, is now pretty old. It’ll still work OK, but if you’re after a cheaper iPhone you are 100% better off going the reconditioned route via Gazelle – you can get iPhone 8 and iPhone X handsets for 40% less than from Apple.

For a full breakdown on how they compare, read on for our full comparison of the iPhone 7 and iPhone XS…

iPhone XS vs iPhone 7: A Full Comparison…

iphone 7 vs iphone xs
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iPhone XS vs iPhone 7: Specs

Here are the specs for the iPhone XS:

And here’s the specs for the iPhone 7:

The iPhone XS’s 5.8in display is almost an inch larger than the 4.7in display found in the iPhone 7. However, what’s even more impressive is that because the iPhone XS has an edge-to-edge display, the overall physical size of the iPhone XS isn’t much larger than the iPhone 7, despite the much larger display. When we get to the CPUs, the A12 Bionic chip found inside the iPhone XS is almost 100% faster than the A10 Fusion chip found in the iPhone 7. And then there are the storage options. The iPhone X comes in larger storage sizes: 64GB, 256GB or 512GB versus the 32GB or 128GB found in the iPhone 7.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 7: Display & Design

The resolution of the iPhone XS’s screen is an astonishing 5.8in 2436×1125-pixels at 458ppi edge-to-edge display. Compare that to the iPhone 7 4.7in display with a 1334×750-pixel resolution at 326ppi and you’ll see just how much better the display on the XS is. Then of course, there’s the fact that the iPhone XS has that edge-to-edge display, and you can see how it really takes the lead over the display found in the iPhone 7.

Another big difference in design, of course, is that the iPhone XS lacks a Home button. The iPhone 7 still has the Home button, and thus, Touch ID. The iPhone XS lacks Touch ID and replaces it with Apple’s Face ID facial recognition system. Both the iPhones feature a 3D Touch display and NFC.

And while both phones are waterproof, the iPhone XS is rated IP68, which means it can stay submerged for 30 minutes up to two meters deep. The iPhone 7 is rated IP67, which means it can stay submerged for 30 minutes up to one meter deep.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 7: Battery

The iPhone XS has just a much larger battery than the iPhone 7. And here the battery can actually get you more life out of your device before a recharge. Talk time, the iPhone XS can go for 20 hours versus 14 for the iPhone 7. And it can last 50% longer for music playback. Another major difference in the power department is that the iPhone XS features wireless charging–something the iPhone 7 does not have. Here’s how the battery life compares between the two in Talk Time, Standby Time, Internet Use, Video Playback, and Audio Playback:

iPhone XS vs iPhone 7: Camera

iPhone XS
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As far as cameras are concerned, the iPhone 7 should just call it a day. The iPhone XS features a larger 7MP front-facing camera (as does the iPhone 7). 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. The 7 is limited to a single lens 12 MP camera.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 7: Cost & Verdict

Unlocked the 4.7in iPhone 7 costs £449 (32GB) and £549 (128GB). The iPhone XS costs £999 (64GB), £1149 (256GB), or £1349 (512GB), though you can get it for less using the deals table below. That £450 and £600 premium for the iPhone XS does get you a massive amount of more stuff including a bigger display and a sexy new design, wireless charging, a processor twice as fast, a MASSIVELY better camera on the front and back, and more storage.

If you’re after a cheaper way of getting an iPhone, and you want a newer model than the iPhone 7, go check out Gazelle – it sells iPhone 8 and iPhone X handsets for 40% less than Apple. 

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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