The biggest announcements from Apple's iPhone Xs event

Doris Richards
September 14, 2018

Our colleague Gareth Beavis over at T3's sister site TechRadar has had some serious hands-on time with the iPhone XR and these are his thoughts.

At 12:01am PDT/3:01am EDT on Friday morning, pre-orders will start being accepted for the Apple iPhone XS and Apple iPhone XS Max.

The iPhone X was unveiled only past year and it went on sale in November 2017. There's no longer anything showing the iPhone X.

This deal is offered for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.

The iPhone XR also includes the same A12 Bionic SoC as its more expensive siblings, so as with last year's iPhone 8 and iPhone X models, performance between the XR and XS models should be the same, and the XR will also gain support for most of the advanced features found in the XS, including faster Face ID and image capture and AR improvements. Apart from that they also launched the latest Apple Watch Series 4.

Connections-wise Gareth confirms there is no headphone port, but that a pair of Lightning connector earbuds come packed in the box.

Overall, Beavis feels that "the "cheap" iPhone certainly doesn't feel that way", and he came away from its design and build quality impressed. The iPhone XS (pronounced "ten ess") and XS Max are the updated version of last year's iPhone X. The XS has a 5.8-inch OLED display, while the XS Max has a 6.5-inch display. It starts at $749 for the 64 GB model and will cost more for its 128 GB and 256 GB models. The Uncarrier Network announced that it's taking up to $300 off the cost of a new iPhone when you trade in your old iPhone.

If you're a USA consumer who's been grumbling about how normal $1,000 price tags for shiny new flagship phones are getting these days, well, maybe count yourself lucky instead. Why pay $US999 for the unbelievable screen on the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max when you could effectively buy the same phone for $US100 less?

Both of these factors might explain Apple's thinking.

Gareth does warn though that "we've been burned by iPhones not lasting as well as we'd like in the past", and reiterates that proper testing will be needed to evaluate how good the iPhone XR's battery is. With Apple killing it, the iPhone X becomes the shortest living iPhone that Apple has ever introduced. Further, the rear wide-angle lens, True Tone flash, and True Depth camera on the iPhone XR are identical to those found on the iPhone XS, so the only difference from a photography point of view appears to be the lack of the second telephoto lens.

Up until Wednesday, Apple was selling the iPhone 6s for $US450, and the iPhone 6s Plus for $US550.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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