iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr| Design and usability

On September 12 Apple presented the 2018 iPhone lineup made of iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max ( nicknamed iPhone Christmas) and the iPhone Xr.

iPhone Xs

It’s the direct Successor to last year iPhone X; it has the same design, the same materials and the same size.

The most notable thing here is the upgrade to Apple’s latest A12 Bionic processor. This new chip is faster and more power-efficient than its predecessor. Apple suggests it’s 15 percent faster and 40 percent more power-efficient. There’s also an improved Neural Engine in the A12 Bionic, along with augmented reality and graphical improvements that should please gamers in particular.

The iPhone Xs comes in a new gold color.

iPhone Xs allows you to adjust the depth of field after taking a shot and introduce better hdr photos with the “smart hdr” feature. Apple claims the sensor in the iPhone Xs is twice as fast, so we expect to see some improvements.

Better water resistance certification, new 512 gb memory size, stereo sound captured during videos, dual sim (one physical and one virtual) are among the tidbits of the new model.

I reiterate a skeptical feeling on this model due mainly to two reasons: the Face ID is a non compelling unlocking method and the form factor is still suboptimal.

I am still waiting for a second generation Face ID with an improved angle which allows to unlock the phone when it’s close to your face or on the table.

From a design point of view Ive said that they hadn’t made a bigger phone before the iPhone 6 because the results were lousy due to the thickness. The iPhone 6 was 6,9 mm thick; the X/Xs is 7,7 mm thick and it’s wider and taller. The result is a phone that lost those optimal proportions, it’s a bit too hefty. I felt that something was wrong with the size but I was not sure. It’s only when i went back to the 7 and 8 that I noticed that I had missed the slimmer body. The X doesn’t feel right and the XS will feel the same.

Also, this year the notch already feels old. We’re already tired of that big intrusion that cuts contents and we still don’t get how we can visualize movies and tv series, made with square corners on a screen with rounded corners. What a mess! Other manufacturers made smaller notches, although it’s a shame how they copied Apple. Some of them put the fingerprint sensor on the back and made a slide on camera unit. They obtained the perfect 100% screen front at the cost of a gimmick that isn’t satisfactory either. Next year, according to researchers, many manufacturers in the Android world will implement the fingerprint sensor behind the screen and, if it will work properly, it will be like magic. I can’t wait for it!

iPhone Xs Max

I’ve never considered the Plus due to its monster dimensions. That one is not a phone, it’s a phablet, something without grace. And barely usable with one hand mostly because of its width. Phones do their job if you can use them with one hand. At least this time the space won’t be wasted with huge bezels. And, to be precise, the dimensions are slightly smaller.

Though it’s mostly the same as the Xs under the hood, the $1,099-and-up XS Max is noticeably different than last year’s iPhone X because its OLED screen is a lot larger: 6.5 inches, measured diagonally.

Unfortunately handling the phone to point the Face Id towards your face at the correct range will be even more difficult due to the size and the weight.

It’s also thicker than the Xs at 7.9 mm. Enough said

iPhone Xr

The iPhone XR was introduced to replace last year iPhone 8 as the basic model. It has a very similar specs to the iPhone XS.

How could Apple build a phone with a fairly large edge-to-edge 6.1-inch screen but still charge a base price of $749? Instead of using OLED technology, which is known for high visual contrast, Apple used the LCD technology found in all iPhones before the iPhone X. Due to the nature of the LCD technology it was not possible to push the screen very close to the edges, that’s why the bezels are larger than the iPhone XS’ already noticeable ones. An unpleasant feeling of an old product that won’t certainly help this phone to face the test of time.

The Xr doesn’t have the dual-rear cameras that first appeared on the iPhone 7 Plus. It has just one 12-megapixel camera. But because the Xr comes with the A12 Bionic chip, Apple was able to build in a portrait mode that lets you take pictures with artfully blurred backgrounds (a feature only available to dual-cam models before now).

The iPhone Xr will come in a selection of vibrant colors—white, black, blue, yellow, coral and red—while the Xs and Xs Max only come in gold, silver and space gray.

3d Touch and IP68 water-dust resistant certification are other two features missing here.

With a thickness of 8.3 mm and 194 grams my bets are it will feel very hefty.

It was a necessary step though to increase the range to more price sensitive users that will find almost the same specs as in the bigger brothers. It will probably be a commercial success.

Rip iPhone SE and small screened phones

One minute of silence for the last of his species of 4 inch phones started with the beautiful iPhone 5.

I am very sad that Apple didn’t choose to update its lineup in this sense. When they presented it they said that there were still a lot of people who loves small phones and this hasn’t changed at all.

When usability still counted, when you could operate phones with one hand and unlock them from every position…


Are you going to buy a new iPhone this year? If yes, which one?

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