Should You Upgrade to the New iPhone XS?

September 20, 2018 • Shannon Flynn


Apple recently announced the addition of three new iPhones to its collection, and two of them fall under the XS banner. If you’re thinking about upgrading to the new iPhone XS, there are some aspects to consider first that should help you reach an informed decision.

The Price

Whenever people think about buying new gadgets, the price is almost always on their minds.

The new iPhone XS starts at $999, and the amount goes up depending on the capacity chosen. It’s quite an investment for people with modest budgets. Also, you might opt for the XS Max, which has a starting price of $1,099.

Either way, the phones in the new iPhone XS family aren’t cheap. Moreover, if you’re thinking you’ll cope with the price by trading in an older iPhone that still functions normally, that approach may not pay off as much as you expect.

Statistics show that entry-level iPhones lose 17 percent in value each year on average. The worth drops even more if you buy a preowned phone to trade in.

The Screen Size

When evaluating the difference between these two new phones, be aware that the “max” part of the name only refers to the screen size and weight.

Besides the display and heaviness, the two phones are identical. That means whether you’re locking an app or taking video footage of an event, you’ll go through the same process regardless of the model.

More specifically, the base option of the XS has a 5.8-inch screen and weighs 177 grams. In contrast, if you buy the Max, it boasts a 6.5-inch display and weighs 208 grams, making it the heaviest iPhone Apple offers.

When looking at the two phones side by side, the dimensional differences aren’t remarkably obvious. However, if overall weight or screen matter substantially to you, it’s worth staying mindful of those measurements.

Camera and Video Features

If you love using your iPhone to capture photos and videos, the new one has some improvements you’ll likely appreciate.

Firstly, the rear cameras have telephoto lenses with wider apertures than past iPhone models, and both those features lead to faster performance. Plus, the selfie camera promises speedier performance, while upgraded sensors on all the cameras should improve sharpness.

When using the portrait mode, you can adjust the bokeh — the blurriness of the picture’s out-of-focus portion — after snapping the photo. There’s an on-screen slider for making tweaks.

Also, there may be instances where you want to take pictures despite already using the video-recording function. This new phone lets you do that by permitting snapping 8-megapixel photos while simultaneously shooting video. That capability should be ideal for those times when picture-perfect moments unexpectedly crop up, and you don’t want to miss them.

Apple says the new back sensors, plus the internal A12 Bionic chip, should result in better-than-expected low-light video performance, as well.

Longer Battery Life

Maybe you already own an iPhone, and it won’t turn on anymore. After trying several unsuccessful tricks to revive it, you’re interested in buying the newest iPhone. Besides learning the price, something likely high on your list of priorities is finding out how the battery life stacks up to other models.

Apple compares the battery life of the XS phones to last year’s iPhone X. The standard XS model should last up to a half hour longer than the X, whereas the Max, with its larger battery, gives up to 90 minutes more power.

Enhanced Protection From Water

Whether its a rainstorm or an accident that causes the gadget to slip from your back pocket into a toilet, there are several water-related risks your iPhone may face.

Fortunately, Apple made these two latest iPhones more water-resistant than ever. Both XS models offer a water-protection rating of IP68. That means they can tolerate being in 6.6 feet of liquid for a half hour.

When Can You Get Apple’s Latest Offerings?

Although these iPhones got a lot of media attention, Apple also updated the Apple Watch Series 4, putting the speculation about what to expect to rest. One of the things that have people most excited about the watch is it has a built-in ECG that detects three heart conditions.

You can preorder the new iPhones or the Apple Watch now, with the first shipments going out on Sept. 21.

Is It Worth It?

Apple continually improves its products, and the new iPhones are better in many ways than the X model that debuted last year. It’s difficult to think of the gadgets as good deals since they’re so expensive and lose value relatively quickly after purchase.

However, if you’re an Apple fan and some of the improvements caught your eye, you may think the phone is worth the splurge.