The Esquire Review: Apple iPhone XS
Introducing the new iPhone XS – which looks miraculously similar to last year’s iPhone X. But that’s not a bad thing.
Apple’s release model always favours a new design one year, and then a spec bump the next, so this isn’t out of the ordinary. Just don’t call it the iPhone X S. No, Apple really doesn’t like that. At all.
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And what’s not to like. The all-screen design is a joy to behold – which is a good thing, considering the new model is virtually identical. You get the same shiny stainless-steel bezel, large screen on the front and that divisive notch – which holds the phone’s front-facing camera and facial recognition smarts.
This year is also the first year that Apple released a gold option, which has a colour matched antenna band. The gold option is especially good looking in my opinion, plus it’s the only way other people will be able to readily tell that you have the new model. Which is important, considering you’ve just shelled out an awful lot of money.
Fortunately, while the design is the same as the previous model, its insides have been given an upgrade. The screen has been given a slight bump, and while it’s still 5.8 inches across the resolution is a respectable 458 pixels per inch – the highest ever in an iPhone.
You get Apple’s TrueTone technology – that monitors the colours in the ambient light around you and adjusts screen colours automatically, and because this is an OLED screen, it tends to look awesome no matter the situation you find yourself in. So yea, the display is pretty much class-leading in every way.
Moving on to the cameras, you get the same two-camera setup on the back – a wide-angle sensor and a zoom one. This time, however, both lenses have optical image stabilization which is a fantastic addition. And for the first time, the iPhone XS has the same cameras as its bigger sibling, the iPhone XS Max.
One of the bigger inclusions is Apple’s portrait mode, which has been fine-tuned to perfection. You can now change focus to create that lovely bokeh effect using both front and rear cameras, and the results are – finally – really impressive.
Oh, and you also get those silly little emoticons where you can make your face appear as a Monkey. Or a duck. Or a poo face.
Under the hood, this is the fastest iPhone ever made courtesy of Apple’s new A12 Bionic processor. I’ll spare you the statistics, but rest assured this thing is speedy. That’s handy, as Apple is really pushing augmented reality this year – which requires quite a bit of power to run seamlessly.
All in all, the iPhone XS is a worthy successor, and for the first time there is little to separate this model from its bigger brother – save for battery life and screen size. It has the same beautiful design, and the same powerful processor at the heart of each model, and there’s little doubt that this will sell by the bucket loads.