iPhones XS, XS Max and XR are available and I’ve gotten a chance to spend time with each.
In previous episodes of my In the Weeds podcast, I’ve been vocal about my dismay towards the notched display; however, I’ve always heaped praise upon the secure and stable iOS. My in person feelings are exactly the same; yet, I’ve got a few different opinions regarding Apple’s implementation of the display notch housing the True Depth camera array for FaceID.
Quick & Dirty
These new iPhones feel fantastic in the hand, whether you are holding the XS or the special XR, in fact, I would argue that the XR feels a bit heavier and more substantial in the hand — which isn’t a bad thing.
Starting off at $749, the iPhone XR is likely the most compelling device for most users looking to upgrade. Featuring a large 6.1″ display, featuring Apple’s distinct notch housing FaceID components, although this display is LCD and less than 1080p, it still looks great from most angles. Additionally, since this display technology isn’t quite as robust as the OLED panels on iPhones XS and XS Max, the bezel surrounding the display is slightly larger — yet still bearable and unobtrusive. Performance is notably great; however, the model I experienced in store appeared just a slight step behind its XS and XS Max counterparts.
iPhones XS and XS Max offer that same design except sleeker, and wrapped in a stainless steel band. iPhone XS Max especially felt great, not only due to the increased screen size, but the fact that it truly displayed more information on webpages and in apps versus those assets simply appearing larger, which is a huge selling point. Performance is what you’d expect — simply unmatched in consistency and speed.
Furthermore, let’s talk about these notches. On the smaller devices, I found the notch a touch more intrusive; however, with the larger iPhone XS Max, it almost (almost) seemed to disappear. The larger screen, giving you more information is almost certainly a win in every case.
Overall, the device experience is great on all of the new Apple smartphones. iPhones XS and XR are here for the taking with arguably the best hardware and software experience on the market.