Now that the Apple event is over and all the details are out about the brand new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, we figured you may need some help deciding which iPhone is the right one to upgrade to this year. Here’s what you need to know.

Size and enclosure

If you’re planning to upgrade from an iPhone 7 or 8 Plus, it’s important to realize that while the iPhone XS is a smaller enclosure, it actually has a bigger screen. The iPhone 7 and 8 Plus screen size is 5.1-inches while the iPhone XS screen size is 5.8-inches.

Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max has a screen size of 6.5-inches–the biggest ever screen to be placed on an iPhone. Of course, the 6.5-inch screen on the iPhone XS Max means it has a slightly longer (just over half an inch) and wider (about a third of an inch) enclosure than the iPhone XS. However, when you compare the iPhone XS Max enclosure to the iPhone 7 or 8 Plus enclosure–it’s actually just slightly smaller overall. 

The tech specs

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have virtually the exact same tech specs. They both have OLED displays, they both have the same 12MP dual camera system, they both have the same processor (Apple’s A12 Bionic), they both have the same stereo speakers, and they both have the same storage configuration options (64GB, 256GB, and 512GB). So from a speed and functionality standpoint–they’re identical. Everything you can do on one you will be able to do [just as fast] on the other.

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Additionally, both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have the same advanced technologies built-in including FaceID (which leverages Apple’s TrueDepth camera system) and Gigabit-class LTE allowing for even faster download speeds.

What’s different then?

The iPhone XS has 30 minutes more of battery life than its predecessor, the iPhone X. The iPhone XS Max has one hour and 30 minutes more of battery life than the iPhone X. This is because Apple has put the biggest battery of any iPhone to date in the iPhone XS Max.

The only other difference is the screen size which we touched on earlier. The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch screen (same as the iPhone X) and the iPhone XS Max has a 6.5-inch screen (the biggest screen in any iPhone to date).

Not sure which new iPhone to get? Read this.

So which should you get?

I don’t want to be that guy but… it depends. I’m personally going with the iPhone XS Max because I want the bigger screen. The additional battery life, to me, isn’t as important, but is definitely a “nice to have.”

Some things to consider before you pick your next iPhone: the size of your hands, how big are your pants pockets, if you don’t have pockets–how big is your bag? Additional points for consideration should be phone usage, do you watch a lot of videos (if so, you may want to opt for the Max)? 

Once you have those answers, I think your decision will be a lot easier. 

The iPhone XS and XS Max both going up for pre-order this Friday, September 14 with in-store sales starting on Friday, September 21. The iPhone XS starts at $999 and the iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099.


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