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Apple announces iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Sauce: https://www.anandtech.com/show/13360/apple-announces-2018-iphones-iphone-xs-xr

So I'm pretty sure no one has made a post on this so I guess I will :P

 

Apple yesterday, with much surprise and shock from the whole tech industry, launched their latest iPhones, dubbed the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and the iPhone XS Max. As is traditional with an "S" upgrade, there were very little design changes relative to the previous iPhone X; instead, the majority of the changes are under the hood.

 

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The core of the new family is the iPhone XS, which like Apple iPhones before it, has received a mid-generation “S" upgrade. Apple’s big focus this year is on photography, along with an ever-faster SoC at the heart of the phone. The iPhone XS is joined by the even larger iPhone XS Max, which offers the same features with a bigger screen and bigger battery. Meanwhile as a pseudo-replacement for the iPhone 8 family, the iPhone XR is a slightly pared down XS, incorporating many of the same features but dropping the telephoto camera and using an LCD display instead of OLED.

 

I have to say, personally I found these 3 phones very underwhelming. Initially, I was quite excited, because I incorrectly read that the two S phones had 120 hz displays. However, it turns out Apple bamboozled me - in reality, all that's 120 hz is the touch sensing portion of the display. While the displays are a bit better than the last gen iPhone X's, they are still 60 hz, which had me quite disappointed.

 

Apple 2018 iPhone Specifications
  iPhone XS iPhone XS Max iPhone XR
SoC Apple A12 Bionic

2 × High-Performance Cores
4 × High-Efficiency Cores
GPU Apple's Custom with 4 Cores
DRAM Definitely some
Display 5.8-inch OLED
2436×1125
DCI-P3/True Tone
625 cd/m² brightness
1M:1 contrast ratio
3D Touch
6.5-inch OLED
2688×1242
DCI-P3/True Tone
625 cd/m² brightness
1M:1 contrast ratio
3D Touch
6.1-inch LCD
1792×828
DCI-P3/True Tone
625 cd/m² brightness
1400:1 contrast ratio
-
Size Height 143.6 mm 157.5 mm 150.9 mm
Width 70.9 m 77.4 mm 75.7 mm
Depth 7.7 mm 7.7 mm 8.3 mm
Weight 177 grams 208 grams 194 grams
Battery Life (Internet) "12 hours" "13 hours" "15 hours"
Wireless Charging Qi
Rear Cameras 12 MP 1.4µm pixels, f/1.8, OIS
Wide Color Gamut
Quad LED True Tone Flash
Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, Depth Control
12 MP f/2.4 Telephoto, OIS
2x Optical
Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, Depth Control
-
Front Camera 7MP f/2.2
Wide Gamut, Retina Flash, Portrait Mode,
Portrait Lighting, Depth Control
Storage 64 GB
256 GB
512 GB
64 GB
256 GB
512 GB
64 GB
128 GB
256 GB
I/O Apple Lightning
Wireless (local) 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO + Bluetooth 5.0 + NFC
Cellular Gigabit-class LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA LTE-A class with LAA
Splash, Water, Dust Resistance IP68
up to 2 meters, up to 30 minutes
IP67
up to 1 meter, up to 30 minutes
Dual-SIM nano-SIM + eSIM
nano-SIM + nano-SIM (China model)
Launch Price 64 GB: $999
256 GB: $1149
512 GB: $1349
64 GB: $1099
256 GB: $1249
512 GB: $1449
64 GB: $749
128 GB: $799
256 GB: $899

 

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However beyond that, the phones are identical in terms of feature sets. And that marks an important distinction between X/Max split and Apple’s last generation phones. The smaller phone has all the same features as the larger phone – or rather, the larger phone doesn’t get anything extra – so it’s unlike the last generation where Apple’s best camera system could only be found on the largest phone. The iPhone XS Max really is just a larger iPhone XS.

 

The iPhone Xs's also use a very similar display to the last gen iPhone X, with the smaller variant having the same resolution while the larger one is a bit higher resolution. However, both support Dolby Vision HDR10 (the good HDR, not like Display HDR400).iPhone-Xs-Colors_575px.jpg

Probably one of the biggest upgrades is the SoC. All of the new iPhone X's come with the A12 Bionic, the first shipping SoC manufactured on 7nm (Huawei was the first to announce the 7nm based Kirin 980, but it's not shipping in any phones yet). While the performance improvement CPU wise is pretty meager at 15%, Apple states it uses 40-50% less power than the A11, which is nothing to scoff at.

CPU2_575px.jpg

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Under the hood of the A12 is a similar CPU configuration as last time, with two high-performance CPU cores joined with four low-power (efficiency) CPU cores. Apple’s performance estimates this time around are very conservative, as the company is touting just a 15% increase in the performance of said performance cores. Instead the focus is on power efficiency, with Apple claiming a 40% reduction in power on the performance cores and 50% on the low-power cores.

 

Though as is usually the case here when discussing performance and power efficiency in the same breath, these results should be taken with a grain of salt, as you usually can’t simultaneously decrease total power consumption and increase total performance. Most likely these power figures are being measured at the A11's performance level.

While Apple isn't touting large performance gains for the CPU, the GPU is a different matter. Apple claims the GPU should be 50% faster than the A11 Bionic. However, what seems to be Apple's main focus this time around is their NPU. Apple is touting some impressive performance figures for the neural engine, though whether or not this impacts day to day usage of the phone much if at all remains to be seen.

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The third part of the processor triumvirate – and likely where the bulk of Apple’s transistor budget has gone – is the neural engine, Apple’s name for their block responsible for processing (inferencing) neural networks for AI. Relative to the A11, Apple is promoting some huge increases in both the basic block size and in the resulting performance. The latest neural engine is described as an 8-core design, up from 2 cores for the A11. In turn, peak performance has jumped from 600 GigaOPS to 5 TeraOPS, an increase of over 8x.

 

Outside of the SoC, the other biggest upgrade to the new iPhones is the camera. While the resolution of both the wide angle and telephoto cameras are the same as that of the iPhone 8 and X, the pixels are now 1.4 um as opposed to the 1.22 um of the previous generation.This means that most likely the new iPhones are using the same sensor as that of most current flagships.

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Digging a bit deeper, the phones have received a larger, updated sensor for each camera. Apple is now using a 1.4µm pixel pitch sensor – up from 1.22 µm on the iPhone X – allowing each camera to capture more light per pixel than before. The payoff of a larger pixel size is that it allows for more accurate capturing but also faster capturing, particularly in low-light situations (or as Apple calls it, deeper and larger). All told, Apple is claiming that the new sensor is twice as fast as the previous one, allowing them to pull off “zero shutter lag.”

Apple is also talking about a new feature called "smart HDR," which is supposed to use the ISP as well as the neural engine to help with improving HDR. Normally, HDR takes three photos of different exposures; however, it sounds like with Smart HDR Apple is taking many more than 3 photos and combining those into one.

SmartHDR_575px.jpg

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The other big feature addition here is that Apple is further ramping up its bokeh post-processing capabilities, which they call Depth Control. The latest iteration of this feature allows for fine-tuned depth of field adjustments to a photo after it has been taken.

 

Rounding out the camera package, the front sensor suite for Face ID is similarly upgraded. The TrueDepth camera has the same optics as on the iPhone X, but it’s also picked up support for Depth Control and Smart HDR thanks to an updated sensor. Apple’s specifications also list “cinematic” video stabilization, which strongly suggests that they’ve added Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) for that camera. Finally, the sensor suite is being paired with a newer secure enclave, which Apple says offers much faster Face ID unlocking times.

There are also a couple of other small upgrades; including Gigabit LTE, IP68, dual SIM (in the form of one physical SIM card and one eSIM for the US; in China, it means two SIM cards), and better speakers.

 

The problem I have with the Xs is the price. They didn't lower the price of the 5.8" one at all compared to the X. Originally I saw the $999 price of the iPhone X as justifiable based on seeing it as a halo product and a glimpse of the future. But now? This seems standard. The 5.8" thing should be $849, or $899 at max. The Max should be $999, but instead it's now over a thousand dollars. The prices are getting ridiculous... Which is why, personally, I think the Xr is the better buy. The Xr is essentially the "budget" version, if you can even call $749 budget, and offers an LCD and a single camera (though it's worth noting the bezels are not much thicker) instead of the OLED and dual cameras of the Xs. It also has aluminum instead of the steel on the iPhone Xs, though personally this isn't something I really care about.

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In terms of size, Apple is only offering a single option here: a 6.1-inch phone. Apple essentially tried to split the difference here between the 8 and the 8 Plus here, and they ended up with something closer to the Plus, but still a bit smaller overall than the Plus. This means that the iPhone XR is Apple’s medium-sized phone, and that if you want something either smaller or bigger, you have to move up or down to an iPhone XS.

 

The biggest change here from a features standpoint is the choice in display technologies. OLED displays aren’t cheap (especially to Apple’s standards), so the company has trimmed costs by utilizing a more traditional LCD. Dubbed the “liquid retina” display, this IPS display follows the iPhone X’s industrial design, notch and all. By the numbers it’s functionally closer to the iPhone 8 than the iPhone X, offering an 8-like pixel density of 326 PPI, resulting in a sub-HD 1792x828 pixel display. Since this is an iPhone X style phone, that means the LCD covers most of the body, so Apple seems quite pleased to have such a large LCD in a phone.

 

In terms of features, the iPhone XR’s display offers the same P3 color gamut support as the 8, while relative to the X it’s not clear as to whether the phones cover an identical percentage of the gamut. Max brightness remains at 625 nits, while the contrast ratio, while not able to match the iPhone XS for obvious reasons, has been improved upon over the 8, now reaching 1400:1. Also, it’s worth noting that officially this model does not support HDR, unlike the iPhone XS.

 

Interestingly, despite being an Apple staple for years, the new phone does not support 3D Touch (which is present in the 8 and XS). Instead Apple has replaced that with other gestures based around haptic feedback.

While some of you may scoff at the display resolution, remember that the OLED displays are Pentile whereas this is most likely RGB, which means, in actuality, the resolution is probably quite similar. Perhaps, this screen might technically even be a little bit higher resolution.

 

The new iPhones look cool, but from what we know so far the upgrades look meager at best. The two most significant upgrades look to be the SoC and camera; for most, I suspect that the former won't matter much, except maybe for the efficiency improvements (though it's yet to be seen how much better the battery life actually will be). And while the latter may make a difference, I don't think the upgrade will be large enough to justify the insane price tag.

 

And I get it. For some this may be great. Maybe they really need the dual SIM functionality, and this will be a game changer for them. Perhaps, others shoot a lot of pictures in the dark, and new HDR mode plus the larger pixels probably will help a lot with that. But the problem is... the Xr has all of these things. The only downsides are the LCD (and btw, the screen is still going to be excellent, except that blacks won't be as black), the lack of a telephoto lens (which, while useful isn't worth $200 IMO), and IP67 rating instead of IP68 (which personally barely matters). And it actually has some advantages: The Xr has a bigger screen than the Xs and Apple rates the battery life to be better than the Xs and Xs Max! Which means that, for me, the Xr is the phone to get. The extra $250 doesn't justify the minor improvements, reduced battery life, and smaller screen of the Xs. And if you're comparing to the Xs Max... that's a completely different price range we're talking about.


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I like the gold Xs Max :D

@LinusTech be like :

 

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Where's my Xe? 

 

iPhone Xenon.


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Apple Magic lost forever. The reason why old iPhones (or all iOS devices in general) get loved is because tech noobs can use it like a pro. Making things complex like Android stuff isnt going to attract their old customers (excluding die hard fans).


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12 minutes ago, Jurrunio said:

Apple Magic lost forever. The reason why old iPhones (or all iOS devices in general) get loved is because tech noobs can use it like a pro. Making things complex like Android stuff isnt going to attract their old customers (excluding die hard fans).

iOS still keeps a lot of the simplicity though, but I agree iPhones haven't been the same since the 5S. Basically all of Apple has slowly changed since they lost Steve Jobs, IDK what it was about his work but it had a magic to it. Heck, I was just admiring how goddamn gorgeous my 2012 MacBook Pro looks, it's still a very nice laptop today and in tech terms it's ancient (6 years old this year). 


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My job wanted us to come in at MIDNIGHT to do iPhone pre-orders...haaaaaa no way!


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did they actually upgrade the ram and give the Xs another gig to play with? as far as i know they did. finally they caught up to mid-range android phones

Edited by GoldenLag
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13 minutes ago, GoldenLag said:

did they actually upgrade the ram and give the Xs another gig to play with? as far as i know they did. finally they caught up to mid-range android phones

It's a meaningless parameter in this context. Memory management is totally different between iOS and Android.


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Just now, Vode said:

It's a meaningless parameter in this context. Memory management is totally different between iOS and Android.

"meaningless". iOS can only be so "magic" untill they resort to pagefiling. which is 1. bad for the SSD  2. makes it slower in day to day use. 3. and when it isnt pagefiling it is putting tasks out of memmory.

 

calling it meaningless is just false. iOS isnt getting skinnier, everyone should know that by now

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I'm quite interested in the iPhone Xr.
Seems like an actual value option I'd consider a little later this year, iPhones never really tickled my fancy but that Xr .. well it does.

Price is a little of-putting, but if it lasts more then two years why the hell not.


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7 minutes ago, GoldenLag said:

"meaningless". iOS can only be so "magic" untill they resort to pagefiling. which is 1. bad for the SSD  2. makes it slower in day to day use. 3. and when it isnt pagefiling it is putting tasks out of memmory.

 

calling it meaningless is just false. iOS isnt getting skinnier, everyone should know that by now

Was never an issue before. The RAM was always adequate for years of use.

 

Mid-range Android phones are still shit and the additional RAM isn't helping.


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3 minutes ago, Vode said:

Was never an issue before. The RAM was always adequate for years of use.

 

Mid-range Android phones are still shit and the additional RAM isn't helping.

I'd love to defend Android here but it's true.

All devices I owned up to this point have poor management of background tasks, all of them Low-Mid end devices.

iOS never gave me that crapshoot, granted I didn't use an iPhone rather the iPod but I could see the difference between iOS & Android.


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9 minutes ago, Vode said:

Was never an issue before. The RAM was always adequate for years of use.

 

Mid-range Android phones are still shit and the additional RAM isn't helping.

please elaborate how phones continuesly loose on the second pass in speedtest?

 

*looks at Nokia 6.1 plus. has in general everything the iphone has (sacrifises in rear camera a bit), but has 

  1. headphone jack
  2. smaller notch
  3. SD card slot
  4. USB C
  5. a pricetag of about 350$ i believe (non-carrier)
  6. 4/6GB of Ram
  7. a blunt weapon (its bade by Nokia afterall)
  8. Android one for equivelent support
  9. fingerprint reader

what do you mean the are shit? they are litterally better than the best iphone made, the iphone 6s

Edited by GoldenLag
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5 minutes ago, Sfekke said:

I'd love to defend Android here but it's true.

All devices I owned up to this point have poor management of background tasks, all of them Low-Mid end devices.

iOS never gave me that crapshoot, granted I didn't use an iPhone rather the iPod but I could see the difference between iOS & Android.

there are a ton of bad android phones out there, especially older ones. newer ones are pretty much flagships atm. 

 

though i really see the appeal of iOS and their phones (ive owned a iphone 4 and has been surrounded by iphones) iphones have simply lost their edge to mid-range devices. so has most flagships at this point. 

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5 minutes ago, Sfekke said:

All devices I owned up to this point have poor management of background tasks, all of them Low-Mid end devices.

iOS never gave me that crapshoot, granted I didn't use an iPhone rather the iPod but I could see the difference between iOS & Android.

Apple cannot do any multi tasks so of course it will not have poor management of background tasks.

but if you pay only a little effort to customize it, no problem at all even for very old anroids

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1 minute ago, dgsddfgdfhgs said:

 

Apple cannot do any multi tasks so of course it will not have poor management of background tasks.

but if you pay only a little effort to customize it, no problem at all even for very old anroids

actually they can, but im unshure if it is only limited to their iPads. not too up to date on that front

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5 minutes ago, GoldenLag said:

please elaborate how phones continuesly loose on the second pass in speedtest?

 

*looks at Nokia 6.1 plus. has in general everything the iphone has (sacrifises in rear camera a bit), but has 

  1. headphone jack
  2. smaller notch
  3. SD card slot
  4. USB C
  5. a pricetag of about 350$ i believe (non-carrier)
  6. 4/6GB of Ram
  7. a blunt weapon (its bade by Nokia afterall)
  8. Android one for equivelent support
  9. fingerprint reader

what do you mean the are shit? they are litterally better than the best iphone made, the iphone 6s

The user experience is shit IMO, the software overall. Forced Google apps, bloatware, etc. Phone gets laggy over time even without software updates. Especially Samsung ones.

 

I guess it has gotten better with Mid-Range Android phones, I'll give you that. Headphone jack is great too. 

 

For me personally I can't stand Android anymore. It just wastes too much of my time, isn't elegant at all.


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All that camera stuff seems like a case of deja vu. 

 

Computational photography, like the Pixel 2 

 

Willing to bet that the camera sensor size is now 1/2.6", matching the Samsung Galaxy S7/S8/S9/Note8/Note9, Pixel 2, HTC U11, and such. Congratulations for graduating from the 1/3" club, Apple. Now it's your turn LG. 


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1 minute ago, Vode said:

The user experience is shit IMO, the software overall. Forced Google apps, bloatware, etc. Phone gets laggy over time even without software updates. Especially Samsung ones.

 

I guess it has gotten better with Mid-Range Android phones, I'll give you that. Headphone jack is great too. 

 

For me personally I can't stand Android anymore. It just wastes too much of my time, isn't elegant at all.

the Nokia phones atm are android One. meaning NO BLOAT. you can also work around most google apps if you dont like them (like surprisingly easily). therefore calling them forced is kinda "meh" but i get where you are coming from.  it is also stock android which is pretty standard in terms of user interface. samsung is pretty awful in terms of software support, though android one sets a standard of specs to keep the phones "fresh". its not full apple longevity in terms of OS support, but it is unbeatable at the price. also iphones have shown somewhat of a slowdown over the years while still being officially supported. so its sort of a universal thing, though some android phones, especially samsung lowmid-range have been terrible as far as i know

the elegancy of android is entirely subjective, therefore i wont comment on that. 

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59 minutes ago, GoldenLag said:

did they actually upgrade the ram and give the Xs another gig to play with? as far as i know they did. finally they caught up to mid-range android phones

They did but only because the camera needed it. The OS is perfectly content with running on 2-3GB. The only reason the iPhone 8 has 3GB was because of the camera as well. Need a big  frame buffer for what Apple is doing with their cameras. 


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