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Thoughts on Newly Launched iPhones: Expensive Yet Impressive?

As you all know, Apple released their new iPhones for 2018-2019 on September 12 in the new Steve Jobs Theatre. As the leaks suggested, three phones were announced: iPhones XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. The naming system was unknown in the leaks which meant that no one yet knows what the R in the XR means.

iPhone XS

The iPhone XS is, as the name suggests, an iterative update over the iPhone X. The notch is the same size, there’s no fingerprint scanner embedded to the display (none of the iPhones have a fingerprint sensor now), the OLED screen looks the same, the overall design is the same.

The only upgrade is a new processor, the A12 Bionic chip, a small increment in battery capacity, and the image processing used for the cameras. Oh, and the faceID has been refined to give you slightly faster unlock, the speakers are a little louder. These are all refinements over the iPhone X. We haven’t seen anything drastic. At least, not yet (we never know what we might find after the reviews come out).

iPhone XS Max

The iPhone XS Max is just an enlarged version of the iPhone XS. There is no other difference than the screen size and the bigger battery. The cameras are the same, the processor used is the same, FaceID is same, you get the idea. The only factor that you need to consider while making a choice between the iPhone Xs and the iPhone XS max is their screen size and probably the price. iPhone XS starts at $999 for the 64GB model while the XS Max starts at $1099 for the 64 GB model.

You can see that the above two phones are nothing unique, they are the typical S versions. They will have amazing cameras and smoothest performance on any smartphone on the planet. But at this point, that’s expected from Apple.

iPhone XR

Now, the more interesting phone of the bunch is the iPhone XR. It is an iPhone that costs $750. That alone makes this phone interesting. There are some differences that justify its lower price but it is really up to you to decide if you really care about those differences to shell out at least $250 more on your next phone.

First, let’s talk about the similarities. iPhone XR has the same processor, same RAM, same internal specs, and Face ID feature as the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. So, in terms of performance, you are not giving up by going with the iPhone XR.

Where the difference is visible is the screen. XR has an LCD screen instead of an OLED panel found on the XS and XS max, but Apple’s LCD panels are some of the best in the market. And if you had been using an iPhone 8 or 8Plus for the last year, you probably won’t notice any difference. What you should know is that the screen does not have a full HD resolution, it is slightly above 720p. So, you can’t watch 1080p videos in 1080p resolution on this phone.  The other difference is a slightly thicker bezels on the sides, but it shouldn’t bother many people used to the gigantic bezels on the iPhones of the past.

The other major difference is the rear camera which is a single 12MP shooter instead of dual 12MP shooters on the XS and XS Max. However, there is a software bokeh effect to make up for the lack of the dual cameras. So, you aren’t missing on many features here.

What’s better on the XR than on the XS and XS Max are the colors. This phone comes in 6 different colors – bright yellow, sky blue, product red, orange, black, and white. Even the sidebands have been colored to match the back. If you really wanted a yellow iPhone, now you can get it.

You can see that we spent more time talking about the XR rather than the XS and XS Max. That was because we think this is the phone that most people are going to get. The price is lower, the performance is the same, and you’ve got more colors. If the screen isn’t that different from the iPhone XS, the XR would be our favorite iPhone of the year.

The iPhones have just launched internationally, so it will be some time until they arrive in Nepal. But as soon as they do, you’ll hear about it right here on TechLekh.


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