Apple iPhone XS review – how does the experience compare to Android?

It might appear ordinary to see an iPhone XS review on Android Authority, but it surely’s exhausting to deny the iPhone’s affect on the instructions Android’s long gone over the years. It’s additionally excellent to see what the pageant has to be offering.

Apple’s S 12 months merchandise have a tendency to be extra about inner upgrades than huge design adjustments, and the new iPhone XS and XS Max are not any exception. For this review, we’re focusing particularly on the iPhone XS, however you’ll be informed extra about the Max right here.

As an Android person, the genuine query is how the experience compares to Android and what does an iPhone be offering in 2018. Can I in point of fact feel free the usage of an iPhone? In a quest to solution that very query, I’ve used the Apple iPhone XS as my day-to-day motive force for just about three weeks.

Apple iPhone XS review notes: I’ve been the usage of the Apple iPhone XS on Cricket Wireless in the U.S. for 16 days. The iPhone XS is operating iOS 12.0.1.

The Apple iPhone XS unit was once bought through Android Authority for the functions of this review.

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Apple iPhone XS rear

Last 12 months the iPhone X represented an intensive departure from the conventional iPhone aesthetic. Now Apple has absolutely embraced this design with its latest fashions.

The iPhone XS sandwiches a stainless-steel body between two Gorilla Glass 6 panels, with the notch Apple made notorious up entrance. I truly like the design of the iPhone XS. It feels nice, it’s simple to use with simply one hand, and it doesn’t have the similar chin you in finding with maximum notched Android telephones. About the handiest factor I don’t like is the Apple emblem.

The iPhone XS seems and feels nice, identical to the iPhone X earlier than it.

The iPhone XS is just about equivalent to the X, with only a few minor beauty adjustments.

Apple minimize the selection of holes on the backside left edge from six to three, as the new antenna band on the backside takes a few of this house. The dual-camera module could also be marginally upper than on the X.

Apple iPhone XS lockscreen


Apple has traditionally lagged at the back of with show tech, sticking to LCD presentations with somewhat low resolutions (no less than in comparison to Android units). Last 12 months Apple in spite of everything stuck up with the OLED-based iPhone X. This 12 months no longer a lot has modified, and that’s a excellent factor.

The iPhone XS sports activities a 5.8-inch OLED show with a answer of 2,436 x 1,1225, leading to 458 pixels according to inch. The viewing angles are nice, colour replica is superb, and brightness is greater than ok.

Apple has put LCDs at the back of it with its XS line, leading to a very good show.

Backing up the show are a couple of helpful and instrument options.

Apple True Tone generation makes use of particular sensors to dynamically alter the white stability of the show to fit ambient lighting fixtures for a extra correct viewing experience. Night Shift makes use of the clock and geolocation information and shifts the show to hotter colours for higher viewing at night time.

It’s a very good show, even though Android OEMs like Samsung nonetheless have the higher hand, no less than marginally.

Apple iPhone XS review - bottom


The iPhone XS is powered through the Apple A12 Bionic processor, the corporate’s first cell processor constructed on a 7-nanometer procedure. Similar to the A11, the new chip includes a Neural Engine used for gadget finding out, this time upgraded to six cores reportedly in a position to processing 5 trillion operations according to 2nd.

This way little in genuine existence, so let’s simply say it’s speedy and will simply deal with any apps or video games you throw at it.

We put the Apple iPhone XS thru Geekbench 4, AnTuTu, and 3-dMark benchmark assessments. You can see the effects underneath, in comparison with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for reference.

Geekbench 4 gave the Apple iPhone XS a single-core rating of 4,811. In comparability, the Note 9 scored a 2,311. The iPhone XS completed a multi-core rating of 11,246, whilst the Note 9 scored a 7,642.

AnTuTu gave the Apple iPhone XS a rating of 306,374, in comparison to the Note 9’s rating of 272,168.

Finally, the iPhone XS scored 3,522 in 3-d Mark Slingshot Extreme, whilst the Note 9 carried out reasonably higher at 3,555.

These effects make iPhone XS appear extra spectacular than the Galaxy Note 9 — no less than on paper. In fact, benchmarks aren’t the perfect measure of real-world efficiency, and the variations between iOS and Android additional complicate issues.

At the very least we will say the iPhone XS provides best Android flagships a run for his or her cash in this entrance. No unmarried sport or app slowed this telephone down. It didn’t essentially really feel any quicker than my OnePlus 6 even though, additional illustrating how there’s extra to a telephone experience than what’s on paper.

Apple iPhone XS on side


The Apple iPhone XS isn’t a big alternate from remaining 12 months’s iPhone X, however there are a couple of notable enhancements.

Moving to a 7-nanometer chip is meant to translate to higher battery existence, and that was once surely mirrored right here.

I’m extra of a podcast or song listener, and so numerous my time with the telephone was once spent with the display off, as you’ll see underneath in the screenshot of this week’s utilization.

During my first week with the iPhone XS I made positive to pass above my standard utilization conduct, enjoying numerous films and video games proper from my display. During this time I used to be in a position to constantly get round six to seven hours of screen-on time. Plenty of Android telephones have higher battery existence, however the iPhone XS is a ways from the worst.

Regardless, whether or not you’re a heavy or lighter person, the iPhone XS can get thru a complete day lovely simply. Not dangerous taking into consideration the somewhat small 2,658 mAh battery.

The iPhone XS does not alternate a lot from remaining 12 months, however provides a couple of refinements.

The new large stereo audio system on the iPhone XS are louder and clearer than earlier iPhones and on par with maximum Android units. I nonetheless discovered myself the usage of headphones or connecting to a Bluetooth speaker extra regularly than no longer, but it surely’s nonetheless great figuring out the inner audio system are “excellent sufficient” in a pinch.

Apple claims the XS has advanced wi-fi charging and fees 30 mins quicker even the usage of current charging pads. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a wi-fi charger round to put the declare to the take a look at.

Waterproofing additionally were given an improve this 12 months, with Apple transferring from an IP67 to IP68 ranking. This way you’ll position the XS at a intensity of two meters for 30 mins and your telephone must stay on ticking. The transfer to IP68 is a transparent development for Android telephones this 12 months, so it’s excellent to see Apple maintaining.

The iPhone XS now helps dual-SIM, combining an eSim and bodily SIM card. Unfortunately, the characteristic isn’t to be had out of the field, coming in a instrument replace this autumn.

Plenty of acquainted favorites make a go back too. 3-d Touch is again, as is Apple’s biometric Face ID generation, which makes it simple to free up your telephone simply by taking a look at it.

Face ID hasn’t vastly modified for the XS, however it’s reasonably quicker. The new iOS 12 instrument additionally permits you to upload a 2nd Face ID, if you wish to have to give get admission to to a 2nd particular person (otherwise you occur to be a shapeshifter.)

Apple needs you to pay for the iPhone XS greater than as soon as, forcing you to get cables, adapters, and extra.

The headphone jack remains to be long gone, however even worse is the reality Apple now not contains the dongle wanted to use a stressed out jack. If you wish to have to use your stressed out headphones, you’ll have to pay for the privilege.

The nickle and diming continues with fast charging. The Apple iPhone XS comes with an ordinary charger and cable. Upgrading to an respectable speedy charger will price you round $90.


Apple iPhone XS camera app

The entrance digital camera on the Apple iPhone XS is a 7 MP sensor with a f/2.2 lens, identical to the iPhone X. That’s no longer essentially a foul factor; the X did a super task with selfies and so does the XS.

The major digital camera is the place the XS displays genuine distinction. The iPhone XS digital camera pairs a 12MP telephoto lens and a wide-angle 12MP sensor with an f/1.8 lens. While the megapixel depend stays unchanged, the pixels themselves at the moment are larger at 1.4µm. This way they may be able to gather extra gentle, permitting higher efficiency, particularly in deficient gentle prerequisites.

Taken out of doors my entrance door, as the solar was once simply beginning to upward push. Was hand over darkish nonetheless!

I’m no longer what you can name a grasp photographer. In reality, I’m lovely underneath moderate. Even my newbie abilities led to detailed photographs in maximum cases.

In low-light photographs there in fact is much less grain than earlier than. The colours are way more herbal and interesting than you’d be expecting. Lights additionally don’t glance overexposed in maximum night time time pictures, due to a brand new characteristic known as Smart HDR.

Smart HDR works through snapping a couple of footage at three other exposures and mixing them in combination to create the perfect imaginable taking a look picture. We’ve observed equivalent options on Android units like the Pixel 2, but it surely’s a welcome alternate for iPhone lovers. The characteristic works perfect in high-contrast eventualities, even though it could possibly assist in quite a lot of scenarios.

Apple additionally added a couple of new options to Portrait Mode with the iPhone XS like a brand new Depth Control mode, which makes it simple to alternate the depth of the blur in footage and even take away it solely.

The iPhone XS digital camera is superb for footage and we respect the nearly 0 lag when making an attempt to take a photograph. Video is similarly relaxing, with advanced dynamic vary and higher low gentle efficiency.

The iPhone XS simply has one of the perfect digital camera applications I’ve used, however I wouldn’t say it’s the perfect. In explicit, the Pixel 2 remains to be a powerful challenger.

Again, I’m no images professional, and we’ll make certain to deliver you extra detailed digital camera comparability with the iPhone XS circle of relatives in opposition to new Android units in the close to long run.

For now, underneath we have now some samples taken throughout my time with the telephone. These had been diminished in report measurement to save load speeds, however you’ll see the complete answer photographs in our Google Drive folder right here.

Software: the place the variations change into glaring

Apple iPhone XS review - homescreen

IOS and Android have little or no in commonplace of their structure, settings, notifications, and extra. There’s an actual finding out curve when you’re coming from Android.

The glance has advanced somewhat, however when you’ve used an iPhone in any respect in the previous couple of years you received’t in finding anything else radically other right here. The homepage remains to be six rows of icons and the acquainted dock.

The iOS 12 replace brings a couple of new chocolates like Memoji (a tackle Samsung’s AR emoji), notification grouping, and a Screen Time characteristic providing a lot of the similar options as Android Pie’s Digital Wellbeing characteristic.

In equity, the hole between iPhone and Android isn’t as large because it as soon as was once. Nearly all my favourite Android apps have iOS opposite numbers and so they paintings about the similar if you get used to structure variations. Even when you’re a Google fan it’s simple to get arrange with Assistant, Google Maps, Drive, and all of your different favorites.

The two platforms can deal with all the similar core duties, simply in several tactics.

LG V40 vs iPhone XS Max display

LG V40 subsequent to an iPhone XS Max – two very other UI studies

What it’s like the usage of iOS as an Android person

iOS 12

There’s no approach round it, I favor Android’s structure. I’m simply used to what Google and its OEM companions ship. I at all times really feel somewhat misplaced on an iPhone. After a couple of days, this sense begins fading. After greater than per week in, the alien atmosphere slowly become first nature and I began to revel in the experience.

However, I will’t say there may be a lot I favor on iOS.

Things like putting in place Bluetooth units and navigating the app retailer are extra intuitive and not more of a trouble. I additionally love a few of the built-in apps like GarageBand and Keynote. None of these items are absolute must-have additions.

I had a difficult time being used to the approach Apple handles notifications. Even with the addition of notification grouping, the entire experience nonetheless feels somewhat clunky. Certain apps don’t display notifications in the notification middle through default, leaving you to search for a message alert for each and every of those apps in the house display.

I may just completely get used to the usage of an iPhone as a day-to-day motive force, however I wouldn’t be in point of fact satisfied. It’s no longer the adjustments in the interface, app retailer, and even the quirks taken with being used to a brand new OS. My genuine downside is the hand maintaining.

Apple iPhone XS settings

Apple’s iOS ‘simply works,’ but it surely additionally holds your hand so much

Apple makes setup a breeze. Its apps are simple to navigate. It has a powerful app retailer. I will see how this may enchantment to many of us, particularly the ones new to smartphones or used to the approach Apple does issues. Unfortunately, you’re additionally compelled to play through Apple’s regulations.

I regularly discovered iOS too rigid.

I are living in a rural house with restricted house Internet and limitless mobile information. On Android, I have a tendency to obtain all my apps the usage of LTE, however Apple makes this difficult. Downloading a report larger than 150MB will give me a caution pronouncing the report measurement is just too massive and I should use my Wi-Fi.

it is Apple’s approach or the freeway. That simply does not paintings for me.

Some Android telephones come up with the similar caution, however you’ll disable this from the settings — no such good fortune with Apple. There are some workarounds, however they require manually converting the calendar date and leaping thru a host of hoops.

Apple has numerous nice first-party apps, but when I need to transfer my digital camera and browser to a brand new default I’m once more out of good fortune.

Even little such things as converting the row alignment on the house display (like having a number of pages with simply one row of icons each and every) is inconceivable on iOS (however a breeze on Android).

For those that don’t care about personalization and haven’t any factor the usage of what’s passed to them, I will see the enchantment of Apple’s iOS. For me, this limitation helps to keep me from the usage of it.

Pricing and availability

The iPhone XS begins at $999 for the 64 GB style and tops out at $1,349 for the 512 GB model. Color selection are silver, house gray, and gold.

It’s a ways from affordable, even though a number of more moderen Android flagships achieve equivalent pricing.

Apples vs Androids

LG V40 side by side with Apple iPhone XS Max

LG V40 left, iPhone XS Max proper

If you’re the usage of an Android tool and adore it, the iPhone XS provides little to sway you away to the different facet. It’s a super telephone, however there are many nice telephones in the Android global as neatly.

If you might be taking into consideration creating a transfer to iOS, you’ll in finding the iPhone XS plays exceptionally and does the entirety you’d need. Apple additionally has nice buyer enhance, significantly slower depreciation for resale, and a cast instrument replace observe file.

Just bear in mind you’ll be giving up such things as customization choices and an app drawer,  and also you’ll have to alter to quite wonky notifications. There will likely be a finding out curve when you haven’t used iOS a lot.

I’d by no means make the transfer to iPhone, I’m simply too ok with Android. I additionally don’t like to be informed what I will and will’t do with my telephone. At the similar time, I respect how a ways the iPhone has come and how shut the characteristic hole is getting.