Head-To-Head: Apple iPhone XS Vs. iPhone XS Max

The CRN Test Center compares the specs and features on Apple's two new OLED iPhones.



As it turns out, the iPhone X was just a preamble: the game-changing, edge-to-edge OLED smartphone was pulled from Apple's lineup this week after the company unveiled two successor models. Those would be the iPhone XS and a larger-screened model, the iPhone XS Max. Both feature the famous design scheme that Apple first introduced with last year's iPhone X, but with a number of upgrades. Which of the new iPhones is a better fit for you? In the following slides, the CRN Test Center compares Apple's new iPhone XS with the iPhone XS Max on specs and price.


The two new iPhones differ significantly on their display size, with the iPhone XS measuring 5.8 inches (the same as its predecessor, the iPhone X) and the iPhone XS Max offering a 12 percent larger display--6.5 inches. That gives the iPhone XS Max by far the largest iPhone display Apple has ever released. The display technologies themselves don't differ much between the two phones, however. Both feature bright and colorful OLED display technology (which first debuted in the iPhone X); a minimal bezel around the screen, with a notch cutout at the top for the front-facing camera and other sensors; rounded corners; and glass with improved durability. The iPhone XS Max display comes with resolution of 2,688 x 1,242 pixels, which gives it 458 ppi (pixels per inch). That's the same ppi as on the iPhone XS, which features 2,436 x 1,125 resolution.

Battery Life And Charging

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Apple promises that the iPhone XS Max will provide a greater amount of battery life than the iPhone XS, thanks to what Apple is calling its biggest battery yet in an iPhone for the XS Max. Apple says the iPhone XS Max will provide 13 hours of internet use or 25 hours of talk time, compared with 12 hours of internet use or 20 hours of talk time for the iPhone XS. Both devices are capable of charging wirelessly with a Qi charging pad, and also can work with fast-charging accessories to get a 50 percent charge in 30 minutes, according to Apple.

Processor And RAM

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max both will be powered by Apple's next generation of processor, dubbed the A12 Bionic, which Apple says will give a modest increase in speed over the iPhone X's A11 Bionic chip. The six-core CPU in the A12 processor includes two high-performance cores (running at up to 15 percent faster speeds than the A11), along with four low-power cores for less-intensive tasks (featuring up to 50 percent improved energy efficiency over the A11). The four-core GPU in the A12 will boost graphics performance by up to 50 percent, meanwhile.

Apple didn't disclose the RAM on the new iPhones, although Geekbench results suggest that at least one of the new phones will come with 4 GB of RAM--which would put it above the iPhone X at 3 GB of RAM.


A leading update with both of the new iPhones is the expansion of internal storage options. While the iPhone X had offered just two options, 64 GB or 256 GB, the new OLED iPhones will come with an option for a massive 512 GB of internal storage at the top end (enough space for storing 200,000 photos, Apple said). Thus, both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will be offered with either 64 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of internal storage.


Like the iPhone X, the iPhone XS and XS Max will both feature a dual rear camera system, with wide-angle and telephoto cameras that each offer 12 megapixels and optical image stabilization. Apple says the camera includes an improved flash along with "breakthrough" new features such as "Smart HDR," which makes use of the A12 Bionic chip and combines numerous images to deliver a photo that is more highly detailed. Taking video, meanwhile, will now offer extended dynamic range and recording of stereo sound, Apple says.

Water Resistance

Compared with all previous iPhones, Apple says the iPhone XS and XS Max will get a boost on water resistance. The XS and XS Max will both come with a rating of IP68, which suggests the devices should withstand waters as deep as 5 feet for up to a half-hour. That's an improvement over the iPhone X, which has a rating of IP67--rated to survive depths of 3.3 feet for 30 minutes.


Like the iPhone X, the iPhone XS and XS Max will both only come with Face ID facial recognition as a biometric method for unlocking the phone. Face ID uses Apple's TrueDepth Camera System to ensure that unlocking will be consistent and fast, according to the company. Apple says that algorithm improvements will now enable Face ID to work even faster in the new iPhones. The iPhone XS and XS Max also go without a home button, meaning that the same iPhone X gestures are employed for loading the home screen, opening the app switcher and checking notifications.

Price And Availability

Apple says the iPhone XS will have a starting price of $999, while the iPhone XS Max will start at $1,099. Those prices are for the models with 64 GB of internal storage. Other configurations are priced as follows:

-- 256 GB: iPhone XS price is $1,149, iPhone XS Max price is $1,249

-- 512 GB: iPhone XS price is $1,349, iPhone XS Max price is $1,449

Preorders for the new iPhones began Friday. Apple has announced that the release date for the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max is Friday, Sept. 21.