The iPhone Xs and iPhone X might look very similar at first glance. However, in typical Apple fashion, an ‘s’ upgrade is always about major performance and camera improvements, and the same stands true for the iPhone Xs. Plus, with Apple discontinuing the iPhone X, the iPhone Xs is the phone that now most people would consider buying.
What’s the different iPhone XS and iPhone X?
If you are wondering what’s the difference between the iPhone Xs and iPhone X, read our comparison below.
- iPhone XS – 5.8-inch True Tone OLED, 2436 x 1125 pixels (458 ppi), 82.9 percent screen-to-body ratio, HDR10, Dolby Vision
- iPhone X – 5.8-inch True Tone OLED, 2436 x 1125 pixels (458 ppi), 82.9 percent screen-to-body ratio, HDR10, Dolby Vision
No surprises here. The iPhone Xs is the successor to the iPhone X and so it retains the same 5.8-inch OLED panel. Apple managed to set a new bar with the iPhone X’s OLED display last year, and with the iPhone XS, it is set to raise that bar even higher.
Like the iPhone X’s display, the OLED display on the iPhone Xs supports mobile HDR, True Tone, and wide color gamut.
- iPhone XS – 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm and 177g, IP68 certified
- iPhone X – 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm and 174g, IP67 certified
Again, no surprises here. The iPhone XS retains the same design language as the iPhone X. The only improvement here is in terms of color. While Apple offered the iPhone X in Silver and Space Gray colors, the iPhone XS will be available in three new colors: Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. The gold color is the new addition to this lineup. The iPhone Xs is also 3gms heavier than the iPhone X, though that’s unlikely to be noticeable to most users.
The biggest difference in terms of design between the two iPhones is with their IP certification. The iPhone Xs carried an IP67 certification which makes it water-resistant in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. The iPhone XS, in comparison, comes with IP68 certification and it is now capable of being submerged in a depth of 2m for up to 30 minutes.
The iPhone XS also offers wider stereo playback when compared to the iPhone X.
- iPhone XS – A12 Bionic, 7nm chip, 6-core CPU which is 15 percent faster, 50 percent faster 4-core GPU, 8-core Neural engine
- iPhone X – A11 Bionic, 10nm chip, 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, Neural engine
The A11 Bionic chipset inside the iPhone X still remains a powerhouse of a chipset almost a year after its launch. However, with the iPhone XS, Apple is taking things up a notch with the A12 Bionic. The two performance cores in A12 bionic are up to 15 percent faster, while the 4 efficiency cores consume 50 percent less power when compared to the A11 Bionic. The 4-core GPU also offers 50 percent faster performance when compared to the A11 Bionic and it has been optimized specifically for Metal 2.
As if these upgrades were not impressive enough, the Neural engine on the A12 Bionic is getting a massive upgrade of its own. The new Neural engine has an 8-core architecture that is capable of processing 5 trillion operations per second, up from 600 million on the A11 Bionic inside the iPhone X. It is also capable of running Core ML up to 9x faster than A11 Bionic for improved system performance across the board.
The new chip also comes with a more powerful ISP which allows for Smart HDR for improved dynamic range and details, faster Memoji experience, better and more powerful AR apps, and more.
- iPhone XS – 64GB, 256GB, 512GB
- iPhone X – 64GB, 256GB
While Apple offered the iPhone X in 64GB and 256GB storage variants, it will be offering the iPhone Xs in 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage capacities. This means that while the base storage remains the same on both handsets, users do have the option of buying the iPhone Xs with twice the storage space of what the iPhone X was available with.
- iPhone XS – Dual 12MP camera setup with f/1.8 and f/2.4 aperture, new sensor with larger 1.4um pixels, OIS for both sensors, Smart HDR, Focus Pixels, Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth control
- iPhone X – Dual 12MP camera setup with f/1.8 and f/2.4 aperture, 1.22um pixels for the primary sensor, OIS for both sensors, Auto HDR, Focus Pixels, Portrait mode
On paper, the iPhone Xs dual-camera setup might look similar to that of the iPhone X but it is not. Apple is using a bigger camera sensor on the iPhone Xs which leads to the size of individual pixels increasing. This will greatly help improve the low-light imaging performance of the handset.
Then there’s also Smart HDR which has a 4-frame buffer and merges multiple photos into once for improved details, clarity, and dynamic range. This is made possible by the use of a faster sensor and ISP of the A12 Bionic chip. The powerful ISP also allows the iPhone Xs to offer advanced bokeh and Depth control for Portrait photos. This means that one can control the depth effect in photos after capturing the photos on the iPhone Xs.
The TrueTone flash system on the iPhone Xs is also an improvement over the iPhone X as it features advanced flickering detection system.
Apple also touts extended dynamic range on iPhone Xs while recording videos at up to 30fps. Thanks to 4 microphones, the iPhone Xs is also capable of recording stereo sound while video recording, unlike the iPhone X.
- iPhone XS – 7MP TrueDepth Camera, f/2.2 aperture, Retina Flash, Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth control, Smart HDR
- iPhone X – 7MP TrueDepth camera, f/2.2 aperture, Retina Flash, Portrait mode, Auto HDR
Just like the rear camera, the front camera on the iPhone Xs is a huge upgrade over the iPhone X. While it retains the same 7MP resolution, it makes use of a faster new sensor. The iPhone Xs is also capable of recording Full HD videos at 60fps with cinematic video stabilization. For comparison, the iPhone X was only capable of recording Full HD videos at 30fps with its front camera. Like the rear camera, there’s also support for Smart HDR for improved details and dynamic range.
Other features which the iPhone Xs front camera shares with the rear camera include extended dynamic range while recording videos at 30fps, bokeh and depth control for Portrait photos.
While both phones come with Face ID, the facial unlocking mechanism is faster on the iPhone Xs thanks to the use of a faster camera sensor and more powerful Neural engine and Secure enclave.
- iPhone XS – Dual SIM/eSIM, Gigabit LTE, Wi-Fi ac with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, VoLTE, NFC with reader mode
- iPhone X – Single SIM, LTE-Advanced, Wi-Fi ac with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, VoLTE, NFC with reader mode
In terms of connectivity, Apple has made two key improvements on the iPhone Xs when compared to the iPhone X. Firstly, the handset now has support for Gigabit LTE which should allow for faster LTE transfer speeds as well as better network connection in spotty areas. Secondly, the iPhone Xs comes with Dual-SIM connectivity. Apple has implemented Dual SIM Dual Standby on the iPhone Xs. This means that the phone will be able to connect to two networks at the same time, though the number on which there’s a call going on will become the active number.
The iPhone Xs continues to feature a single SIM slot though. It will allow users to connect to a second network using eSIM technology which Apple first debuted with the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE variant last year. For China specifically, Apple will launch an iPhone Xs variant with dual SIM slots.
Battery Life and Charging
- iPhone XS – Lasts up to 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X
- iPhone X – Lasts up to 2 hours longer than the iPhone 7
The iPhone Xs offers slightly better battery life than the iPhone X, though that varies depending on the situation. The talk time is actually down by 1 hour — 21 hours on the iPhone X vs 20 hours on the iPhone Xs, while video playback time has increased by one hour to 14 hours. Both phones are capable of fast charging to 50 percent in just 30 minutes, though they both come with a 5W adapter.
- iPhone XS – Fast wired charging, 7.5W wireless charging
- iPhone X – Fast wired charging, 7.5W wireless charging
- iPhone XS – Starts from $999
- iPhone X – Used to cost $999
The iPhone X managed to shock a lot of people with its steep $999 price tag last year. Apple managed to justify the high price with a complete revamp of the iPhone’s design and display. However, the steep price meant that iPhone X was simply not an attractive proposition for many, especially in a slowing smartphone market. Contrary to rumors, the iPhone Xs also starts at $999 and since the handset is available with up to 512GB storage, the top-end variant ends up costing a staggering $1,349.
With Apple discontinuing the iPhone X in favor of iPhone XS, interested customers have little choice but to opt for Apple’s latest iPhone at a steep price of $999. But then again, with the same price as the iPhone X, the iPhone Xs offers better value for money with faster internals and better camera performance.