Apple iPhone XR XS and XS Max – bigger, brighter and better

Apple has released its latest iPhones – the XR, XS and XS Max – at the Steve Jobs theatre in Cupertino, California.

Following a similar look and feel as the previous iPhone X released last year, the new iPhones come in 3 new screen sizes including 6.1 inches for the XR, 5.8 inches for the XS and and a huge 6.5 inches for the XS Max.

The standout features for the two more expensive XS models include a high powered A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine. This helps deliver a new Smart HDR photo mode, along with the ability to dynamically adjust background depth of field after photo has been taken. There’s also a new Dual Sim capability, longer battery life, and even a gold colour case option.

The least expensive iPhone XS shares many features of the XS models including the A12 Bionic chip, however it uses a LCD rather than OLED display, and has a single, rather than dual-lens camera.

While some rumours suggested that the least expensive XR model would cost less than $1000, in Australia, this model will start at $1299 for the 64GB version, and climb up to $2369 for the XS Max with 512GB of storage.

Full specifications list

Apple iPhone XR XS and XS Max
Model XR XS XS Max
Screen 6.1” LCD 1792×828 5.8” OLED 2436×1125
Dolby Vision
6.5” OLED 2688 x 1242
Dolby Vision
Processor A12 with neural engine Same Same
Storage GB 64/128/256 64/256/512 Same
Rear Camera Single 12MP f/1.8 Dual 12MP f/1.8/f/2.4 Same
Front camera 7MP f/2.2 with flash Same Same
Face ID Yes Same Same
Wi-Fi AC with MIMO Same Same
NFC Apple Pay Same Same
LTE 4GXVoLTE/Wi-Fi callingNano Sim and eSIM Gigabit
Size/Weight 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm
143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm
157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7mm
Battery mAh Not stated Same Same
Wireless charge Yes Same Same
Build Aluminium frame and glass back
Blue, White, Black, Yellow, Coral, Red
Stainless steel frame and glass backSilver, Space Grey, Gold Same Same
Water resistance IP67 1m/30min IP68 2m/30m Same
OS iOS 12 Same Same
Price 64GB – $1229128GB – $1299256GB – $1479 64GB – $1629256GB – $1879512GB – $2199 64GB – $1799256GB – $2049512GB – $2369

Pre-orders for the iPhone XR begin on Friday the 19 October, with availability beginning Friday the 26th of October.

The iPhone XS and XS Max models see pre-orders beginning on Friday the 14th of September and availability beginning on Friday the 21st of September.

There’s also Apple’s GiveBack scheme where you can trade-in your old model for up to $745. Conditions apply.

GadgetGuy’s quick take – Apple’s best iPhones yet.

GadgetGuy’s Val Quinn, was as at the Cupertino event as a guest of Apple Australia to see the latest phones in person. His hands on-reports will be published shortly, however, here’s his quick take from the event:

“The A12 Bionic processors in the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR are VERY  powerful. The Neural Engine means a lot of software-based enhancements can be applied to make photos look better, resulting in fewer bad shots. The Smart-HDR feature is great for fast action photos, as it’s nearly instant, and now you can dynamically adjust your background clarity, adding bokeh or sharpness, as you see fit.

There’s improved battery life too, with 30 minutes of additional charge versus last year’s iPhone X on the new iPhone XS, and one hour and 30 minutes from the iPhone XS Max.

The Max’s huge huge 6.5” OLED screen looks incredible, especially when watching movies and video. The Faster Face ID detection is a plus, and you can also experience this on the less expensive XR – as it features the same A12 Bionic processor as the more pricey models.

While the XR only has a single lens camera, rather than dual-lens like the XS and XS Max, however, you still get most of the advanced camera features including Portrait Mode, Smart HDR, Dynamic backgrounds adjustment, Optical Image Stabilisation and more. The XR also gets the same True Depth camera system, and delivers the same Face ID security, plus the fun animated emojis!

The XR’s 6.1 inch LCD display doesn’t have the contrast and deep blacks of the OLED models, however, the size is a really nice middle-ground between the XS and XS Max, plus, the display quality is still very good for a non-OLED display.

All up, we’re seeing big improvements in hardware, the X models get a flashy gold colour too and the XR has five new colour options.

You can watch the Apple Keynote here.