Apple unveiled three new iPhones this year: the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR.
While the cheaper iPhone XR is in a league of its own, if you’re looking for the true successor to last year’s iPhone X, you’ll want to look at the XS and the XS Max.
The XS and the XS Max feature the same redesign as last year’s iPhone X, which featured an edge-to-edge OLED display and a premium metal-and-glass design. But if you’re considering these two phones specifically, you may want to go with the standard iPhone XS instead of the XS Max.
Here are 9 reasons to buy the iPhone XS instead of the larger iPhone XS Max:
1. The iPhone XS is more affordable than the iPhone XS Max.
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Price is probably the biggest consideration for most people, and the iPhone XS has better value compared with the iPhone XS Max.
The iPhone XS starts at $999 for 64 GB of storage but can cost up to $1,349 for 512 GB of storage.
The iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099 for 64 GB of storage but can cost up to $1,449 for 512 GB of storage.
You’re saving at least $100 by choosing the standard iPhone XS instead of the larger model.
One hundred dollars may not seem like much, but keep in mind that you’ll also want to buy a handful of crucial accessories like cases and insurance plans on top of the cost of the phone, so these costs do add up.
2. The iPhone XS’ size is more manageable than the iPhone XS Max’s, and you’re not getting a step-down in display quality by choosing the smaller phone.
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Both the iPhone XS and the XS Max feature the same OLED “Super Retina” display from last year’s iPhone X – the same pixel density, same contrast ratio, same everything.
The only difference, screen-wise, between the iPhone XS and the XS Max is the size. You’re not losing out on quality.
For most people, the size of the iPhone XS will be way more manageable. The iPhone XS Max is basically the same size as the iPhone 6/7/8 Plus phones, but imagine the entire face of the phone being a display. It’s nice to look at but not easy to use with one hand, as many reviews have noted. The iPhone XS Max may be perfect for people with large hands, though, or people who don’t mind using their phone with two hands.
The iPhone XS, meanwhile, is easier to hold and still has a bigger display than most iPhones that came before it, including last year’s iPhone 8 Plus.
3. The iPhone XS is lighter than the iPhone XS Max.
You may not consider weight when purchasing a new phone, but it matters. You’ll be carrying this device around all day in your hand, pocket, or bag, and you’ll be lifting this thing and holding it to your face several dozen times a day. Weight matters.
The iPhone XS is 6.24 ounces, or 177 grams.
The iPhone XS Max is 7.34 ounces, or 208 grams.
4. The iPhone XS has the same brains as the iPhone XS Max.
This is a big one. Buying the larger phone does not mean you’re getting better performance.
The iPhone XS and the XS Max are powered by the same A12 Bionic chip from Apple, which includes a six-core CPU, a four-core GPU, and a next-generation neural engine that’s dedicated to machine learning. It’s stupid fast.
5. The iPhone XS and the XS Max have identical rear camera systems.
Check out this specs sheet from Apple. There are literally no differences between the rear camera systems in the iPhone XS and the larger XS Max.
6. The iPhone XS and the XS Max have identical front-facing cameras, too.
Again, this specs sheet from Apple says it all. Your selfies should look identical regardless of whether you’re using the iPhone XS or the larger, more expensive XS Max.
7. The iPhone XS is just as water-resistant as the iPhone XS Max.
Both the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max are rated IP68 by the International Electrotechnical Commission, which means you can submerge these phones down to 2 meters of water for up to 30 minutes and shouldn’t have an issue.
8. Both the iPhone XS and the XS Max support Apple’s new “dual SIM” feature.
All the new iPhones, including the iPhone XR, come with Apple’s new dual-SIM feature, which lets people hold one physical nano-SIM card in their phone as well as an electronic SIM card, or “eSIM.”
Having two SIM cards in your iPhone lets you have two phone numbers and connect to multiple carriers or networks, which is ideal for traveling or for people who don’t want to be bound to a single carrier.
9. The iPhone XS and the XS Max feature the same Apple ecosystem: iOS.
No matter which phone you get, the iPhone XS or the XS Max, you’re going to be getting the same version of iOS 12, the same App Store, and the same security fixes and future updates straight from the company. You’re not getting any special software goodies by choosing the bigger phone.