Tech Battle: iPhone XS vs. XS Max vs. XR vs. X – Which One To Choose?

Apple unleashed the XS and XS Max in September, and with the iPhone XR coming later in October, it was time for a side by side comparison between the new devices.  We decided to add the iPhone X into the mix in order to better track the upgrades and see if it hold up to the 2018 versions. Read below for a comprehensive analysis, from tech to prices.


The XS line brought us the largest iPhones ever released. The X and XS sport the same screen size, resolution and pixel at 5.8-inch, 2,436×1,125 and 458 ppi. iPhone XR offers a larger 6.1 Retina display, but the cheaper LCD screen pushes the resolution back to 1,792×828 and 326 ppi. The iPhone XS Max is the most impressive of the bunch, with an impressive 6.5 inch Super Retina display but a minor resolution update at 2,688×1,242 pixels and 458 ppi.

Size matters

As expected, iPhone XS Max is the winner here with a generous 6.2x3x0.3-inch or 157.5×77.4×7.7 mm. The differences between iPhone X and XS are quite minor as the X measures 5.7×2.79×0.3-inch or 143.6×70.9×7.7 mm and 5.7×2.8×0.3-inch or143.6×70.9×7.7mm. The XR sits in the middle at 5.9x3x0.33 or 150.9×75.7×8.3 mm

Software version

While all the 2018 iPhones will ship with iOS 12 pre-installed, the iPhone X comes with iOS 11 and you will have to update the device yourself.

Camera details

A dual 12 MP sensor will allow you to take that sweet shot if opt for the iPhone X, XS or XS Max. The XR will have a modest single 12 MP sensor but the camera optimization added in iOS 12 should provide some good pictures. All the devices have a 7MP sensor in the front camera, and in the case of the 2018 line, it also offers the FaceID function. 4K content can be captured with all of the devices.

Processing power

The X offers the well-received A11 Bionic chip, the XS, XR and XS Max sport the improved A12 Bionic processor, offering a noticeable sped boost and lower battery drain.


The X and XR share the same 3GB RAM size. Should the users opt for one of the XR models, an addition 1GB is offered, which may make a difference when it comes to multitasking or using resource-intensive apps.

Battery endurance

This usually tends to go into unnecessary details but in order to keep it short, the X lasted 11.45 hours in a video playback test.  According to Apple’s official press release, the XR will outlast the iPhone 8 Plus by 90 minutes and the XS and XR Max should outlast the X by 30 and 90 minutes respectively.

Fancy features

Water resistant certification, wireless charging, FaceID and Animoji are available across all devices. What sets the XS and XS Max apart is a higher water resistance certification (68 compared to 67). A surprise addition for the 2018 line was dual-SIM support, which may come in handy for certain users.

Headphone options

While some still hoped for the return of the 3.5mm jack, it seems that it will never return, even though some fans really want it back.

No expandable memory

Apple refuses to add a micro-SD port, citing security as the main motivation. Malicious entities may use them in order to install malware that will allow the exploitation of infected devices.


Prices may be steep for some users, but the Apple experience is worth it. Below you can find the prices for US, UK and Australia

iPhone X: $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), £999 (64GB); £1,149 (256GB) and AU$1,579 (64GB), AU$1,829 (256GB).

iPhone XR: $749 (64GB), $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB); £749 (64GB), £799 (128GB), £899 (256GB) and AU$1,229 (64GB), AU$1,299 (128GB), AU$1,479 (256GB).

iPhone XS: $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB); £999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB), £1,349 (512GB)and AU$1,629 (64GB), AU$1,879 (256GB), AU$2,199 (512GB)

Last but not least, the iPhone XS Max: $1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB); $1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB) and AU$1,799 (64GB), AU$2,049 (256GB), AU$2,369 (512GB)

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