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Monday, 24 September 2018

iPhone XS: First Impressions

The iPhone XS and XS Max have arrived, and I thought i'd do some first impressions of the model that I opted to pre-order, pending a full review in a few weeks time once i've spent alot more time with it. I went for the XS in space grey with the 256GB storage option. I'm still puzzled as to why Apple has felt the need to add the 512GB option this year - that's massive! I know not everyone pays for additional iCloud storage for all your photos but that still seems excessive unless you want to own every game in the App Store.



Anyway, this year's iPhone refresh is the usual S upgrade that Apple makes every other year in it's development cycle. That means on the surface if you're coming from last year's iPhone X you'd probably struggle to notice any difference in the design of the XS - Apple have even made the call to remove the 'S' branding from the back of the phone so it's just the new gold finish that will make it obvious you're carrying around the shiny new model.



The flagship features of the X like the bezel-less display and Face ID are all still here on the 2018 devices so if you're upgrading from anything other that last year's phone then you're getting some pretty sweet new tech. Face ID has even been improved to make unlocking your phone up to 20% faster, and even from my first few hours of use I can really see the difference. Annoyingly it still doesn't work when the phone is horizontal, which is a shame, but new with iOS 12 you can add a second face to your device so that either someone else can have access using Face ID or it's super helpful if you happen to wear glasses. You can save a speckled and non-speckled version of yourself for easy unlocks.

Spoiler alert: The people who bought the iPhone X last year were either constant early adopters or eager to upgrade then so they wouldn't have to wait until now. They'll either automatically get an XS as part of one of those increasingly common annual upgrade programs or they'll just keep on keeping on until they need the next something new. They know that. Based on how iPhone XS was introduced as a new iPhone X, not an all-new iPhone, Apple knows that. It's just the rest of us nerds who have to get better at remembering it.

Performance is just a little smoother too, thanks to the new A12 Bionic chipset tucked away inside the XS and it's chunkier brother the XS Max. Apps launch a little faster here than on the iPhone X, and in general, jumping in and out of running apps in the multitasking view is speedier as well. When it comes to this sort of mundane use, the changes are noticeable but not dramatically so -- that is, unless you're coming from an older iPhone. In that case, you're in for a ride. Apple says the A12's two high-performance cores are up to 15 percent faster than the CPU cores in last year's iPhones.

Full review coming soon!

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