iPhone XS: The same, only much better
This device is definitely an update, but the shifts and benefits are largely ‘under the hood’
Cool factor 5/5
Value for money 3/5
In November 2017, Apple released the iPhone X ("10"), which was the most significant update to the iPhone range in ages. In that device, Apple took out the home button and moved to a bezel-less screen with just a small "notch" on top to accommodate the speaker and front-facing camera.
It also incorporated Face ID, which let you unlock the device and pay for goods using face recognition.
Now, just less than a year later, the iPhone X has been essentially discontinued. It’s still available through resellers, but the Apple site will redirect users to the device that has recently replaced it, the iPhone XS ("10-S"). This device is definitely an update, but the shifts and benefits are largely "under the hood". These include a more powerful processor and a better-performing dual camera. Analysts believe this was a pricing strategy move for Apple, as the XS was announced at the same premium price (read: whopping expense) as the X.
However, various tests have confirmed that the "subtle" upgrades do make a significant difference.
For one thing, the performance is boosted using an A12 Bionic chipset, which has no lag and offers lightning-quick response time. This comes into its own with processing-hungry tasks such as gaming and augmented reality. It also enables the "neural engine" that learns as you use it.
The rear camera — with dual lenses and smart high-dynamic range — is fantastic, offering rich colours and incredible detail.
The battery life is much the same as before, and not the best on the market.
The XS has introduced a new colour to the range — a dusty gold — and there is an XS Max version with a larger screen and battery.
Price: from R21,999