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Every fall, Apple introduces new iPhones. And every fall, many iPhone users wonder: should I upgrade?
This year was, in Apple parlance, an “S year,” which means that one of the new iPhones, the iPhone XS, was an iterative upgrade rather than a total overhaul. Which begs the question: if you have an iPhone X, which is only a year old, do you need to upgrade?
Or, if you’re looking for a new device, should you go for the cheaper option and buy last year’s phone over the new iPhone XS?
This year, the differences between the two phones are minor, but there are still a few things that set the new phone apart. Here’s how the iPhone X compares to the iPhone XS.
The iPhone XS comes in more colors.
The iPhone X came in just two colors: silver (essentially white) and space gray (essentially black).
The iPhone XS retained those two shades, but added a third color option: gold.
The iPhone XS has a brand-new, super-fast chip.
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The iPhone XS has Apple’s new A12 Bionic chip, which Apple says includes a “next-generation neural engine.” Regardless, it should improve the phone’s speed and performance compared with the iPhone X.
That being said, the iPhone X is still a high-performance phone, despite having a year-old chip.
The iPhone XS is slightly more water-resistant.
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The iPhone XS is water-resistant to a depth of two meters for up to 30 minutes — that’s one more meter than the iPhone X, which is only water resistant in about one meter of water.
The iPhone XS comes with more starting storage than the iPhone X.
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The iPhone XS comes in three storage options: 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB.
The iPhone X, on the other hand, only comes in two options: 64 GB and 256 GB.
The iPhone XS is just a tiny bit heavier than the iPhone X.
The iPhone X and the iPhone XS have the exact same dimensions. But the iPhone XS is just slightly heavier than the iPhone X — the iPhone X weighs 174 grams (6.14 ounces), while the iPhone XS weighs 177 grams (6.24 ounces).
The iPhone XS has a slightly more advanced camera.
Both the iPhone X and the iPhone XS have impressive cameras, but the iPhone XS has a few upgrades that make it more advanced than last year’s model:
- The new phone comes standard with a more advanced portrait mode, which features the ability to control the amount of background blur, or bokeh, in an image.
Bokeh should be better looking on the new device as well.
Portrait mode selfies have been improved on the iPhone XS.
- Low-light images should look better.
- Action shots on the iPhone XS should be better than they were on past phones, thanks to faster sensors, Smart HDR, and zero shutter lag.
- The iPhone XS also has a feature called Smart HDR, which automatically blends together the best parts of separate exposures into one photo.
When it comes to video, Apple added stereo recording, and extended dynamic range for video up to 30 frames per second.
The iPhone XS gets better battery life than the iPhone X.
Apple hasn’t specifically said how much battery life you’ll get from the iPhone XS, only that it’s 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X.
By contrast, Apple says the iPhone X lasts two hours longer than the iPhone 7.
Regardless, you should get great battery life with either device.
Otherwise, the phones are identical.
The iPhone X and the iPhone XS share a lot of identical qualities: wireless charging, a beautiful, OLED display, Face ID, a premium look and feel, and the ability to download the latest iPhone software, iOS 12.
They even had the same starting price: $999.
Apple discontinued the iPhone X when it introduced the iPhone XS, which means you can’t buy a new iPhone X through Apple anymore. However, you can still find the iPhone X at carrier stores for $100 off, though your mileage may vary as the older phone gets phased out.