iPhone Xs vs iPhone X: Which of the Apple Flagships Should You Buy?
While the iPhone Xs had a rocky launch when it first came out, but it’s still popular and was one of Apple’s flagship phones. However, when it didn’t sell as well as Apple hoped, it led the company to restart production on its predecessor, the iPhone X. Apple had previously discontinued the iPhone X so it wouldn’t pinch sales from the iPhone Xs, but now it’s coming back as a cheaper alternative to their newer flagship.
While you now have the choice between for newer model iPhones, the iPhone Xs and iPhone X are still great options to consider when buying a new Apple iPhone. But which of them is the best iPhone? Does the iPhone X’s lower price point make it a more worthwhile purchase, or is it worth splashing out a little extra to get an iPhone Xs?
iPhone Xs vs iPhone X: Price
The iPhone Xs is a newer phone and, therefore, still costs a little more. For example, a 64GB iPhone Xs costs around £254 whereas you can pick up a 64GB iPhone X for £229. There isn’t much of a cost difference, but it adds up.
You’d need to be an Apple expert to be able to differentiate the iPhone Xs and iPhone X based on appearance. They’re both very similar in terms of design, with no home button or TouchID and the small notch still remains.
Differences become apparent when looking at the screens — while both utilise fantastic AMOLED panels for bright lighting, true contrast and strong colour accuracy, the iPhone Xs’ maximum brightness sits at 668 cd/m2 brightness, a big step up from the iPhone X. While not everyone cares about brightness, it’s virtually the only major differentiating factor between the two phones.
When we tested both devices, we found the iPhone X’s battery lasted for 9 hours and 22 minutes of constant video playback, whereas the iPhone Xs’ battery shot past that for 12 hours and 45 minutes. That’s quite the improvement.
In addition, the iPhone Xs performs tasks considerably better. Its A12 Bionic Processor means it can process more tasks at a faster rate, and although the 60Hz refresh rate means it’ll never top 60fps, it definitely has the potential to. In our tests, it performed offscreen processes at 119fps, well above what anyone will ever need.
READ NEXT: How to boost your iPhone X battery life
Both the iPhone Xs and iPhone X have 12-megapixel rear cameras with phase-detect autofocus and a quad-LED flash. However, while this might make the two devices seem equal, it’s what’s going on under the hood that means the iPhone Xs has the better camera.
The iPhone Xs has Smart HDR, so every time you take a picture the phone actually takes eight. It then blends them together, picking out the best lighting and shadow, to create the perfect photo. Therefore it performs better in different light contexts and distances. This balancing works on video footage too, with special stabilisation so a video can go from dark to light areas without too much exposure or contrast.
In our review of the iPhone Xs we’ve got some examples of how this works in effect, at close and distance subjects. Check them out if you want a better example of the difference this makes.
The iPhone Xs is, undoubtedly a better phone than the iPhone X, pure and simple. It has a better camera, faster performance, and better screen clarity. It’s a newer phone, with newer technology, so of course it’s better.
The major sticking point used to be the price, but not so much anymore. Depending on what you want, the iPhone Xs might be worth paying £20 to £100 more. While it excels in most areas, it might not justify paying up to £100 extra unless you absolutely need the best camera technology, or a faster phone. In many other areas, it’s almost exactly the same.
But, if you want both power and a low-price tag, you may want to consider the iPhone XR, Apple’s low-budget-but-not-that-low alternative to the iPhone Xs. It’s roughly the same price as the iPhone X and affords you a display and camera almost on par with the iPhone Xs.