iPhone Xs vs Xs Max: Does Bigger Really Mean Better?

The world has officially descended into iPhone frenzy, and we’ve descended with it. Even though they’ve been out for years the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone XR, the latter billed as the “entry-level” counterpart to its high-end siblings, still make for quality phones that don’t break the bank.

iPhone Xs vs Xs Max: Does Bigger Really Mean Better?

If you’ve settled on the higher-spec iPhone Xs, but don’t know whether to fork out for the iPhone Xs Max, or stick with the original, we’ve compared the two side-by-side. Here’s everything you need to know.

iPhone Xs vs Xs Max: What’s the Difference?

iPhone Xs vs Xs Max: Release date

Both of these beauties were unveiled to the world on Wednesday 12 September in 2018 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. However, the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max’s “budget” sibling, the iPhone XR, wasn’t available for pre-order until 19 October 2018.

Since they’ve now been around for years, you can order them online or go to an Apple store.

iPhone Xs vs Xs Max: Design

Design-wise, these bad boys are largely the same, save one blindingly obvious difference.


In short, the iPhone Xs Max has a bigger display. The iPhone Xs sports a 5.8in 19.5:9 aspect ratio True Tone OLED display, with 2436 x 1135 pixels (458 ppi). Its screen-to-body ratio lies at 82.9%.

Meanwhile, the iPhone Xs Max has a whopping 6.5in screen 19.5:9 aspect ratio True Tone OLED display. Pixels-wise, we’re looking at 2688 x 1242 (458 ppi). The screen-to-body ratio of the iPhone Xs Max inches above that of the iPhone Xs, coming in at 84.4%.

If you’re drowning in numbers, take our word for it; the iPhone Xs Max is certainly worthy of its Max nametag. A 6.5in display is whopping (the largest ever on an iPhone), and it does posit some logistical difficulties (imagine trying to wedge that bad boy in your pocket).

Nevertheless, big is beautiful, and the iPhone Xs Max is no exception. If you’re all about watching #content on your iPhone, or just want to browse the internet with tablet-style ease, the iPhone Xs Max is a good option.

iPhone Xs vs iPhone Xs Max: Specs

It’s easy to dismiss display size as the only difference between the iPhone Xs and Xs Max. Outwardly, it is. There’s one more discrepancy though… Battery size.

The iPhone Xs has a 2800 mAh battery, with the iPhone Xs Max equipped with a 3400 mAh counterpart. While these sound like an impressive update on the iPhone X’s 2716 mAh battery, in reality, they translate as a 30 minute and 90 minute increase, respectively, on their predecessor. Not masses, no, but useful to note the difference on paper between Apple’s brand new top-of-the-range iPhones.

iPhone Xs vs Xs Max: Price

Rest assured, you’ll be paying a premium for a premium product. The iPhone Xs, as time, tradition (and economics) dictates, is cheaper, and starts around at £225 for the 64GB version, £264 for the 256GB version, on up to £480 for the highest storage option – 512GB. You can find the 512GB version cheaper, so don’t pay more than the price listed here.

As for the iPhone Xs Max, you’re paying top dollar for that all important “Max” suffix (and the specs that come with it). It starts at around £264 for the 64GB version, £327 for the 256GB version, up to around £354 for the 512GB of storage respectively.

iPhone Xs vs Xs Max: Verdict

Now you’ve trawled through what looks like several lines of code (X vs Xs vs Xs Max…), you’re probably hankering after a definitive answer. That, we can’t offer you. If you’ve got gargantuan pockets and a penchant for watching cinematic content on your smartphone, opt for the iPhone Xs Max. Its screen really is mesmerising; it’s the biggest ever on an iPhone.

On the other hand, if portability and keeping costs down are your priorities, then the iPhone Xs is probably more the right vibe for you. With prices now starting at £225, it’s a lot more affordable than it used to be.

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