iPhone Xs vs Xs Max: Does bigger really mean better?

The world has officially descended into iPhone frenzy, and we’ve descended with it. Apple released no less than three new iPhones to the world on Wednesday: The iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone XR, the latter billed as the “entry-level” counterpart to its high-end siblings.

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 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.

They are available for pre-order now and will start shipping on Friday 21 September.

Meanwhile, those eager to get their hands on the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max’s “budget” sibling, the iPhone XR, will have to wait until 19 October to pre-order, and another week after that for shipping to commence. Will you last the wait? Or cave and snap up an iPhone Xs or Xs Max? Only time will tell.

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%.

READ NEXT: iPhone Xs and Xs Max: Apple’s new handsets are now available to pre-order

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.

READ NEXT: iPhone XR: Apple unveils iPhone XR starting at £749

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 tradition (and economics) dictates, is cheaper, starting at £999 for the 64GB version. Size up to 256GB and it’ll set you back £1,149, and the the highest storage option – 512GB – will cost you £1,349.

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 £1,099 for 64GB, and moves on up to £1,249 and £1,449 for 256GB and 512GB of storage respectively.

iPhone Xs vs Xs Max: Verdict

Now you’ve trawled through what looks like several lines of code (X vs Vs 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. Although with prices starting at £999, your idea of “keeping costs down” is a little warped. Ah well, needs must.

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max are now available to pre-order

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