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Apple iPhone Xs review

9/10 AVG.
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Apple iPhone Xs
Apple iPhone Xs
Apple iPhone Xs
Apple iPhone Xs
Apple iPhone Xs

Informr score
The Apple iPhone Xs currently has an Informr score of 9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 59 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review


Unless you already own an iPhone X, the Xs is a worthy upgrade to just about any other phone on the market. It offers a great camera, unmatchable performance, a beautiful display, and a sleek design -- but it comes with a hefty price tag.

What's good

  • Fastest mobile phone to date
  • Solid, classy design
  • Great display
  • Fast, detailed cameras
  • Powerful speakers
  • eSIM support
  • IP68 rated

What's bad

  • Price
  • No microSD support
  • No fast charger included
  • No 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter included
  • No 3.5mm jack

Apple’s latest release brings their S Series approach to the iPhone X. This means it’s more of a subtle boost than a full-on sequel. But as the iPhone X broke new ground in terms of design for Apple and it’s still one of the most powerful smartphones to date, the iPhone Xs has big shoes to fill.

It features the same stainless steel frame with reinforced glass front and rear panels as the previous release. However, this time the design is IP68 rated -- allowing for submersion in up to 2m of water for up to 30 minutes. 

The design is so similar to the iPhone X that many reviewers had trouble telling the difference between the two. There is a new colour available for the Xs and the larger Xs Max -- gold -- and the camera is a few millimetres lower on the back. Otherwise, they’re identical apart from screen size.

There’s still no headphone port or home button, instead requiring a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter for your headphones and touch gestures to access features usually reserved for the home key. Reviewers note the adapter is not included with the phone. Still, the package includes Lighting earbuds -- so you’re not out of listening options if you don’t want to carry around an adapter.

There’s also stereo, front-facing speakers that reviewers loved. They found them well balanced and punchy for mobile speakers with some even calling them the best phone audio to date.

You’ll also find a 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display running at 2436-by-1125 pixels. If you were not a fan of the notch design, it’s still present and appears to be the future design for iPhone models. Switching to OLED seems to be a smart move for Apple as reviewers raved about brightness, colour accuracy, and detail. HDR 10 and Dolby vision support are also available to make video and games pop.

Apple chose a six-core Apple A12 Bionic processor with 4GB of RAM to power all those pixels. They claim it offers a 15% increase in performance and 50% increased graphics performance over the iPhone X. Tests from reviewers appear to confirm these claims and benchmarks show it is the most powerful smartphone to date.

The phone runs the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system -- iOS 12. Paired with the new processor, the interface is fluid and reliable. Reviewers had no complaints of slowdown or annoyances.

As with all iPhones, you cannot use a microSD slot to expand storage. However, the phone is available with 64 to 512GB of internal storage -- so planning ahead makes it easy to avoid storage concerns down the road.

The phone offers dual SIM support -- but not in a traditional sense. You can use one standard SIM and an eSim. This new approach makes it possible to download SIM settings from a carrier and switch the virtual SIM in the eSIM when you please.

The Xs sees an upgrade on the camera front -- though it doesn’t look much different. A dual-lens 12MP rear camera with 2x telephoto zoom and 7MP “TrueDepth” front-facing lens are now paired with an image signal processor to provide better results. 

The rear camera also features a larger sensor and bigger sensor pixels. Reviewers found this helped to capture much better shots in low-light. SmartHDR also helps to bring out more detail in shots regardless of lighting.

Finally, there’s adjustable blur after shooting and 4k 60 frames-per-second video recording.

Reviewers found the cameras stellar in terms of colour accuracy, detail, and speed. Many reviews felt the Pixel 2 still offered superior camera performance -- but only slightly.

The Xs includes a 2,658mAh battery. Reviewers found this good enough to reach the end of the day -- if only just. While the phone supports fast charging and wireless charging, it includes neither of the required accessories in the box. So expect to wait awhile for charges to finish unless you buy a fast charger. 30 minutes of charging is good for 22% with the included charger, while a fast charger reaches 55% in the same time.

Overall, reviewers love the phone. But many question whether it’s worth it to upgrade from an iPhone X. If you’re using an iPhone 8 or Android device, the upgrade is likely worth the price. GSM Arena says, “It's the fastest, the prettiest, the sturdiest, the most luxurious, the most skilled, the most expensive. And yet, it's the same iPhone.”

Engadget declares, “These aren't just worthy successors; they're fantastic smartphones in their own right. And thanks to Apple's growing focus on machine learning and the A12 Bionic's Neural Engine, both of these phones have been set up for success as our smartphone software continues to become more sophisticated.”

Operating system
Operating system
2.49 GHz
2.49 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
12+ MP, f/1.8
12+ MP, f/1.8
2658 mAh

What the Critics Are Saying...


Compared to the iPhone X, the speakers on the iPhone XS are more powerful and 'wider' in sound, the camera has been enhanced with Smart HDR, the battery management is better and the chipset is far more powerful inside. These are all just tweaks though, and it was smart from Apple to remove the iPhon...

- Gareth Beavis, TechRadar
Gadgets 360
Gadgets 360

Apple seems confident that it can buck this trend, and as great as the new iPhone XS models are — the performance is best in class, cameras are finally as good as the competition, and despite iOS' limitations, you are guaranteed software updates — it's difficult to really recommend them to anyone wh...

- Kunal Dua, Gadgets 360
The Standard
The Standard

The XS offers a reasonable upgrade over the iPhone X and an irresistible one over every other iPhone. But the iPhone X looks every bit as good as the XS and is less than a year old. In use, it feels faster and has that little bit more battery life. But it is still faster and more powerful than prett...

- David Phelan, The Standard

iPhone X was all new. iPhone XS is just all better. Better camera, better battery, better Face ID, better performance, and a new gold option. More than just being a great user experience, 7-months later something else is clear as well: It's a phone you can rely on. A phone you can trust.

- Rene Ritchie, iMore
What Hi-Fi
What Hi-Fi

The Apple iPhone XS is an evolution, but everything still adds up. More processing power, increased efficiency and improved camera quality are all positive points, but it’s the boost in both picture and sound quality that really cement this five-star review. The iPhone XS is undoubtedly one of the m...

- What Hi-Fi

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Apple backs up the iPhone Xs with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your iPhone Xs has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Apple support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Apple's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Quick view

Screen Size

The Apple iPhone Xs's screen size is 5.8 inches with 1125 x 2436 pixels resolution.

2.49 GHz

There is a Apple A12 Bionic Hexa core 2.49 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the iOS 12 (Update Available: 14) operating system (OS).

12+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 12+ MP, f/1.8 camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 7+ megapixels resolution.

64/256/512 GB

Internal memory is 64/256/ 512 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2658 mAh battery. Apple's performance ratings are 1200 minutes, 720 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

iPhone Xs Specs

Release Date September 21, 2018
Regions Available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Operating System iOS 12 (Update Available: 14)

Compare iOS Smartphones

Processor Apple A12 Bionic Hexa core 2.49 GHz
Internal Storage 64/256/512 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.19 W/kg
Body: 1.18 W/kg
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headphones, Data Cable
Mobile / Cellular Data
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
SIM card size
Dual SIM Yes
USB Lightning
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
12+ Megapixels, f/1.8
2x optical, 10x digital
Yes (Quad LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, Red-eye reduction, Self-timer, Dual camera feature (12 MP 2nd camera, f/2.4), HDR, Slow motion recording
Video Recording Formats
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 60 fps
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
7+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Aperture f/2.2
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 60 fps
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology OLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1125 x 2436 pixels
Pixel Density 458 pixels
Size 5.8 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touchscreen
Power & Battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2658 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging Yes
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to 840 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to 720 minutes
Internet Use (Cellular) Up to 581 minutes
Talk Time Up to 1200 minutes
Standby Time Up to 10 days
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Bar
Material Stainless steel
Colors Gold, Space Gray, Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.3 x 7.1 x 0.8 cm (5.6 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 177 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 68
Headset Jack No
External Speakers Yes
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Input / Keyboard Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Additional Information Other Names (AKA):
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