Another Year, Another Set of iPhones

By Chris Acampora

It’s fall—that means the leaves are changing, a new school year has begun, and, of course, new iPhones have been released. Last year, Apple gave us the iPhone X, a new, larger phone with an edge to edge screen that unlocks with facial recognition instead of scanning a fingerprint. It was also $1,000—which was the greatest takeaway for most people in the market for a new phone. Did Apple learn its lesson that people won’t pay $1,000 for a phone? Nope. This year’s iPhone XS still starts at $1,000, and is visually identical to its predecessor; meanwhile, its larger sibling, the iPhone XS Max, starts at a hundred dollars more.

The iPhone XS in gold at Apple’s announcement in September

What changed from the iPhone X to the iPhone XS, you might ask? If you have an iPhone X, there’s not so much different that would make it a worthy upgrade. But if you’re looking to upgrade from an older phone, the XS adds a few key things that might sweeten the deal. If you’re a photographer, you’ll love the new camera with Smart HDR that is able to combine multiple versions of the photo you’re taking so it’s not too bright or dark. If you’re a fan of larger phones, you’ll like that the XS Max  fits an even bigger screen on a phone that’s the same size as previous Plus models. And if you’re clumsy, you’ll like the new glass that is harder and less likely to crack. Of course, there are also the typical yearly upgrades: it’s faster—with faster Face ID, camera and data speeds. It also has a longer-lasting battery. The most noticeable change, however, is the new gold color that sits alongside the typical white and black models.

The new iPhone XR in orange, red, blue, and yellow

Those who want more color, though, will like the iPhone XR, which comes in blue, yellow, orange, and red in addition to white and black—similar to the iPhone 5C back in 2013. This new iPhone, priced below the iPhone XS and XS Max at $750, falls in between the iPhone XS and XS Max size-wise. It still has most of the same features as the iPhone XS, like Face ID, a faster processor, and a better camera. But there are few compromises to reach that lower price tag. The iPhone XR doesn’t get the fancy high accuracy screen like the iPhone XS or a dual camera setup, and the sides of the phone are matte aluminum instead of the polished stainless steel of the iPhone XS. It’s also slightly thicker too, but that is what gives it the longest battery life of any iPhone, ever.

A size comparison of Apple’s new larger phones, the XS Max, XR. and XS

Overall, people in the market for a new iPhone have a lot of options when it comes to which phone to pick. Now there are different screen sizes, different price tiers, and different colors. While there’s the top of the line iPhone XS Max with 512gb of storage at a little under $1,500, there’s also the iPhone 7 still hanging around at $450, proving there’s a different iPhone for everyone.

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