By: Nick Gambino

After months and months of speculation, Apple finally unveiled this year’s line-up of iPhones at a special event on Wednesday. The follow-up phones to the popular (if not controversial) iPhone X are the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone XR.

The introduction of the three new phones, which are similar in design to the X, effectively kills off the Home Button. For those who never moved past the 8 or 8 Plus, they’ll have to get used to the transitional period if they decide to upgrade. Another question put to rest is whether or not we’d see an iPhone 9. It seems as though we’re just skipping right over it. It feels weird, but I guess we never had one called the “iPhone 1” so I’ll get over it.

If you’re looking to upgrade you’ll probably want to know the basic specs on each phone in order to make your decision. Let’s take a look at the new line-up:

iPhone Xs

The Xs (pronounced “tennis” not “excess,” though I’m sure we’ll see a lot of jokes about that) is the direct sequel to the X. In fact, its dimensions and overall look is pretty much exactly the same as its predecessor. It’s got a 5.8-inch OLED display and its body is the exact same size as the X.

The real difference in this phone is its guts. It sports the new A12 Bionic processor that is apparently super-fast and capable of powering through 5 trillion operations per second.

The camera received an upgrade but not a drastic one. Honestly, it didn’t need much as the X had a pretty super camera. It still shoots in 4K and features a dual-lens camera for artsy Profile shots. Apple promises better photos in low-light scenarios and crisper photos all around with credit attributed to a new sensor.

One of the coolest additions to the phone is the ability to add depth of field to your photos when editing. In other words, you can add the Profile effect to your photos even if they weren’t snapped with that feature.

Prices start at $999.

iPhone Xs Max

Now that Apple is sure about moving forward with the X design, they’ve decided to double down and put out a “Plus version” of the Xs. The Xs Max includes all the nifty features I mentioned above in the Xs, just in a bigger phone. I’m not sure I love “Max” over “Plus” but maybe it’ll grow on me.

The Xs Max features Apple’s biggest display yet. In a body roughly the size of the 8 Plus, the edge-to-edge screen fills up 6.5 inches.  That’s a lot of real estate to browse pictures and watch videos on.

Prices start at $1,099.

iPhone XR

The iPhone XR is reminiscent of the 5c model that Apple was selling a few years back. This is a cheaper alternative to the Xs but without being “cheapened.” It’s still a pretty powerful phone that houses the A12 Bionic processor. It includes Face ID and plenty of the bells and whistles you’d expect minus a couple like, strangely, 3D Touch. Though I’m not sure this is a function many use or know exists. It’s being touted as an upgrade over the X so it must perform pretty well.

The display is actually bigger than the Xs at 6.1 inches. It’s an LCD screen instead of OLED which helps bring the price down. It comes in numerous funky colors including yellow, coral, and blue.

Prices start at $749.

You can preorder the Xs and Xs Max now, but you’ll have to wait until next month to preorder the XR.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.