Apple launches three news iPhones in India. Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com takes you through the pros and cons.
The much-awaited iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR are finally here.
Their innards are pumped by Apple's latest A12 Bionic System on Chip (SoC), which is more powerful than its predecessor, the A11 Bionic SoC. It also consumes less power.
The A12 SoC has a six-core CPU, which is 15 per cent faster than the A11 SoC; the four-core Graphic Processing Unit is also expected to be faster than its predecessor.
The SoC's hardware based Neural engine has a eight-core architecture that supports five trillion operations per second. This allows the core machine learning processes to run nine times faster than the A11 SoC.
As a result, it is able to deliver real time machine learning processes like Face ID, Augmented Reality (AR) experiences such as AR games, Animoji and many others.
The SoC includes an enhanced Image Signal Processor that lends depth to images while using the portrait mode and a new feature, the Smart High Dynamic Range, which intelligently optimises the photographs you take.
The iPhone XS and XS Max
With a 5.6" body, the iPhone XS's dimensions are the same as its earlier avatar, the iPhone X.
If you'd like an oversized version, you can look at the iPhone XS Max which has a 6.2" tall body.
Both have Apple's Super Retina HD OLED display.
They also have the popular notch design, which encompasses the sensors for the cameras and face ID recognition.
Colour: Built with stainless steel frames, with protective glass on both sides, these phones will available in a new shade of lustrous gold. You can also opt for the earlier colours, silver and space grey.
Camera: They have a dual 12 MP cameras on the rear; one is a wide angle f/1.8 and the other a telephoto f2.4, thus providing 2x optical zoom.
Both cameras are enhanced with Optical Image Stabilisation.
The front camera has Apple's TrueDepth 7 MP f/2.2, which supports both selfies and face recognition.
Sound: The phones have stereo speakers.
Like their predecessor, however, they don't have a 3.5mm audio jack. Neither does Apple provide a lightning to 3.5 mm adapter in the box.
They do, however, include stereo ear pods with a lightning connector.
SIM: The phones have dual SIM support (finally, Apple!).
Sadly, instead having space for two physical SIM cards, they have one a regular nano SIM slot for the physical SIM; the other one is an inbuilt eSIM embedded directly into the phones's hardware.
The eSIM can be programmed for different carriers. This means, instead of manually inserting a second SIM, you can register with a service provider.
While the eSIM may prove useful for an international business traveller, it is currently supported in India only by Airtel and Reliance JIO.
The Chinese version of the iPhone XS Max, however, supports two physical SIMs.
Battery: The RAM is expected to last 30 minutes longer in the iPhone XS and 1.5 hours longer in the iPhone XS Max.
The iPhone XR
Along with iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max, Apple has also launched the iPhone XR which has similar specs.
In order to make this an affordable model -- at Rs 76,900, the iPhone XR base phone is Rs 23,000 cheaper than the iPhone XS base version -- Apple has made changes in the display and the camera.
Display: The 6.1" display is made of LCD, Apple's Liquid Retina Display, with thick bezels.
The iPhone XR has an aluminium frame with protective glass on both sides.
Colour: It will be available in six vibrant colours -- blue, white, black, yellow, coral and red.
Camera: The iPhone XR is embedded with a single 12 MP f/1.8 camera and a 7 MP TrueDepth sensor camera.
Battery: It will last 1.5 hours longer than iPhone 8 Plus.
Apple drops the fingerprint scanner in favour of Face ID in all three models.
All three are protected from water and dust.
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are certified with IP68; this means it is water resistant up to a maximum depth of two meters for 30 minutes.
The iPhone XR is certified with IP67, which lets it remain water resistant up to a maximum depth of one metre for 30 minutes.
Availability and pricing
If you already own an iPhone X, you could opt for the latter if you require a bigger screen. Unless you are power user, however, you can consider waiting for the iPhone XI, which is expected early next year and will probably have the new 5G tech.
If you are looking to buy a new iPhone but have a tight budget, the iPhone XR has almost same hardware specs and a decent camera that won't disappoint.