Apple unveiled three new iPhones this year: the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
While the iPhone XR is in a league of its own, if you're looking for the true successor to last year's iPhone X, you'll want to look at the iPhone XS and XS Max.
The iPhone XS and XS Max feature the same redesign as last year's iPhone X, which featured an edge-to-edge OLED display and a premium metal-and-glass design. But if you're considering these two phones specifically, you may want to go with the standard iPhone XS instead of the XS Max.
Here are 9 reasons to buy the iPhone XS instead of the larger iPhone XS Max:
1. The iPhone XS is more affordable than the iPhone XS Max.
Price is probably the biggest consideration for most people, and the iPhone XS has better value compared to the iPhone XS Max.
2. The iPhone XS is a more manageable size compared to the iPhone XS Max, and you're not getting a step-down in display quality by choosing the smaller phone.
The iPhone XS and XS Max both feature the same OLED "Super Retina" display from last year's iPhone X — the same pixel density, same contrast ratio, same everything.
The only difference, screen-wise, between the iPhone XS and the XS Max, is the size. You're not losing out on quality.
For most people, the size of the iPhone XS is going to be way more manageable. The iPhone XS Max is basically the same size as the iPhone 6/7/8 Plus phones, but imagine the entire face of the phone being a display. It's nice to look at, but not easy to use with one hand, as many reviews have noted. The iPhone XS Max might be perfect for people with large hands, though, or people who don't mind using their phone with two hands.
The iPhone XS, meanwhile, is easier to hold, and still has a bigger display than most iPhones that came before it, including last year's iPhone 8 Plus.
3. The iPhone XS is lighter than the iPhone XS Max.
You might not consider weight when purchasing a new phone, but it matters. You'll be carrying this device around all day in your hand, pocket, or bag, and you'll be lifting this thing and holding it to your face several dozen times a day. Weight matters.
The iPhone XS is 6.24 ounces, or 177 grams.
The iPhone XS Max is 7.34 ounces, or 208 grams.
4. The iPhone XS has the same brains as the iPhone XS Max.
This is a big one. Buying the larger phone does not mean you're getting better performance.
The iPhone XS and XS Max are both powered by the same A12 Bionic chip from Apple, which includes
5. The iPhone XS and XS Max have identical rear camera systems.
Check out this specs sheet from Apple. There are literally no differences between the rear camera systems in the iPhone XS and the larger XS Max.
6. The iPhone XS and XS Max have identical front-facing cameras, too.
Again, this specs sheet from Apple says it all. Your selfies should look identical regardless of if you're using the iPhone XS or the larger and more expensive XS Max.
7. The iPhone XS is just as water-resistant as the iPhone XS Max.
Both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are equally rated IP68 by the IEC, which means you can submerge these phones down to two meters of water for up to 30 minutes, and you shouldn't have an issue.
8. The iPhone XS and XS Max both support Apple's new "dual-SIM" feature.
9. The iPhone XS and XS Max both feature the same Apple ecosystem: iOS.
No matter which phone you get, the iPhone XS or XS Max, you're going to be getting the same version of iOS 12, the same App Store, and the same security fixes and future updates straight from the company. You're not getting any special software goodies by choosing the bigger phone.