Written by Dewy

Expert review Apple iPhone Xs

The Apple iPhone Xs is one of the 2 models that Apple announced during the Keynote on September 12 2018. The new design is really appealing, but I really have to experience upgrades such as a more powerful processor and an improved camera myself. That's why I'm testing the iPhone Xs for you! The Apple iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max are almost identical except for their screen sizes.

Note: the iPhone Xs is only available refurbished

New Apple iPhone Xs models are no longer being made. Luckily, you can still buy this device refurbished.

Unboxing the iPhone Xs

iPhone Xs lightning connector

That's it! I immediately spot the familiar white box among the other packages. Let's unpack it quickly. My first impression? The iPhone Xs looks a lot like the iPhone X that was released last year. In addition to the phone, I find a charger and Lightning EarPods. What strikes me immediately is that a Lightning to 3.5mm Jack Adapter is missing in the box. Despite the fact the headphone connector on the iPhone Xs is missing, I no longer receive a cable that I can use to connect my old headphones.


Design iPhone Xs

The design hasn't changed drastically this year compared to the iPhone X. With the iPhone Xs, Apple is finally saying goodbye to the home button. I can simulate the home button by sliding up on the screen. The back of the iPhone Xs is made of glass. This way, I can charge the iPhone wirelessly if I want to. The golden color is a new addition. It's a different shade of gold than I am used to from Apple, as it's much warmer. An invisible improvement is the IP68 certification. Thanks to this, I can submerge the iPhone Xs up to 2 meters under water for half an hour.


Screen iPhone Xs

The screen of the iPhone Xs is similar to the screen I am used to from the iPhone X. The cutout in the almost bezel-less screen creates room for the TrueDepth camera that makes Face ID possible. But more about that later. The Super Retina display is super clear and allows me to see natural colors from every angle. Whether I scroll through Instagram or view content on YouTube or Netflix, I can enjoy the best smartphone screen I have seen so far.


iPhone Xs games

Let's talk about the chip. Of course, it's not visible from the outside, but I know that the A12 Bionic Chip is hidden inside. I browse the internet and play a few videos. Everything goes smoothly. Apps load even faster than I was used to. Now, it's time to test the processor more intensively. I play some games. The colors of the game come to life on the clear screen. What strikes me immediately is that the games I play don't glitch at all, which was the case on earlier phones.

Face ID

Face ID on the iPhone Xs

Of course I was already familiar with Face ID from the iPhone X. The iPhone Xs also has the most secure form to unlock the iPhone. I set up Face ID and then I test it. Most people won't notice this, but Face ID works just a little faster on the iPhone Xs than on the iPhone X. Infrared sensors ensure that Face ID also works in the dark. Even when I put on my glasses, Face ID works perfectly. Ideal.


Camera iPhone Xs

At first glance, the dual camera doesn't seem to have changed much. Both 12 megapixel cameras - including 1 wide-angle lens and 1 telephoto lens - have optical image stabilization. This means I can also take sharp photos when I'm a bit unstable. I do notice a lot of improvement when it's getting dark outside. Photos that used to be very grainy when made at dusk look much better: less grainy and better lighting. Autofocus also seems to work faster. Sometimes I don't even have to tap to focus.

Portrait mode

IPhone Xs portrait mode

I was already a big fan of portrait mode. What is new now? With the iPhone Xs, I can adjust the depth of field afterwards. I tap edit in the top right and slide the meter along the bottom to adjust the depth. This works for both photos taken with the rear and front camera. By adjusting the depth of field yourself, photos look more professional. Sometimes, the depth-of-field effect used to look a bit fake. Now, I can make the transition much smoother and more natural.


Although I was already very satisfied with my last iPhone, Apple manages to seduce me again with the iPhone Xs. At first glance, the changes don't seem drastic, but the iPhone Xs is slightly better in all respects than its predecessors. Take, for example, the more powerful processor, which means that I don't have any problems with playing heavy games. In addition, I can take the most beautiful photos with the iPhone Xs, especially when it's getting dark outside and I use portrait mode, I experience great differences. These are more than enough reasons for me to start saving up for this new iPhone.

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