✅ Very powerful

✅ Fast operation in the hand

✅ Smart HDR helps the camera


? Design not altered in a year

? Battery life not world-beating

? Very expensive

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iPhone XS Full Review

This is the iPhone XS – pronounced ‘10-S’, not ‘excess’ as you might think. It looks identical to 2017’s iPhone X, and you might think that not a lot has changed – but it’s inside where the differences lie. This is a weird situation for a review; usually, when looking at an ‘S’ variant of an iPhone we’re asking the question of whether it’s better than the now-cheaper model from the previous year. In 2019, however, Apple made the choice to discontinue the iPhone XS to make way for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro (which is its direct successor) and iPhone 11 Pro Max. So while we can draw comparisons they won’t help you make an informed choice unless you pick up an iPhone XS from a third party – which will be cheaper than one of the new flagships. The devices change over time, too, thanks to software updates. The iPhone XS package is about to get a lot more tempting now that iOS 13 is landing imminently. Apple’s latest operating system, which will be available to the iPhone XS, brings many new features like Dark Mode and a range of app speed increases, so you can make the most of your iPhone experience. Each three has new and improved specs over the 2018 iPhones, but the latter two are also more expensive. Alongside the iPhone 11 range announcement, Apple confirmed that it would no longer sell the iPhone XS – it’s being dropped from the company’s line, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy it. Retailers and carriers will still stock it for a while to come, so if this review gets you excited to own it, that’s still a possibility. In 2018, the iPhone XS launched alongside the iPhone XR – it’s a more affordable handset than the iPhone XS, but packs in many of the same features, making it in many ways more impressive. Plus, unlike the iPhone XS, it’s still on sale.

Key features

  • New gold color option
  • Same design and similar features as last gen


  • Exactly the same as the iPhone X
  • Improved color selection
  • Stainless steel band scratch terribly


  • Slightly better quality over iPhone X
  • Colors are still more natural over competition
  • Size is good to reach anywhere with one hand… just


  • Loads of power
  • Neural Engine brings enhancements throughout
  • Notably more powerful AR capabilities


  • Similar camera to iPhone X
  • Optical image stabilization improved
  • Greater sensitivity to light for better low-light photography

Battery life

  • Battery life is ok but a long way from the best on the market
  • Pretty good when watching movie
  • Similar to the iPhone X
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