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Feature Articles

Should you upgrade to the Apple iPhone XS or XS Max?

By James Lu - 29 Sep 2018

From iPhone SE to iPhone XS or XS Max

  Apple iPhone SE Apple iPhone XS (256GB) Apple iPhone XS Max (256GB)
  Apple iPhone SE Apple iPhone XS (256GB) Apple iPhone XS Max (256GB)
Launch SRP
  • From S$1889
  • From S$2039
Operating system
  • iOS 9.3
  • iOS 12
  • iOS 12
Processor
  • Apple A9 64-bit dual-core 1.8GHz processor
  • Apple A12 Bionic hexa-core
  • Apple A12 Bionic hexa-core
Built-in Memory
  • 2GB RAM
  • 4GB RAM
  • 4GB RAM
Display
  • 4.0-inch Retina HD / 1,136 x 640 pixels (326ppi) / IPS
  • 5.8-inch Super Retina HD / 2,436 x 1,125 pixels (458ppi) / OLED
  • 6.5-inch Super Retina HD / 2,688 x 1,242 pixels (458ppi) / OLED
Camera
  • Rear: 12-megapixel iSight camera, f/2.2, 29mm, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • Front: 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera, f/2.4, 31mm
  • Rear: Dual 12-megapixel, (f/1.8, 28mm & f/2.4, 56mm) with phase detection autofocus, OIS, and quad LED (dual-tone) flash
  • Front: 7-megapixel, f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera
  • Rear: Dual 12-megapixel, (f/1.8, 28mm & f/2.4, 56mm) with phase detection autofocus, OIS, and quad LED (dual-tone) flash
  • Front: 7-megapixel, f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot, Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G+ LTE Cat 16 (up to 1024Mbps), dual-band, hotspot, Bluetooth v5.0, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, Lightning connector
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G+ LTE Cat 16 (up to 1024Mbps), dual-band, hotspot, Bluetooth v5.0, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, Lightning connector
Storage Type
  • 16 / 64 internal storage
  • 256GB internal storage
  • 256GB internal storage
Battery
  • 1,624mAh
  • 2,658mAh
  • 3,174mAh
Dimensions
  • 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
  • 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm
  • 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm
Weight
  • 113g
  • 177g
  • 208g

The iPhone SE (short for Special Edition) was a unique, one-off iPhone that packed the processor and rear camera of the 6S into the 4-inch body of the older iPhone 5. If you're still using the SE, you probably bought it for its compact size, but now that the phone has been discontinued, and Apple isn't rumored to be releasing any more small iPhones, it's time to leave 2010 behind and join the rest of modern society by embracing a bigger smartphone display. 

You'll probably want to go for the XS, as the XS Max will be too big of a jump from the SE, but don't be intimidated by its 5.8-inch display size. The actual phone is only slightly larger than a 4.7-inch iPhone 8. The XS's OLED display doesn't just give you more screen real estate, it also has a higher resolution, better contrast, and supports true HDR10/Dolby Vision playback. You also get stereo speakers, wireless charging, a dual rear camera setup, more RAM, and a much faster processor for upgrading.

What you get for upgrading

  • Much larger display: 5.8-inches on the iPhone XS or 6.5-inches on the iPhone XS Max.
  • Taller 19.5:9 aspect ratio bezel-less display with notch.
  • Higher resolution OLED display (~458 ppi) with HDR10/Dolby Vision support.
  • IP68 dust and water resistance.
  • Stainless steel and glass design available in Silver, Space Gray, or Gold.
  • FaceID and Animoji.
  • Glass rear with wireless charging.
  • Stereo speakers.
  • More durable front and back glass.
  • More powerful A12 Bionic processor.
  • 4GB RAM.
  • Faster 4G LTE speeds. Both the XS and XS Max now support 4G LTE Cat 16 up to 1024Mbps.
  • Dual Sim functionality.
  • Longer battery life.
  • Dual rear cameras.
  • Portrait Mode with adjustable depth-of-field.
  • 256GB and 512GB storage options.

 

What you lose for upgrading

  • Compact size
  • TouchID
  • Home Button
  • 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • 16GB, 32GB, 128GB storage options.