CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Phones

iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR: What's the difference?

How to tell Apple's new iPhones apart.

apple-event-091218-steve-iphone-0526

Apple's new iPhones aren't one and the same.

James Martin/CNET

The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR are now fully revealed by Apple, and all of those announcements flew by fast. With the iPhone X now out of the Apple Store, your iPhone X choices for the next year boil down to one of these phones (though you could still get the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, or the iPhone 7).

All three new iPhones for 2018 share most of the same core features, but it pays to know how they're different, and not just their price. (See chart below for pricing and specs.)

Screen size and display: 5.8, 6.1, 6.5 inches

The iPhone XS has the smallest physical footprint of the three, while the iPhone XS Max has an absolutely enormous screen, with 6.5-inches of real estate to gaze upon. The iPhone XR uses the LCD screens of Apple's past, and lacks the pressure-sensing 3D Touch feature that debuted on the iPhone 6S. Instead, it uses haptic feedback like a trackpad when you long-press an icon on the display.

  • iPhone XR: 6.1-inch LCD display, Liquid Retina Display pixel density of 326ppi 
  • iPhone XS: 5.8-inch OLED display, Super Retina pixel density of 458ppi
  • iPhone XS Max: 6.5-inch OLED display, Super Retina pixel density of 458ppi

Materials

  • iPhone XR: Aluminum body with glass front and back
  • iPhone XS: Stainless steel body with glass back and front
  • iPhone XS Max: Stainless steel body with glass back and front
Now playing: Watch this: iPhone XS vs. iPhone XR vs. iPhone XS Max: How to choose
3:51

Colors

  • iPhone XR: Blue, coral, yellow, white, black, Project Red
  • iPhone XS: Gold, silver, space gray
  • iPhone XS Max: Gold, silver, space gray

Camera features

All three new iPhones have at least one 12-megapixel rear camera (with OIS) and a 7-megapixel front-facing camera that supports Face ID unlocking and Animojis. While the iPhone XR lacks a second rear camera, it uses software to take artistic portrait-style shots with background blur (called Bokeh). 

Smart HDR is a new feature that applies to the trio, automatically detecting and fixing red-eye, calling out highlights and deepening shadows. Enhanced portrait selfie software also comes to all three new phones.

  • iPhone XR: 12-megapixel camera (f1.8), 5X digital zoom, three portrait lighting effects
  • iPhone XS: Dual 12-megapixel camera (f 1.8 wide-angle and f2.4 telephoto), 10x digital zoom, five portrait lighting effects
  • iPhone XS Max: Dual 12-megapixel camera (f 1.8 wide-angle and f2.4 telephoto), 10x digital zoom, five portrait lighting effects
2018-09-12-12-57-21

The iPhone XR livens up the iPhone family.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Battery life

Apple never shares specific battery capacity (usually measured in milliampere hours, or mAh), but does give guidance on how much longer than other devices it expects these phones to last. The iPhone XR could potentially have the longest battery life of the three, though we won't know for sure until after we test all three phones.

  • iPhone XR: Apple claims it will run 90 minutes longer than the iPhone 8 Plus, the longest-lasting iPhone of 2017
  • iPhone XS: Apple claims it will run 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X
  • iPhone XS Max: Apple claims it will run 90 minutes longer than the iPhone X

Internal storage

  • iPhone XR: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • iPhone XS: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • iPhone XS Max: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB
Now playing: Watch this: Apple iPhone XR: Cheapest new iPhone priced at $749
3:07

Preorder and sale dates

  • iPhone XR: Preorder Oct. 19; sale date Oct. 26
  • iPhone XS: Preorder Sept. 14; sale date Sept. 21
  • iPhone XS Max: Preorder Sept. 14; sale date Sept. 21

Read also: iPhone X users in Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program, prepare to pay early

iPhone XR, XS, XS Max specs and price


iPhone XS iPhone XS Max iPhone XR
Display size, resolution 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED; 2,436x1,125 pixels 6.5-inch Super Retina OLED; 2,688x1,242 pixels 6.1-inch LCD Retina Display; 1,792x828 pixels
Pixel density 458 ppi 458 ppi 326ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.7x2.8x0.3 in 6.2x3.0x.3 in 5.9x3.0x0.33 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 143.6x70.9x7.7mm 157.5x77.4x7.7mm 150.9x75.7x8.3mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.24 oz; 177g 7.3oz; 208g 6.8oz; 194g
Mobile software iOS 12 iOS 12 iOS 12
Camera Dual 12-megapixel Dual 12-megapixel Single 12-megapixel
Front-facing camera 7-megapixel with Face ID 7-megapixel with Face ID 7-megapixel with Face ID
Video capture 4K 4K 4K
Processor Apple A12 Bionic Apple A12 Bionic Apple A12 Bionic
Storage 64GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
RAM N/A N/A N/A
Expandable storage None None None
Battery N/A, but Apple claims it will last 30 min. longer than iPhone X N/A, but Apple claims it will last 90 min. longer than iPhone X N/A, but Apple claims it will last 90 min. longer than iPhone 8 Plus
Fingerprint sensor None (Face ID) None (Face ID) None (Face ID)
Connector Lightning Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No No
Special features Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging; Face ID, Animoji Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging; Face ID, Animoji Water-resistant: IP67, dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging; Face ID, Animoji
Price off-contract (USD) $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB) $1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB) $749 (64GB), $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB)
Price (GBP) £999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB), £1,349 (512GB) $1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB) £749 (64GB), £799 (128GB), £899 (256GB)
Price (AUD) AU$1,629 (64GB), AU$1,879 (256GB), AU$2,199 (512GB) AU$1,799 (64GB), AU$2,049 (256GB), AU$2,369 (512GB) AU$1,229 (64GB), AU$1,299 (128GB), AU$1,479 (256GB)

Everything Apple announced at its Sept. 12 event: Our exhaustive roundup.

iPhone XR, XS, XS Max: Apple's three new iPhones start at $749.