Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Thought Leadership, Speed Desk and How-To. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds.
Jessica led CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
ExpertiseContent strategy, team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Samsung, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
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
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
Watch this: iPhone XS vs. iPhone XR vs. iPhone XS Max: How to choose
iPhone XR: Blue, coral, yellow, white, black, Project Red
iPhone XS: Gold, silver, space gray
iPhone XS Max: Gold, silver, space gray
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
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
iPhone XR: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
iPhone XS: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB
iPhone XS Max: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB
Watch this: Apple iPhone XR: Cheapest new iPhone priced at $749
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