Goodbye iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max; the winner is iPhone XS

“I went a full year with the Apple iPhone X and figured that one of the newest 2018 models would be a simple upgrade,” Matthew Miller writes for ZDNet.

“I started off by going with the biggest and baddest iPhone of the year, the iPhone XS Max. With the largest iPhone display ever and all of the other 2018 iPhone technology I figured it would be the perfect device for a power user like me. After two weeks, I returned it to T-Mobile because it was just too large, didn’t offer anything special like we saw with the Plus models, and is extremely expensive,” Miller writes. “The iPhone XR is $250 to $350 less than the iPhone XS and XS Max while offering the same processor, same primary rear camera (no secondary rear camera), and same Face Unlock technology. It has an LCD screen and less RAM, but a longer battery life so I thought it would be the device for me and was mostly happy with it.”

iPhone XR comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.
Apple’s A12 Bionic-powered iPhone XR comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.

“After six weeks, I realized I just could not put up with the less capable wireless technology that daily made my streaming media pause on my commute and had calls drop without warning,” Miller writes. “I also came to the realization that one major factor that kept last year’s iPhone X in my pocket for a year was the perfect size of the device. I could never get over how well the iPhone X fit in my hand and front pocket while providing me with a device that felt like it was all screen in my hand. The size and display-to-body ratio of the iPhone X was made for me and I had to have that again.”

Apple's all-new 5.8-inch iPhone Xs starting at $999 and 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max starting at $1099
Apple’s all-new 5.8-inch iPhone Xs and 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Contrary to Miller, we always found the iPhone X (and now the XS) to be a bit too small (too narrow). For us, Apple’s flagship 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max fits the bill perfectly!


  1. The iPhone SE has been fine for me, as it slips into all my pockets with ease.
    The replacement Xr is just too big and heavy, so I might swap it for a slightly smaller Xs.
    What I would really like of course is an SE2… sigh.

      1. For all its clunky size, the XR seems incapable of showing battery percentage. Unless I’ve missed something, it won’t
        go on the home screen.
        I do feel that Apple ha jumped the shark with these huge phones, just as it has with the mad lack of ports on the MacBook Pro – and they didn’t even include a connector in the box.

        1. I have the XS, and I’m assuming that the XR is the same. Since there’s not enough room to show battery percentage in the top right corner, Apple relegated it to Control Center, so when you pull down from the top right to go to Control Center, you’ll see the battery percentage there. But, yeah, as far as I can tell, you’re not going to get it on the home screen.

      2. You could save $300 and get an easily pocketable iPhone 8 without the ugly notch and FaceGimmick. It’s every bit as fast as the X models at everything. Actually faster at ApplePay

        1. Thanks for justifying exactly what I did 3 weeks ago. I got an iPhone 8 256GB for 0 upfront from my carrier and no change to my plan on cyber Monday. Immediately regretted it thinking I made wrong choice. Tested my wife’s new XR thoroughly but it’s too big. Fantastic phone otherwise. Tired to get a good deal on X but X 256GB would be $400 more $CAD and XS $690 more! In the end I kept the 8 and am very happy with it. Surprisingly it’s a great upgrade from my 6s. Love Touch ID and the newer style home button with 3D Touch & haptic response. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who likes the older style phones.

        2. Something Face id is not is a gimmick.
          Its way superior to touch id both in reliability and transparency of authentications..
          Its as smooth and fluid as can be.
          And for those with slightly moist or greasy skin its a life saver .. were touch id fails most of the time.

          I have been on iPhone x for almost a year and half now..
          Every time i get to use an older ‘home button’ equipped iPhone it just feels so clunky and odd!…The face id and the swipe gesture that replaced most of home buttons’ functions are way more efficient and fluid….. and a pleasure to use.
          And the look of the pointy cornered screen with the giant chin and forehead is just funny and odd after getting used to the edge to edge.

          Its just that most are afraid of change and rather stick to the old and familiar even if its inferior.. familiarity over superiority.

          The new x paradigm is way better.
          If you are going for an older model for the price, i get it .. …….but functionality wise you are short changing yourselves… doubt!

    1. The XR has been a great upgrade from my 6s. It’s a weighty chunk…I think the heaviest iPh I’ve owned.
      Besides this, all current iPhones share the same poorly placed side button for Siri activation, shut off, as well for other operations.
      It often befuddles that this design choice remains. Surely based on economics at the expense of ergonomics and true design excellence.

  2. So the fact that the XS and XS Max both have the same bands and connection technologies he speaks of, this entire article comes down to the fact the XS fits his hand better…

    I’m a bit confused. Unless some massive NBA player, I think it’s safe to say everyone on the planet putting a XS Max in one’s hand/s is going to instantly know it’s pretty big. As big as an iPhone 8 Plus, and that you’ll need two-handed operation almost all the time.

    How did Matthew Miller not know this…

  3. I’m with MDN on this one. I kept my 2016 iPhone 7 Plus for a second year because I too thought the X was too small (narrow). Xs Max was exactly what I imagined it would be in 2017. And the no interest two year loan Comcast Xfinity Mobile gave me along with free unlimited Talk & Text makes the “high” price bearable although I don’t think it’s too high. I got the 512GB GOLD and have already filled up more than half of the storage space so the capacity is not too high either.

  4. Problem with the Max is theyve disabled many of the landscape mode features of the Plus models. Only Messages still has split screen where you have all your threads on the left, and actual messages on the right and can zip around.

    For mail and notes, instead of keeping the split screen, the left part is an overlay that disappears as soon as you hit it. Basically crippling the split screen landscape modes into uselessness.

    Apple should be ADDING more split screen and multitasking abilities to the Max, instead, their deep pipeline delivers on crippling useful features into uselessness.

  5. For me also the Xs is the perfect size. My previous Plus phones always felt to big to hold and carry, but I appreciated the screen size and wanted the duel camera on 7+. But now with the X and now Xs it is the perfect size to hold with decent size screen. You won’t tempt me with MAX unless Apple starts offering multi tasking like an iPad as that would add to its usefulness.

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