Apple iPhone XS and XS Max: Price, Specs, and Release Date 2018

This year's high-end iPhone duo has arrived.

If you’re passionate about getting your hands on the latest in Apple’s smartphone tech, you’ll definitely want to get your pre-orders ready for the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. Building upon last year’s iPhone X release, the pair of 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED smartphones both have notched screens and improved facial recognition capabilities. But the eye-popping duo also set a new standard for Apple handsets to come.

“It is the most beautiful iPhone we have ever made,” said Phil Schiller, SVP of worldwide marketing at Apple. “Watching videos on it is cinematic.”

The biggest selling point is geared to phablet fans: At 6.5 inches, the XS Max is the largest screen Apple has ever unveiled on its signature line of smartphones (cleverly clocking in at precisely 0.1-inch larger than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s 6.4-inch display.) Both variants also set a record for the most storage space ever offered by the company’s phones, supporting 512-gigabytes of space doubling the previous 256GB maximum. The XS and XS Max come packing Apple’s newest A12 processor, the first seven-nanometer chip on the market which should make your iPhone run about 30 percent faster.

This year once again upped the cost for the tech giant’s premium iPhones. A 64GB XS will start at $999 and the 64GB version of the XS Max will be available at $1099.

Both of these devices will hit shelves worldwide on September 21, with pre-order availability beginning on September 14. The models will come in space grey, silver, and gold color options.

All the new upgrades coming to the iPhone XS.

Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: A Closer Look Under the Hood

If you’re thinking about reserving either the XS or XS Max expect a dazzling display and blazing performance at a pretty penny.

“What the team has done is truly breakthrough,” Schiller explained. “The A12 bionic [is] the industry’s first seven-nanometer chip.”

The A12 Bionic has been generating buzz for some time, as the first seven-nanometer chip on the market it should make the iPhone XS an industry leader in terms of processing power, capable of more than 5 trillion operations per second. The company estimates it should make your devices run roughly 30 percent faster.

Breakdown of Apple's A12 Bionic Chip inside the iPhone XS and XS Max

The pair of phones will come retrofitted with Apple’s all-new A12 processor. This chip uses a new 7-nanometer design instead of that A11’s 10-nanometer design, which powers the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. This means the phones will contain a more compact central processing unit (CPU), capable of delivering more computing power at reduced energy demands.

This is will be especially crucial for the XS Max that will have Apple’s largest OLED screen of all time. Compared to the LCD found on the iPhone Xr, OLED can soak up 10 to 25 percent more battery. A more efficient CPU means browsing, texting, and snapping pictures will take up less energy giving the display more time to shine without draining the phone’s battery too quickly.

Both phones will also see sizable battery improvements. Schiller stated that the XS will last users 30-minutes longer than the iPhone X, while the XS Max will extend battery life by an hour and a half. These upgrades will work with the A12 chip to increase the amount of time you can be browsing before you need to plug in.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: Feature and Camera Upgrades

These new releases will also come with dual rear cameras, like the iPhone X. The handsets will come with a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 12-MP telephoto lens with 2 times optical zoom, exactly the same specs found on the Galaxy Note 9.

The front camera will pack a 7-MP RGB camera, an IR camera, and dot projector that enables Face ID and facial recognition features that will let users unlock their phone with a glance. This selfie camera is 1-MP short of the Note 9’s selfie camera.

Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: How to Pre-Order on Your Current iPhone

If you want to be one of the first to get your hands on the XS or XS Max pre-ordering the device on the iOS Apple Store app is your best bet.

The iPhone XS as seen at at the 2018 Apple keynote.

  • Navigate to the App Store and download the Apple Store application if you don’t already have it.
  • Browse through all of this year’s models and select which one you want. Customize it according to sport your favorite color and the amount of storage space you want.
  • Tap the heart button to save your selection for the day of release, so you can order it when upon release.

Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max: How to Pre-Order on Your Computer

You can also use a laptop or desktop to pre-order Apple’s next-generation of smartphones.

  • When it’s almost pre-order time, head over to Apple’s website and keep refreshing until you see the blue “Buy Now” button appear.
  • Click the button and choose what iPhone you want to purchase.
  • Double check that you received an email receipt.

If both of these methods fall through, then taking to the streets to line up at the Apple Store is the third option. But expect winding lines on the day of release.

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