iPhone Xs & Xs MAX review – The Best iPhones Ever

Apple brings three types of iPhones in 2018, two of them are iPhone Xs & Xs MAX. With the super powerful A12 Bionic Chip to make it 15% faster and 50% power saving. People tend to think iPhone Xs & Xs MAX are The Best iPhones Ever.


But…Period only since we are having the new iPhones soon in Sep 2019.


Let’s follow Blablaphone for a better dive. 🙂 🙂 🙂


what's inside the iPhone Xs box?

(what’s inside the iPhone Xs box?)


Product: iPhone Xs
Display: 5.8 inches OLED (1125 x 2436 pixels)
Chipset: Apple A12 Bionic
Storage: 64/256/512 GB, not expandable
Camera: 12.0 MP wide-angle +  12.0 MP telephoto camera 
Front Camera: 
7.0 MP TOF 3D camera
Battery: 2,658 mAh and support Qi wireless charging
Other Features:
 IP68 (maximum depth of 2 meters up to 30 minutes), 3D touch


Product: iPhone Xs MAX
Display: 6.5 inches OLED (1242 x 2688 pixels)
Chipset: Apple A12 Bionic
Storage: 64/256/512 GB, not expandable
Camera: 12.0 MP wide-angle +  12.0 MP telephoto camera
Front Camera: 7.0 MP TOF 3D camera
Battery: 3,174 mAh and support Qi wireless charging
Other Features: IP68 (maximum depth of 2 meters up to 30 minutes), 3D touch


Design & Display

The OLED screen on iPhone Xs & Xs MAX is the biggest difference from iPhone XR.


This Super Retina screen is big and beautiful, and the one on iPhone Xs MAX is the most massive display to indulge yourself for watching tons of Youtube videos, play all kinds of games, or any other entertainments.


The color accuracy, contrast, and brightness are so flawless and so sharp. I love it when I watch photos that I just took and every time I am very surprised about the results.


The photos on the display look like PRO but apparently, I am not even close. 🙂 🙂 🙂


OLED screen on iPhone Xs & Xs MAX

(The OLED panel on iPhone Xs & Xs MAX makes everything look so beautiful.)


With this beautiful screen on hands, you must be scared what if it gets wet or dirty?


Don’t worry. Apple mentioned this generation of iPhones has the most durable screen in the smartphone industry. They built and sealed it with a surgical stainless steel band.


You could also take it with you for a scuba diving or snorkeling up to 2 meters for 30 mins.


But, I care much about my phone, and I could not stand any possibility to break my phone. (Sorry… I might just pass this.)


A new level of water resistance on iPhone Xs

(A new level of water resistance on iPhone Xs & Xs MAX.)


Let’s watch an interesting video that famous Youtuber – EverythingApplePro tests iPhone Xs with lots of water:



A12 Bionic Chip

A12 is the most powerful chip in the smartphone industry. Apple works together with the most famous semiconductor in the world – TSMC to make it happened.


Within A12 Bionic Chip, we could find there are Apple-designed CPU, Apple-designed GPU, Apple-designed Neural Engine, and enhanced ISP(image signal processor).


With these four Apple-only elements in A12 Bionic Chip, the performance gets 15% faster and the 50% lower power compared to the previous A11 Bionic.


A12 Bionic Chip makes the experience incredibly fast for all kinds of games and with great battery life.


For Augmented Reality experiences for both rear & front camera, it will also create something interesting just in a second.


iPhone Xs & Xs MAX both equipped with a dual-camera set which makes it get a 105 scoring on Dxomark – the 2nd on the list back in Oct 2018.


With A12 Bionic chip which houses Neural Engine, image signal processor, and advanced algorithms do the right work for every photo you take, and they all look stunning.


Compared to iPhone XR, iPhone Xs & Xs MAX both front and rear camera get 5 types of portrait lighting. It supports you to take many selfies and portrait photos with different lighting effects.


Try to swipe when you take photos, you will find the subtle difference and choose the one suits you the best.


I love the bokeh mode, iPhones in 2018 all allow you to adjust the background blur as much or as little as you want.


3 iPhones in 2018 let you adjust the depth of field to blur the background as much or as little as you want.

(3 iPhones in 2018 let you adjust the background blur as much or as little as you want.)


PS. 5 types of Portrait Lightning includes “Natural”, “Studio Light” to brighten facial features, “Contour Light” for more dramatic directional lighting, “Stage Light” to isolate your subject in the spotlight, and “Stage Mono” for stage light in a classic black and white.


swipe easily to choose the Portrait Lightnings

(When editing portrait photos, simply slide to adjust the depth of field or the lighting.)


The Process by Neural Engine

Neural Engine in A12 helps yo take the best shot every time.


We tend to be amazed by the good-quality photos that Apple takes, but we don’t even notice behind the camera there is Neural Engine in A12 Bionic Chip that works a lot to make this happened.


It first detects you face by machine learning from the camera sensor’s data.


Face detection

(Face detection)


Once a face is detected, facial landmarking allows your iPhones to choose 5 types of Portrait Lightning to make the people in the frame stand out.


Facial landmarking
(Facial landmarking)


And the last, it will do the depth mapping to separate the people from the background which you could also blur out the background easily.


Depth mapping

(Depth mapping)


Neural Engine works like human brains, and it performs 5 trillion operations per second which always help for each best photo from your iPhone Xs & Xs MAX.



iPhone Xs MAX got 105 scorings at Dxomark, and it was only second to Huawei P20 Pro in Oct 2018. Now, it is the top 9 on the mobile list, and many Chinese brands mainly run for hardware competition with at least 3 cameras.


A great phone for me is not only about the number of cameras, but it should also include many aspects such as software performance, security, and the built quality.


iPhone Xs MAX gets 105 scoring on Dxomark mobile list

(iPhone Xs MAX gets 105 scorings on Dxomark mobile list. Photo: Dxomark)


Let’s make it quick and easy to understand the review from Dxomark:


Photo Pros: Good detail in all conditions

Photo Cons: Noticeable noises in a low-light environment and lack of detail when you take zoom shots

Video Pros: Good image stabilization and fast autofocus

Video Cons:  unstable white balance indoor shooting and noticeable noises in a low-light environment


Face ID

After iPhone X brings this great feature, people accept the idea since 2017 – “Your Face is your password!”


FACE ID made the unlock process so easy that you barely fail. It gets advanced machine learning to recognize your face.


Like I mentioned in the previous iPhone X & iPhone XR, Face ID unlocks your iPhones no matter you wear a hat, sunglasses, or maybe a mask that covers a part of your face.


What I love the most about FACE ID is it also works quite well with your banking and health apps for your top-secret data.


We come to an era that personal privacy is getting more and more important, and any apps on our phone might be a threat that they will become an exposure to the wrong hands.


So, it’s nice and great that Apple tries to provide us a new way than other competitors with a better solution and I feel more secure.


All our personal data will only be kept in our devices, and Apple mentions that they won’t upload those top secrets into their servers and iCloud. Not so many competitors do so much to protect our privacy, right?


If you don’t like it, you are still able to use the traditional passwords or pins to log in. No worries!




Other downsides

Top#01 PWM issue

I know the OLED screen is beautiful on iPhone Xs & Xs MAX, but it makes you feel eyestrain when you use the phone after a while.


It’s due to the way OLED panel adjusts the brightness on the screen, and it flickers the background illumination to reduce the luminance.


You might check this link to know whether your precious phones get the same problem. If the flickering frequency is higher than 1000Hz per sec, it would be not easy to tell from human eyes.


If it gets lower, human eyes could tell more. Based on the test, iPhone Xs gets 240.4 while iPhone Xs MAX gets 240.


Top#02 The Price

I know I mentioned that with $250 more, you could get an iPhone Xs instead of an iPhone XR.


But the 2nd thought came to me that isn’t that price getting too high without any huge updates from iPhone X?


iPhone Xs MAX even starts from USD$1,099 which make no sense to many users across the world.


Although Apple did some promotions to boost the sales, you could trade your old iPhones with the latest models, the sales didn’t go well.


For example,  an iPhone X in good condition could be traded to deduct USD$450 for your purchase. iPhone Xs will become USD$549, and iPhone Xs MAX will become USD$649.


An iPhone 8 PLUS in good condition could be traded to deduct USD$350 for your purchase. iPhone Xs will become USD$649, and iPhone Xs MAX will become USD$749.(Still expensive…)


So, people tend to buy the iPhones launched in the previous year as an alternative way to experience flagships. Or, iPhone XR!


Top#03 What comes with the box looks so SAD

Can you imagine Apple still use 5W USB Power Adapter in 2019? There are many competitors provide a better and larger adapter that comes with the box!


3 iPhones in 2018 all support fast charging(18W or higher), so if you would like to try it, I have to say “Sorry! You must buy another adapter for this fast charging!”


And another downside is Apple doesn’t provide lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter in the box this year. WHAT???


Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter


I think a giant company like Apple should be more customer-friendly and provide both of them in the box?


It makes me feel that Apple is becoming greedy for everything they could make profits from…


Top#04 Battery

It’s easy to find the battery issue on iPhones this year. The price goes up surprisingly, but the battery life does get much improved in 2018.


Compared to ASUS Zenfone 6 5,000 mAH battery, it also looks sad to me. I know I shouldn’t put these two models together to tell the difference.


I simply hope that Apple could work harder on the battery with a noticeable upgrade, then I would probably become so quiet on this.


Top#05 The Weight

iPhone Xs MAX is just too heavy. I don’t hold my phone very still when I take it out for photos.


Although I know the dual camera set gets OIS(Optical Image Stabilization), the chance I got a blurred photo is low.


The heavyweight is something is not just for taking photos, it’s something that I feel all the time when I use it as my daily driver. Also with my iPhone Xs MAX cover, the weight must turn heavier!


Weights of iPhones:

iPhone Xs MAX: 208 grams

iPhone 8 plus: 202 grams

iPhone XR: 194 grams

iPhone Xs: 177 grams


>>>Check the Real Value with The Lowest Price Here<<<



I do love the 3 iPhones in 2018, but I don’t feel they come with a huge upgrade. But, iPhone Xs & Xs MAX are The Best iPhones Ever!


It feels like the big changes will come next year in 2020. Like the true full-screen experience without the notch design and the very first 5G iPhone.


In 2019, the biggest upgrade is the first three-camera set which is similar to Huawei Mate 20 Pro. So, I assume people might go for the iPhones 2018 directly after the 2019 iPhone launch event since the prices will go down again.


(All photo: Apple)


You may also like:

01.iPhone XR review – The Best Value iPhone

02.iPhone X review – The First Proper Notch Phone

03.iPhone 8 & 8 plus review – The Best Phones in 2017

04.Apple Watch Series 4 Review – The Best Health Monitor

05.iPhone 11 2019 LEAKS – 5 Rumors You Should Know!

iPhone Xs MAX








Build Quality




Matt Lin


  1. Hi Matt,your review on iPhone XS and Xs Max is very informative as it helps enlightened me on what to consider before buying a phone.

    My iPhone has a lot of jobs that it does for me as a blogger because I make use of the camera so much as many pictures are for sale and some are copyrighted.

    I will upgrade my iPhone based on the information I got from your website which made me fall in love with the iPhone XS max so that with it my business will upgrade too.

    Your website is very helpful because it is well-detailed and I will love my friends to benefit from your post too. I will be sharing your post on my social media for them to benefit from you.

    • Hi AmDetermined,

      Love to see you like my review and glad you would make the right choice! If the price is a concern for you, I suggest you read my review on iPhone XR too!

      It’s cheaper and almost with the same features as iPhone Xs & Xs MAX.

  2. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are among the best phones you can buy and I was confused on which to get when I came across this article.

    It helped me come to a conclusion between the two, I’d opt for the iPhone XS Max because of its bigger and more immersive 6.5-inch display and longer battery life.

    But, the iPhone XS is the new iPhone to get if you want something more one-hand friendly. Thanks for sharing anyway!

    • Hi, Seun Jeremiah,

      Yeah, I agree with you for the size of iPhone Xs while iPhone Xs MAX got a bigger screen and battery life. Both are pretty good among all the flagship phones.

      I also reviewed iPhone XR and iPhone X, you may check them out to make a better decision.   

  3. I had finally decided to upgrade to my iPhone 6s but I didn’t know what to point to.

    Luckily I came across this post from Matt. The review is fantastic, well made and user-friendly even for those like me who do not know the subject.

    I enjoyed the videos. From today this site has become my point of reference.

  4. Hi,

    Thanks a lot for this great review of the iPhone Xs & Xs Max. You explain very well in this review not only the features but you put video and images which will be helpful for the reader to choose their favorite phone.

    I personally love the iPhone because of its long-life battery. My recent phone contract going to be finished this month and I am looking to buy another new one, although my last phone was from Samsung this time I was thinking to come back to the iPhone again.

    Just one thing needs to know is iPhone Xs or Xs Max come up with any wireless charger?

    • Hi Nazmun,

      Thanks for stopping by and left a comment. The ugly truth is Apple doesn’t provide any wireless charger for iPhone Xs & Xs MAX. Yeah, I feel sad too.

      But, there is a lot you could choose from Amazon, such as this pad from Moshi, I love it! Hope you find it useful too 🙂

  5. Reading this makes me feel like I should drop my iPhone 6 right away…I definitely have to because the Xs Max features are really mind-blowing.

    The feature I’m impressed about is the Neural engine…..I’m so much interested in machine learning so having a phone with that function is something I will be glad to use.

    The sad thing is my budget doesn’t much up with the price so would have to do some adjustment here and there to get closer. Thanks for the great information…hope to read more from your site.

  6. These phones are really beautiful and now I see why my son is so eager to get these latest iPhone.

    We have had issues deciding on which iPhone to get because he has been complaining that the battery of his current iPhone isn’t as good as he wants. I’ve decided to get him the iPhone Xs Max.

    Thanks for the video and the review on these phones.

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