An S year means an iterative iPhone — nothing revolutionary, not a big difference from its predecessor even in terms of design. Just like this year’s Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, which don’t depart that much from the iPhone X. For those whose top priority is mobile photography, the question now is how do the three compare?
On paper, the trio shares the same 12-megapixel dual-camera system. However, the pixel size has gone from last year’s 1.22um to this year’s 1.4um, matching the one on the Google Pixel 2. Understand that the bigger the pixels, the more light one can take, which should translate into improved low-light performance and image fidelity.
Add the Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max’s 7nm A12 Bionic chip — which can handle more advanced image processing — to the equation, and you should now have an even more capable camera setup.
The bokeh quality in photos shot in Portrait mode is said to be more sophisticated, and you can adjust the depth of field or blur in real-time preview and in post-capture right in the Photos app — something like Samsung‘s Live Focus feature. Smart HDR, Apple’s answer to Google‘s HDR+, recognizes highlights and shadow details and combines the best parts of multiple pictures captured at different exposures into one image.
Again, that’s on paper. In practice, are the 2018 iPhones the kind of camera phones they are marketed to be? Take a look at the sample comparison pictures below.
Apple iPhone XS Max vs Apple iPhone X: By Liang Chengyuan
Apple iPhone XS vs Apple iPhone X: By Xiaoguang
One thing is obvious from looking at the photos in both galleries: that the new devices trump the 10th-anniversary iPhone.
No matter what the lighting condition, pictures shot on the Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are more detailed. The dark and light areas are clearly visible, and you can make out the objects in either spot. In the second image, for example, the objects inside the cart are not overwhelmed by light.
The 2018 iPhones also produced richer and more vibrant colors in some of the samples without oversaturating the picture. They appear to be less sensitive to artificial light in the default setting as well, allowing for accurate exposure when dealing with subjects in poor lighting.
Based on the sample images, the Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are indeed better than their predecessor by leaps and bounds. If you have the budget, then maybe you’d want to let go of the already-discontinued iPhone X and get an XS model.
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