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The iPhone XS was the sequel to Apple’s stellar phone, the iPhone X, and shares similar specs. It also comes in a supersized version known as the iPhone XS Max.
5.8 inch super retina HD display
Glass and stainless steel design
12MP dual rear cameras
7MP front camera
1080p HD recording at 30fps
Water resistant up to two meters for 30 minutes
Ultimately, the differences between these two phones are minimal. The XR may prove easier to get hold of, as the XS has been discontinued. But both phones are still widely available.
Pricing for the two is also pretty similar too, so if you can’t decide, you might as well go with whichever one comes with the best overall deal.
The iPhone XS gives you three storage options: 64GB, 256GB and 512GB. 64GB may not be enough for everyone and 512GB is maybe a little too generous. So we usually recommend the 256GB option, which should be more than enough for most people.
64GB is ideal for light users:
Making use of cloud storage more than local storage
Not running big apps
Not saving files like music and video but streaming
256GB is ideal for most users:
Keeping some music and most photos on your phone
Using cloud as a backup but not primary storage
Playing mobile games
Using some heavy apps
512GB is very generous, perfect for photo fanatics or mobile gamers who never want to worry about space:
Run big/heavy apps
Save photos, music and video on the phone
While being safe in the knowledge that you always have room might seem very convenient, you should remember that Apple’s iCloud makes it very easy to move your files. So if a simple tap every now and again is all it takes to ensure 256GB is as sufficient as 512GB, you can save yourself some money and opt for the 256GB version.
The iPhone XS battery is said to last 30 minutes longer than that of the iPhone X, which isn’t too great an improvement. That said, improving battery life is something Apple aims to do with every release, so you should expect to get through the day comfortably and perhaps beyond with any of Apple’s modern releases.
The iPhone XS isn’t too extensive on the colour front, but what choice you do have is pretty neutral and gives a premium feel:
The iPhone XS has the following cameras:
12MP wide angle
7MP front camera
Plus a few extras to make for perfect photos:
Dual optical image stabilisation
2x optical zoom in
True tone flash
Six portrait lighting effects
Slo mo filming
The iPhone XS uses Face ID to unlock with a glance. You can use a traditional passcode too, but the iPhone XS doesn’t support Touch ID which uses a fingerprint.
Both the XS and the iPhone X have since been discontinued, though the XR is still being made. The iPhone X, being the oldest of the three, is quite tricky to get your hands on, but the iPhone XS is still relatively widely available.
As an older model, the iPhone XS can come with some affordable deals. But of course, you’ll want to think about more than just the price when you’re shopping around, so keep the following in mind:
Contract length (and do prices jump up once a year for inflation?)
How flexible is the contract – can you easily change tariffs?
Can you upgrade before the end of your contract?
Are there any perks like priority booking for events etc.?
Are free trials of video streaming like Disney+ on offer?
Can you bundle in other services like home broadband at the same time?
Are the roaming locations convenient for your travel plans?
The iPhone XS has been out for a couple of years now, so it’s a fairly affordable option so far as iPhones go. Though, as it is still an iPhone, we wouldn’t go so far as to say cheap. If you want to save money alone then the cheapest iPhone is probably the iPhone 6, though obviously it was released several generations ago and you will likely notice a dramatic drop in overall performance compared to modern standards.
Pay monthly plans for the iPhone XS are still widely available even as a discontinued model, all the main network providers still offer the XS:
Providers like Sky Mobile and BT might also be worth turning to as you can get some great TV, Broadband and mobile deals this way.
You can get hold of an iPhone XS on a pay as you go plan if you’d prefer. As with any of the iPhone models, you’ll pay more for the higher storage options. The following providers offer a SIM-free option for the iPhone XS:
Despite being technically discontinued, you’ll still be able to get one from most networks on a variety of plans. You can also find pre-owned versions, which will usually work out cheaper.
You can look to pay between £600 and 700 for the 64GB option, although the 512GB option could add £400 onto that.
The iPhone X and the iPhone XR, as mentioned, are the closest alternatives to the iPhone XS. But given that the iPhone XS has recently been discontinued, now is the time to purchase one before they become harder to source. The iPhone X is very hard to find in new condition now.
Discontinued phones are models Apple is no longer making and shipping. That means that whatever is selling right now are end-of-the-line units, and after that, there will be no more. All phones go through this process, it’s how new models are able to be released, so don’t think it means the model performed poorly and was stopped.
If the XS is a bit out of your budget, the iPhone SE could be a more affordable option. Priced at £419 SIM-free, it’s the closest you’ll get to a budget iPhone.
However, it’s missing a few features found on the XS. So the SE has a smaller screen, a slightly less impressive camera and it doesn’t offer Face ID. However, it’s still a great phone for the price, so it’s definitely worth looking into if you’re on a budget.