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iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone Xr: Are they worthy updates?

Apple’s once tight ship sprang some major leaks over the summer, delivering details aplenty about its now official trio of smartphones.

For weeks it was clear that Apple would offer two top–end models with OLED screens and a cheaper LCD edition, now known as the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone Xr respectively.

iPhone XS Max underwater app

On the face of it, these phones look no different to last year’s iPhone X. They feature the same design, the same notch and, while the screens might differ, they’re going to be hard for everyday consumers to tell apart.

That, obviously, belies the fact that the two top–end phones at least come with some major internal changes.

The iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max feature new A12 processors and a whole load more storage (up from 64GB and 128GB in the iPhone X to as much as 256GB this time round).

iPhone XS and XS Max homescreen side by side hero

But can they justify those ultra high price tags? In light of the competition, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 in particular, yes.

But overall, it’s going to be a hard sell for consumers who want a decent smartphone that can do the basics.

Why pay upwards of £1,000 SIM–free or potential £100 a month? Especially when you can score last year’s still excellent iPhone X for a much lower price.

The fact is, this pair were always going to be Apple’s premium models, much like its iPad Pro and MacBook Pro range.

iPhone XS Max size vs iPhone 8 Plus

The real update is the iPhone Xr, which offers Face ID and much of the same smarts as last year’s iPhone X with a cheaper LCD screen.

At £XXX, it’s hardly cheap. But for a device that should easily last four years, possibly longer, before requiring an update, that’s a good price, especially considering its technological prowess.

Only the most diehard of fans will notice a difference between the OLED screens of the more expensive iPhones and the cheaper LCD one here.

iPhone Xr red back

The decision to not include 3D Touch is welcome, as it’s a function that few ever use anyway. If it means getting the latest top–end device from Apple, then it’s a compromise we’re willing to make.

If you held out last year, then snapping up and iPhone Xs or iPhone Xs Max is a good bet if you want to stay future proofed. But if you want to keep costs down slightly and still have the best that Apple can offer, then the iPhone Xr is unquestionably the smarter choice.

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