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Recently Apple revealed their new flagship iPhone models, and they are more exciting than ever! The iPhone XS is a straight evolution of the popular iPhone X, offering improvements in every realm. And while the XS Max, feels similar to their previous Plus offerings, there’s a reason for the new distinction. If you are looking for an iPhone upgrade, which should you choose?

‘Max’ is Not ‘Plus’

Apple didn’t call it the iPhone XS Plus for a reason. In previous models, the Plus line always brought more than just a bigger screen – you also got a better rear-facing camera. For the XS line, however, the internals and cameras on the XS and the XS Max are identical, which is great! The only difference is the screen size and the larger battery (Apple claims that the XS Max can operate for an hour and a half longer than the last gen iPhone X).

Both the XS and the XS Max feature OLED displays that look absolutely brilliant with all the blackest blacks and the most vibrant colors you could want from a next generation smartphone. Sharing the same pixel depth means that the XS has slightly less resolution due to its smaller physical size. The smaller size of the XS also means a small sacrifice in battery.

Both the XS and the XS Max feature an amazing steel and glass build and feel great in the hand. Apple has worked on improving durability to prevent cracks and damage from drops and even water damage. Neither is perfect, however, and one slip of the hand could still destroy your expensive new phone, which is why we always suggest getting a sturdy case.

How to Choose?

Apple has made choosing between the XS and XS Max much easier than generations before. They are essentially the same phone, with the same great camera, OLED screen and both have great battery life. Whether that extra $100 is worth it to you depends simply on how large you like your phones. The XS Max feels like an iPhone 8 Plus, so if you loved that model previously, then the choice may already be made. But we suggest trying the XS first – the thinner bezel and the notch helps the smaller sized screen feel larger, even for previous Plus users.

The Good

  • Gorgeous, brilliant OLED displays
  • Great battery life, especially in the XS Max
  • Dual-SIM Support
  • Durability and Water Resistance improvements
  • Beautiful Camera
  • The notch feels less intrusive on a bigger screen

The Bad

  • Expensive! The iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099 for the base model
  • The tricked-out XS Max model is $1,449 – as much as a Macbook Pro
  • The larger screen feels less necessary compared to the iPhone XS
  • Can be awkward to hold for those with smaller hands