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Apple iPhone Xs Review – Is It Truly Worth 70k?

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No doubt that the Apple iPhone Xs is the best smartphone Apple has made. Actually, every year, they always say that on their keynote speeches. The new phone has a great and intelligent chipset, stainless steel material and improved cameras. But it is darn expensive in the Philippines – Php 69,990 for the base 64GB iPhone Xs.

We will do a different kind of review in which we will list our likes and dislikes to help you decide whether to get it or not. We have been using the new phone for two weeks now including a quick vacation to Hong Kong. So here’s our review.

Apple iPhone XS Specs:

  • 5.8-inch IPS LCD display, 1125 x 2436 pixels, 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Apple A12 Bionic, Hexa-core processor
  • Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
  • iOS 12.1
  • 64/128/256GB internal storage
  • 4GB RAM
  • 12MP f/1.8 + 12MP f/2.4 2x optical zoom rear cameras with OIS, PDAF, and Quad-LED dual-tone flash
  • 7MP f/2.2 front camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS
  • NFC
  • Face ID unlock
  • accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  • IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 2m for 30 mins)
  • 2,658 mAh battery with Fast battery charging: 50% in 30 min, Qi wireless charging
  • Colors: Space Gray, Silver, Gold
  • Price 64GB – Php 69,990 / 256GB – Php – 79,990 / 512GB – Php 93,490

LIKES

Premium Build Quality

Apple has outdone itself when choosing materials for the iPhone Xs. It is made of stainless steel and glass. That stainless steel is stronger than aluminum we see on other phones making it very premium to hold. It does really look very expensive.

Great AMOLED Display

Though Apple does not admit, that gorgeous AMOLED display was made by Samsung. The company calls it Super Retina display. It is gorgeous to look at and gets very bright even under direct sunlight. Though we think the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s display is brighter, you won’t have any problems using the iPhone Xs outdoors.

Powerful Chipset

According to benchmarks, the Apple iPhone Xs triumphs all flagship phones made by Qualcomm. On everyday use, Apple’s A12 Bionic chipset handles all tasks effortlessly. We’ve also tried games such as PUBG and Dead Trigger 2 and worked fine too.

One of the Best Cameras Around

The dual rear cameras and the selfie camera are one of the best cameras we’ve seen on a smartphone. If you have a very sharp eye, it really goes neck to neck with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Colors are detailed well and exposure is on point. Low light performance is also one of the best as well. Video is also great with suprisingly good audio. The phone is perfect for Vloggers and travel bloggers alike.

Here are some of the sample shots we took in Hong Kong

Selfies

 

Portrait Mode

Rear Camera Shots

Apple Software Support

One of the main reasons why people are buying so much for an Apple product is the company’s excellent software support for their products. You buy an iPhone, iPad or a Mac not because you want the latest tech available but the yearly updates and regular security patches it gives for a long period of time. Our old iPhone 6 did get the latest iOS 12 update and it runs like a breeze than ever before. That’s the perk you will never get on an Android device. Most Android devices only get up to two years of Google support including two major software updates unlike to Apple’s 5 years.

Apps Work Better on iOS

Many app developers try to work out their apps on iOS devices more than their Android counterparts. Developers also tends to update their apps more regularly on iOS than on Android too. If you care much on these things, an iPhone will be a e perfect choice.

DISLIKES

No Audio Jack

Apple was the first company to eliminate the 3.5mm audio jack on their phones. The company was widely criticized for that and most people prefer a traditional audio jack over Bluetooth earphones or Apple’s Airpods because wired earphones do sound better. Personally, that’s what we hate most about the iPhone Xs since we love listening to music with our third-party earphones.

Average Battery Life

On paper, the iPhone Xs only has a 2,658 mAh battery. That’s small especially for a phone with a large 5.8-inch display and a powerful A12 Bionic chip. To our surprise, we did get good battery results. But for our standards, this is just average. We want more juice especially we came from phones with nearly double the battery size like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. We suggest you get the pricier iPhone Xs Max for more battery power.

Inconsistent LTE Speeds

Apple is currently in a legal brawl with Qualcomm. The company used to supply radio and chipset parts for the iPhone. This time, Apple tapped Intel for their radios and to be honest, Intel is a little behind Qualcomm in the mobile world. Don’t get us wrong, Intel makes great chipsets for PCs and desktops but Qualcomm remains leader in smartphones. This affects the iPhone’s performance in LTE speeds. Based on our speed tests, we get faster LTE speeds in Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro using the same carrier network Globe Telecom. We did the same test with Smart and got the same results.

Closed Ecosystem

What do we mean closed ecosystem? Apple has its own mobile operating system which is iOS which competes with Android. In the PC world, Apple have MacOS which competes with Windows. If you have a Mac, iPad, or an iPhone, working is such an easy task. You can stop working on a Mac and continue with your iPad by just saving your work in iCloud. Transferring files are easy with AirDrop. With this, you get lured to Apple’s closed ecosystem in which it will be hard for you to switch. We hate this kind of scheme as compared with Google’s Android and Microsoft Windows, both platforms work well together. Working in an Android phone and continue in a Windows PC is easy with Google Drive or Mircosoft’s OneDrive. For us, working in multiple platform is better than just one. Don’t worry, working on a iPhone then continue on a Windows PC is also easy since One Drive and Microsoft One Drive is also available on Apple App Store.

The Price

Paying more than 50k on a smartphone is already a pain. Many budget conscious Pinoys will prefer to buy an Android phone instead or with that price, buy a good Windows laptop. If you are someone looking for the latest tech, this is not the phone for you. You will get more features for less the price on Android phones such as OnePlus 6T, the Pocophone F1 from Xiaomi or if you want a bit more premium, go for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

VERDICT

So, should you get the Apple iPhone Xs? That depends on your needs. If you are so hooked with Apple’s ecosystem especially if you are seeking to upgrade your aging iPhone, than this is the one to get. If it is too pricey for you, maybe you could take a look at the Apple iPhone XR. If you are the type to keeps a phone for 3 or so years, this is the phone to get. Rest assured Apple’s software support will come regularly  and you will be happy using it for a long time.

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