Should you upgrade from an iPhone X to an XS?

I wasn’t expecting to pick up a new iPhone this year but when I saw the camera improvements in pretty much all the reviews I changed my mind (like I’m known to do!). I’ve been using an X for the last year and really enjoyed the screen to phone size. Having had issues with the size of the plus in the past, it’s been great having the best screen and camera in a smaller body.

Not a Max?

When I went into the store about a week after launch I actually picked up the XS Max initially. I kept it for a week but found the weight was too much, I like to use my phone one handed, you just can’t with a Max. I also found it to be top heavy. So after the week I returned it for the XS and instantly felt back at home.


At this point I don’t think we need to talk about performance. Most modern iOS devices perform just fine. I’m not seeing a difference in day to day usage between the X and XS. I wouldn’t update to get a “faster” iPhone.


It’s the same as the X, although a little heavier and the asymmetrical speaker grilles at the bottom. Personally I liked the design and size of the X so happy with this revision. I went for silver this time around and liking the contrast of the white back, silver side and black front.


The main reason for my update. What I’m finding is that if you’re out and about in good light then there’s little difference between the X and XS unless you’re shooting with the sun in front. You’ll find that shadow detail with be better, it’ll be lighter in the shadows compared to an X. It’s day to day indoors where I’m finding the biggest difference.

Even with small lighting indoors I’m seeing a brighter shot with more detail.

I’m not a huge fan of portrait and am seeing little difference. You can adjust the depth of field after the shot but in day to day use I’m hardly using it.

I’m not a fan of the smoothing it’s doing on selfies, but I don’t take many so not a deal breaker.

So if the camera is your number 1 use and you want the best available seriously consider an upgrade to the XS.


Until I turned off screen time I was cursing the XS battery. It wasn’t lasting as long as my X in day to day use. I did a bit of searching and found others having similar issues. Switching off screen time sorted this for me. Battery is back to where I’d expect. Down to about 40% at the end of a day of work. When I had screen time on I’d be at 40% at around 1pm! So, don’t upgrade if you’re all about improving better – unless you are going for a Max.

Should you upgrade?

Only if you are all about having the best camera available. I sold my X and in the end it cost me a few hundred pounds to upgrade. I thought the camera improvements were enough to justify the purchase. As I’ve talked about the Max isn’t for me but if you do want a bigger version of the X then it’ll also be worth an upgrade.

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