iPhone XS mid term review

I tend to write about my hardware when I get it and at the half way point in the year. I like to do this to see how my feelings have changed over time and see how it’s holding up to the daily wear and tear. For this post I’ll be looking at my silver 256GB iPhone XS.


I’m on my second XS (read about that in a later section) so the wear and tear will be less than if I’d used it since the launch version I had.

I don’t use a case day to day so as expected my stainless steel band shows scratches. I don’t mind this, in fact I like the worn in look. They’re only really there if you look closely but overall the construction that Apple went with for with the X models seems to hold up.

The screen shows some light scratches but nothing that bothers me. The back glass has a few deeper scratches but on the silver model you can’t see them easily and again they don’t bother me.

I did drop my last one onto concrete and although the corner had a scratch the glass held up fine.


The camera has been good this year a definite step up from the X, especially in low light.

I can’t make my mind up on smart HDR but tend to leave it on. I found especially when comparing to the Pixel 3a they were over brightened to my eyes but with some editing you can get really great shots. The camera is the only reason I upgraded last year and I’m pleased that I did it for the outlay. Remember I sold my X for a good amount so moving to the XS cost me a couple of hundred pounds. This was worth it for me to get the improved camera.

Any replacements?

I tend to get the Apple curse and need replacements, I always get Apple Care+. I’m on my second XS currently, the first being replaced due to the SIM tray keeping working it’s way out all by itself. This was sorted easily over the phone with Apple shipping a replacement.

Performance over time

The only lag I’ve found is when I take a picture then go to look at it. I see a slight delay in rendering the image. I’m not sure if this is iOS or my processor but it’s something I’ve noticed on and off over the last year.

Battery life

Battery life has been fine, I wouldn’t say any better or worse than my X or 7 before that. I get through a day fine but as I’m home based I don’t tend to need to worry about it. I do make sure though that background app refresh is turned off for almost everything.


I’ve come to accept that we aren’t getting TouchId back so embraced FaceId this year and on the whole it’s fine. I do get frustrated when I’m in sunlight outside with a hat and sunglasses on and it works maybe half the time.

My major niggle

Is a software one. I’ve written about this before but I’ve been calling my emergency contact a lot from my pocket with the XS. I’ve got an open radar with Apple on this one and need to give them some system info to look into it. I’m hoping working with Apple I can help influence getting it fixed.

Overall thoughts

I’m glad I upgraded to the silver XS, I like the colour and the camera. It’s holding up fine and I’m not feeling the need to change it.