Apple Unveils iPhone Xs, Massive iPhone Xs Max and Colorful iPhone XR

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple has unveiled updated versions of the iPhone X — the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max. And it's the Max that steals the show with a massive 6.5-inch OLED screen.

Apple also launched the new 6.1-inch iPhone XR, which uses a Liquid Retina display with LCD technology and comes in six colors. It's designed to deliver iPhone X-like features, like Face ID and a full screen for a more accessible $749 price.

This OLED panel gives you plenty of real estate for movies, playing games and more. The design fits in the same size chassis as the previous iPhone 8 Plus. But if you want something smaller you can get the 5.8-inch iPhone Xs.

The 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max (left) next to the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. (Credit: Tom's Guide)

(Image credit: The 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max (left) next to the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. (Credit: Tom's Guide))

The iPhone Xs starts at $999 and the iPhone Xs Max starts at $1,099. You can take your pick from 64GB, 256GB and 512 GB of storage.

Both new iPhones are available in a new gold color, as well as silver and space gray. Plus, they are IP68 rated, which means it can withstand 2 meters of water for 30 minutes. Yes, Apple even tested the iPhone Xs in beer. Both models offer better sound, too, with a wider soundstage.

Face ID is getting an upgrade, too, as Apple says it will work faster on the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max.

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The 7-nanometer A12 Bionic processor is a powerful upgrade on the iPhone Xs and Xs Max; the two high-performance cores can run up to 15 percent faster while using up to 40 percent less power. There's also a big jump in graphics performance with up to 50 percent faster performance.

Last but not least is an 8-core neural engine on the A12. It can processor 5 trillion operations per second. The neural engine can help with everything from Animoji and better-looking portraits to faster photo search.

Bethesda showed off a very impressive game running on the iPhone XS in The Elder Scrolls: Blades. The level of detail was pretty breathtaking, especially the lighting effects in a cave that reflected off the water and the character's sword.

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Basketball legend Steve Nash demonstrated another app called Home Court that uses augmented reality and the iPhone's camera to analyze your shots and deliver real-time stats.

Fans of old-school video games like Galaga will have a blast playing the new AR version from Directive Games. It allows multiple players to shoot at alien ships in real time at the same time.

On the camera front, the new iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have dual cameras. There's a 12-MP wide and 12-MP telephoto camera along with an improved True Tone flash.

Up front there's a new 7-MP camera sensor. There's a new image signal processor in the camera works with the neural engine to do face detection and body detection. It can also do instant red-eye reduction.

A new smart HDR feature should deliver more life-like images, with more realistic skin tones, hair and more. When you take portraits now you can also adjust the depth of field after the fact. Yup, the bokeh is better.

When it comes to battery life, the iPhone Xs is rated to last 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X. While the bigger battery in the iPhone Xs Max should last 1.5 hours than the iPhone X.

The new iPhones also support Dual SIMs, which is good for those who travel or want to use two numbers. Technologies like DSDS and eSIM make this happen on the phone. That means a physical SIM plus an electronic SIM on iPhones sold in the U.S. (Devices sold in China will use two physical SIM cards.)

iPhone XR

Starting at $749, the iPhone XR has a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display that uses LCD technology. It's made of 7000 series aluminum with glass in the back. You can take your pick of six colors — white, black, blue, coral and yellow, as well as a Product Red version. It's IP67 rated, so it's not as water resistant as the other new iPhones, though it will survive a dip in up to 3 feet of water.

Another big difference is that the iPhone XR uses an LCD display, not OLED. The screen on this phone does extend edge to edge, however.

The new phone ships Oct. 26, with pre-orders starting a week earlier on Oct. 19. You can get the phone in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities.

The iPhone XR offers Face ID and an A12 processor, but you get only a single camera at 12 megapixels. Unfortunately, the iPhone XR doesn't deliver an optical zoom but you do get Portrait mode with bokeh via software. It also offers a True Tone flash and Smart HDR for bringing out highlights.

The front has a TrueDepth camera for Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting.

In terms of battery life, you're looking at about an hour and half more endurance than the iPhone 8 Plus.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.