iPhone XS Issues: The Biggest Complaints So Far


Don't get us wrong -- we like the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. They pack stunning OLED displays, much improved cameras and the fastest processors ever in a phone. But some early problems have cropped up that are annoying some owners.

Early adopters of the iPhone XS and XS Max are reporting a number of issues with the phones, but the good news is that Apple seems to be responding swiftly.

Here are some of the biggest things iPhone XS users have complained about so far.

Chargegate (Status: Fix Coming)

Some users are reporting that their iPhone XS and XS Max aren't charging when their displays are off.

Credit: Tom's GuideCredit: Tom's GuideSome have only needed to wake up the phone for it to begin charging again. Others have said they need to unplug the phone, wake the screen, and plug it back in to resume.

Update: The good news is that a fix should be on the way in iOS 12.1, according to CNET. The software is available in beta and will arrive on iPhones and iPads this fall.

iPhone XS Charging Issues

This is another problem our iPhone XS review unit doesn't have. But customers in at least a dozen different discussion forums have reported the issue according to MacRumors.

On his popular YouTube channel Unbox Therapy, YouTuber Lewis Hilsenteger tested four iPhone XS and four iPhone XS Max units, and found that two of the XS and three of the XS Max units did not begin to charge with their display off.

Antennagate (Status: Apple Investigating)

Users are complaining of bad LTE and Wi-Fi reception compared to that of previous iPhones.

At least one radio expert believes a faulty antenna is to blame. Some users affected by the problem say that Apple has contacted them, so an investigation appears to be underway.

Credit: WiWavelengthCredit: WiWavelength

There's a chance Apple could issue a software fix — but that didn't work super well for the iPhone 4.

Our review units of the iPhone XS and XS Max didn't exhibit this issue, and we're only seeing these complaints from a small (but steadily growing) base of users. But a number of users have actually conducted experiments and found the new iPhones have lower signal strength than competing Android phones, which is worrying.

A just-released report from Cellular Insights and PCMag says that Apple's new flagships are twice as fast as the older iPhone X when it comes to 4G performance, but they trail the Galaxy Note 9.

Beautygate (Status: Unknown)

While the iPhone XS' dual 12-megapixel rear cameras take the best pictures we've ever seen from an Apple phone, its front camera has been off to a rocky start. Specifically, users are reporting that the selfie camera aggressively smooths the skin of its subjects.

While we generally prefer the results from the iPhone XS' camera compared to that of the iPhone X, some believe it comes at the expense of detail and contrast.

In our testing, we found that the XS's camera limits photos' color contrast compared to those of the iPhone X. We also found a slight haze to some of the images, which wasn't present in predecessors' photos.

Generally, however, we thought the iPhone XS's photos looked better. But the photo effect you prefer may just come down to your taste in selfies, and it's a good idea to look at side-by-side comparisons before choosing your phone.