Apple iPhone XS Unboxing and First Impressions

The Apple iPhone XS arrived in the Philippines and it starts at PHP 67,990 for the 64GB model.
The Apple iPhone Xs
The Apple iPhone Xs

The iPhone Xs has an upgraded A12 bionic. A 7nm process based chip that has shattered Antutu scores past the 370K mark. This results in faster performance with most apps, games and even Face ID. 

Is it worth it though? Let's find out!


Inside the familiar white box
Inside the familiar white box

It comes in the traditional white box from Apple that is clean and simple. It has a picture of the phone in front and the regulatory information at the back. 

Inside the box are the documentation, Apple stickers, sim ejector tool, EarPods, power plug and USB type-A to lighting port cable. 

There is no longer a lighting to 3.5mm headphone jack dongle. 

Build Quality/Design

Solid white and glass back
Solid white and glass back

The new iPhone XS builds upon the design of the original X by using a more scratch resistant version of the glass panels and the metal frame.

Sturdier than ever?

From our experience it is indeed less prone than the original X. The glass and metal frame is beautiful and what makes the iPhone looks so good but they are also fingerprint magnets and the cause for the phones slippery nature. We still recommend using a case and a glass protector though.

The signature home button is now gone and is replaced by touch gestures. The side switch, volume button and power button remain. These buttons are placed familiarly and are easy to reach on the smaller iPhone Xs. Each button gives a satisfying weight-y feel with each press.

The hand gestures take a little of a learning curve but in our experience we got used to it within the day.

The OLED display still has a huge notch on top but it nearly fills up the whole front of the phone. It gets bright enough to be readable under direct sunlight while the colors are vibrant. Lastly, it still comes with Apple's True Tone technology that detects the ambient lighting and adjusts the color temperature of the display. We turned this off as we prefer color accurate reproduction.

The top frame only has an antenna band while the bottom has the antenna band, the speaker grills and the lightning port. 

On the right side is the power button and the sim card tray while the left has the side switch and the volume buttons.

Overall, it is a beautiful phone with the signature Apple specifications with Apple optimized software. Even if the specs isn't on par with Android phones, it is one of the few phones that broke the 370+K Antutu score barrier. 

Lastly, we do wish the 2,659mAh battery was a little bigger.

Initial findings

AnTuTu score of over 370K
AnTuTu score of over 370K

1. The iPhone XS hasn't changed much from the outside from the previous iPhone X but Apple says that they've used better materials that are more durable and less scratch prone than the previous generations. The design remains one of the best looking phones out there with familiar button placements with satisfying button feedback. Though the notch is still large, it is one of the few phones that cover most of the front with the large 5.8-inch OLED display.

2. Inside is the Apple A12 Bionic 7nm processor and the Apple A12 GPU with 4GB of RAM and up to 512GB of Storage. The new processor along with iOS 12's optimizations has allowed the iPhone XS reach 370+K in Antutu  and up to 11+K in Geekbench's multi-core score!
iOS 12
iOS 12

3. Apple's iOS 12 is the latest version with minor changes visually from iOS 11. It feels fast and lightweight. It remains of the more relatively easy learn and relatively easy to use user interface out there.

The major changes are the new Siri Shortcuts, Screen Time, App limits, Do Not Disturb Mode, grouped notifications and third party navigation support for Car Play. 

4. The rear camera is a Dual 12MP camera that is capable of shooting 4K while the front facing camera is a 7MP shooter that powers Face ID. Both promises improved performance from last years iPhone X.

In the Apple's camera app, not much has changed with the same modes of: Photo, Video, Slo-Mo, Portrait, Square and Pano.

The studio light feature still contains the natural light, studio light, contour, stage light and stage light mono.

5. There's no LED notification, but the LED flash at the back and be set to light up when notifications arrive. There is no fingerprint sensor. The Face ID does feel slightly faster and more accurate than last year. We do wish that it worked like the new iPad Pro where it can work in any orientation.

The new speakers are also noticeably better than most of the competition and can compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note9's impressive speakers.

It removes the headphone jack but it is now IP68 rated for water and dust resistance. There is no native OTG support but when plugged with Apple's SD card dongle, it can read files on the SD card.

Apple iPhone XS Specs

Display: 5.8-inch 2.5D curved OLED screen w/ 2436 x 1125 resolution at 463 ppi
CPU: 2.49GHz 64-bit Apple A12 Bionic hexa-core processor
GPU: Quad-core
ROM: 64GB/256GB/512GB
Back Camera: 12MP f/1.8 + 12MP f/2.4 w/ 2x optical zoom, OIS, laser AF, PDAF, and quad LED flash
Selfie Camera: 7MP w/ f/2.2 w/ screen flash
Battery: 2,658mAh
OS: iOS 12
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, A-GPS, GALILEO, QZSS
Sensors: TrueDepth camera for Face ID 3D facial recognition, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Others: IP68 water and dust resistance, stereo speakers
Dimensions: 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 177 g
Price: PHP 67,990 (64GB), PHP 77,490 (256GB), PHP 90,490 (512GB)

As of the moment

The Apple iPhone XS is the best iPhone yet with one of the best looking design because of the premium materials used and with the powerful 7nm Apple A12 Bionic, it bested the competition in RAW performance. 

Even though there are minor outer and internal changes it still manages to produce great out of the box images and video from the cameras and with noticeably better speakers.

What we think holds the iPhone XS back is the price, the battery capacity and the limitations of iOS 12. Yes, iOS 12 does have more apps in the App store but it be even better if iOS 12 had features that can fully utilize the A12 Bionics full potential.

The iPhone XS starts at PHP 67,990 for the 64GB model and is now available at authorized dealers nation wide like Beyond the Box, Power Mac Center, MemoExpress stores, Memoxpress in Shopee, and Argomall.

It is also available for telco subsidy with a contract for up to 30 months with Smart Communications and Globe Telecom.

What do you guys think? Will you be getting one?

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