The A12 Bionic chip also features a beefed-up neural engine capable of processing five trillion operations a second.
The neural engine powers your phone’s artificial intelligence
(AI) and functions such as Face ID, Siri, and Animoji. Apple
is leveraging the new-and-improved neural engine to help it
process photos, including a feature called Smart HDR. With
Smart HDR, every time you take a photo, Apple is actually
combining four separate images taken at different exposures
and using AI to select the best parts of each photo. Using AI
to improve photos is an emerging field called computational
photography and Google has been leveraging similar techniques in its Pixel phone. The Google Pixel has been widely
considered the best smartphone camera, and Apple is playing
catch-up when it comes to computational photography. Nonetheless, utilizing a neural network for photography will make a
huge difference in photo quality of the new iPhones.
In addition to utilizing computational photography, the new
iPhones also have an improved camera system. While the actual lenses on the iPhone XS remain the same as the iPhone
X, there is a new sensor that will allow for greater light sensitivity. This will be particularly helpful for low-light photography.
The camera also has a next-generation True Tone flash. Both
the new sensor and the new flash are available on all three
iPhone models. The dual camera lens is only available on the
iPhone XS and XS Max (more on that later).
iPhone XR: Standout Features
As mentioned above, the iPhone
XR comes with the A12 Bionic chip. It
sports a 6.1-inch edge-to-edge display,
which is slightly larger than the 5.8-
inch display of the iPhone XS. However, the display is LCD as opposed to
OLED. It is a new high-quality display
that Apple is calling Liquid Retina,
which they claim is the best LCD in
the industry. OLED technology, however, offers several advantages over
LCD. OLED displays use less power
than LCD displays and offer more vivid colors and better contrast. The final
caveat with the iPhone XR screen
is that for some reason Apple is not
including 3D Touch. While 3D Touch is
not a feature I use too often, I think I
would miss not having it.
The iPhone XR comes with only
one rear-facing camera, although
it still offers a version of Portrait Mode thanks to a software
solution (Google has taken a similar approach with the Pixel).
The camera has the same new sensors as the iPhone XS but
does not have the 2X optical zoom. It remains to be seen,
how the software Portrait Mode of the iPhone XR compares
to the two-camera Portrait Mode of the iPhone XS. Personally,
I really like having the iPhone 2X optical zoom on my iPhone
X and would miss not having it. I also use Portrait Mode a lot
and am concerned that it would be inferior on the iPhone XR.
The iPhone XR comes in six color options: Black, White
Red, Yellow, Blue, and Coral. Apple traditionally doesn’t
offer bright colors for its flagship phones, so these are pretty
unique. Because edge-to-edge displays are expensive to fix,
though, I cover my phone in a protective case. Therefore, I’m
not very concerned about colors, since I’ll rarely see them.
A lot of people in our office, however, were excited about
getting the blue version. The iPhone XR is made of aluminum
instead of stainless steel. While stainless steel is a little stronger, I don’t think it’s a very important deciding factor.
iPhone XS: Standout Features
The iPhone XS is an upgraded
iPhone X—it has the same form factor, the same 5.8-inch edge-to-edge
display, and the same price. The major
differences from the iPhone X are the
ones already outlined; it has an upgraded processor and upgraded camera.
The iPhone XS and XS Max also have
a 512 GB storage option (twice the
capacity of the 256 GB option on the
latest Plus phone). Most people will
not need the 512 GB option, but if you
are a content creator who shoots video
in 4K or you take a huge number of
photos, this will be a valuable option
for you. It also means that 256 GB of
storage is cheaper for everyone.
“THE IPHONE XR IS
LIKELY THE BEST
PHONE FOR MOST
“THE IPHONE XS IS
MIDDLE CHILD OF
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