back to article iPhone XS: Just another £300 for a better cam- Wait, come back!

While the XR may be the best value notched iPhone that Apple is making today, some of its compromises may be too much for the target market of customers hanging on to their dated but perfectly functional hardware. We took a look at the iPhone XR and found much to like. Generous (for Apple) battery life and guts shared with its …

  1. Robert E A Harvey

    SE for me

    I am still using my corporate SE, and have no desire to change it.

    My private phone is a google Nexus, and that's still good enough too.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: SE for me

      I am also still quite happy with my SE. The problem is what I will do maybe three years from now when I finally break it. It will happen at some point, and it's already two years old. If apple aren't making a sanely sized model when this breaks, they've lost a customer.

    2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: SE for me

      I just bought one of the last SEs. I might buy another Apple at some time in the future - if they bring back the 3.5mm headphone socket, that is.

    3. BigSLitleP

      Re: SE for me

      Still using my corporate-gifted SE. If it broke tomorrow, there is no way I would buy any of the current iPhones. Way too expensive for what you get. I'll be switching straight to Android of one flavour or another. It's up to Apple, they can keep losing customers for a long while and still make a profit.

    4. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: SE for me

      <italic>"My private phone is a google Nexus"</italic>

      If it's a Nexus, it's not private. That's (one of) the reasons why Android phones are cheaper; because you're the product.

  2. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Power efficiency difference

    Anandtech reported that the XS's OLED display is less power efficient than Apple's LCDs even when displaying mostly black images (contrary to expectation). They put this down to the 10 bit colour display silicon that Apple use on the XS consuming power. Other phones that use Samsung's OLED panels (ie, Galaxy, Note) use a more frugal display controller than can only output 8bit colour.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Power efficiency difference

      I think OLEDs are inherently more power hungry, presumably due to the discrete lighting. But, 10-bit colour in a consumer device? Who needs it? It's like some of the hifi stuff out there: technically superb but practically unnoticeable.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Power efficiency difference

        One would expect an OLED panel to more efficient than LED if it was displaying a mostly black image - indeed, this is one of the reasons Samsung is pushing a dark themed UI. LCD screens are backlit as a whole and dark pixels are blocked, whereas OLED screens only light up pixels when required.

        The surprise here is that Apple's OLED solution uses more power than its LCDs even when displaying dark images. This is apparently due to the controlling circuitry Apple use, not the actual panel.

        As for who needs that level of colour accuracy, there are a few trades and professions that benefit from it. Whilst a screen is no substitute for a colour swatch, it can only aid some workflows if the screen gives a better approximation. Historically, Apple may owe their survival in the 90s to Macs use in the DTP trade - at a time that DOS and Windows PCs couldn't be colour calibrated as reliably. It might also be argued that the original Macintosh didn't *need* a GUI, but since it had the required hardware it was then easier to develop DTP software.

        This said, DisplayMate say the Apple specced (Samsung made) OLED is only a smidge better than the Samsung phones that previously wore the crown.

        1. DaLo

          Re: Power efficiency difference

          "there are a few trades and professions that benefit from it"

          Those trades and professions are not likely to be relying on a smartphone display for business critical colour accuracy. In fact I can't think of any trade or profession who would proof something on a smartphone that would require *that* level of colour accuracy and a decent non-10bit display would work just as well.

          Could you imagine the conversation "The colours are slightly off brand"..."That's impossible, I used my iPhone to visually confirm they were correct"

  3. Andy Mac

    I feel like the Iron Islanders need to change one of their sayings:

    “Did you pay the Iron Price, the Gold Price or the Apple Price?”

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Or the Privacy Price.

  4. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

    90% of the releases have been at 6"+. Ok its a narrow diagonal that 6" was last year but its still stupidly big for anyone has < averagely sized man hands ie most women. Case in point my Moto Z play is a 5.5" diagonal and in retrospect too big for my tiny man hands, so I've been looking for a smaller replacement after multiple droppings.

    Really fancied the Honor 8x but its frikkin huge. Ditto the XR. The X or XS is a much nicer size at 5.8 . (and smaller than my moto) but at the price of 3 or 4 good androids too rich for me. Ditto Sammy S9.

    In the end have settled for an Honor 10 another 5.8"-er, after a tour of all the phone shops comparing widths. Was seriously looking at the P20 Lite just because it was a almost a budget price for a decent 5.8".

    Is anyone actually testing these phone for fit any more? A software shrink mode is no substitute for a handset that fits nicely in your hand.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

      I remember struggling to find a suitable pocket-sized phone a couple of years ago. After a couple of OS updates, the hardware is struggling a bit and performance is suffering. Due to upgrade soon but have a feeling it'll be difficult to find something with performance commensurate with modern mainstream hardware but in a package the size of a phone from 3 or 4 years ago.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

      90% of the releases have been at 6"+.

      Spot on. Thankfully there are enough plonkers/hipsters/fanbois who want mega sized phones and trade in their old ones. That means some of us can get their cast offs at a good price.

      I picked up an iPhone 8/256Gb for a tad over £300 last week. Perfect condition as it seemed to have been in a case all the time.

      I'll try to pick up another one after crimble as this is the last one with touchID. Try using any facial ID system wearing a crash helmet!

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

        Doing anything that would require a crash helmet suggests to me that you really ought not be unlocking your phone, and probably should be wearing gloves as well...

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

          Motorcycle courier perhaps? Drive to your destination, park safely, and tap the relevant button on your phone to let base know you have arrived with the parcel.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

            Motorcycle courier did cross my mind - but I'd expect the phone to be unlocked, and powered from the bike, so that it can deal with things like routing etc...

            At which point you don't need to unlock it at your destination.

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

              'Motorcycle courier did cross my mind'

              Or just a motorcyclist, it's far easier taking a glove off to unlock my phone and answer a message/change playlist/google wtf I am etc. than taking the helmet off and then having to get it back on. In fact with a bluetooth comms set on my helmet I just use the voice guidance for navigation rather than looking at the screen, although Google maps gets very passive aggressive if you miss a turn...

              1. Dave 126 Silver badge

                Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

                Access to Google Navigation doesn't require the phone be unlocked.

          2. Jaffafa

            Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

            Couriers wear most of their phablets around their neck

        2. DaLo

          Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

          Just because you ride a motorbike and wear a crash helmet doesn't mean that you take it off every time you stop. I don't even take it off when filling with fuel and going in to pay as it is a pain and most fuel stations don't mind nowadays (banks are a bit more concerned!) I made sure my latest phone was waterproof just so I can mount it without a full waterproof case to my handlebars. This has the advantage that riding around southern France in the summer is has maximum cooling - in a case it will generally overheat and switch off constantly.

          However I am not riding at speed reading the latest Brexit news and searching for a new saucepan. I do stop, pick up the phone and take a photo or select a different route when stuck in a long traffic jam, or open the translation app when at a roadside to read a sign, or look at reviews of places to eat when pulled up on the outskirts of town.

          However what I actually do about unlocking is use smart unlock to detect the bluetooth on the bike intercom to keep it unlocked (the bluetooth switches off with ignition) and it has a gloves mode so that I can still use the touchscreen with summer riding gloves on (when stopped!)

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

            "However what I actually do about unlocking is use smart unlock to detect the bluetooth on the bike intercom to keep it unlocked (the bluetooth switches off with ignition) and it has a gloves mode so that I can still use the touchscreen with summer riding gloves on (when stopped!)"

            Seems easy enough.

            Anyone remember the good old days when you just typed in a pin to unlock a device?

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

              'Anyone remember the good old days when you just typed in a pin to unlock a device?'

              I mean I think you can still do that with an Android phone, it's just Apple who seem to find that passe.

        3. incorrect

          Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

          Fuelling up? I have to take my glove off to unlock the tank, but then I have to tap in my (longish) passcode to use the pay-for-fuel app. Sadly, my bike loves gas stations.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

            "Fuelling up? I have to take my glove off to unlock the tank, but then I have to tap in my (longish) passcode to use the pay-for-fuel app. Sadly, my bike loves gas stations."

            So they ban mobile phones on forecourts (pointlessly) then expect you to pay with an app on the mobile phone they just banned...

            That's brilliant...

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

        It's weird, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact was not an uncommon phone - in my local pub I had one, and so did a large builder bloke and a petite young woman. However, Sony aren't making an XZ3 Compact, and the XZ2 only had a Snapdragon 650 (though there might be a sound reason for that, such as not needing to push as many pixels, or doubling down on a Compact's already excellent battery life).

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

          "It's weird, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact was not an uncommon phone - in my local pub I had one, and so did a large builder bloke and a petite young woman. However, Sony aren't making an XZ3 Compact, and the XZ2 only had a Snapdragon 650 (though there might be a sound reason for that, such as not needing to push as many pixels, or doubling down on a Compact's already excellent battery life)."

          Ah, no.

          The XZ1c has an 835, the XZ2c has an 845. It was the XZc that was a downgrade, quickly reversed.

          Typically Sony release one new compact a year, I think the XZ1c was an extra because the X was so poor. We wouldn't expect an XZ3c, if there is another it should be 4. And if I'm right the XZ2c will drop to the price at which I'll buy it.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

            @Voyna i Mor

            Thank you for correcting me. Oops, I meant the XZ2 *Compact* only had a Snapdragon 650. Some previous Compact phones had the same SoCs as their bigger brothers, but not the XZ2 Compact.

        2. LochNessMonster

          Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

          "However, Sony aren't making an XZ3 Compact"

          They [i]do[/i] make the 5" 1080p XZ2 Compact, however.

          "XZ2 only had a Snapdragon 650"

          Both the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact use the SD845 SoC.

          While I'm here....

          "The XS will survive a short dip in the deep end of a pool[...]"

          Please stop with this twaddle. Every pool I've visited that has a "deep end" has it because of diving boards, and is therefore at least 3m deep. This greatly exceeds even Apple's generous 2m/30mins IP68 rating. IP68 is proof against sink/toilet drops, pub misadventures and heavy rain, nothing more.

        3. Jaffafa

          Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

          I have a Xperia XA1 plus at 5.5 inches but when I see people have something bigger than me, I get jealous. I want something bigger. There is an XA1 Ultra at 6 inches but I want to get rid of this one first.

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

      When I got my 6+ back when that was the latest model, eveyone at work thought it was a woman's phone, and all the men would get the smaller iPhone 6 or similar. I think it is something to do with the fact that men tend to keep their phones in their trouser pockets, and phablets don't fit there, whereas nothing fits in women's pockets so that's not an issue.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

        > , whereas nothing fits in women's pockets so that's not an issue.

        Female police officers in the USA choose wear the male versions of the uniforms. Why? The female versions of the uniforms have the same small, unfit-for-purpose pockets that is the norm for women's trousers.

        1. holmegm

          Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

          That's because women's trousers are not *intended* to be functional ... at least, not for the function of carrying stuff around.

      2. Craig 2
        Joke

        Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

        "whereas nothing fits in women's pockets so that's not an issue."

        Why would they need to when everything is within easy reach in the cupboards & drawers?

      3. Korev Silver badge

        Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

        >whereas nothing fits in women's pockets so that's not an issue.

        The current fashion for skinny jeans means that you can usually see the large smart phones in her (or his) pockets

    4. TheRealRoland

      Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

      People laughed when I first showed them my samsung note 2. I still use that to control my Canon camera with, via USB :-)

      Come to think of it, perhaps i can do something similar with my Blackberry Playbook...

    5. localgeek

      Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

      I had to take the current A+ test last week. CompTIA is still touting any phone from 5-7" as a "phablet." Given that nearly all smartphones are now larger than 5", I'm thinking it's time to retire the designation.

      My LG V30 is already unreasonably large to squeeze into my pants pocket.

  5. DrBobK

    6 -> XS

    I am just one of those people and, yes, the size of the XR put me off. So far, so good for me with the XS. For my use the battery comfortably lasts a day (and will go a decent way into the following day). It just works.

    1. The Corner of Moron

      Re: 6 -> XS

      Indeed, I'm very happy with my XS after upgrading from a 7.

      My battery life is great, I used to plug in my phone every night but don't bother with the XS, knowing a little Car Play juicing on the commute will keep it chugging along nicely.

      Since the XR came out however (and seems to be so good for £250 less than my XS) I was kicking myself a little bit for splashing out.

      I think that the sheer size of the XR would have been too much for me though, the XS is pretty much as hefty as I want a phone to be.

      So yeah, a XR would have been more than enough phone for my use, but I'm a happy XS customer.

      1. macjules Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: 6 -> XS

        I have an iPhone X, bought in typical fanboi mode "since its a bloody Apple product, init?". Apart from not quite comprehending that glass screens can break and the horrendous cost involved if you do not have AppleCare, I must say that this is the best iPhone I have ever owned by far.

  6. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Confused

    For a long time it seemed obvious which I-Phone was which but the new range has me confused. Not that I'm planning to buy one but I wonder: is it just me?

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Confused

      It's not just you. I may have upgraded this year to the X (which is better in all respects than the XR, bar the chips), had it had dropped in price instead of just being dropped. So I looked a used X prices and they appear to be £790 ish, a gamble I'm not ready to take.

      Richard is spot on when he says the "budget" XR is expensive and the XS is positively eye-watering meaning I have no apple model to upgrade to this year, no cash to Apple from me.

      I was very reluctant to move to the iPhone 6 due to the size, the XS size is as big as I'd ever even consider. I'm told Apples suppliers are reducing the number of conveyor belts coughing out the XR parts, but Apple will rather recycle excess stock than reduce prices.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Confused

        I'm told Apples suppliers are reducing the number of conveyor belts coughing out the XR parts

        Interesting. I guess this could be similar to the S6 / S6 Edge thing where people preferred the more expensive model. Of course, at these prices Apple can't really lose.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Confused

      XS, pronounced Excess whatever Apple might say, is the top of the range one that has an excessive price tag.

      XR - the R indicates that it has a relatively more reasonable price tag.

      8 & 8+ are last year's models at a lower price. I've just bought the 8+

      1. Vector
        Angel

        Re: Confused

        "XS, pronounced Excess whatever Apple might say..."

        Yeah, I'm sticking with the (unintended) double entendre too!

    3. mildy bemused

      Re: Confused

      "is it just me?"

      No, and the problem is that you can't go by price. For some features, the cheaper ones are better than the more expensive ones.

  7. MiguelC Silver badge

    That photo Apple uses to promote the X family

    Always looks to me like the phone is bulging enormously, like if the battery's ready to explode...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not me

    I've had iphones since the first jail-broken versions appeared here. I'm currently on my last .... a 6s+ I just can't justify :

    Annual price gouging

    The fragility of an all glass phone and associated repair bills (with more price gouging)

    don't know what to get though as I don't like android's snooping either ....

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Not me

      Put your phone in a case and apply a toughened glass screen protector. Sure, it'll add some bulk, but physics dictates that protection requires bulk, regards of whether it's built into the phone or added after purchase in the form of a case. It's works on well on my all-glass Samsung.

      Wireless charging (which adds to the potential lifespan of your phone since damage to your sole port no longer renders the phone useless) rules out a metal back. The back must be stiff to protect internal components. Glass back plus case is a reasonable solution.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Not me

        Put your phone in a case and apply a toughened glass screen protector.

        Ie. the device, as sold, is not fit for purpose as the OP says: stupid design choice makes the device inherently susceptible to breakages.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Not me

          > Ie. the device, as sold, is not fit for purpose as the OP says: stupid design choice makes the device inherently susceptible to breakages.

          It's a phone, not a hammer. You're either going to have a screen that can scratched or a screen that can be shattered. That's just the state of the art of material science, not a design choice.

          For the rear you need a stiff material, otherwise it's internal components that get damaged by a dent. You can protect the stiff material from damage with a case.

          What difference does it make if this is built into the phone or added by the user to suit their own individual use-case?

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Not me

            What difference does it make if this is built into the phone or added by the user to suit their own individual use-case?

            Or, as the car salesman said: "Oh you wanted wheels with it, did you? They cost extra…"

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Not me

              It's more akin to the car salesman saying:

              "Sadly materials science is such that we can't fit tyres that are both grippy and last forever. Therefore the tyres are a seperate component to the wheels and will need to be changed when they wear out, and if driving in winter conditions. "

              1. caffeine addict Silver badge

                Re: Not me

                Don't clip a curb or they'll explode...

    2. 0laf Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Not me

      Nope. I wanted to replace my SE with something bigger. Would have stayed with Apple had the prices been reasonable or even plain old expensive. But not these prices.

      I've picked up a flagship form someone else for half the price of an XS. There is a limit when even Google's snooping becomes an acceptable risk.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the improved camera is one of the best in class

    If you ignore everything else out there...

    The XS is WORSE than the 18 month old Pixel2 that can now be picked up for £450... Ouch...

    Even iVerge are forced to admit it.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/19/17878018/iphone-xs-x-pixel-2-galaxy-s9-camera-comparison

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: the improved camera is one of the best in class

      Vlad at the Verge was actually a bit more nuanced in his comparison, but fair play to you for providing a link.

      At the moment Vlad is busy gushing - with some justification - over Google's new 'Night Sight' algorithms for the Pixel 3. Good folks over at XDA Forums are currently porting and testing Night Sight on some non-Pixel phones. It's worth keeping an eye on if you own a recent Android flagship.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the improved camera is one of the best in class

        My Pixel 2 got the camera update last night, and I immediately tried it, it's incredible, Took some pics in a almost dark room, and the shot that came back was staggeringly good.

        It's being pushed out automatically to Pixel, Pixel2 and Pixel3. The best results are of course from the Pixel2 and Pixel3, as they have the dedicated NPU silicon ("Visual Core") to take full advantage of the processing needed for this sort of stuff, so running it on Pixel, or anything else will give lesser results.

        1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

          Re: the improved camera is one of the best in class

          If it's the same algorithm, shouldn't the results be the same, just slower on the lesser hardware?

          1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

            Good Question

            Maybe it's a 'lossy' algorithm.

        2. bengoey49

          Re: the improved camera is one of the best in class

          I tried it on my Original Pixel, it is not good because it took a long time to do and no Optical Image Stabilisation .

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: the improved camera is one of the best in class

      "The XS is WORSE than the 18 month old Pixel2 that can now be picked up for £450... Ouch..."

      Also, although it isn't as fast and has some limitations, the Xiaomi 8 Pro is being sold in this country for under £400 - less than the cost of a replacement back on the XS.

      If it's true that the British economy will take an 8% hit in the event of no-deal Brexit, Xiaomi and Huawei must be praying Rees-Mogg gets his way.

  10. Lee D Silver badge

    £999 is enough to pay for my entire year's broadband (over a 4G wifi box), phone and tv, Netflix, Amazon Prime, a trip to the cinema once a month, and still have enough left over to buy the 4G box, a PC and a TV to do that all on. Not to mention, buy a mobile phone. Hell, if I skimped in the right places, it would also pay most of my household electricity usage too (not just that of the above).

    And that's BEFORE you even connect the damn thing to a cellular provider.

    Honestly, I've paid less than a quarter of that for CARS before now, that worked just fine for years afterwards, and then scrapped them when they needed HALF of that cost in works to pass the MOT for something else.

    How the hell do people justify iPhones to themselves?

    1. GBE

      Is an iPhone really worth 4X?

      £999 is enough to pay for ...

      How the hell do people justify iPhones to themselves?

      That's what I always think when I read these reviews. My current phone (Moto G5+) was $280 brand new and unlocked (and I coughed for the high-end model with extra memory). The Moto G4 I had before than was under $200 brand new, unlocked, retail. For the life of me, I don't see what the extra $800+ is getting people...

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Is an iPhone really worth 4X?

        I don't see what the extra $800+ is getting people...

        Hmmm ...

        Maybe it is the very same thing 2000 quid gets them when they pony up for an iPad Pro.

        See here: https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2018/10/31/new_ipad_pro_for_business/

        Cheers,

        O.

        1. Glen 1 Bronze badge
          Trollface

          Re: Is an iPhone really worth 4X?

          >Maybe its the same thing...

          A smaller penis?

    2. Rainer

      I don't have amazon, netflix (or any TV at all), my employer pays for broadband and the cellular contract.

      Once every couple of years I get myself a new iPhone and use it for a couple of years.

      My car is 17.5 years old at this point.

      Insurance, tax, fuel, maintenance adds up to more than what a new iPhone costs, every year. And I use it maybe twice a week.

  11. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Famously???

    "Famously, the XS and XS Max (be sure to call them "Ten S" or an Apple representative will sidle up and correct you) share the same A12 Bionic chip as the XR."

    What's famous about that? I'm not normally one to pick up on such grammatical superlativisms - but it seems a bit of a stretch to say anything of the sort. Fish and chips are famous. The Saturn V rocket boosters are famous too; as is the Titanic, and Alexander the Great. There is nothing famous about the iPhone whatsoever as far as I can tell.

    That said, if Apple had wanted it to be called a "Ten S" then they should have called it a "Ten S". As is stands, it is an 'X' as in the 24th letter of the alphabet, an 8 point tile in Scrabble, or "10" written as a Roman numeral. And yes, I'll happily correct any Apple representatives that dare challenge me on it lol!!!

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Famously???

      If you don't want people to call it an XS, don't use those symbols. You can't mix and match Roman numerals with ordinary letters if they're touching like that, or even if they are next to other things that are designed to be pronounced as letters.

      And especially never name it such that the Roman numerals and the letters form a word (Excess! Most fitting) when you do pronounce them differently.

      Mac OS X. Show me anyone who calls that "OS ten".

      You'd think a company that's "all about the design" (cough, choke, splutter*) would know that.

      (*Like their famous book on design... which has a white spine... with the name in white... on a white background... with no outline or anything else, just some very subtle "embossed" letters - so in almost all lights, it just looks like an blank white book spine... and is just a photobook that obviously costs something ludicrous like £3 per photo / page inside it).

      1. The Nazz Silver badge

        Re: famous book on design. iWonder ...

        where they got that design inspiration from?

        Sounds very similar to one of my favourite albums from the late 60's.

        Amazing, a book on design where the "design" is nicked from earlier times.

        Happiness is indeed a warm gun.

  12. imanidiot Silver badge

    the XS and XS Max (be sure to call them "Ten S" or an Apple representative will sidle up and correct you)

    Thats the Extra Small and the Extra Small Max. I don't care what apple tries to say.

  13. David Tallboys

    Note 3 size for web/email and iPhone 4s for calls and shirt pocket

    I have my contract sim in the Note 3 but calls are diverted to the iPhone 4s which fits nicely in shirt or trouser pocket and has a PAYG sim.

    Now about that Nokia 6310i I still have - it is so big compared to the iPhone 4s.

  14. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Can we all start referring to "Windows Ten P", just to piss off Apple?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hawww much (sharp intake of breath) ?

    Your havin' a girarf !

  16. IGnatius T Foobar !

    License the OS

    Apple was doing poorly in computers because they refused to license the OS to other manufacturers. This misstep would have been fatal had they not brought out the iPhone. But it's becoming increasingly apparent that it only bought them time. If Apple does not want to be constrained to an ever-decreasing high end niche, they need to begin licensing both iOS and MacOS to third party hardware manufacturers. Sorry Apple, you can't keep the ecosystem closed and expensive forever.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: License the OS

      Says who? Apple _did_ license MacOS and it did them no good. Nowadays they are making most of the profits in the PC market and a _huge_ part of the profits in the phone market. Licensing MacOS and iOS would be about the stupidest thing they could do.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: License the OS

        I see no benefit for apple in licensing their OS. Other things I'd like them to do, such as making a sensibly priced and sized phone (or just not cancelling the one they had), increasing QA work on OS releases before they release them for the annual schedule, and making computers with the normal ports on them? Those seem like they have a business excuse for them, though they won't be accepting it. Licensing their OS to others? I see no good reason. I'd probably take it if offered, but I wouldn't expect anything of the kind to happen because it's insane.

  17. pavel.petrman

    No mention of Idiot Tax?

    Come on, what happened? It used to be a constant, whatever iProduct made its way to the Register's print, there had to the "idiot tax" mentioned somewhere.

    Has someone in the Reg Headquarters finally realized that of the two remaining players in the smartphone game, it's actually the customers users volunteering subjects enslaved drones of Apple who end up paying less for a smart phone than those of Google, who inevitably started leaking both data and their don't be evil agenda to show that money isn't the sole currency to pay with?

    I guess the tax is here to stay in one way or another, and the sooner everyone of us smartphone addicts realize after all those flamewars everyone had waged that the biggest idiot is the one we look at every morning in the mirror, the better.

  18. Gigamac

    Finally a reference to network connectivity

    Thanks for the review- there is only.this one I have found that actually comments on the phones ability to connect to networks.

    This is apparently not a prime function of a phone any more, but it matters to me - journeys are the prime time when I read, catch up on news and even connect up to sneak.in some work to free up time for me.

    Could do with remote on that though- seems like the XS holds a signal better than the XR- didn't expect That.

    Anyone know a good reference for mobiles, networks, frequency bands, and data&call quality?

    1. Man from Mars

      Re: Finally a reference to network connectivity

      The iPhone XS has Gigabit-class LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA, the MIMO Antenna and receiver will help improve the reception on the cell edge, hence it holds on better to the network. That’s one of the reasons I’m considering getting one.

  19. mildy bemused

    And the best mobile phone camera...

    Is still the Nokia 1020.

    It's not just the resolution (41 megapixels), it has tremendous dynamic range, very low noise which also had a nice quality to it and produced RAW files something other phones didn't catch up with until years later.

    (Go ahead, mock Windows Phone as I am sure every iPhone fanboi and Android droid will but it still the best user interface. The only thing wrong with it is that Microsoft is working very hard to degrade the user experience to the point where people just give up in frustration.)

  20. DougS Silver badge

    "Short dip in the deep end of a pool"

    Why is there so much confusion around IP6x ratings? It is pretty simple, IP67 is defined as being able to survive immersion in a half meter of water for up to 30 minutes. IP68 is defined as being able to survive immersion in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. No, I don't know why such a small difference needed a different rating (I guess maybe the difference between a drop in the sink versus a drop in the bathtub?)

    There are no phones rated to survive a drop in the pool - even in the shallow end. Not just because they are over a meter deep, but because the IP ratings are for fresh water only. Now obviously just because the rating doesn't tell us it can survive a drop in a pool doesn't mean it won't - pretty sure all phones rated IP6x would if you fished it out right away. Apple even said they'd tested with chlorinated water, salt water etc. which is isn't part of the IP6x regimen.

    I just find it amusing that people think the difference between IP67 and IP68 matters. It does not.

  21. Bassey

    Naming confusion

    I've read both the reviews and yet, mere seconds later, I couldn't tell you whether the XS or the XR is supposed to be the high end one. Yet I'm one of the very few people on this planet sad enough to actually give a shit. Apple may annoy the living crap out of a lot of people but marketing is something they have always done brilliantly. Their new ads are awful and even somebody with a general enthusiasm for this nonsense can't make head or tail of their naming.

    Something is wrong.

  22. Stuman8484

    Breaking point is coming

    Apple have always been about making quality products at expensive prices but the gap between the quality of the product and the price seems to be getting wider every year. Can't see how this is sustainable as a strategy.

    When will people reach breaking point and jump ship?

    Maybe in two years time when the lowest priced handset will be 1.5K for a phone with 64gb, the next jump being 1TB for 3K.

  23. Sil

    Just curious, how are you filling more that 64 GB of storage in this day and age of streaming and cloud storage? Sure, it's nicer to have a copy of one's music collection locally, but it's not that bad to stream it from cloud storage or from a music service.

    1. Stuman8484

      For me personally, I live in London so I download a lot of content locally. I ride the tube multiple times per day so it's good to have it all available offline.

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Slow Joe Crow

    What is the value proposition of an iPhone these days?

    Back when the iPhone 3 was the new hotness and Android was just finding its feet I could see a value to Apple's capability and app ecosystem but now that Android is a mature product, other than sunk costs and personal inertia, why spend so much money just to play in a walled garden? For that matter why spend so much on a phone at all, other than to signal you have the money?

    For my needs the only justification for an iPhone is to run the Dexcom glucose monitor software, everything else can be handled with a $200 Motorola, especially after Motorola started selling DIY repair parts and kits.

  26. redclinker

    It's the iPhone eXceSs.

  27. simon gardener

    The future of the SE

    I managed to bag an iPhone SE from GiffGaff for only £199 a week before Apple culled them from their line up. Given the large discounts from retailers everywhere, I suspected that was coming.

    As someone with relatively small hands I don't want a bigger phone so I was little disappointed by the fact its gone away but not particularly surprised. And here's my personal theory...

    The iPhone SE was too cheap for Apple to upgrade and still make the margins they like to make, so they've taken it away from the market, leaving the iPhone 7 as the 'budget' phone at £450.

    They leave the small phone off the market for long enough, about a year, that everyone gets used to the fact the £450 is the entry level iPhone price. Then they bring out a new SE , same size but with no home button and a notch with faceID on the top not at the old £350 but at the new 'low' entry price of £450 or maybe 500. Apple keep their margins and we get a small phone again.

    12 months. I'm telling you. I've read the tea leaves.

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