iPhone XS Vs iPhone X: Why I’m Not Upgrading [Opinion]

Apple unveiled the iPhone X successor this week — the iPhone XS. As an iPhone X owner, I was a bit underwhelmed by the iPhone XS. While Apple’s latest smartphone sports hardware upgrades are quite impressive, I couldn’t see any reason for me to shell out money for the “S” model.

According to Forbes, Apple made minor tweaks to the iPhone X that resulted in the XS model. For instance, the iPhone XS still has the same 5.8-inch 19:5:9 True Tone OLED screen featuring 2436 x1125 pixels. There were other small changes to deliver better or faster performance, too, like a wider stereo sound and a more rapid touch response. These performance tweaks, however, weren’t as impressive as the new hardware Apple fitted to the iPhone XS.

The iPhone X’s A11 Bionic with Neural Engine are revolutionary and made big waves in the smartphone industry. The Cupertino-based company pushed further this year with the A12 Bionic, a 7-nanometer chip.

The A12 Bionic may have placed Apple leagues ahead of other smartphone titans, like Samsung. The 6-Core CPU in the XS is a fusion system with two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores which are both more energy efficient. The XS also has a 4-Core GPU that is 50 percent faster than the one in the iPhone X.

The most significant leap in the iPhone XS is the Neural Engine, which went from a 2-core design to an 8-core design. It has a smart computer system, which enables it to decide whether to run neural network data on the CPU, GPU, or the Neural Engine. With the A12 Neural Engine upgrades, the iPhone XS can process 5 trillion operations per second compared to the A11 Neural Engine in the iPhone X, which could process 600 billion.

Even if you don’t understand all the jargon, you can sort of tell that the most significant changes between the iPhone X and the iPhone XS happened under the hood. For people who understand the leaps the A12 Bionic has made, like app developers, these upgrades mean a lot because they now have the power to do more with their software or app.

However, for an average iPhone user, like myself, these upgrades are useless albeit being impressive. The iPhone X was a smartphone I wanted as a consumer because of the new never-before-seen features and hardware it introduced, like Face ID, the dual camera system, and even the silly Animoji feature. Built with the newly minted A11 Bionic, app developers were able to reach new heights with the iPhone X.

The iPhone XS just extends the innovation the iPhone X introduced to smartphones in the industry. I didn’t see anything in the iPhone portion of the Apple event that I didn’t see in the event that launched the iPhone X.

Frankly, I would imagine that the developers were blown away by the power of the A12 chip, but have not fully conceptualized what they could do with the iPhone XS’s monumental power, yet. So until developers and Apple figure out what to do with the A12 chip, it’s improvements are almost moot.

The iPhone XS is a smartphone that is slightly faster and has slightly better features than the iPhone X, but it is used for the same purpose. For the iPhone XS to be worth shelling out money for, Apple and developers need to show consumers how the A12 Bionic can help improve or completely change the way they interact with their smartphone as well.