The iPhone goes supersize

iPhone XS

The iPhone XS, Apple’s newest smartphone, is heftier than older models, but the benefits make the extra baggage worth it, says Ludo Oliver.

“Last year, Apple did something out of character: it introduced the usual update to the iPhone, the iPhone 8, while simultaneously introducing the iPhone X with a flurry of hype,” says Nilay Patel on tech website The Verge. What made the iPhone X so extraordinary, he says, was that it was a “total rethinking” of Apple’s all-conquering smartphone.

Apple has no intention of letting its lead slip – with the iPhone X, it has ushered in “the future of phones”. You just have to look at its influences, which are already all over the industry.

Last month’s Apple release came in two parts. The first is the iPhone XS (pronounced “ten ess”), which is an update of the internal components of the iPhone X. The second is the iPhone XS Max, which boasts a giant, 6.5-inch screen – the largest ever produced by Apple. It is also the most expensive, priced from £1,099 for 64GB, while the 512GB model costs from £1,449.

Debate has been raging online about the size of the new iPhones, with some Twitter users arguing they are too big for women’s hands. So, is the iPhone XS too big? In short, no, says iNews’ Rhiannon Williams, who has been “a fan of larger phones for years”.

Yes, the iPhone XS Max does demand two hands and how much enjoyment you gain from it hinges on how accustomed you are to larger handsets. But Williams argues not being able to text one-handed is worth the hassle because of the benefits when it comes to watching films and playing games. “While some men may be annoyed at the larger dimensions making it harder to put in a pocket… the answer is simple – no one’s forcing you to buy one.”

It’s more than just the size that makes it awkward, says Gareth Beavis on TechRadar. “The iPhone XS Max’s design is deceptive. Pick it up and the rounded sides of the handset make it feel noticeably thick.” Considering the size and the price, surely you would want to be able to hold it securely. But there’s “no questioning the fact that you’re getting a huge amount of display real estate”.

If price is an issue, wait for the cheaper, “volume driver” iPhone XR, out this month. Apple has shaved off some of the more expensive elements, but the iPhone XR is still an impressive package.

Price: from £999 for the iPhone XS, £1,099 for the iPhone XS Max, £749 for the iPhone XR – see Apple.com/uk for details