iPhone Xs Review

iPhone Xs: the best phone (or mobile device) that has ever been made (so far).


Iphone xs

I’ve been testing out the new iPhone Xs for the last few days, and this thing is magic.

Let me outline some ideas:

  1. The screen is phenomenal. Super sharp, great colors, and fantastic contrast even in bright light.
  2. It is an aesthetically beautiful phone: I think the gold is gangsta. Black, gold, and the off-gold on the black looks truly elegant.
  3. New iOS is super buttery smooth, and I find the swiping from the bottom of the phone to work very well (I don’t think there is any more need for a home button— huge applause for the Apple design team for figuring out how to implement this very simple and elegant solution).
  4. Face ID works very well.
  5. The new AirPods are magic. Seriously. You forget you have them in your ears (so light, they fit well), and sound quality is very good. I almost feel that the AirPods are the most revolutionary product since the iPad. The Bluetooth technology always connects seamlessly; it is at least 10x better than any other wireless headphones on the market, because it pairs so well with iOS (in praise of the Apple ecosystem integration).

Iphone xs ear pods

Weight and size

Iphone xs apps

I think the footprint (size) of the iPhone Xs is ideal. Not too big or small.

Back of iPhone xs

However when it comes to weight, I wish the phone could be lighter. I prefer the weight of the Pixel 3 (a reminder that the lighter, always the better).

Also the phone is still a bit thick for me — I look forward to this phone continuing to thin out as time goes on.


Iphone xs camera

This is my only critique of the iPhone Xs: the camera simply isn’t that great. It is very good, but the Google Pixel 3 has probably at least 10x better technology and image quality (to my eyes).

So don’t buy the iPhone Xs for the camera. Buy it because it is the best phone, but it ain’t the best camera on a smartphone (get the Pixel 3 instead).

iPhone Xs or Xr?

If you just need the ultimate phone, get the iPhone Xs.

I am still interested in the iPhone Xr — which is essentially the same phone, with the same camera image quality the Xs. The difference is the screen is less bright and sharp, and the Xr is slightly bigger and heavier than the iPhone Xs. So in theory, the iPhone Xr should also be a great phone — I will test it out to figure out some more thoughts.

Productivity on iPhone Xs

Battery lasts all day, and I’ve been very productive writing on it (I am using IA WRITER to write this review), and the iBooks default app is fantastic for reading ebooks. I also really like the new Procreate Pocket app that was designed for iPhone.

In short, I’ve been able to produce and create a lot of stuff using the iPhone Xs.

Also the Mobile Garage Band app works very well — made a beat with it; super intuitive. Unfortunately the iMovie app sucks.

Anyways, long story short – iPhone Xs is an incredible device.

But should you buy one, or upgrade your phone?

My thoughts:

  • Don’t upgrade if you have an iPhone X already (the S version ain’t innovative enough)
  • If you always have an Android phone, and you want to use a mobile iOS device, buy an iPhone Xr — if you want access to iOS ecosystem.
  • iPhone phones won’t make you happier, smarter, or sexier. It might make you more productive — if producerism is something you’re interested in.
  • If you have an older iPhone, and looking to upgrade your iPhone, I suggest you to keep your old iPhone and buy a Google Pixel 3 instead. The camera is superior on the Pixel 3, and the Pixel is the best android phone/mobile device on the market. I think more people should own two phones — one iPhone and one Pixel or android device.

You don’t need a phone plan

I lived around 2 years without owning a phone, and this is my epiphany:

Mobile devices (smartphones) are good tools, but having constant internet connectivity (phone/data plan) is bad.

This means, you can own an iPhone or Google Pixel WITHOUT having a phone plan! Just buy the device outright (unlocked) — and you can use it as a productivity tool.


I am returning this iPhone Xs and will test out the iPhone Xr.

In the meanwhile, read my Pixel 3 review, camera comparison between Pixel 3 and iPhone Xs, and the iPhone Xs camera review.