iPhone X vs XS

iPhone X vs XS: Is it worth spending extra $ on the XS?

Updated on June 28, 2023

Similar yet slightly different

iPhone XS vs iPhone X: Slight yet notable differences

Comparing the iPhone X vs XS may feel a little bit like splitting hairs—with the phones’ identical displays and designs, it can be hard to see where the differences lie.

Much like their identical slender profiles, the disparities between the iPhone X and iPhone XS are pretty slim, but they do contain some noteworthy differences you’ll want to consider.

After all, Apple had a thing or two to improve on the iPhone X, which is why they released its S-series successor, the iPhone XS. Whether you’re looking to kick things up a notch with the iPhone XS, or you’re an iPhone X loyalist (we don’t blame you!), you’ll want to make sure you know the differences between the iPhone XS vs iPhone X so you can find the perfect fit.

iPhone XS vs iPhone X: A serious processor glow-up

Along with new iPhone models often come faster, more efficient chips. Apple always seems to find a way to improve their already-speedy chips, and the upgrade from the A11 Bionic chip in the iPhone X to the A12 Bionic in the newer iPhone XS is no exception.

To be honest, it’s a pretty sizable glow-up and arguably the most important difference between the two phones. With the A12 Bionic chip in the iPhone XS, you can expect a speedier, more efficient processor and better graphics performance than with the A11 in the iPhone X.

If you’re looking for a quicker, more energy-efficient phone, the iPhone XS is the clear winner here.

iPhone XS vs X: Camera competition

The iPhone XS wins the iPhone XS vs X camera battle, but just by a nose.

The differences aren’t drastic, but the iPhone XS features upgrades that are hard to argue with, especially if you’re a geek for improved video specs.

Both the iPhone X and the iPhone XS feature dual 12-megapixel wide and telephoto cameras, dual optical image stabilization, and True Tone flash with Slow Sync.

Both cameras also feature Portrait Mode with Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono Portrait Lighting, but that’s where the similarities end—the XS has been upgraded with advanced bokeh and Depth Control, High-Key Portrait Lighting, and Smart HDR (as opposed to the auto HDR in the iPhone X).

Both phones also have 7-megapixel TrueDepth front-facing cameras with Retina Flash and Portrait Mode, but again, the Portrait Mode in the iPhone XS has been upgraded to feature advanced bokeh and Depth Control as well as High-Key Portrait Lighting.

Both phones feature 1080 pixel HD video recording and similar video technology, but the XS has been upgraded with an extended dynamic range for video at 30 fps, cinematic video stabilization (1080 and 720 pixels), and stereo recording.

Both cameras are great without a doubt, but the iPhone XS offers more capturing versatility.

Is camera performance important to you? If so, perhaps you should consider buying the iPhone 11 Pro instead.iPhone XS vs iPhone 11 ProiPhone X vs iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone XS vs X: Stellar (and super similar) screens

When it comes to screens and display, it’s pretty much a toss-up—both screens on the iPhone X vs iPhone XS have the exact same measurements (5.8-inch diagonal) and use the same Super Retina HD OLED display technology.

Apple insists, however, that you get 60 percent more dynamic range on the iPhone XS, which means that the screen should be punchier in terms of color contrast and vibrancy. Can you tell when you hold them side-by-side? Not really. Both screens are sharp, and that’s what really counts.

iPhone XS vs X: Battery battle

When it comes to battery life, there’s not a huge difference between the iPhone XS vs iPhone X, but the iPhone XS is rated to last 30 minutes longer than the X.

If you aren’t a particularly heavy smartphone user, you can expect both phones to last you for a full day without needing to recharge. However, the iPhone XS does give you a slightly bigger battery bang for your buck.

Refurbished devices sold on Back Market always have at least 80% maximum charge capacity. Want 100%?

Want an iPhone that's similarly priced with even more battery life? See how the iPhone X and XS stack up against the iPhone 11:iPhone X vs iPhone 11iPhone XS vs iPhone 11

iPhone XS vs iPhone X: The little things count

There are a few more small differences between the iPhone XS and the iPhone X, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention them. 

You never know—the additional gold color option of the iPhone XS could be a selling point for someone who doesn’t love space grey or silver, or that additional meter depth of water-resistance of the iPhone XS (2 meters, up to 30 minutes) may seal the deal. 

The iPhone XS is also a hair heavier by 3 grams and is available in a 512 GB storage option, in addition to the 64 GB and 256 GB storage options available for both phones. 

Are these tiny differences worth writing home about? Maybe not, but you never know! A lot of the time, it’s the little things that count, especially when you’re looking for the perfect iPhone.

iPhone XS vs X: The final verdict

While the iPhone XS and the iPhone X are virtually identical in appearance, the XS is outfitted with a few more bells and whistles that just may seal the deal.

With an upgraded portrait mode, a reported 25% increase in speaker volume, longer battery life, and a quicker, more efficient processor, the iPhone XS means you’re getting the upgrade you pay for.

On the other hand, if your budget falls more within the iPhone X range, don’t fret—this is still a great phone! With both, you get a stellar OLED display, high-quality cameras, Face ID, and more all in a slim, sleek, stainless-steel package.

When it comes to the iPhone XS vs iPhone X, either one is a pretty great deal, any way you slice it.

Want a more detailed iPhone comparison?

Use our online smartphone comparison tool to get a more detailed breakdown of the iPhone XS vs X specs or to see how other iPhones stack up against each other!

Back Market

Written by Blanca Marín

Did you find this article useful ?

Related articles