As 2019 came to a close, Apple introduced three new handsets to its iPhone lineup: The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. As expected, this trio of premium phones immediately made it to the top of our list of the best smartphones that you can buy. That doesn’t mean the previous models no longer hold up. Far from it, actually. In terms of performance, camera quality, and specs, the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max are still worthy of recommendation. Right now, you can save as much as $728 when you purchase one of these Apple flagship phones on Amazon today. Take a look below and decide which one best suits you and your budget.
We named the iPhone XR the best iPhone of 2018 for a lot of reasons. Although the iPhone XS and XS Max have more gorgeous screens and exceptional cameras (see below), the XR is more affordable and possesses the best features from the flagships. Its 6.1-inch LCD screen is big, bright, and colorful. In comparison, the OLED screen of the iPhone XS and XS Max offer better contrast and deeper blacks, but this is hardly a detriment for the XR. Although the units offered in this deal only come in black, the iPhone XR comes in a variety of brilliant colors, including red, blue, yellow, and coral, aside from the usual black and white. The paint finish also conceals any fingerprints that may gather on the glass back.
This iPhone is powered by the same powerful chip inside its pricier siblings, the A12 Bionic. This chip offers the fluidity, speed, and responsiveness expected of an Apple smartphone. There’s no home button, so you will need to get used to the gesture navigation system, which is among the best available on a smartphone.
The iPhone XR has a single 12-megapixel lens camera on the back. It features f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. It can shoot 4K 60 frame-per-second videos and record stereo sound, it packs Smart HDR, and for the first time, you can use Portrait Mode without the need for the secondary lens.
When it comes to battery life, the iPhone XR can last for a very long time. When fully charged, it can be used for up to 11.5 hours, even when you’re continuously browsing the internet. The phone’s dual speakers deliver excellent audio quality that is crystal clear and loud enough to not need a speaker when getting directions when driving.
Renewed units of the iPhone XR with 64GB of internal memory are currently on sale on Amazon for $489. And if you apply and are approved for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card, you’re entitled to an additional $50 off instantly, cutting the price to an even lower $439.
The XR may have won the title of the best iPhone of 2018, but the XS is our personal favorite. For starters, we think its smaller size is perfect. We appreciate a phone that isn’t unwieldy in the hands. It also looks exquisite, with an elegantly minimalist design and a stunning 5.8-inch OLED screen that’s colorful without looking oversaturated and with blacks that are so deep you’ll barely notice the notch up top if you have a dark wallpaper. The display also supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, making this phone incredible for watching ultra-high-definition Netflix or YouTube content. Nicely rounding it out is the new and improved stereo speaker that easily fills a room with sound.
This phone is powered by Apple’s A12 Bionic processor, an upgrade to the A11 Bionic, which was already blazingly fast. It houses 6.9 billion transistors, has a so-called Neural Engine that intuitively learns tasks, and a total of six cores that can run five trillion operations per second. You may not understand any of these figures, but the bottom line is the iPhone XS is incredibly fast.
On a surface level, there are no apparent improvements in the dual-camera system but take a closer look at the photos and there’s a big difference. The bane of an iPhone has always been low-light photographic conditions, but now, thanks to a new feature called Smart HDR, pictures taken at night are no longer grainy and appear very natural. Those taken in daylight are even more remarkable with accurate colors and a terrific amount of detail. Finally, this phone was able to last 11.5 hours with continuous internet browsing and HD video streaming. With lighter usage, this phone can easily last an entire day.
An iPhone XS with 256GB of internal memory normally costs a hefty $1,300 but you can get a refurbished unit on Amazon for a whopping $728 less. Get one for $572 and what’s more, you can score an additional $50 off instantly upon approval for Amazon Rewards Visa Card, bringing the price further down to $522.
The iPhone XS Max, as the name suggests, is the larger version of the XS. Both carry nearly the same specs and features but differ in screen size and battery. At 6.5 inches, the XS Max offers more screen real estate for watching movies. With a 2,688 x 1,242-pixel resolution, the OLED screen explodes with vibrant colors and rich details. And just like the XS, this iPhone supports Dolby Vision and HDR10. What we didn’t like about the taller screen is it was difficult to reach certain areas such as the Notification Center menus. It’s a good thing Apple added a Reachability feature which allows you to move items from the top of the screen down to the middle.
This phone is powered by the A12 Bionic, the former processor champion of the world. It’s been dethroned by the insanely quick A13, which is found in the heart of the iPhone 11. Not to worry. This chipset is still capable of a buttery-smooth performance, so playing graphically intense games, multitasking, and switching between multiple open applications is no problem. Further, features like Memojis, Siri Suggestions, and a grouped notification system make for a fun and extremely convenient phone experience. Finally, the XS Max is equipped with the biggest battery out of all the 2018 iPhones. With moderate use, including music streaming, some picture taking, and a ton of social media and web browsing, it can easily last you through the day with extra juice to spare.
The iPhone XS Max usually comes with a $999 price tag, but now you can snag a renewed factory-unlocked unit on Amazon for $629. To make the deal even sweeter, you can enjoy an additional $50 off instantly upon approval for the Amazon Rewards Visa card, which brings the price even lower to $579.
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