Consumer Reports’ iPhone XS, XS Max Review: Improved Battery, Camera Improvements, Quicker OS Navigation

Consumer Reports‘ official review and test results of both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reveal considerably better battery life, slight camera improvements, and snappier OS navigation.

Respected consumer testing publication Consumer Reports has released its full review of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max and concluded that the new duo is better in almost every way compared to last year’s iPhone X in terms of battery life, camera performance, and overall day-to-day performance, however, they still take the backseat to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

Though the earlier test results negated Apple’s battery performance claims, Consumer Reports found that both new iPhones “more than made good” on the company’s claims of improvement. For the tests, Consumer Reports used a robotic finger programmed “to simulate a consumer’s average day.” The robotic finger “browses the internet, takes pictures, uses GPS navigation, and, of course, makes phone calls.”

The new iPhone XS was able to last 24.5 hours, while the XS Max made it to an impressive 26 hours in lab tests. That compares to the iPhone X, which was a half hour behind hitting the 20-hour mark.

Consumer Reports‘ test also highlighted the smartphones’ updated cameras, which beat out last year’s top-rated iPhone X. The testers were slightly more impressed by the clarity and resolution of the stills captured by the iPhone XS duo than those produced by the Galaxy Note 9 and S9+. “iPhone XS and XS Max managed to improve on that performance, if only just a little,” the review reads. “The phones received slightly better scores when it came to the quality of the still and video images taken by their rear cameras.”

Unfortunately for Apple, device durability remains a major weakness, especially when pitted against Galaxy Note 9’s resilience in brutal tumble tests. Still, the iPhone XS Max can be impressively tough, with one model withstanding 100 drops from different angles without breaking.

The testers found that both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max charged significantly slower than their competitors, primarily due to the fact that Apple continues to supply a 5W USB-A adapter out of the box. Testing found that the iPhone XS took 195 minutes to go from zero to 100 percent battery, while the XS Max took a staggering 210 minutes. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 took 105 minutes.

Apple’s iPhone XS performed better than its rivals in terms of speed, thanks to the custom-built A12 Bionic processor. However, Consumer Reports noted that other contenders were not much behind, adding that users probably won’t notice the “extra horsepower operating behind the scenes.”

Take a look at Consumer Reports full review of both the iPhone XS and XS Max over at their website.

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