Regular readers and Twitter followers know that I tend to use an iPhone for a couple of months before getting bored and then switching over to one of the many Android smartphones in my collection. However, I went a full year with the Apple iPhone X and figured that one of the newest 2018 models would be a simple upgrade.
I started off by going with the biggest and baddest iPhone of the year, the iPhone XS Max. With the largest iPhone display ever and all of the other 2018 iPhone technology I figured it would be the perfect device for a power user like me. After two weeks, I returned it to T-Mobile because it was just too large, didn’t offer anything special like we saw with the Plus models, and is extremely expensive.
Since I am a T-Mobile Jump On Demand participant, I next chose the Apple iPhone XR (see our full review) since it offered most of what is found in the iPhone XS Max with a longer battery life and some fun vibrant color options. The Coral wasn’t quite as orange as I wanted, but at first I was satisfied with the device.
The iPhone XR is $250 to $350 less than the iPhone XS and XS Max while offering the same processor, same primary rear camera (no secondary rear camera), and same Face Unlock technology. It has an LCD screen and less RAM, but a longer battery life so I thought it would be the device for me and was mostly happy with it.
After six weeks, I realized I just could not put up with the less capable wireless technology that daily made my streaming media pause on my commute and had calls drop without warning. A new Christmas kitty arrived and the single rear camera of the iPhone XR doesn’t let me shoot portrait mode shots of pets. I also just ordered another Apple Watch Series 4 and am planning to go back to the iOS world for a while so I need an iPhone that is going to keep a connection and support photo shoots.
I also came to the realization that one major factor that kept last year’s iPhone X in my pocket for a year was the perfect size of the device. I could never get over how well the iPhone X fit in my hand and front pocket while providing me with a device that felt like it was all screen in my hand. The size and display-to-body ratio of the iPhone X was made for me and I had to have that again.
Yesterday I visited my local T-Mobile store and traded in the Coral iPhone XR for a gold iPhone XS. The gold is a new color and I’ve heard a lot of great things about it so I figured I would try it out. So far, I am loving the color and am ecstatic to have a perfectly sized iPhone back in my hand.
I’m giving up some battery life, paying a bit more money, and not buying something unique in an XR or XS Max form factor, but the iPhone XS is perfect for me. With its gigabit-class LTE with 4×4 MIMO and LAA, along with Band 71 support, I am seeing better cellular performance than last year’s iPhone X and this year’s iPhone XR.
Previous and related coverage:
The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was just announced and we expect three new iPhones and two Google Pixel phones to launch soon. Now is the time to consider selling your current one before market prices drop or plan to participate in a trade-in program.
he major smartphone launch season is upon us and one of the first out of the gates is the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, immediately taking over the top spot in our list of best smartphones.
Our editors hand-picked these products based on our tests and reviews. If you use our links to buy, we may get a commission.
The best tablets for 2018: Our top picks TechRepublic
Tablet sales may be declining, but there are still plenty of viable use cases and many models to choose from. Here’s our pick of the best.