good smartphone, but not the best choice

The end of the year is just around the corner, so it’s time for our annual review updates. Today we answer the question of whether the iPhone XS (Max) is still worthwhile in 2021.

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The iPhone XS Max for this review update was purchased by iPhoned itself.

Review update: the iPhone XS (Max) in 2021

iPhones often last a long time and are therefore sold for years. That is why we annually test all iPhones that Apple still supports with iOS updates. In these review updates, we look at whether the devices are still worth purchasing in the coming year. Today it is the turn of the iPhone XS (Max).

Also check out our other review updates:

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were released at the same time in 2018 as successors to the iPhone X from 2017. Although the XS (Max) may already be blowing three candles in 2021, this model will remain a great smartphone in the coming year. But that does not say everything.

iPhone XS (Max) has now long and wide overtaken

As it turned out last year, the iPhone XS has been overtaken by newer models in terms of functionality and price. That was already the case with the arrival of the iPhone 11, but now that the iPhone 12 series is here, it is only being reinforced. The iPhone XS (Max) is not cheaper than the iPhone 11 or iPhone 12, but it lacks a number of functions that the newer devices do have.

The model is no longer sold by Apple itself, and the stock of various web shops is becoming increasingly scarce. You now pay about 700 euros for a new iPhone XS. You will spend about 800 euros for an iPhone XS Max. However, the devices can still be refurbished for a lower price, but if you want to go for a new device, we no longer recommend the XS.

Last year the iPhone XS (Max) had the advantage that it had a nicer OLED screen than the LCD display of the iPhone 11. The screen edges are also slightly thinner than those of the iPhone 11. However, that argument is no longer valid. for the iPhone 12. This Apple has also equipped with an OLED screen, and due to the new design that was introduced with the iPhone 12 series, the screen edges are equally thin.

iPhone XS Max review

The camera is good, but not the best

The iPhone XS (Max) introduced the Smart HDR technology. This will automatically adjust the colors in your photos and make them more beautiful. When you take a photo, in reality several photos are taken at the same time with a different exposure. The iPhone combines the best elements of this in one photo. This allows you to take better photos without having to do anything extra.

The camera of the iPhone XS is therefore still excellent in 2021. Still, the newer iPhones have really caught up with the XS (Max) camera. The iPhone 11 and 12 also use the Smart HDR technology, but also have an ultra-wide-angle lens.

However, the XS does have a telephoto lens, with which you can get your subject closer without loss of quality. Unfortunately, it does not do great when there is little light in the area. In addition, the iPhone 11 introduced night mode, with which you can also take well-lit photos in the dark. This night mode is not available on the XS.

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