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The iPhone XS Max vs the iPhone 8 Plus: a big phone battle

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The iPhone XS Max has a large screen. It is the largest of all three ‘new’ iPhones 2018, making it a successor to the iPhone 8 Plus.

This is a big phone but also very popular. We could see another large device alongside the iPhone11 at end of 2019. Although it’s a costly device, you can often find it at a much lower price than its launch date thanks to a steady stream of iPhone Max sales. This will also be true during Amazon Prime Day.

We’ve compared the two versions of Apple’s huge phablets to help you understand the differences and worked out the price you’ll pay for the iPhone XS Max.

Below, we compare the phones in several key areas, including how they look and what their cameras can do. We also show how the screen quality is.

iPhone XS Max vs iPhone 8 Plus design

The iPhone XS Max is a completely different beast than the iPhone 8. This is most evident from the front. While the iPhone XS Max has a notch with almost no other bezels, the iPhone 8 has large, bezels above and beneath the screen, complete with a home button.

Touch ID is not available on the iPhone XS Max Max. However, it does have a Face ID.

The sides and backs of the phones are not as different, however, because they both have a glass back with a metal frame. The orientation of the camera on the back is different on the iPhone 8 Plus. On the iPhone XS Max, they are stacked vertically.

The dimensions and weight of the iPhone XS Max are different. The iPhone XS Max measures 157.5 x 77.4 x 7,7mm and 208g. While the iPhone 8 Plus measures 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm, 202g, and 202g. The iPhone XS Max has a smaller screen but is still slightly smaller.

The colors are also different. The iPhone XS Max comes in gold, silver, and space grey, while the iPhone 8 Plus is available in all three.

The iPhone XS Max has an IP68 rating, which means it can be submerged for up to 30 mins at 2 meters depth. The iPhone 8 Plus is IP67 rated and can withstand depths up to 1 meter.

iPhone XS Max vs iPhone 8 Plus display

Both phones have large screens. The iPhone XS Max’s screen is 6.5 inches and the iPhone 8 Plus’s screen is 5.5 inches.

The XS Max has a higher resolution of 1242 x 2688 pixels and 458 pixels per unit, compared with the iPhone 8 Plus 1080 x 1920 display at 401ppi. The iPhone XS Max also has a smaller aspect ratio and uses OLED while the iPhone 8 Plus uses an LCD display.

You can expect better contrast and vibrant colors with the XS Max due to the difference in display technology.

iPhone XS Max versus iPhone 8 Plus in terms of OS and power

A new year brings a new chipset. In this case, you get the A12 Bionic in iPhone XS Max while the iPhone 8 Plus has the A11 Bionic. This is no slouch. However, you can still expect true top-tier power from iPhone XS Max.

It’s 15% faster and 50% more efficient depending on the combination of its six cores. The iPhone XS Max also features a significantly improved GPU and neural engine.

The operating system is less different. You can update your iPhone 8 Plus to the new iOS 12 shortly, but the XS Max comes with iOS 12.

iPhone XS Max battery and camera vs iPhone 8 Plus

The dual-lens 12-megapixel rear cameras of the iPhone XS Max & 8 Plus are both 12MP. They power optical zoom, portrait mode, and optical image stabilization. However, the iPhone XS Max offers optical image stabilization on both the front and back lenses. The 8 Plus only has one.

The iPhone XS Max camera has other enhancements, such as the ability to adjust the depth of field after taking a photograph.

The front is less different as both phones feature a TrueDepth front-facing camera that allows depth-sensing in Portrait Mode and power Face ID.

The iPhone XS Max’s battery in mAh capacity is unknown. However, it is supposedly the largest ever used in an iPhone. It lasted us for about a day. The iPhone 8 Plus, however, has a 2,691mAh lithium battery. We found that it was sufficient for all-day use, but not more.

iPhone XS Max vs iPhone 8 Plus Release Date and Price

The iPhone XS Max is available for purchase starting at $1,099 (PS1,099 AU$1,799). This is quite a lot considering it is Apple’s most expensive smartphone.

Although the iPhone 8 Plus has been around for a while, it has also seen its fair share price drops. It now starts at $699/PS699/AU$1,149. This is a fair deal cheaper.


The iPhone XS Max is a major upgrade to the iPhone 8 Plus. It not only changes the design but also packs in a larger screen. This is a significant upgrade considering we are in an ‘S” year.

The iPhone XS Max is clearly the better phone if you have to choose between them.

The XS Max is more expensive than the XS Max, so it’s important to consider how important upgrades are for you.

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