The iPhone X is dead. In its place, we now have three new options: the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Apple loves to name its phones stupid things as much as I love to complain about it, and so we find ourselves in perfect sync. While I’d like to sit here sucking my teeth and hollering about the absolute ding-dong who decided to call it the XS Max and not just the Max, I must instead speak to a bigger problem: size, size, size.
In 2018, Science™ (or rather, The Pudding) conclusively confirmed that women’s pockets suck. They especially suck for the tech-savvy, as only 40 percent of women’s front pants pockets could house the iPhone X’s 5.8-inch display. That’s bad news for anyone interested in getting the XS Max (which I will hereafter refer to as the iPhone Max, just like Apple should have done). It’s even larger than the iPhone X, or the XS of the same size, with a 6.5-inch display. Even the new starter iPhone XR comes with a gargantuan 6.1-inch screen. And even though the XR will have most of the features offered on the XS for less money, for some of those pondering which new phone to throw a month’s rent at, the choice has already been made. Because, you know, there’s no room for the damn Max or XR anywhere on your person.
For some of those pondering which new phone to throw $1,000 at, the choice has already been made
In theory, that’s okay. If you’re looking to buy a new flagship iPhone, the XS and the Max both have *squints at notes* dual rear 12-megapixel cameras and improved True Tone flash, a front 7-megapixel camera, improved water resistance, and better battery life than the iPhone X. Neither have a dongle because Apple really wants to pry that extra $9 out of your limp wallet.
Along with the X, Apple also killed the iPhone SE — a massively popular model that consumers have been begging the company to update. The XS is cheaper than the Max by $100, to start, but for buyers who prefer a smaller phone, Apple doesn’t have many options. The tiniest iPhone you can buy is now the iPhone 7, with a screen that’s 0.7 of an inch bigger than the SE’s 4-inch display.
Instead of trying to outdo itself every year by making already large phones even bigger, maybe Apple could try a fun experiment where it upgrades the features and size down. If the Apple Watch can have a smaller size to comfortably fit people with tinier frames, why not offer the same for an iPhone?