iPhone XS and XR: What Apple did not give us

The new iPhones did not get the desired functions.

James Martin / CNET

In the months before the start of the new iPhone XS. iPhone XS max and iPhone XRThere was the usual chitchat – some based on potentially credible leaks – about what features we could get in Apple's next-generation iPhones.

Many of the rumors proved correct. As we predicted, we actually have three new iPhones, including two larger models, one with an LCD screen that costs less. And we have some nerdy supplements like Dual SIM support and wider NFC compatibility, But some rumored and desirable qualities have never occurred. Here's a quick summary of what we did not get. Maybe everything will be in the iPhone 11 (or iPhone XI, or whatever the 2019 model line will be).

3 rear cameras, better 3x or 4x optical zoom

Huawei-p20-pro

The Huawei P20 Pro has 3 reversing cameras and 3x optical zoom.

Juan Garzon / CNET

The camera is one of the main reasons why people are upgrading to a new phone. Apple has made a handful of interesting enhancements to the iPhone XS Series 2018 compared to the iPhone X 2017: a new image sensor and image processor, enhanced True Tone Flash, Smart HDR and the addition of Advanced Bokeh and Depth Control in the portrait mode, which allows you to edit the background after taking the photo. But the basic camera specifications – 2 rear lenses, the apertures, 2x optical zoom, the megapixel ratings – are all the same, year after year.

Meanwhile, competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Note 9 are pushing up the variable-iris ante, and the impressive Huawei P20 Pro has added a triple lens camera array and 3x optical zoom. We would have liked to see that 2018 iPhones fulfill at least some of these features – if not something really radical, like that 5-lens configuration rumored for an upcoming Nokia phone,

Touchscreen ID in the screen

The iPhone X was the first iPhone that did not use a physical home button, but Apple also removed the Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

Vivo's fingerprint sensor in the screen

John Kim / CNET

Face ID is impressive, but Touch ID is much faster and works in every angle. There was hope that Apple would bring it back, perhaps as an either / or biometric choice with Face ID. But Apple seems to double to Face ID instead.

We still want to see the Touch ID behind the screen, a phone from Vivo. OneTouch (its sister brand) has already confirmed that it is imminent OnePlus 6T will also include a screen reader, and Samsung is thinking of working hard on integration Qualcomm's Ultrasonic Fingerprint Reader Technology behind the screen of his Galaxy S10, expected to arrive in early 2019.

Significantly better battery life

OK, so Apple could say that its new iPhones offer improved battery life. But the truth is that it's only nominally better. Without going into specific numbers, Apple says that the iPhone XS lasts 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X, while the iPhone XS Max lasts 90 minutes longer than the iPhone X. The iPhone XR, which promises the best battery life of all new iPhones – and from any iPhone ever – can run 90 minutes longer than iPhone 8 Plus, which means (through our math) about 30 minutes more than the XS Max.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of global marketing, announced that the new iPhones will slightly improve battery life on the iPhone launch on September 12.

James Martin / CNET

We will do our own battery testing over the coming days and weeks, and let you know how the numbers will spread when we publish our full review of the new iPhones. But what we'd like to see in terms of battery life is enough power to get us from dusk to bedtime, even with lots of photos, videos, games or binge watching, without us having to beef up all day.

USB Type-C fast charger in the box

Many people would be upset if Apple switched from its Lightning port to a USB Type-C connection, which is gradually becoming the standard for other phones and laptops, including Apple's own MacBook series. But replace the rectangular USB-A port on the iPhone charger that comes in the box – while leaving Lightning on the phone – would mean that Apple users could charge their iPhones from their new MacBooks, without the need for an adapter.

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And with the right USB-C power adapter, charging can be faster. If you go to the Apple website, you can find a page that talks about fast loading. This is how Apple describes it:

Fast Charging gives you a quick and easy way to charge your iPhone X, iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus. If you use an Apple USB-C to Lightning cable and one of these adapters, your iPhone will charge 50 percent faster in 30 minutes:

  • Apple 29W, 30W, 61W or 87W USB-C power adapter
  • A comparable third-party USB-C power adapter that supports USB Power Delivery (USB-PD)

Apple already sells these cables and chargers, but you have to pay extra for them – $ 25, £ 25 or AU $ 35 for the cable alone. It would be nice if Apple included these upgrades in the box, especially if you're paying for the iPhone XS and XS Max starting at 999 (999, $ AU1,629) and 1099 (1099, $ AU1799). respectively. The rumor of a standard USB-C charger took off in the months before the launch of the new iPhones, but it was just wishful thinking.

The Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Earphone Jack Adapter ($ 9) is no longer included with the $ 1,000 phone.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Flash-to-3.5mm headphone jack adapter in the box

Not just Apple Kill the last iPhones with headphone jackIt will not even deliver the Lightning to 3.5mm Audio Jack dongle with its new 2018 iPhones, as it did with previous headphone-free iPhones. Instead, you can buy the dongle separately for $ 9. This is a pity. (Lightning EarPod headphones are still included.)

5G support for future security

OK, that was a stretch, but you could dream it, right?

Current iPhones work on 4G LTE networks. The upcoming mobile 5G data networks promise lightning fast speeds. But outside some new "fixed wireless" cable broadband deals like Verizon's 5G homeWe probably will not see 5G mobile networks – and 5G phones – until 2019 at the earliest. Still, it would have been nice if Apple slipped a 5G chip into its 2018 iPhones.

Read: Why Apple is in a hurry to sell you a 5G iPhone

Digital Ink

The pen of the Galaxy Note 9 makes the notes easier

Angela Lang / CNET

In March, Apple has supported its Apple Pencil for the entry-level iPad. This provided the same on-screen drawing and writing features as the base iPad, previously available only on the Pro models. But maybe Apple would reverse this formula for cell phones: If Apple ever made its biggest and most expensive iPhone ever, then the idea was, why not distinguish an "iPhone Pro" with stylus support – and maybe a new Mini Apple Pencil?

Unfortunately, it was not – at least not for 2018. Maybe we'll see that someday, but in the meantime, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 remains king of the stylus phones.

TBD: Shatter-proof screen

When iPhone 6 hit the market in 2014, it was rumored that it would have a shatterproof sapphire screen, but that never materialized. Last year we managed to crack the screen of the iPhone X with just a drop (Apple costs 279, 286 or 419 AUD to replace the OLED screen of the iPhone X). The back of the iPhone X, which is also made of glass, did not get better.

For 2018, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, announced on stage at the Steve Jobs Theater that the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max use the "most robust glass ever in a smartphone". Apple did not say if it is Gorilla Glass 6but Corning is an Apple partner.

Does "most durable" mean "unbreakable"? We do not guess, because Apple would have undoubtedly given a fancy new name and highlighted it accordingly. We will test the new iPhones as they are released, so we'll see how they're doing. In the meantime, we would like to see an iPhone that is as shatterproof as the Motorola Z2 Force.

iPhone XS, XR, XS Max: Apple's three new iPhones replace the iPhone X.

After iPhone XS: Apple still has an icky 2019 iPhone name problem

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