When Apple announced its 2018 line-up of iPhones last month, one thing was clear: The brand is getting bigger with top-of-the-line innovations in the premium and luxury smartphone market -- dictating the rules for its rivals.
For an Indian smartphone user, carrying an iPhone has always been a style statement, irrespective of the price.
Most of us still look at Apple like owning a Ferrari but those who are in the Apple ecosystem for years know how it feels to own an iPhone and the experience is matchless.
The hardware is what keeps Apple top on the chart and with three new iPhones -- iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR -- the Cupertino-based giant has brought an amazing camera, A12 Bionic processor and more storage -- all screen and no buttons.
iPhone XS with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage costs Rs 99,900; 4GB and 256GB variant is priced at Rs 114,900 and the 4GB with 512GB variant will come for Rs 134,900.
Let us see what the 4GB+512GB variant has to offer.
Love at the first sight, we must say. Although there is no radical design change, the stainless steel frame and glass back with 5.8-inch OLED display and Super Retina HD screen allow for a good grip -- an ideal size of a smartphone that fits in your palm.
The device houses the ground-breaking A12 Bionic chip, 12MP+12MP dual rear camera and 7MP front camera.
Sensing the growing love among the millennials for smartphone photography, iPhone XS has brought some great innovation to its camera system.
With "Smart HDR", we were able to capture more highlight and shadow detail in scenes where we previously could not. It allowed photos with high dynamic range (HDR) and great image detail.
For example, scenes like a person with a back-lit background or a subject in deep open shade of a building in a city can now be captured in high precision.
The camera has capabilities like advanced depth segmentation using the Neural Engine, advanced bokeh quality in Portrait mode photos and dynamic depth of field that is user adjustable in the Photos app.
Blue skies were not washed out and images in low-light conditions were great.
In a nutshell, a true camera smartphone that matches a DSLR and you do not definitely need a digital compact camera anymore.
Security has always been core to Apple iPhones and iPhone XS is no different.
The technology that enables Face ID is some of the most advanced that Apple has ever created.
The TrueDepth camera captures accurate face data by projecting and analysing over 30,000 invisible dots, to create a depth map of your face and also captures an infrared image of your face.
In case there is a change in your appearance, the Face ID automatically adapts to those changes, such as wearing cosmetic makeup or growing facial hair.
If your device is lost or stolen (this will be the last thing you want, given the price), you can prevent the Face ID from being used to unlock your device with "Find My iPhone Lost Mode".
iPhone XS gave us a full-day battery life with moderate-to-heavy usage.
The battery life on the iPhone XS is better thanks to A12 Bionic chip, helping the device last up to 30 minutes longer than iPhone X on similar level of usage.
The device supports wireless charging and a lightning connector can be used for fast charging.
iPhone XS has a rating of IP68 (maximum depth of two metres in water up to 30 minutes) and is splash, water, and dust resistant (a perfect companion for the Indian weather).
The device is also resistant to accidental spills from common liquids such as soda, beer, coffee, tea and juice (in the event of a spill, rinse the affected area with tap water, then wipe your iPhone off and dry it).
The dual SIM device has an eSIM (electronic SIM), apart from space for one nano SIM space.
An eSIM is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM. Currently, Jio and Airtel are offering eSIM in India.
Both of your phone numbers can make and receive voice calls and send and receive SMS and MMS. If one number is on a call, incoming calls on the other number will go to voicemail.
The iOS 12 software is another key part in the iPhone XS. With the release of iOS 12, developers have created incredible experiences for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
Siri Shortcuts and Screen Time help users manage their time spent on the device.
Conclusion: Apart from its price, nothing appears out of sync with the iPhone XS.
Apple CEO Tim Cook aptly said that the new iPhones replace digital camera, video camera and music player, so you get three devices in one. It is how you should also look at the iPhone XS.
If you skipped iPhone X last year, go for iPhone XS. Take an EMI route (Rs 4,499 for 24 months) to own your fresh style statement. The iPhone XS is available in India at retail stores from Friday.
If pricing is still a concern, the Rs 76,900 iPhone XR that comes in late October should fit the bill.
(Nishant Arora can be contacted at email@example.com)