Consumer Reports finds iPhone XS and XS Max last hours longer than iPhone X, contradicts p...

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2018
Consumer Reports has published their final test results for the iPhone XS and XS Max, yielding yet a few more surprises regarding the newest iPhones.

iPhone XS Max


The biggest news from Consumer Reports testing was apparent battery life improvements. Both the iPhone XS and the XS Max outperformed Apple's reported numbers, and the publication's expectations.

The new iPhone XS was able to go 24.5 hours, while the Max made it 26 hours in lab tests. That compares to the iPhone X, which was a half hour shy of hitting the 20 hour mark.

For the test, Consumer Reports used a robotic finger programmed to run through a series of tasks on each device, simulating an average user's day. The robot "browses the internet, takes pictures, uses GPS navigation, and, of course, makes phone calls." To keep things consistent, they put the display at 100-percent, which means that dropping the brightness could extend evaluation numbers further.

IPhone XS and XS Max internals
iPhone XS and XS Max internals | source: iFixit


Apple says that the XS should get 30 minutes more out of the battery than the X, and the iPhone XS Max should garner 90 minutes more life before shutting down. These tests -- not the same process Apple uses to arrive at its numbers -- show the new handsets can in some situations beat Apple's estimates.

The results contradict findings from Tom's Guide, which evaluated the iPhone XS last month. In that round of testing, iPhone X beat out both iPhone XS and XS Max in an endurance test involving web browsing over LTE.

Consumer Reports knocked Apple for the included charging brick, noting it took 210 minutes, or twice as long, to charge the iPhone XS Max compared to the Samsung Note 9. Apple could easily remedy the situation by including a USB-C fast charger in the box, something AppleInsider has mentioned repeatedly in our iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews, though the company is unlikely to do so.

IPhone XS and XS Max
iPhone XS and XS Max Cameras


Other results in today's test highlight the updated cameras, which beat out last year's top-rated iPhone X.

"iPhone XS and XS Max managed to improve on that performance, if only just a little," the publication said. "The phones received slightly better scores when it came to the quality of the still and video images taken by their rear cameras."

Performance was also tops thanks to the new A12 Bionic processor, though competing devices like iPhone X and Galaxy Note 9 were only slightly behind.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    Good to see these results.  I was really annoyed when I came across several sites with tests showing stupid results.  Im like, I have the XS Max and its battery from to day is obscenely better than my X or the the 7+ before it.  As I type this now, my max is sitting at 75% remaining on iOS 12.1.b2.... at 9pm AZ at night.  I think they have the battery thing good....   just sayin


    Rayz2016fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 25
    ivanhivanh Posts: 295member
    Thanks to improvement in apps.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 25
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Gladys, the stereotypical spinster receptionist at the office, says she would like to carry out some “consumer testing” of her own. Can anyone tell her how much it would cost to rent the Consumer Reports “robotic finger” for about three weeks over Christmas?


    fastasleepdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 25
    Rayz2016 said:
    Gladys, the stereotypical spinster receptionist at the office, says she would like to carry out some “consumer testing” of her own. Can anyone tell her how much it would cost to rent the Consumer Reports “robotic finger” for about three weeks over Christmas?


    Oh do behave...
  • Reply 5 of 25
    hentaiboy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Gladys, the stereotypical spinster receptionist at the office, says she would like to carry out some “consumer testing” of her own. Can anyone tell her how much it would cost to rent the Consumer Reports “robotic finger” for about three weeks over Christmas?


    Oh do behave...
    Says hentaiboy. :D
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 6 of 25
    Unfortunately Consumer Reports can't be trusted after their previous failings.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,547member
    Consumer Reports knocked Apple for the included charging brick, noting it took 210 minutes, or twice as long, to charge the iPhone XS Max compared to the Samsung Note 9. Apple could easily remedy the situation by including a USB-C fast charger in the box, something AppleInsiderhas mentioned repeatedly in our iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews, though the company is unlikely to do so.

    I almost never use the 5W chargers. The 12W iPad charger works much better, nearly as well as the USB-C charger, while being a lot cheaper as well. They should've included those at the very least for their $1000+ phones, it's pretty absurd to hobble charging so much.
    MplsP
  • Reply 8 of 25
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,622member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Gladys, the stereotypical spinster receptionist at the office, says she would like to carry out some “consumer testing” of her own. Can anyone tell her how much it would cost to rent the Consumer Reports “robotic finger” for about three weeks over Christmas?


    That offends my wokeness.  Off to Room 101 with you.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    Today will be my first whole day with my XS Max, so we shall see how it does versus my X. I'm not overly concerned with the 5W charger, as I usually only recharge at night, and I do so on a cheap wireless charger. Even with the X, I could typically make it through a whole day.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 25
    neilmneilm Posts: 589member
    There will be as many different test results as differently weighted tests that people care to devise. About all you can say for sure is that the new phones have better battery life
    than the previous generation. Personally I'd take Apple's guidance on that; they've been reliable on battery claims. 

    Of course most of us would be upgrading from much older phones whose batteries are already tired, so in real world use we'll get much better results no matter what. I'm charging my new XS every 2-3 days, whereas the 6S it replaced needed nightly charging.
    fastasleep said:
    Consumer Reports knocked Apple for the included charging brick, noting it took 210 minutes, or twice as long, to charge the iPhone XS Max compared to the Samsung Note 9. Apple could easily remedy the situation by including a USB-C fast charger in the box, something AppleInsiderhas mentioned repeatedly in our iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews, though the company is unlikely to do so.

    I almost never use the 5W chargers. The 12W iPad charger works much better, nearly as well as the USB-C charger, while being a lot cheaper as well. They should've included those at the very least for their $1000+ phones, it's pretty absurd to hobble charging so much.
    When traveling I take only my iPad charger and use that for the iPhone as well.

    fastasleepredgeminipa
  • Reply 11 of 25
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,799member
    teknishn said:
    Good to see these results.  I was really annoyed when I came across several sites with tests showing stupid results.  Im like, I have the XS Max and its battery from to day is obscenely better than my X or the the 7+ before it.  As I type this now, my max is sitting at 75% remaining on iOS 12.1.b2.... at 9pm AZ at night.  I think they have the battery thing good....   just sayin


    You have to take anything you see on the Internet with a large grain of salt. Anything.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    seankillseankill Posts: 458member
    Consumer Reports knocked Apple for the included charging brick, noting it took 210 minutes, or twice as long, to charge the iPhone XS Max compared to the Samsung Note 9. Apple could easily remedy the situation by including a USB-C fast charger in the box, something AppleInsiderhas mentioned repeatedly in our iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews, though the company is unlikely to do so.

    I almost never use the 5W chargers. The 12W iPad charger works much better, nearly as well as the USB-C charger, while being a lot cheaper as well. They should've included those at the very least for their $1000+ phones, it's pretty absurd to hobble charging so much.

    I agree the old 10W or new 12W is a great charger for the larger phones. It is a complete joke that the Xs and Xs Max comes with a 5W charger. But that’s Apple, counting pennies, pushing up the margins. 
    MplsP
  • Reply 13 of 25
    Rayz2016 said:
    Gladys, the stereotypical spinster receptionist at the office, says she would like to carry out some “consumer testing” of her own. Can anyone tell her how much it would cost to rent the Consumer Reports “robotic finger” for about three weeks over Christmas?


    Fingerbot only does outcalls as a team with Liam and Daisy... but Gladys probably isn't into that kind of stuff.
    king editor the grate
  • Reply 14 of 25
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,214member
    seankill said:
    Consumer Reports knocked Apple for the included charging brick, noting it took 210 minutes, or twice as long, to charge the iPhone XS Max compared to the Samsung Note 9. Apple could easily remedy the situation by including a USB-C fast charger in the box, something AppleInsiderhas mentioned repeatedly in our iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews, though the company is unlikely to do so.

    I almost never use the 5W chargers. The 12W iPad charger works much better, nearly as well as the USB-C charger, while being a lot cheaper as well. They should've included those at the very least for their $1000+ phones, it's pretty absurd to hobble charging so much.

    I agree the old 10W or new 12W is a great charger for the larger phones. It is a complete joke that the Xs and Xs Max comes with a 5W charger. But that’s Apple, counting pennies, pushing up the margins. 
    This x1000. I find it utterly absurd that Apple sells a ‘premium’ phone for $1,000+ and goes so cheap on the charger. Kind of like getting a Ferrari and finding out they put $40 Sears special tires on it. 

    For comparison, the battery capacity of the Xs is over twice as large as the 3GS (2658 vs 1220 mAh) and the charging capabilities of the phone have increased dramatically as well, but the charger has not changed a bit.


    Regarding Consumer report’s test, I take anything they say with several buckets of salt, but they performed their test very differently than Apple does. IIRC, Apple simply looks at how long you can stream a movie or something like that, whereas CR’s test is more varied. 
  • Reply 15 of 25
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,992member
    The 5W charger is like the "starter toner cartridge" that comes with a new printer. It'll get you going for a short while but you'll want to replace it very soon. The only plausible reason I can think of for Apple including it with the beasty new phones is to keep the iPhone packaging compact, aesthetically pleasing, and compatible with their automated packaging machinery. The difference in the component cost of a 10W and 12W iPad charger over the puny 5 W unit must be tiny compared to the total cost of the phone. But then again, Apple includes a crap pair of earphones with the iPhone too. If you want premium accessories to go with your premium phone, you gotta pay a premium.

    Not sure why Apple doesn't offer "iPhone Premium Bundles" with some token bundle discount, say 20% less than the cost of buying the accessories you really want separately.  I'm thinking iPhone XS/Max + 12W charger + AirPods would be a popular bundle. The Apple Store could also take the lead on bundling deals if getting all of the various products together is more than Apple's distribution model can handle. This seems like a total no-brainer to me. 
    StrangeDaysredgeminipa
  • Reply 16 of 25
    The robot "browses the internet, takes pictures, uses GPS navigation, and, of course, makes phone calls."

    ”Who was that, dear?”

    ”Just the Robutt Finger again. I don’t understand how it’s able to breathe so heavily.”
  • Reply 17 of 25
    I would have been more interested in LTE and Wifi comments. Both are atrocious on my XS Max. I have a full mesh system in my house and the XS Max drops like crazy. Everything else is fine. LTE is borderline useless in many places as well while my work phone is just fine. 

    As for battery I have had great success with this device. I don't play games so your mileage may vary but I get through the day with 40% to spare. 
  • Reply 18 of 25
    plovellplovell Posts: 795member
    Even if Apple doesn't include the USB-C charger, it could improve things by shipping the iPad one (10 or 12 W, I think).

    The sugar-cube is an embarrassment these days.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,109member
    ivanh said:
    Thanks to improvement in apps.
    What?? What on earth are you talking about?
    fastasleep
  • Reply 20 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,109member
    Consumer Reports knocked Apple for the included charging brick, noting it took 210 minutes, or twice as long, to charge the iPhone XS Max compared to the Samsung Note 9. Apple could easily remedy the situation by including a USB-C fast charger in the box, something AppleInsiderhas mentioned repeatedly in our iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews, though the company is unlikely to do so.

    I almost never use the 5W chargers. The 12W iPad charger works much better, nearly as well as the USB-C charger, while being a lot cheaper as well. They should've included those at the very least for their $1000+ phones, it's pretty absurd to hobble charging so much.
    Nah, I think they should stop including any if anything, and let people buy what they need rather than creat more e-waste.
    watto_cobra
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