Sep 18, 2018

iPhone Xs reviews are in — and tepid

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max are more water-resistant than prior models. Photo: Apple

The first iPhone Xs and Xs Max reviews are in —and while there's a consensus that the Max's big is truly beautiful, there's also a raft of critics saying you might want to wait for the more humanly priced iPhone Xr next month.

Why it matters: The iPhone is Apple's most important product and the iPhone X has been its best seller. The new phones are modest updates, with the big-screen Max option being the most visible difference, along with a faster processor and new camera tricks.

What they're saying:

  • The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern: "The Max just feels like a blown-up iPhone, when it could be a new sort of computer" and "One-handed use is a struggle at times with smaller hands, especially typing."
  • The Verge's Nilay Patel: "[The Max has] a gigantic, beautiful screen, and I have enjoyed looking at it a lot," but "the Pixel 2 still has a better camera than the iPhone Xs."
  • Wired's Lauren Goode: "This year’s phones don’t spark strong feelings — except maybe chagrin that they cost so much."
  • The New York Times' Brian X. Chen: "By eliminating the bezels, which are the screen’s borders, Apple did a terrific job of increasing screen size without adding bulk or compromising the usability of the Xs Max. I still think the smaller XS is a better fit for most people."
  • BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski: "Apple has certainly improved the iPhone with the Xs and the Xs Max... But, crucially, it hasn't improved my experience of the iPhone."

Go deeper: Here's our hands-on first look at the iPhone Xs and Xs Max. We'll have our full review in the coming days.

Early sales: Loup Ventures' Gene Munster measured the earliest pre-order data and found significantly shorter lead times for the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max than for last year's iPhone X. However, given that the iPhone X was a big leap forward, that's not terribly surprising.

Go deeper

Trump announces 30-day extension of coronavirus guidelines

President Trump announced on Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30 in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, which has now infected more than 130,000 Americans and killed nearly 2,500.

Why it matters: Top advisers to the president have been seeking to steer him away from Easter as an arbitrary deadline for the U.S. to open parts of its economy, amid warnings from health officials that loosening restrictions could cause the number of coronavirus cases to skyrocket.

Go deeperArrow29 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 716,101 — Total deaths: 33,854 — Total recoveries: 148,900.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 136,880 — Total deaths: 2,409 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.