iPhone XS Issues: The Biggest Complaints So Far

Oct 29, 2018
That's it?

After traveling for three weeks in Portugal and Morocco, hoping to use the iPhone XS as my primary camera, I'm thankful that my wife suggested I bring along a small dSLR after experiencing several issues with the iPhone just a few days into the trip. Whether the issues are due to hardware (a bad unit?) or software (fixable remotely) is to be determined.


• Hot-spot light source flare, esp. with the sun. Yes, all lenses have this issue but for the iPhone there's a definite difference between the wide-angle and zoom setting, with the zoom lens being much more radically affected. Much worse than on my iPhone 8. And you MUST keep the lens clean of any residue. Again, same with all lenses/phones but this glass/coating seems to be much more easily affected.

• Related, on night shots of plazas, street scenes, etc., there are ghosted/repeated light spots from the scene, always blue, above and left of the source the scened. Again, no such issues with iPhone 8.

• Orientation issues, especially with video. Many of my photos and videos need to be turned 90º to 180º in post to get properly oriented. Maybe the chip that takes care of such things is wonky?

• With a specific sequence of actions while reviewing photos in the Camera app—not the Photos app—the entire display shifts down and to the right, showing only the top left corner of the app. Very difficult to fix without restarting the phone, which is a pain when using an overseas SIM PIN and having to re-authenticate.

Lastly, I missed many, many street shots due to the absolutely awful button-less swiping UX. I really came to loathe this interface. Here's a comparison of sequences, knowing that speed and reflex is key to getting good street shots:

iPhone 8, using a ShoulderPod wrist strap: With phone at my side, anticipating a shot, I can wake-up + authenticate (via fingerprint) the phone in one move while bringing the phone up to eye level; then snap a shot by simply moving my thumb slightly to the left to the shutter button. Fast, two moves.

iPhone XS, using a ShoulderPod wrist strap: With phone at my side, anticipating a shot, I can't wake up the phone until it is level with my face for wake/authentication. But guess what? I can to turn the phone vertically because FaceID doesn't work horizontally! Then I have to swipe up with free hand and hope that the app I want is active. All of this while not keeping an eye on my subject. The result of this 1-3 second + delay is lost shots.

PS: The battery life sucks.