New iPhone XS users face problems with charging, photos and reception

New iPhone XS users face problems with charging, photos and reception
PHOTO: Reuters

Apple's new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max handsets are the most expensive iPhones ever, and have also been billed by the tech giant as the most advanced iPhones it has ever produced.

But since their launch here on Sept 21, users have flagged issues with the handsets, which start from $1,649 in Singapore.

Apple declined to comment on these issues when contacted by The Straits Times.

That said, bugs and problems are not uncommon when new tech products are launched, and device makers do sometimes try to address them in future updates.

Here are some of the problems that have been raised for the new iPhones:

1. SHORTER THAN EXPECTED BATTERY LIFE

According to tech website Tom's Guide, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have a shorter battery life compared with last year's iPhone X, even though Apple said the new iPhones' batteries are supposed to last longer.

In an initial battery test result published by Tom's Guide which involved continuous Web surfing at a constant screen brightness, the iPhone XS clocked 9hr 41min before its battery died, while the iPhone XS Max clocked 10hr 38min. But when the iPhone X was tested last year, its battery lasted 10hr 49 min, beating the battery performance of this year's handsets.

But in an updated report, Tom's Guide said that the iPhone X clocked 9hr 51min in a subsequent test. While this narrows the difference between the iPhone XS and the iPhone X, it still goes against Apple's claims that the iPhone XS can last 30 minutes longer.

Tom's Guide said the difference in the two iPhone X's test results could be due to the phone ageing, or that the websites used for the test were modified such that it now places more stress on phones.

iPhones XS and XS Max launch: Customers throng Orchard's Apple Store on Friday

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    Singaporean Daniel Lim, 23, the first in line to buy the newly released iPhones, poses with his purchases at the Apple Store in Singapore

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    Customers look at the newly launched iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max at the Apple Store in Singapore

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    Boxes of iPhone XS purchased by customers are pictured at the Apple Store in Singapore September 21, 2018.

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    Customers from Vietnam take photos of their iPhone XS purchases at the Apple Store in Singapore

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    Customers pay for their iPhone XS at the Apple Store in Singapore

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    A customer looks the newly launched Apple Watch Series 4 at the Apple Store in Singapore

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    An Apple employee shows the features of the new Apple Watch Series 4 at the Apple Store in Singapore

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    Queues were still seen outside the Apple Store along Orchard Road on Friday afternoon.

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    It is a day before the launch of the latest iPhones at 9am on Friday (Sept 21), but by noon on Thursday, a queue of roughly 250 people had already formed in front of the Apple store in Orchard Road.

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    At 11am, consumers hoping to get their hands on the iPhone XS and XS Max were ushered into barricades set up outside the store.

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    Each person, who can buy only up to two phones, was given a wristband which allows them to leave the queue and return within 30 minutes to retain their spot in the queue.

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    First in line was Mr Le Thang, 20, who flew to Singapore from Vietnam the day before to queue for the launch. He arrived at the store at 6am on Thursday and said he plans to buy two iPhone XS Max phones, one for himself and another for a friend.

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    Singaporean Haikal Putra, 22, who was queueing among the Vietnamese, said he was the first person to arrive at the Apple store at 1.30am but lost out on the No.1 spot due to "a commotion" when getting ushered into the official queue.

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    The iPhone XS retails for $1,649 (64GB), $1,889 (256GB, version tested) and $2,199 (512GB), while the iPhone XS Max retails for $1,799 (64GB), $2,039 (256GB, version tested) and $2,349 (512GB).

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    Fans who are waiting to get their hands on the iPhone queuing up in a waiting area set up outside Courts.

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2. BATTERY CHARGING ISSUES

Reports in recent days said there is a potential problem that prevents the new iPhones from charging. In an online video published last Saturday (Sept 29), YouTube channel Unbox Therapy said some users have complained that their iPhones were unable to be charged through cables while in idle mode. For some other users, their phones became unresponsive when it was plugged into a charger.

In a test conducted by Unbox Therapy on eight new iPhones, it found that five of the phones had problems being charged via a cable. The video has since garnered more than 4.6 million views.

A thread started on the official Apple discussion forum last week also flagged a similar charging problem. More than 100 other users indicated that they had questions on the topic, too.

But help is on the way for users who face these problems. According to Apple analyst Rene Ritchie, the iPhone maker on Tuesday released a beta update to its operating system that will address this problem.

3. BEAUTYGATE

Netizens have complained that the front cameras of the new iPhone models tend to smoothen out users' faces or add unnatural hues.

A Reddit thread on how the iPhone XS is allegedly applying skin smoothing or a beauty filter on images taken with the handset's front-facing camera has attracted more than 8,000 votes of approval.

The netizen who started the thread did a side-by-side comparison of a selfie taken on the iPhone X and on the iPhone XS. Skin complexion in the photo taken by the iPhone XS appears smoother than that of the iPhone X.

According to tech site AppleInsider, which cited sources, Apple is looking into the situation.

4. ONLINE CONNECTION ISSUES

A number of users have complained about connectivity issues with the new iPhones. Affected users said they have trouble connecting to the Internet, and experience slower online speeds than older iPhones.

A netizen posted a question on the matter on the official Apple forum and some 600 netizens also claimed they had similar questions.

The affected user, Henryhuang24, said he used to have good reception on his bed with the iPhone X, but the new iPhone XS Max's reception appeared to be weak. He added that the phone also had trouble reconnecting to a Wi-Fi network after the airplane mode was turned on.

According to an expert quoted by tech website Tom's Guide, this problem could have been caused by the phone's antenna design. This means that only a change in the phone's design could remove the issue, the expert said.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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