Beyond that, though, the iPhone Xs Max doesn't stray far from the standard Xs formula. In the past, there has usually been some other reason to splurge on a bigger iPhone, whether it's the extra screen space or a dual camera. This year, that difference doesn't really exist: Apart from possibly battery life, the only reason to drop the extra $100 is because you want that bigger screen.
And to be fair, the standard Xs formula has been improved in lots of little ways. It's damn near impossible to get a sense of speakers in a room as crowded as this, but the Xs and Xs Max's stereo speakers did seem to sound better than the iPhone X's. Support for dual SIMs is a godsend for international travelers and foreign customers who have multiple phone numbers or have to juggle data plans. The ability to change the amount of bokeh in a photo after you've taken it isn't actually all that new, but it's nice to finally have here.
And at long last, Apple has introduced phones with IP68 water and dust resistance -- that's the least Apple could do to help protect your $1,000 investment. Phil Schiller joked onstage that Apple has tested these phones in lots of different liquids, including beer, for the sake of thoroughness. We haven't received review units yet, but you'd better believe we're going to perform similar testing. In fact, it's already part of our testing suite.
The changes Apple made in this hardware generation are welcome and impressive but not overly dramatic. (Well, unless you count the whole "bigger iPhone X" thing.) More important, though, is the way Apple has built a lineup of devices that can bring the iPhone X experience to almost anyone. Even though older devices with lower price tags are available, Apple's message is clear: This is the new normal for the iPhone, and you're not going to be able to avoid it for very long.
Follow all the latest news from Apple's 2018 iPhone event here!