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Cecil Davis | 14 September, 2018, 04:40

Pre-orders for the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max are going to be live tomorrow, but what we have is an early glimpse of how thee devices might perform when they are officially released by the company.

There's a good working theory that the iPhone X was an experimental phone that cost a lot to produce, and that Apple chose not to make it available at a discounted price to avoid cannibalising sales of the XS. The price for the iPhone XS starts at $999 for the 64 GB model and goes up from there for 256 GB and 512 GB. That gives it a lower multi-core score than last year's iPhone X, but a higher single-core one.

Try searching for the iPhone X on Apple's website, and you're redirected to a landing page showing off the 2018 range of the iPhone XS Max, the iPhone XS, and the iPhone XR.

Here's the theory: If Apple followed its protocol and offered the $US999 iPhone XS as well as a phone that is nearly exactly the same but $US100 cheaper, it would most likely confuse customers and cannibalise sales.

The dongle, or an adapter, allows users to connect a pair of 3.5mm headphones into a lightning jack.

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Overall, Beavis feels that "the "cheap" iPhone certainly doesn't feel that way", and he came away from its design and build quality impressed. The first has a 5.8-inch AMOLED panel, the second has a 6.5-inch AMOLED display (the biggest screen ever seen on an Apple phone) and the third is in the middle with a 6.1-inch display and the LCD technology. It starts at $749 for the 64 GB model and will cost more for its 128 GB and 256 GB models.

But wireless service providers need a way to stand out, often offering at least semi-decent trade-in or BOGO (buy-one-get-one) promos shortly after the official announcement of an upgraded iPhone generation. Both boast a dual-lens 12-megapixel camera. If you want a 2018 iPhone (and not the iPhone 8, 8 Plus or iPhone 7), you can keep a little more money in the bank. Do you believe the new products are as good as we expected them to be? Why pay $US999 for the unbelievable screen on the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max when you could effectively buy the same phone for $US100 less?

Both of these factors might explain Apple's thinking.

This has led to the iPhone XR being variously described as "cheap", "entry-level", or the "budget" iPhone for this year.

We got to test the phone out in person, and reckon the display (which lands right in the middle, size-wise, of the iPhone Xs and Xs Max) might not reach the dizzying heights of OLED, but it remains a lovely smartphone display in its own right.