Don’t be fooled: iPhone XS is not a boring ‘S’ upgrade [Review]

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iPhone XS and XS Max
There are over 1.4 billion active Apple devices in the world.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you ever watched schlocky ’70s sci-fi show The Six Million Dollar Man, you probably remember the opening sequence, during which a faceless narrator describes building a man who is “better than he was before. Better … stronger … faster.”

With the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Apple’s engineers achieved just that type of incredible transformation. They fabricated phones that look “normal,” like last year’s iPhone X. But, just like the shadowy geniuses who built the bionic man, Apple indeed made the iPhone X better, stronger and faster — thanks in large part to the A12 Bionic chip that powers the new phones’ most advanced functions. (Other hardware and software upgrades help, too.)

Just like Col. Steve Austin, the ace astronaut who got $6 million worth of bionic implants after a devastating crash, the iPhone X received massive internal upgrades to morph into the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. While it looks like the same old (excellent) device, it’s actually far more fantastic and futuristic.

It’s a total bionic blast!

New A12 Bionic chip makes 2018 iPhones into AI powerhouses

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A12 processor
The Neural Engine gives the iPhone a super smart brain.
Photo: Apple

Apple called the new iPhones‘ A12 Bionic chip “the smartest and most powerful chip ever in a smartphone.” And despite the company’s occasional hyperbole and frequent marketing wizardry, it’s not kidding around.

Here’s why the A12 is so exciting — and what that means for Apple’s Core ML machine learning platform.