iPhone XS, XS Plus and XR are here, so let’s take a look at their place in 3D visualization. Apple might have lost some of its shine in the past years, but let’s focus on their latest products. I’m not going to hide my personal opinion about Apple‘s products. I think they are great in general, all have some issues here and there, but nothing if you compare it to PCs with Windows or handheld devices with Android. The fact that they have a limited amount of devices that they have to build their own operating system for is an advantage. As simple as that.
iPhone XS and XR are the latest phones from Apple. At the time of writing this article, these devices are all on preorder, so I can only give my opinion based on their existing iPhone XS – which is the iPhone X without the S. First, let’s take a look at the tech specs of the new iPhone XS and XR.
iPhone XS and XR Tech Specs
iPhone XS has two versions, one with 5.8″ display and one with 6.5″. iPhone XR is in-between with it’s 6.1″ display. Last years iPhone X is on the lower end of the spectrum with its 5.8″ display. The interesting part of these displays are the resolutions. 2436 by 1125 pixels go in the “small” devices (with 5.8″ display) and that is well… insane. The iPhone XS Max has a resolution of 2688 by 1242 pixels, which makes it one of the best platforms to use for virtual reality content. I’m a lucky owner of the iPhone X, and when I’ve tried its VR capabilities I was blown away. Previously I’ve heard that VR devices are too pixelated and give a cheap feeling, even if they cost a fortune. That is not the case with the retina displays. As technology evolves, these issues will definitely go away. Today, however, the situation is that if you are looking for a decent virtual reality experience, you might want to consider buying a high-end smartphone instead of a dedicated VR device.
iPhone XS and XR compared to dedicated VR devices
Let’s take an example of the iPhone XS vs. the new HTC Vive Pro VR headset. The price of the new iPhone X line starts from $749, the Vive Pro starts from $798 (on Amazon). OK, iPhone still needs a case to make it work like a VR device, which you can pick up from around $10-30. The big difference that you are going to experience is that for the HTC Vive, you need a powerful PC as well. It’s not really going to do anything on its own (as far as I know). Want to have hand-held controllers for the Vive? Add another $600 to the price. But let’s stick with the headset for now. Roughly the same price for the two devices, you can only use the Vive for VR. iPhone XS? Well, many things.
iPhone XS – Probably the best for VR experience?
Let’s take a look at the hardware in the iPhone XS. Today’s high-end smartphones are filled with insane power, that goes for the iPhone XS as well. Games are trying to catch up with the visuals that consoles achieved so far, and in some cases, they are already there. 3D visualization requires a lot of calculations for the complex shaders that mimic real-world materials. There still are some limitation on the developing end of 3D for smartphones, but with some workaround, a pretty similar look can be achieved. I’d say around 90% match with the desktop version of the same visualization. The small differences will fade away in the coming years, and if you ask me, I’d rather pick a VR device that is also an insanely good phone as well over a VR device that you can use for a few hours and after its collecting dust on the shelf.
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