Got a shiny new iPhone XS? Better hope you're not suffering from 'ChargeGate'
Whenever a new iPhone launches, two things happen. First, it is proclaimed as The Best Thing Ever (TM) by tech sites the world over and legions of Apple lovers. Shortly afterwards, the various minor (and sometimes major) problems associated with the hardware come out of the woodwork, gaining considerable column inches in both the specialist and mainstream press.
The arrival of the iPhone XS and XS Max is no exception; while a great many outlets are indeed proclaiming it to be The Best Thing Ever (TM), we're seeing a worrying number of reports relating to various shortcomings users are picking up on.
At the minor end of the scale, users are finding that the iPhone XS' camera appears to have some kind of skin-smoothing effect applied that makes people look super-youthful. This isn't a new feature by any stretch of the imagination; many Chinese phones come with this functionality. However, iPhone XS users are complaining that this is happening without any kind of warning, and some are assuming it is related to the phone's new Smart HDR feature. It is believed that this function – which takes several exposures and overlays them for better contrast – is the reason why flesh looks so darn smooth. However, the video below appears to contest this, and states that the smoothing happens no matter what you do. Eek.
We can live with our phones making us look 20 years younger, but what's less welcome are reports that, in the US at least, iPhone XS owners are getting worse reception than they did with their previous model; some are even saying that their connection drops out entirely at points where previously it was rock-steady on an older device. We're even seeing people complain that WiFi connectivity is impacted, which might suggest a design fault. However, it's perhaps too early to say if this is hardware or software-related.
Finally, we have perhaps the most irksome problem – iPhones that won’t charge when plugged into a Lightning cable. Some users are saying their phone will begin charging if woken, while others are reporting that the phone won't charge with the cable at all. Given the tender age of the iPhone XS – and the fact that this issue seems to be random when it comes to impacting different users – there's a high chance it could be related to a software bug. Even so, it's hardly the kind of 'feature' you want when you've just spent £1000 on a new phone.
We'd imagine that all three of these issues will be dealt with sooner rather than later, as Apple is usually pretty good when it comes to tackling these kind of problems. But then again, there are some issues that simply cannot be fixed with an update – remember the iPhone 4 and AntennaGate? Hopefully, this is simply a case of multiple problems stacking up all at once, rather than a serious flaw with the way the iPhone XS is made.