When it comes to cheaper alternative consoles to their main picks, Microsoft has an abundance of options to choose from. But which is the best? The Xbox Series S or the Xbox One S? Both are packed with top specs and are perfect options if you want don’t want to go all out on an Xbox console or prefer another platform. And we are going to identify which is best for the price.
And if by the end of this guide, you have made up your mind, our console collection may just have the device you want at a great price.
When it comes to how much space you have to install your favourite games and apps, the Xbox One S has many different versions supported with the storage space you want. Of course, you have the base 500GB and 1TB versions, but there are also a few special editions (though rare in this day) that can provide up to 2TBs of storage.
The Xbox Series S, however, has only one option to pick from. The Xbox Series S is loaded with 512GB of storage space, with no other versions that you can get your hands on. Though you could boost this by a further 1TB using a Seagate Storage Expansion, this will cost you almost an extra £200.
500GB isn’t a great amount of storage space. At the most, you are only going to get a couple of top games installed. The recommended option is 1TB. There is plenty of space for you to install many of your favourite games and not worry about how much storage you have left.
One big differential here though is that the Xbox Series S utilises a solid-state drive. Whereas the Xbox One S is stuck with a hard disc drive. This gives the Xbox Series S console an advantage in that the games you do want to play will boot up quicker and will install a little faster.
Verdict: You can argue for both consoles here, with both having their separate benefits. The Xbox One S has many different options to choose from when it comes to storage size. Whereas, the Xbox Series S has the benefit of faster speeds. We’ll leave this up to a tie.
We all want the best visuals when it comes to our favourite games. And when it comes to graphical performance, there is quite a major difference between the Xbox One S and Xbox Series S. The Xbox One S is packed with 12 CUs (914MHz) 1.23 TF GPU and the Xbox Series S has 4 TFLOPS 20CUs @ 1.565GHz of Custom RDNA 2 graphics. To put this simply, the Xbox Series S has greater graphical power.
When it comes to resolution, the Xbox Series S is still the better option. With a max resolution of 1440p when playing games, compared to the Xbox One S’s 1080p. However, if you are a big fan of 4K, neither of these consoles have the specs for true native 4K. The Xbox Series S features upscaled 4K, which is great. But native 4K is still the desired option graphically.
Verdict: The Xbox Series S is the better option when it comes to graphical power. But if you desperately want native 4K, you will want to look towards one of the X consoles.
Performance power is the number one thing you want to look at when it comes to your next console. The frame rate, processor and memory all play a massive part in how your games perform. And just like with graphics, the Xbox Series S has the edge. Well, it is less of an edge. Performance-wise, the Xbox Series S knocks the Xbox One S out of the park.
Though the Xbox One S is capable of 60fps in some apps and limited games, you will almost always find yourself playing at 30fps. With the Xbox Series S, however, you will find rarely drops below 60fps and can even run games up 120fps. Though this is only with select games that support 120fps.
This is all capable thanks to the 8X Cores @ 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz w/SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU processor and 10GB GDDR6 128 bit-wide bus that the Xbox Series S has to offer. And if you were curious, the Xbox One S is loaded with an eight-core custom AMD APU @ 1.75GHz processor and 8GB DDR3 RAM.
Verdict: The Xbox Series S takes this one easily.
Size and Design
Regarding the design of these consoles, there are quite a few things to note. Mostly their respective sizes. Both consoles are relatively compact, especially the Xbox Series S. The Xbox Series S is H6.5cm x W15.cm x L27.5cm, making it the smallest console made. Meaning if you have little space in your setup, you won’t struggle to find a spot for the Xbox Series X. The Xbox One S, though not as compact as the Xbox Series S, doesn’t take up much space. Measuring at H6.5cm x W23cm x L29.5cm.
How about setting up the console? Both consoles have everything you need to get everything set up without any issues. The Xbox One S features 2 HDMI 1.4 ports (HDMI in and out), 3x USB 3.2 Gen Type-A ports, along with your usual power and ethernet ports. And the Xbox Series S features a 1x HDMI 2.1 port, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports, power in and ethernet ports, and the storage expansion port if you decide to grab the Seagate storage expansion card. The one big thing to note here is the presence of the HDMI 2.1 port on the Series S. This port allows the support of the higher resolution, and you don’t have to go through the hassle of HDMI in and out.
One other big difference is the presence of the optical disc drive. The Xbox Series S does not feature a disc drive, meaning that you will only be able to play games digitally. Some people may see this as a bad thing, as disc versions of the game tend to be cheaper than through the Xbox Store. But on the positive side, there is no hassle of sorting out discs. On the other hand, the Xbox One S features an optical disc drive.
Verdict: The Xbox Series S wins another. With a super compact size and extra useful ports that are more sustainable in this day.
Despite being quite a few years apart in release, both the Xbox Series S and Xbox One S aren’t massively different when it comes to the price you have to pay.
The Xbox Series S has a retail price of £249.99, and a new Xbox One S with 1TB will typically cost around £170. Setting the two consoles around £70 apart from each other. But if you don’t feel the need for 1TB of storage, then opting for a 500GB version of the Xbox One S may be the best option for you (while also taking the price down to around the £150 mark).
The one big problem you are likely to face when looking for an Xbox One S is that new models are quite scarce. This is because Microsoft ended production of the Xbox One S in 2020, meaning that new Xbox One S consoles are hard to come by, and you may have to settle with a refurb or second-hand console.
Verdict: If you want the cheapest option, then the Xbox One S wins this one. But if you want the device that is best for the price, the Series S is the big winner.
Both consoles offer a strong experience, but the Xbox Series S is the sure winner here. All thanks to its leading performance and graphical power, all in a compact form. The Xbox One S is a worthy contender, but with the console no longer in production, it may be a struggle to find a new one.