Apple released three new iPhones this year: the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and the more affordable iPhone XR.
The iPhone XS and XS Max are the spiritual successors to last year’s iPhone X, which eliminated the traditional home button from previous iPhone designs in favour of a display that takes up the entire front of the phone. But just because the iPhone XR is cheaper than the iPhone XS doesn’t mean it’s inferior. Quite the contrary.
Here are 9 reasons you should buy an iPhone XR instead of the iPhone XS or XS Max:
1. The iPhone XR is $US250 cheaper than the iPhone XS to start.
Price is probably the biggest consideration for most people, and the iPhone XR has the iPhone XS beat in terms of price.
The iPhone XR starts at $US749 for 64 GB of storage, but can cost up to $US899 for 256 GB of storage.
The iPhone XS starts at $US999 for 64 GB of storage, but can cost up to $US1,349 for 512 GB of storage.
The iPhone XS Max starts at $US1,099 for 64 GB of storage, but can cost up to $US1,449 for 512 GB of storage.
Not many people need 512 GB of storage on their phones – I’m only using 62 GB of my available 256 GB on my iPhone X, and I have over 200 apps, plus tons of old photos and texts. Even if you opt for less storage though, you’re still saving more money with the iPhone XR compared to the iPhone XS.
2. The iPhone XR is available in more colours than the iPhone XS.
Apple sells the iPhone XS and XS Max in three colour options: silver, space grey, and a new gold option.
The iPhone XR, meanwhile, comes in six different colours: black, white, yellow, red, blue, and coral, which is like orange.
3. The iPhone XR has a larger screen than the iPhone XS.
While it doesn’t come close to the gargantuan 6.5-inch display on the iPhone XS Max, the iPhone XR actually has a larger display than the normal iPhone XS.
The iPhone XR has a 6.1-inch LCD display, which should show you more of your content compared to the 5.8-inch OLED display on the iPhone XS.
4. The iPhone XR’s front-facing camera is identical to the iPhone XS.
The iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max all feature the same 7-megapixel camera on the front to power Apple’s TrueDepth Camera system for Face ID.
All three phones also come with all the same features that use the front-facing camera, including portrait mode with advanced bokeh and depth control, 1080p HD video recording, Smart HDR for photos, and Animoji.
Check out the comparison of the iPhone cameras from Apple’s website above. There are literally no differences.
5. The iPhone XR has a near-identical rear camera system as the iPhone XS, despite having one fewer lens.
The iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max all feature the same 12-megapixel wide-angle lens on the back, and most of the same features, like optical image stabilisation, Smart HDR, portrait mode, and more.
The iPhone XR lacks a telephoto lens, so it can only achieve 3x digital zoom. The iPhone XS and XS Max both do have a telephoto lens, so those phones can achieve 2x optical zoom, and then a 6x digital zoom on top of that. But unless you’re using your camera’s zoom a lot, the iPhone XR camera experience will be nearly identical to that on the iPhone XS.
6. The iPhone XR is powered by the same brains as the iPhone XS.
If you’re worried about getting less performance for less money, don’t be. The iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR are all powered by Apple’s new A12 Bionic chip, which includes a 6-core CPU, a 4-core GPU, and a next-generation neural engine that’s dedicated to machine learning.
Compared with the A11 Bionic chip that powered last year’s iPhone X, which could do 600 billion operations per second, the A12 Bionic chip can power 5 trillion operations per second.
7. The iPhone XR has better battery life than the iPhone XS.
Last year’s iPhone X could last about 12 to 13 hours on a single charge.
This year’s iPhone XS lasts 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X – around 12.5 to 13.5 hours.
The iPhone XS Max lasts 90 minutes longer than the iPhone X, so around 13.5 to 14.5 hours.
But the iPhone XR is even better. Apple says the iPhone XR lasts 90 minutes longer than last year’s iPhone 8 Plus, which had the best battery life of any iPhone that Apple released last year: it could last about 14-15 hours on a single charge. That means the iPhone XR gets about 15.5 to 16.5 hours on a single charge. And that extra two-to-three hours of battery life, compared to the iPhone XS and XS Max, is a meaningful difference.
8. The iPhone XR has the same dual-SIM system as the iPhone XS and XS Max.
Even though it was introduced as a feature in the iPhone XS, all the new iPhones, including the iPhone XR, have Apple’s new dual-SIM feature, which lets people hold one physical nano-SIM card in their phone, as well as an electronic SIM card, or “eSIM.”
Having two SIM cards in your iPhone will let you have two phone numbers and connect to multiple carriers or networks, which is ideal for travelling, or people who don’t want to be bound to a single carrier.
(China is getting separate versions of these iPhones that support two physical SIM cards, instead of the eSIM and nano-SIM combination every other country gets.)
9. The iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max all feature the same Apple ecosystem.
All three iPhones come with iOS 12, Apple’s latest mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads.
That means all three iPhones get the same software updates straight from Apple, the same App Store, and the same great security and privacy features.
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