- Apple’s latest iPhones are the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.
- The iPhone XR has a starting price that’s $US250 less compared to the iPhone XS, but that doesn’t mean it’s an inferior phone.
- The iPhone XR actually has several advantages over the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The iPhone XS and XS Max are the spiritual successors to the groundbreaking iPhone X from 2017, which eliminated the traditional home button from previous iPhone designs in favour of a display that takes up the entire front of the phone. The iPhone XR is similar to the iPhone X, but it’s a bit bigger, and made of cheaper materials.
Just because the iPhone XR is more affordable than the iPhone XS doesn’t mean it’s inferior, though. Quite the contrary.
1. The iPhone XR is $US250 cheaper than the iPhone XS to start.
Price is probably the biggest consideration for most people, as it should be. And the iPhone XR handily beats iPhone XS in this regard.
The iPhone XR starts at $US749 for 64 GB of storage. It can cost up to $US899 for 256 GB of storage.
The iPhone XS starts at $US999 for 64 GB of storage. It can cost up to $US1,349 for 512 GB of storage.
The iPhone XS Max starts at $US1,099 for 64 GB of storage. It 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, you’re still saving more money with the iPhone XR compared to the iPhone XS.
2. The iPhone XR is available in more colours.
Apple sells the iPhone XS and XS Max in three colour options: silver, space grey, and a new gold option.
3. The iPhone XR has a larger screen than the 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.
Check out the comparison of the iPhone cameras from Apple’s website above. There are literally no differences.
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.
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.
Compared with the A11 Bionic chip that powered the 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.
The iPhone X could last about 12 to 13 hours on a single charge.
The 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 way 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 in 2017: 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 – roughly two to three hours (about 15%) more battery life compared to the iPhone XS and XS Max. That’s meaningful.
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 latest 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 lets 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 got 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 software and 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.