Apple iPhone XS Vs iPhone XR: What’s The Distinction?


For the primary time,
’s most enjoyable new iPhone is its least expensive. Launched alongside the premium iPhone XS and
eye-wateringly costly iPhone XS Max, the iPhone XR seems to retain their finest options for a a lot decrease asking value. So is that this the right improve, or are there problematic variations which it’s best to keep away from?

Right here’s every little thing it’s worthwhile to know…


Shows – Larger, However Not Higher

Maybe essentially the most stunning distinction between the iPhone XS and iPhone XR is it’s the latter which has the larger show. That mentioned, every little thing else in regards to the iPhone XR’s display is inferior:

  • iPhone XS – 5.8-inch OLED, 19.5:9 side ratio, True Tone, 2436 x 1125 pixels (458 ppi), 1,000,000:1 distinction ratio, 82.9% screen-to-body ratio,
  • iPhone XR – 6.1-inch LCD, 19.5:9 side ratio, True Tone, 1792 x 828 pixels (326 ppi), 1,400:1 distinction ratio, 79.0% screen-to-body ratio

As you’ll see above, the massive compromises with the iPhone XR are its downgrade from OLED to LCD and a considerably decrease native decision. In reality, the iPhone XR can’t even show Full HD 1080p content material – that’s stunning for a 6.1-inch gadget.

The iPhone XR is Dolby Imaginative and prescient / HDR10 compliant just like the iPhone XS, however it lacks the stress delicate 3D Contact know-how which has been part of the iPhone vary for the reason that iPhone 6S.

So do you have to care in regards to the downgrades? In actuality, no.


LCD shows might not match OLED when it comes to distinction ratio and black ranges, however they’re greater than ok for the overwhelming majority of customers. The decrease 326 ppi (an identical to the iPhone 8) remains to be 3x greater than a 40-inch 4K tv (110 ppi), and also you’ll nonetheless get the identical 19.5:9 side ratio because the iPhone XS, the identical True Tone color accuracy and “120Hz contact sensing” for a sooner response to the touch enter.

As for the absence of 3D Contact, iOS 12 has enabled a protracted press to exchange most of its features and the know-how is anticipated to be axed subsequent yr anyway because of an absence of client curiosity. So whereas the show is likely one of the largest technical variations between the iPhone XS and iPhone XR, in a side-by-side comparability I’m not satisfied most customers will care.

Learn extra – iPhone XS Vs iPhone XS Max: What’s The Distinction?

Design – Related, However Downgraded

At first look, except for their bodily sizes, the iPhone XS and iPhone XR look an identical. However they aren’t.

  • iPhone XS – 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm (5.65 x 2.79 x 0.30 in) and 177g (6.24 oz)
  • iPhone XR – 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm (5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 in) and 194 g (6.84 oz)

Whereas the iPhone XR has roughly a 5% bigger show than the iPhone XS, it’s 10% heavier and barely thicker. The first motive for that is the LCD show, which isn’t as versatile as OLED so it can not match as seamlessly into the chassis (search for the bigger bezels on all sides of the iPhone XR show).


The iPhone XS additionally has a stainless-steel chassis which has a barely extra premium really feel than the 7000 Sequence aluminium of the iPhone XR (used within the iPhone 8 and older) and also you get IP68 water resistance from the iPhone XS and IP67 water resistance on the iPhone XR.

Must you care? Once more, I don’t suppose so.

Some is not going to just like the iPhone XR’s thicker bezels, however they’re nonetheless thinner than many OLED rivals. Likewise, aluminium feels nice in hand and IP68 merely means the cellphone will be submerged for as much as half-hour in two metres of water, not one metre. These usually are not deal breakers for most individuals.

The place the 2 iPhones match, nevertheless, is extra tangible.


Each get 25% louder exterior audio system (which additionally add stereo left and proper channels), and twin sim assist courtesy of a bodily nano sim and inner eSIM so house owners can run work and residential or house and journey sims in a single gadget. No iPhone has supplied this earlier than.

Curiously, the iPhone XR additionally is available in a a lot wider and extra attention-grabbing vary of colors – White, Black, Blue, Yellow, Coral, (PRODUCT)RED – than the iPhone XS which is restricted to Silver, Area Gray and Gold and seems to be an identical to final yr’s iPhone X.


From a head-turning perspective, the iPhone XR is solely extra attention-grabbing.

Efficiency – Rocket Sleds

Remarkably, the iPhone XR runs the identical cutting-edge chipset because the iPhone XS:

  • iPhone XS, iPhone XR – Apple A12 ‘Bionic’ chipset: Six-Core CPU, 4-Core GPU, M12 movement coprocessor

The distinction is the iPhone XS comes with 4GB of RAM whereas the iPhone XR has 3GB. It will present a slight enchancment in multitasking, as extra apps will be held in reminiscence without having to reload. However primarily the additional RAM is required for the iPhone XS’s twin digicam (extra within the subsequent part) and no-one thinks final yr’s iPhone X (3GB) is gradual.


As for what the Apple A12 (‘Bionic’ is simply advertising nonsense) brings to the desk, you’ll get 50% leaps in graphics efficiency and energy effectivity when idle, in addition to a 15% enhance in peak CPU efficiency. The will increase are welcome, however Apple is to this point forward of the pack right here (the 2017 iPhone X is quicker than each 2018 Android cellphone), they’re hardly wanted.

Each new iPhones additionally add a pleasant contact: tiny energy reserves so NFC transactions will be accomplished even when the telephones have run out of battery. A singular characteristic to this yr’s fashions.

Elsewhere, the massive information is each iPhones have assist for 600 MHz 4G bands. 600MHz is utilized by carriers to cowl extensive areas which had been beforehand with out sign and, till now, iPhones weren’t appropriate with it. So this alone, fairly actually, opens up a complete new viewers of potential consumers.

The iPhone XR does miss out on the iPhone XS’s new 4G Cat 16 LTE speeds (able to one-gigabit downloads) however in actuality, its Cat 12 600Mbit efficiency is greater than you want. So whereas Apple is lagging behind with 5G assist, anybody getting such quick speeds on 4G is unlikely to care.

Cameras – Single Vs Double


Other than their completely different show sizes, the second most externally recognisable distinction between the iPhone XS and iPhone XR is the latter solely has a single rear digicam:

  • iPhone XS, iPhone XR – Main rear digicam – 12MP, f/1.8 aperture, 1.4µm pixel dimension, Optical Picture stabilisation (OIS), Quad-LED True Tone flash, Portrait Lighting
  • iPhone XS – Secondary telephoto lens – 12MP, f/2.4 aperture, 1.0µm pixel dimension, OIS, 2x optical zoom
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XR – Entrance ‘TrueDepth’ digicam – 7MP, f/2.2 aperture

The excellent news is all iPhone XR customers miss out on is the 2x optical zoom. Sure, this can be a useful characteristic however many occasions you possibly can simply stroll nearer to a topic. In the meantime, earlier iPhones required the second digicam for Apple’s standard Portrait Mode however the iPhone XR can ship it with each its single entrance and rear cameras.


Crucially, each new iPhones additionally assist Apple’s new ‘Sensible HDR’ picture processing. This combines a number of photographs taken at completely different exposures right into a single picture to fight the iPhone vary’s historic weak spot with dynamic vary. This method is much like HDR+ on Google Pixel 2, which (nonetheless) has the finest cellphone digicam available on the market.


Just like the Pixel 2, each the iPhone XS and iPhone XR major rear cameras even have a bigger 1.4µm pixel dimension which allows them to soak up extra mild. It is a essential improve for higher low mild images and a win for each telephones.

All of which implies you have to be noticing a sample: the iPhone XR has one other compromise in comparison with the iPhone XS, however it’s in all probability one you possibly can dwell with. Furthermore, the XR has one huge space the place it simply outshines the XS…

Learn extra – iPhone XS Vs iPhone X: What’s The Distinction?

Battery Life And Charging – Cheaper Lasts Longer

For these of you on the fence in regards to the iPhone XR’s LCD show, right here’s the place it delivers appreciable upsides: the decrease decision is way much less demanding and the bigger dimension means Apple has extra space to suit a much bigger battery.

  • iPhone XS – 2,658 mAh
  • iPhone XR – 2,942 mAh

The implications of this are maybe the largest deal maker for the iPhone XR. It may well outlast the iPhone XS in most areas by as a lot as 25%, and even the flagship iPhone XS Max:


One space the place the iPhone XR misses out, nevertheless, is “sooner” wi-fi charging. As with its Face ID enhancements, Apple hasn’t put a determine on this. Will probably be greater than the 7.5W supplied by the iPhone X and continued by the iPhone XR, however I doubt it comes near the 15W capabilities of the Qi normal the telephones use.

Lastly, a criticism.

Each the iPhone XS and iPhone XR assist the identical quick wired charging because the iPhone X (a 50% cost in half-hour from flat), however Apple has once more declined to incorporate a quick charger within the field. That is unhealthy sufficient with the iPhone XR, however to not embrace one with the iPhone XS (whereas charging $75 for the required charger and appropriate cable) is daylight theft.

Storage And Value – XR Marks The Spot

Right here is the place the iPhone XR seals the deal:

  • iPhone XS – 64GB ($999), 256GB ($1,149), 512GB ($1,349)
  • iPhone XR – 64GB ($749), 128GB ($799), 256GB ($899)

Whereas the $750 beginning value makes headlines, the clear candy spot is the 128GB iPhone XR for simply $50 extra and $200 lower than a 64GB iPhone XS. 128GB can also be an ideal storage choice because the iPhone XS vary seems to offer too little (64GB) then an excessive amount of (256GB) for the typical consumer.

Evidently, some will probably be drawn to the monstrous 512GB iPhone XS, however having the ability to purchase a 256GB iPhone XR with 4x the storage capability of the 64GB iPhone XS for $100 much less is difficult to withstand.


Backside Line

With iPhone gross sales simply outstripping each different model, it appears the largest menace to gross sales of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max (particulars right here) is Apple’s personal iPhone XR.

Whereas Apple has chipped away at virtually each a part of the iPhone XS’s characteristic set to supply the XR, the fact is every little thing that’s misplaced is expendable. For some, there will probably be an important characteristic lacking (OLED show, twin digicam, bezel dimension) that forces them to pay extra for the iPhone XS, however for many consumers the iPhone XR is a well-priced cellphone with all of the fats eliminated.

The iPhone XR can also be a extra sensible cellphone, because of its considerably longer battery life, and a extra eye-catching one, because of its big selection of colors. These decided (or in a position) to dwell on the leading edge can go for the iPhone XS collection however for everybody else, the iPhone XR is the mannequin to purchase. It’s essentially the most attention-grabbing iPhone Apple has made in years…


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