iPhone XR vs iPhone Xs: Is spending an extra £200 worth it?

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iPhone XR vs iPhone Xs

In an attempt to follow up from last year’s special event, Apple has come out swinging with three brand new iPhones: the iPhone XR, iPhone Xs, and the iPhone Xs Max. While iPhone names have definitely become more confusing since the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X last year, that’s not the only thing Apple has changed.

To help you get to grips with which iPhone might be best for you,  I’ve compared the less expensive of the three models, the iPhone XR and iPhone Xs, although these are by no means “cheap” options. If you’re torn between the iPhone Xs and it’s larger sibling, the iPhone Xs Max, we’ve put that comparison together too.

iPhone XR vs iPhone Xs: Release Date

If you’re absolutely dying to get your hands on one of the new iPhones as soon as possible, the iPhone Xs is probably going to be your best bet.

Preorders for the Xs and Xs Max started on 14 September, and the phones themselves will start shipping on September 26.

If you’ve decided that the iPhone XR is the phone for you, be prepared to wait at least a month. Preorders won’t be available until 19 October and ship the following week on the 26th. If price is your main concern, the wait might be worth it. While it is definitely not a cheap phone, the XR is over £200 cheaper than the Xs.

iPhone XR vs iPhone Xs: Design

Appearance-wise, not much has been radically changed from last year. The iPhone XR’s screen is larger than the iPhone 8, sporting an impressive 6.1in display. Because Apple has eliminated the home button and introduced the iPhone X’s edge-to-edge screen, the iPhone XR still manages to be lighter in weight than its predecessors. If you want to get precise, the exact dimensions are 76mm x 8.3 x 151mm, weighing just 194g. You’ll just have to get used to that notch blocking the top part of your screen, though.

And as far as colors go, the iPhone XR gives you six options: Black, blue, coral, red, yellow, and white. Not quite enough to have for every day of the week, but it’s a start.

The iPhone Xs looks an awful lot like the iPhone X– same screen size, and the same notched design. The changes to this phone are mostly internal improvements. Waterproofing has been upgraded to IP68, and the 12MP dual-camera has a smattering of enhancements. The iPhone Xs is just a little bit smaller than the XR, at 71mm x 7.7mm x 144mm, and weighing 177g.

iPhone XR vs iPhone Xs: Display

The display is the biggest difference between the iPhone Xs and iPhone XR. Apple is calling the XR’s 6.1in screen the “most advanced” LCD screen it’s put out so far, and with a resolution of 1,792 x 828-pixels and a density of 326 ppi, that’s not a bad claim to make – even if it won’t have Android users quaking in their boots.

The 5.8in Xs is still the winner here, however, with its 2,436 x 1,242-pixel, 458ppi OLED display. The difference between these two displays might be hard to detect at first, but the real power of the Xs comes through in its colors, which are much better defined than on the XR.

iPhone XR vs iPhone Xs: Camera

Both the iPhone XR and Xs share the same basic primary camera. Apple upgraded its hardware this year, giving its phones a 12-megapixel camera with a larger sensor and more pixels than the iPhone X; 1.4um pixels, to be exact. The cameras also sport a f/1.8 wide-angle lens, Smart HDR technology, and an adjustable bokeh.

If this is a contest between camera prowess, the iPhone Xs would win. Not only does it sport the same 12-megapixel snapper of the XR but it also has a second  f/2.4 aperture 12-megapixel telephoto lens to utilise.

iPhone XR vs iPhone Xs:: Face ID

Apple has abandoned its Touch ID technology entirely, completing a process that started last year when Touch ID failed to make it onto the iPhone X. So, now that neither the Xs nor the XR have it, Face ID is the primary biometric login for both phones.

iPhone XR vs iPhone Xs: Price

If, after reading this, you feel like you absolutely need a new iPhone, then be prepared to dish out a fair bit of cash. The cheapest option this year is the 64GB iPhone XR, which comes in at £799. The highest spec, and most expensive, XR comes with 256GB and will set you back £899.

However, even the most expensive XR will cost you less than the cheapest Xs, which starts at £999 for the 64GB model. The next size model, the 256GB, costs £1,149. And if you want the 512GB model, you’ll need £1,349; You know, the price of a decent laptop, or a really nice smart TV, or 5 Nintendo Switches and a couple games.

iPhone XR vs iPhone Xs: Verdict

Though we won’t know for sure which phone is better until they’ve been officially released and we’ve given them a good going over, by looks of it, the XR is the better phone for your budget. The display may not be as nice as the Xs, and the camera is not quite as advanced, but that’s a miniscule sacrifice to make when you’re saving over £200.

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