The Difference Between iPhone XS and XR – An iPhone Comparison

Waiting for Apple to unveil its flagship phone each year is one of those mega-events that journalists, Apple loyalists and people looking to try the company’s technology for the first time usually look forward to with bated breath. There is always a huge buzz around the event itself, while platforms try to put out leaked images and speculate about the features that the new iPhone or iPhones will have to offer. The last year was nothing different from the rest, with a grand event where the company launched three iPhone variants — the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR. 

While the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max were expected to launch in September 2018, the unexpected entry into the line of iPhones was the iPhone XR, which ended up creating quite a buzz in the industry for being a more affordable — even though it’s not cheap — alternative to the iPhone XS. As the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro hit the market, the price of the iPhone XR has fallen and the iPhone XS may be bought for cheaper. This makes both of these great options for people who are looking to purchase some of the best Apple smartphones. However, it is important to learn the difference between the iPhone XS and Xr.

Difference Between iPhone XS and XR

Design: iPhone XS Vs. XR

iPhone XS and iPhone XR Design

When you look at the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR, you may be inclined to think that both of them are very similar in terms of dimensions and physical sizes. However, there are relatively significant differences with the iPhone XS measuring 143.6 mm in height, 70.9 mm in width and 7.7 mm in thickness. This phone weighs 177 grams or 6.24 oz. The iPhone XR, on the other hand, is 150.9 mm in height, 75.7 mm in width and 8.3 mm in thickness. It weighs slightly more — 194 g or 6.84 oz. In terms of dimensions, the iPhone XR is larger, while the iPhone XS has retained dimensions similar to its predecessor, the iPhone X.

While both the iPhone XR and iPhone XS have glass backs, the XR’s edges are covered with aluminum instead of the chicer looking stainless steel that is utilized in the making of the more expensive of the two — the iPhone XS. A major difference between both these models is the display, which will be discussed in greater detail in the next section.

iPhone XS and iPhone XR Display Difference

iPhone XS and XR Display

The display of the iPhone XR is larger — 6.1 inches — when compared to the display of the iPhone XS — at 5.8 inches — but that doesn’t mean that the quality of the display is also superior in the iPhone XR. While the XR’s display is 5% larger than the iPhone XS, it is 10% heavier, and even a little thicker, which can make it a little unwieldy. 

If you are wondering why the iPhone XR is disproportionately larger, it can be attributed to the LCD display that is used on the XR, as opposed to the OLED display that can be found on the iPhone XS. The latter is more flexible, which means that it can fit in the chassis with greater ease. 

While both the iPhone XR and the iPhone XS share an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, there is a significant difference in pixel density, which changes the quality of the display significantly. The XR has a pixel density of 324 pixels per inch, whereas the XS offers 463 pixels per inch, marginally higher than what the iPhone X offered.

Camera Difference For iPhone XS and XR

iPhone XS and XR camera

Another major point of difference between the iPhone XR and the iPhone XS is the rear camera. The primary rear camera on both phones is the same 12-megapixel one with f/1.8 aperture, 1.4µm pixel size, optical image stabilization (OIS) as well as Quad-LED True Tone flash and Portrait Lighting. However, the XS also comes with a secondary 12-megapixel telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture, 1.0µm pixel size, OIS and 2x optical zoom. When it comes to front cameras, both the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR feature a 7-megapixel front ‘TrueDepth’ camera with f/2.2 aperture. 

While the XR does not have a secondary camera, it can still click pictures in portrait mode. Both also support the company’s new ‘Smart HDR’ image processing, which combines multiple photos at different exposures into a single image for a better dynamic range. Both models also perform increasingly well in low light conditions. The final product may look a little different because of the presence of a secondary camera in the iPhone XS, but the XR also packs a punch.

Performance: iPhone XS Vs. XR

iPhone XS and XR performance

Many smartphone companies scrimp on performance when they are launching a more affordable phone with their flagship product, but Apple has refrained from doing so in this case. Both the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR run on the same chipset — Apple A12 ‘Bionic’ chipset. This boasts of a six-core CPU, four-core GPU, and an M12 motion coprocessor. There is, however, a difference in RAM, where the iPhone XS comes with 4GB of RAM and the affordable alternative comes with 3GB RAM. While the additional memory helps you do multiple things at the same time, it helps in the functioning of the dual camera.

The new chipset changes the graphics performance and the power efficiency by almost 50%, improving the peak CPU performance as well. They also come with additional power reserves that allow NFC transactions to be completed even if the battery runs out. The iPhone XS does offer 4G Cat 16 LTE speeds, which the XR does not, but the iPhone XR performance does not allow you to see a difference that is too significant.

Battery Life and Charging

iPhone XS Charging

This is one area where the iPhone XR really shines is battery life. While you may have been slightly disappointed by the LCD display offered with the XR, this lower resolution display actually works to make this smartphone perform better in terms of battery life. In addition to that, the larger size of the XR means that this iPhone variant can also house a big battery — at 2,942 mAh. 

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On the other hand, the iPhone XS may be sleeker, but it also has a smaller battery — 2,658 mAh — and consumes more energy because if its superior display. Overall, the iPhone XR’s battery performance could be up to 25% better than the iPhone XS’s performance, and possibly even more than the top-of-the-line iPhone XS Max.  

Both the phone offer wireless charging but the iPhone XR misses out on the faster-charging speeds that the iPhone XS offers. The big disappointment, however, is that the wireless charger is not included even with the more expensive iPhone XS. If it has to be bought separately, it seems like a bad deal.

iPhone XS and XR Storage Difference

iPhone XS and XR Storage

The base models for both the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR start with 64 GB of storage space. As is the case with all Apple smartphones, the memory is not expandable so you have to choose the storage size that will be in line with your storage from the very beginning. With the iPhone XR, the next variant has 128 GB of storage, followed by a 256 GB version. While the 64 GB iPhone XR may not meet the requirements of most people who use their phone regularly, the 128 GB works well enough.

With the iPhone XS, you jump from the base, 64 GB model to the 256 GB variant, followed by a more expensive 512 GB option for people who want enormous amounts of storage. These, however, may not prove to be too cost-effective, which will be discussed in the next section.

The iPhone XS is available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray, which are the traditional colors that Apple sticks to when it comes to their flagship smartphones. The iPhone XR, on the other hand, is available in a range of different colors, including Blue, Coral, Product (Red), White, Yellow, and Black. 

Price Difference: iPhone XS and iPhone XR

iPhone XS and iPhone XR price

With the release of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the price of the other Apple smartphones — including the iPhone XR and the iPhone XS — has come down significantly. This means that it could be a good idea to purchase one of these now.

The main issue with the iPhone XS is that not only is it priced much higher than the iPhone XR, its storage capacity variants can also be a little inconvenient for the average user. With no 128 GB option offered, you need to choose from the 64 GB — too less — or the 256 GB and 512 GB — too large. The iPhone XR’s 128 GB, on the other hand, is priced only marginally higher than the 64 GB variant and works well for the average user.

Both the iPhone XS and the XR are built well and offer a great range of features, but choosing one will depend entirely on your requirements as an individual. If you are ready to compromise a little on the display and camera quality but want better battery life and affordability, the iPhone XR may be right for you. On the other hand, iPhone XS works for people who want the best quality but don’t mind spending the extra money and compromising on the battery.

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