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gadgets: iPhone XS vs. iPhone XR: Which Apple Phone to Choose?

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iPhone XS vs. iPhone XR: Which Apple Phone to Choose?

For this new generation of phones, Apple has decided to change its existing product line by removing its flagship products from 2017 and 2018, the iPhone X. It is replaced by the iPhone XS, and its large format sibling: the iPhone XS Max.

The iPhone 8 finds its successor: the iPhone XR. The iPhone XS and the iPhone XR are from the new generation - of course - but they are two very different products in terms of features and price. In the comparison of iPhone XS and iPhone XR below, you will find the main differences and similarities between the two smartphones. Is the price difference between iPhone XS and iPhone XR justified?

Comparative: size, design and screen

A bigger screen on the iPhone XR

Admittedly, the iPhone XR is the most affordable model. The XR has the largest screen of the two (if we exclude the iPhone XS Max model ...) with its diagonal at 6.1 inches versus the XS’ 5.8 inches.

However, it should be noted that there is a big difference in screen quality: the premium model has an incredible OLED screen (with a resolution of 2,436 x 1,125 pixels at 458 dpi) while the iPhone XR has a more than satisfying LCD screen (with a resolution of 1792 x 828 pixels at 326 dpi). 

 A more premium design for the iPhone XS

To continue the comparison between the iPhone XS and iPhone XR, comparing the overall design of the two smartphones. On the one hand, we have the iPhone XS which is available in silver, gold & gray - and on the other side we have the iPhone XR which is available in blue, white, black, yellow, coral and red. In terms of materials, the difference between the two phones is also felt: the iPhone XS is made out of of stainless steel for its chassis, and glass back. As for the iPhone XR, we always find the glass on the back of the phone, but simply a classic aluminium layer for the chassis.

Among the notorious differences that can be highlighted in this comparison between the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR, we can also highlight the lack of 3D Touch system on the iPhone XR. This feature was already available on the iPhone X and allows access to menus based on the pressure exerted by the finger on the screen. Once again, this shows that the iPhone XS is a clear evolution of the iPhone X (the latter is also no longer sold).

Comparative of the cameras

The iPhone XR also has a single 12 MP camera on the back. As for the iPhone XS can count on a telephoto and wide-angle lens offering high quality photos.

At the front of both phones are fitted with same camera of 7 MPx both featuring facial recognition system, Face ID. 

Overall performance comparison

A12 Bionic chip is equipped on both models. Improving on the the SoC A12 Bionic that fitted the iPhone X.

In terms of performance, the processor is up to 15% more powerful while the graphics chip is up by 50%. This speeds up the entire system of the iPhone, both in terms of opening mobile applications (advertised as being 30% faster). Whether you are buying an iPhone XS or iPhone XR, both are placed at the same level in terms of processing power.


In conclusion, for a price difference of £300 between the premium model and the more accessible model, the key factor is in the difference in displays and cameras. Both of these smartphones are a massive leap forward compared to their predecessors in terms of design and general specs.