• Choosing your iPhone: iPhone Xs vs iPhone XR

    By Samantha Watson , September 27, 2018 - Leave a comment

    If you hadn’t heard (I mean, really?!), Apple have released three new devices to add to their ever-popular iPhone range. The iPhone Xs and iPhone XR come equipped with top-of-the-range software and technologies, but which device should you choose?


    Display and Design

    The iPhone XR comes in an array of different colours

    Aiming for a bezel-free experience, Apple devices are being crafted with larger and larger displays. What’s interesting then, is that the iPhone XR comes with a 0.3-inch bigger screen than Apple’s standard Xs model.

    Indeed, the iPhone Xs comes with a 5.8-inch OLED display and a 2436 x 1125-pixel resolution (458ppi). With a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, this offers an impressive 82.9% screen-to-body ratio, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in your display.

    By contrast, the LCD display of the XR measures in at impressive 6.1-inches and offers a similar 19.5:9 aspect ratio with a 1792 x 828-pixel resolution (326 ppi). This is thus 5% larger than that of the Xs, however larger bezels mean that the screen-to-body ratio is smaller at 79%.

    Important to note, is that whilst the XR is larger, the difference between OLED and LCD technology is paramount. LCD screens are built upon one large backlight that produces constant light when the screen is on. In comparison, the light of an OLED display is produced on a pixel-by-pixel basis. This allows for far greater contrast in colours, including deeper blacks (since a pixel can simply turn off) and brighter whites.

    That said, LCD displays are usually more than sufficient for the vast majority of smartphone owners and the lower 326 ppi is still 3x higher than a 40-inch 4K television – not too shabby at all!

    (Oh, and the XR comes in a whole array of new colours!)



    Both devices are fitted with Apple’s A12 Bionic chipset

    Apple have included the same chipset in all their 2018 devices; the Apple A12 Bionic, and so you won’t find a huge amount of difference between the two here. The A12 Bionic however, is something worth talking about.

    It’s two performance cores (used to complete heavy tasks) are “up to 15% faster” than the A11 Bionic chipset that was used within the iPhone X. The four cores used to tackle more every day tasks, such as powering app usage, use “up to 50% lower power usage”, whilst graphics performance, Apple claim, is up to 50% faster.

    That’s quite some claimed improvement over the iPhone X and is worth some serious considering. That said, the iPhone Xs comes with 4GB of RAM in comparison to the 3GB of the iPhone XR. With this, you may notice a slight difference in multitasking speeds – more apps can be stored within the device’s memory without the need to reload – but probably not worth the extra £200.

    Also worth mentioning is that Apple claim the cheaper XR will have the longest battery life of the three devices, providing up to 16 hours of video playback. The Xs triumphs with regards to storage options though, giving twice the amount of the XR’s largest offering.



    The iPhone Xs has a dual camera setup

    There’s a pretty obvious difference here; the iPhone Xs comes with a dual rear-camera setup whilst the XR offers only one.

    The primary rear camera on each device is however unmistakably similar; 12MP, f/1.8 aperture, Optical Image Stabilisation and Quad-LED True Tone flash, amongst others. Both lenses come equipped with a larger pixel size that allows them to take in more light, enabling much improved low light photography compared to previous devices.

    Indeed, even the 7MP front-camera of the Xs and XR are identical. With a f/2.2 aperture, both feature Portrait Mode with Bokeh, Smart HDR and 1080p HD video recording.

    The difference thereby lies within the secondary rear lens of the iPhone Xs. This is a 12MP telephoto lens with a f/2.4 aperture and 2x optical zoom. The iPhone XR can only achieve a 3x digital zoom, however this telephoto lens of the Xs allows 2x optical zoom, as well as 6x digital zoom on top of that too.


    iPhone XR | From £624.17 ex-VAT

    iPhone Xs | From £832.50 ex-VAT

    Samantha Watson


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