iPhone X vs iPhone XR: Does newer mean better?

When iPhone X was first released, it was the upgrade iPhone needed. Loaded with new features, it quickly became the exciting must-have phone. But when the 2018 models of iPhones came out, all of those new, exciting features became standard and expected. 

When iPhone XR came along, it was easy to assume that it would have new, added features just because it’s a more recent model that iPhone X. But keep reading, and we'll see if newer really is better, or if this is a case that proves you can't beat the original.


iPhone X vs XR: What is the difference?

If you compare iPhone X and XR side by side, there are a few key differences that you’re guaranteed to spot:

  • iPhone X has the retina OLED display, while iPhone XR has an LCD.
  • iPhone X camera has a dual lens and iPhone XR only has one.
  • iPhone XR is taller and wider than iPhone X.
  • iPhone XR comes with more storage: 64, 128, or 256GB.
  • iPhone XR has more color options. iPhone X comes in silver and space gray, while the XR comes in an array of subtle and not-so-subtle colors

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iPhone X vs XR: The camera

At first glance, there are some glaring differences between the two models' cameras. The obvious thing being the dual lens on iPhone X's rear camera, while iPhone XR only has a single lens. 

In the past, the biggest drawback to only having one lens was that it meant you wouldn't be able to use Portrait Mode. But now Apple has been able to recreate that feature using only software, and the results are just as amazing. 

Even though both iPhone X and iPhone XR have very similar specs, like being able to record 4K video and slow-mo at 240fps, iPhone XR does have an upgraded sensor. Which means it will perform better than iPhone X in low or bad light conditions. And overall, produce a more vibrant and richer color in its pictures.


iPhone X vs iPhone XR: The size

iPhone X and iPhone XR are very similar in size, but the XR is just a bit bigger in every aspect. The 6.1 inch display on the XR gives it taller and wider viewing area, compared with iPhone X only stretching 5.8 inches.  And while the difference in measurements may seem minimal, it is what makes iPhone X a one-handed device versus the two-handed iPhone XR.

Here are a little more detailed specs.

iPhone X

  • 5.65 by 2.79 by 0.30 inches
  • 6.14 oz
  • 5.8-inch super HD Retina OLED display

iPhone XR

  • 5.94 by 2.98 by 0.33 inches
  • 6.84 oz
  • 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD display

So is iPhone X or XR better?

If you look at things like the OLED display and the dual camera, there's no denying that iPhone X has more premium features than iPhone XR. But to flat out say iPhone X is better than the XR might be somewhat unfair. Because even though iPhone X comes with all the flashy features, you're still paying for them. Even today, iPhone X is just as expensive and sometimes even more than the XR.


Hopefully, this article gave you a little more context as to what differentiates iPhone X from iPhone XR. It's not always safe to assume that newer is better, as is evident from things like iPhone X's super sharp OLED display. And that's not to say that cheaper is automatically worse — it just depends on whether you'll notice and miss those premium features.

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