iPhone XS Complete list of XS versus XR differences

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dwsolberg, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. dwsolberg, Oct 19, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018

    dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2003
    Every article I’ve read has an incomplete list of differences between the Xs and Xr, so I thought I’d make a list that people can read and add to.

    What the Xs has that the Xr does not:
    1. The Xs has twice the cellular antennas (Gigabit-class LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA), so it’s able to go faster with the same signal and get useable signal in places that the Xr cannot. Update: maybe not: https://www.wiwavelength.com/2018/09/iphone-xr-trades-4x4-mimo-for-greater.html
    Another update: maybe so: https://appleinsider.com/articles/1...lar-signal-strength-thanks-to-better-antennas
    2. The Xs has a higher resolution OLED screen, and that screen extends slightly closer to the edge than the Xr (smaller bezel). A lot of people really like the vivid blacks of OLED screens, although they do have a color cast off-axis.
    3. The Xs has Force Touch and the Xr does not.
    4. The Xs has a telephoto lense for 2x zoom and the Xr does not. This also allows for better portrait shots.
    5. The Xs has a a steel band around the outside, which possibly makes it more attractive and sturdier.
    6. The Xs has 4 GB of RAM while the Xr has 3 GB.
    7. The Xs has better water and dust resistance. (2 meters underwater vs. 1 meter)
    8. The Xs has LTE band 46 and the Xr does not. I don't know the difference though.
    9. The Xs is lighter (6.24 ounces vs. 6.84 ounces) and smaller.
    10. The Xs has “advanced wireless charging”, but not sure what that means.

    What the Xr has that the Xs does not.
    1. The Xr has a bigger screen, and by default shows the same information (slightly smaller) that the XS Max will show. The default font size will be closer to the iPhone 8 size.
    2. The Xr has better battery life, mostly likely quite a bit better.
    3. The Xr comes in colors.
    4. The Xr is much cheaper to repair out of warranty.
    5. Both the Xr and its AppleCare warranty are significantly cheaper.
    6. The memory upgrade path is better for most people on the Xr. For $50, you can upgrade from 64 to 128 GB. The only option for the Xs is to go from 64 all the way to 256, which costs $150. For a lot of people, 64 GB is a little tight, but they don’t need to go all the way to 256.
  2. jetydosa macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2015
    I assume you meant Force Touch?
  3. cibonak macrumors 6502


    Oct 15, 2014
  4. DaveyVigs macrumors regular


    Sep 28, 2016
    XR has eSIM too.
  5. cardfan macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2012
    Ram. Not sure on speaker quality but I’d expect XS has better. That said screen difference should be mentioned twice. It’s quite the difference.
  6. johnc22 macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2010
    Can someone explain in more detail the antenna differences and the practical real world impact?

    Is the XR gimped, or is the XS improved over traditional implementations?
  7. white4s macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2011
    New Jersey
  8. Gudi macrumors 68030


    May 3, 2013
    Berlin, Berlin
    - smaller bezels
    - more water resistance
    - thinner and lighter
    - smaller screen and body
    - more memory
  9. dwsolberg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2003
    Yup. Will fix.
  10. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816


    Mar 19, 2015
    Hey dwsolberg, thanks for taking the time to put this together, it is hard to find a simple bulleted list for this. I'll just touch on what jetydosa corrected below as well.

    Right, to be clear neither have Touch ID.
  11. dwsolberg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2003
    Thanks, this is pretty good, although it doesn't discuss price and the RAM differences.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 19, 2018 ---
    From what I've heard, the speaker quality is the same. Let me know if you find something that says different.
  12. pdp1 macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2018
    To expand on the 2x telephoto lens difference...

    Pro for Xr:
    - Can do wider angle portrait mode

    Pro for Xs:
    - Can do portrait mode for inanimate objects
    - Better optical zoom
  13. dwsolberg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2003
    Thanks, updated.
  14. white4s, Oct 19, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018

    white4s macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2011
    New Jersey
    3gb vs 4gb. Can't really see this being an issue since it's only 1gb
  15. ssledoux macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2006
    Down south
    So wait - the cellular connections will be WORSE with XR? All I've been reading is how horrible the connection has been with XS.

    I certainly can't afford to get worse reception than I already do.
  16. nutmac macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    More reasons to get XR (full disclosure: I have XS and my wife is getting XR):
    • Some folks have sensitivity to XS's OLED screen (PWM), which can induce headaches and/or eye strains
    • XR has traditional iPhone antenna design that probably won't suffer from cellular and Wi-Fi reception issues
    • Portrait mode in wide angle lens, although only works for a person (not objects)
    • $250 cheaper
    • Available in 128 GB capacity for only $50 more
    • Aluminum sides are probably more scratch resistant
  17. seezar macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2018
    While it's true the Xs has support for potential faster LTE speeds, why the assumption that the Xr won't get as good a usable signal? Band support is pretty much the same as far as I'm aware.
  18. Smoothie, Oct 19, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018

    Smoothie macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    I just read a first-impression review on PC Mag, where the author felt that the stereo reproduction of the speakers on the XR doesn’t sound quite as good as the XS Max -- if you care about that sort of thing. (I don't know if the speakers on the XS sound different from the XS Max due to the size difference.)
  19. JPack macrumors 601


    Mar 27, 2017
    The XR has the same antenna setup as iPhone X. The XS has a theoretically better antenna setup which can enable faster throughput. But the XS antenna relies on good signal strength. Under low or marginal signal strength, the XR is expected to perform equal to or better than XS.
  20. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    Good list. I think we should have a list for what the same is as well so people have an idea what the middle ground is.
  21. white4s macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2011
    New Jersey
    Luckily reception issues are non existent since I have Verizon and live in northern NJ.
  22. mrvirginia macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2009
    It's very hard to swallow the price difference, for me, when looking at a 128GB XR vs a 256GB XS Max. Even if you do iUP, you're looking at an extra $20 a month which comes out to almost $250 over the first year...
    I just couldn't pass up at least trying the XR.
  23. AXone1814 macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2018
    When you see it listed out like that its easy to see why what on first sight isn't a lot different is so much cheaper. I hadn't actually realised 3D touch wasnt on the XR. I know most people on here slate that feature but I wouldn't want a phone without it now.
  24. johnc22 macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2010
    Thank you. I'm leaning to the XR as the cost difference is considerable. I'll have to see the screen in person as I'll be returning to iOS from an S7 Edge and really nice Samsung display. However I still have my 6 Plus and the screen is fine.
  25. white4s macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2011
    New Jersey
    Thankfully I don't care for oled nor 3d touch so the xr really is perfect for me.

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