kuklachica

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 30, 2009
63
4
I have a 64GB SE that is about 3 years old. I keep my phones for 3+ years, in general. I haven't been a fan of big phones, so it has worked well for me. But lately I've been wanting a larger phone and am trying to figure out what direction to go in. I have a pre-paid service, so will have to pay upfront for the phone. Coming from the SE, looking at all the specs and features of the "new" phones (iPhone 6 to current!) is pretty overwhelming. I'm hoping that you guys might be able to help me figure out what a good option would be based on my needs.

Right now I have these options I'm considering due to my budget:
1. iPhone XS, 256GB, never used for $500
2. iPhone XR, 256GB, never used for $550
3. iPhone 11, 64GB, for whatever the current price is

My usage habits:

--Primarily texting, occasional calls, surfing the internet, watching occasional YouTube videos, taking pictures
--I sell things through etsy, and would like to take a good picture (the iPhone SE has been very frustrating to get good pics for my store)
--I take lots of pictures and dislike iCloud
--I take some videos
--Would love to have telephoto so I can get better close-ups on my leather goods
--Battery life is important. I hate having to charge in the middle of the day
--I don't listen to music, so don't store music.
--I listen to podcasts
--I've maxed out the 64GB on my SE a couple of times
--I will probably be using this phone soon to connect to equipment to do energy audits on homes
--I don't want screen burn in

I went to Verizon and played around with their iPhones for a while. They all felt too big, but the XR really felt too big (but I could probably get used to it if I had to). I preferred the XS and 11 Pro screens (even though Pro isn't an option due to price). I worry about the flickering on OLEDs, though (I didn't notice it in the store, but am sensitive to light in general, so would probably bother me eventually) and the poor battery life of the XS.

Any feedback to help me sort through these thoughts so I can make a decision are much appreciated!
 
Last edited:

Reno Raines

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2015
1,385
664
The XR is a great phone for the price. The big thing is if you think you would like Face ID. There are rumors of a SE 2 coming out that is supposed to look like an iPhone 8 but with more ram I believe and the A13 processor that is the current one in the new phones. Plus it is supposed to have Touch ID. Supposed to be around $400 and rumors are a first quarter launch in 2020.
 
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kuklachica

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 30, 2009
63
4
I’m leaning toward the XS to be honest.
How would the Xs do with the ways I use above vs the XR or 11?
 
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Mac2019

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2016
579
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I’m leaning toward the XS to be honest.
How would the Xs do with the ways I use above vs the XR or 11?
Pros:
Slightly better camera than XR
Slightly better screen
Smaller bezels (not massively noticeable so for me would go in the 'indifferent' column)

Cons:
More expensive
Smaller
 
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Burebista

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2019
213
214
If you can wait till March-April, sounds like the coming “SE 2” might be just right for you. A bigger screen but not too unwieldy, better camera, no oled, cheaper price and A13 to last 3 years easily. If you really need/want a phone now, I suggest looking at refurbished options. If you can find XS for 600-700 then the price is right and you can sell it for about the same if oled turns out to be an issue. Otherwise get the XR or 11 and adjust to the size.
 
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kuklachica

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 30, 2009
63
4
there is a 256GB XS for sale locally that is new and not used for $500. I’m considering that. I need the larger storage space because I’m rural and I don’t even get cell reception at my home (on Verizon’s network). Everywhere else it’s LTE If I’m lucky. Using iCloud is a pain in the butt.
Also considering a 256GB XR for $550.
 
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Burebista

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2019
213
214
there is a 256GB XS for sale locally that is new and not used for $500. I’m considering that. I need the larger storage space because I’m rural and I don’t even get cell reception at my home (on Verizon’s network). Everywhere else it’s LTE If I’m lucky. Using iCloud is a pain in the butt.
Also considering a 256GB XR for $550.

XS is hands down the better phone. Flicker might be an issue but you can always return/resell. I’m jealous of those prices tbh. New 256 gb XS for 500$? We’ll get that in 2 years maybe...or in 3. They’re still north of 1000$ here.
 
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acorntoy

Contributor
May 25, 2010
1,739
1,829
A family member of mine went from the SE to the XS and absolutely loves it.
 
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nburwell

macrumors 603
May 6, 2008
5,033
1,943
DE
Since the OP mentioned that they played around with the XR and found it too big, I would rule out that and the iPhone 11. That would leave the XS.

The OP may get used to the size of the XR/11 over time, but the XS is definitely a nice go between coming from the SE. Plus, the XR does not have a telephoto lens that the OP is looking for.

I also wouldn't worry about OLED burn in. Granted, I have only kept the X and XS for a year before I turned them in, but I not once experienced burn in through both of those devices. You should be fine.
 
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brucemr

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2019
161
162
there is a 256GB XS for sale locally that is new and not used for $500. I’m considering that. I need the larger storage space because I’m rural and I don’t even get cell reception at my home (on Verizon’s network). Everywhere else it’s LTE If I’m lucky. Using iCloud is a pain in the butt.
Also considering a 256GB XR for $550.

XS 256 GB in like new condition for $500? Sounds too good to be true.

That’s only a 1 year old model phone, sold by Apple for $1150 only 2 months ago. Great price even if was $1000 64GB XS.
 
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kuklachica

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 30, 2009
63
4
Thank you for your feedback! I agree $500 seems to good to be true. I have yet to see it in person, but hope to on Saturday. I’ve checked the IMEI number and there doesn’t seem to be an issue. Is there anything else I should be sure to check?

around here it takes a while to sell an iPhone, unless you’re lucky. iPhone X goes for around $450-500, XS usually $550-650. And I’ve noticed that there isn’t any price bump for larger capacity. 64 sells for the same as 256. ?‍♀️
 
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oVerboost

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2013
1,561
1,031
United Kingdom
If size is important, and you said it was, the XR and 11 shouldn’t be on your radar. An X or an XS size wise would be your best bet, however as reported there’s a new smaller/cheaper phone due for release in March so it would probably be worth waiting a few months.
 
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Puppuccino

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2019
439
413
I came from an iPhone SE.

I went straight for an iPhone 11 because if like me (and you said so) you stick with a phone for a while, I think getting an iPhone 11 gives you the longest longevity if you buy now.

The non-Pro 11 and XR are fairly close in price but personally the camera on the 11 seals the deal because I personally think it’s just great.
 
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brucemr

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2019
161
162
Thank you for your feedback! I agree $500 seems to good to be true. I have yet to see it in person, but hope to on Saturday. I’ve checked the IMEI number and there doesn’t seem to be an issue. Is there anything else I should be sure to check?

around here it takes a while to sell an iPhone, unless you’re lucky. iPhone X goes for around $450-500, XS usually $550-650. And I’ve noticed that there isn’t any price bump for larger capacity. 64 sells for the same as 256. ?‍♀️

Besides checking it cosmetically, including carefully for any tiny glass cracks front and back, if it really is never been used, it’s maximum battery capacity should show 100%, or at least 99%.
 
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kuklachica

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 30, 2009
63
4
Since it is still has the plastic screen and back covers on it and is in the original box, should I ask the person to charge it for a bit before meeting up, so I can be sure it will turn on and can see the battery health? Is it possible to see the battery health without having to set everything up?
 
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brucemr

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2019
161
162
Since it is still has the plastic screen and back covers on it and is in the original box, should I ask the person to charge it for a bit before meeting up, so I can be sure it will turn on and can see the battery health? Is it possible to see the battery health without having to set everything up?

You are probably OK sounds like. I fired up a new iPhone 7 about 3 years ago without WiFi, sim card, or an Apple ID. During the many initial start up screens, have to hit skip set up later, etc, often in small font at bottom.

Others can chime in if not possible now.

Seller can “reset all settings“ to return it to return it to where it will give the “new phone startup experience”.

In fairness to seller offering such a good deal if legit, don’t show up without $$ in hand and 100% decided to buy before do that.
 
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wmdunn

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2012
48
30
Phoenix, AZ
Sometimes phones that are priced too low, wind up getting reported as stolen by the seller at a later date. You need to know the seller, or find out where the phone came from, along with a copy of the original receipt. Be careful!
 
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kuklachica

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 30, 2009
63
4
Thanks! I'll ask for documentation. They said that the phone was a replacement for a claim, but in the meantime they bought the new iPhone. I'll ask for documentation of the replacement from Apple.
 
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funkiejack

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2013
48
22
I was in the same boat and got a new iphone 11 128gb with promotions from T-Mobile paid around 450. Love the cameras, big battery, and bigger screen but took a few weeks to really get used to it. I still have my SE and still use it occasionally because the size for one hand is just perfect.
 
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crsh1976

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2011
982
708
I'm on the same boat, but can't find a worthy replacement in the current line-up; they're all either too big (XR or 11), too expensive (11 Pro), or too old for another 3 year+ run (iPhone 8).

I guess I'm going to wait it out until the fabled SE 2 comes out (if it ever does).
 
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funkiejack

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2013
48
22
I was in the same boat and got a new iphone 11 128gb with promotions from T-Mobile paid around 450. Love the cameras, big battery, and bigger screen but took a few weeks to really get used to it. I still have my SE and still use it occasionally because the size for one hand is just perfect.

Following up here, I returned the 11 on Black Friday after almost 90 days (Costco) intending to go back to the SE. then T-Mobile ran a promotion 2 days later on cyber Monday for a free iPhone 8, so rocking that until we see what the 2020 iPhones bring. Still running the SE as a backup!
 
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maxjohnson2

macrumors 6502
Mar 24, 2017
338
216
Following up here, I returned the 11 on Black Friday after almost 90 days (Costco) intending to go back to the SE. then T-Mobile ran a promotion 2 days later on cyber Monday for a free iPhone 8, so rocking that until we see what the 2020 iPhones bring. Still running the SE as a backup!
This was my recommendation when I read the thread title, or wait for the SE2 / 9. I was going to recommend a iPhone 8 refurb that pops up on Apple refurb once a while.
 
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