So, what do you lose when you go for the iPhone XR over the XS? Here are all the missing features

So, what do you lose when you go for the iPhone XR over the XS? Here are all the missing features
The iPhone XR is finally available for pre-order and will be shipping out pretty soon. Apple's 3rd iPhone this year is definitely worth waiting for, since it sports the same A12 Bionic chip as its more premium XS siblings, yet it can be bought at a much lower price point. The XR also comes in a plethora of vivid colors, making it much less boring than the XS duo, which only comes in the classic black, white, and gold.

So, at this point, you may be sitting there, trying to weigh your options. Go for a fun-looking and certainly cheaper iPhone XR, or go for a premium, all-or-nothing iPhone XS? What exactly are the drawbacks of owning an iPhone XR? What features do you lose out on? Well, let's take a look!

No secondary camera

You'll notice that the iPhone XR only has one camera on its back, while the XS sports a duo of lenses back there. Where the XS has a “main” wide-angle camera and one with a telephoto lens, the XR only has the wide-angle option.

So, what do you lose when you drop the telephoto lens? Obviously, forget about a 2x optical zoom — any zooming you do on the iPhone XR will be digital. Secondly, the wide-angle lens will usually distort faces a bit more, so portrait shots are not going to be as flattering or honest as ones taken with a telephoto lens.

And yes, you still have access to Portrait Mode on the iPhone XR, despite the fact that it only has a single camera. But there is one small caveat...

Portrait mode only works on people

The iPhone XR's Portrait Mode does not work (does not apply the bokeh background effect) when you are trying to take a picture of objects. Nope, it is based on face detection. Supposedly, when iOS “sees” a face, it makes it easier to detect subject boundaries and isolate it from the background.

This means that you can forget about portrait shots of your cat, dog, and fishes, which — let's admit it — is more than 60% of our Portrait Mode usage.

Also, the stage light and mono light effects will be gone from Portrait Mode shot with the back camera as well. They are still there for the front-facer, though, thanks to the Face ID depth sensors that are there to help out.

No 3D Touch

The general consensus is that Apple's pressure-sensing 3D Touch technology remains largely underused in iPhones. But it still offers very convenient features like Peek-and-Pop as well as utilities within games.

Still, Apple figured that since it's not very popular — 3D Touch is a good corner to cut when producing the cheaper iPhone XR. Instead, it replaces most of the pressure gestures with long-press gestures. And while that's much less fancy, it mostly works just fine. But gamers that are used to having 3D Touch as a trigger in their shooters will probably feel less inclined to grab the XR right now.

LCD Display instead of OLED

With the 2017 iPhone X, Apple showed that it's done shying away from OLED technology. And this year, both the XS and XS Max have OLED panels, made by Samsung to Apple's spec. Yep, they look just as good as that sounds.

However, the iPhone XR is still somewhat stuck in the past — it has an IPS LCD panel. It's worth noting that this isn't that big of an issue — Apple's LCD has been top-notch for years now, with super-accurate colors. Pixel-peepers will also be unhappy with the lower resolution of the XR, but it still hits a pixel-per-inch density of 326, so it's satisfactory.

Bezel is not as thin

The fact that Apple was able to replicate the iPhone X design with an LCD panel on the iPhone XR is pretty impressive. You know — because LCD needs a backlight to be fitted somewhere and provide light for the screen. In the case of the iPhone XR, said backlight is situated in the phone's bezels.

And while they are thin-ish, they are certainly thicker than the fine-looking frames of the iPhone XS. When you put them side by side, the iPhone XR looks kind of derpy. But make no mistake — you've still got a lot of screen in a relatively small encasing.

Related phones

iPhone XR
  • Display 6.1" 828 x 1792 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A12 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2490 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2942 mAh(25h talk time)
iPhone XS
  • Display 5.8" 1125 x 2436 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A12 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2490 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2659 mAh(20h talk time)



1. monkeyb

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

What we are really missing: A $250 price tag that comes with 2 issues not mentioned here. - A display that is lower resolution than iphone 6Plus. Display resolution on such big phones do matter in real life. Dont care what Apple tells in interviews. - LTE modem is last years so you wont get any new benifit. Only big difference for T-Mobile users is inclusion of band 71. These 2 were issues for me but hey it is $250 less and they need to justify that price somewhere. Love the colors though.

16. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

This article missed things like no 3D touch, and no HDR display support. Plus the water resistance is lower than the XS.

19. monkeyb

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

You are correct. But myself and many others I know barely use 3D Touch and Apple is expanding the software 3D touch according to recent articles. Lower water resistance is okay. The iPhones currently offer solid resistance. Forget HDR or Quad HD, I just want a 1080P display on my phone. The things I mention are quite essential. The LTE modem makes a good difference in low/weak network areas. So I feel they went cheap on that aspect.

2. syntaxlord

Posts: 239; Member since: Oct 01, 2018

I consider the aluminum frame on the XR a downgrade when compared to the stainless steel frame of the XS and XS Max...

3. damonarena

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 30, 2018

There's one more feature you lose - CLASS. You'll spend that much and it will still be called as the cheap iphone.

4. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Dear people, if you're smart enough, better go for an iPhone 7/8 Plus.

9. Valdomero

Posts: 704; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Or a 2nd hand X if you fancy the new design.

15. iphart

Posts: 27; Member since: Oct 17, 2018

2nd hand X is not cheap. $700-800.

22. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

That's just as expensive as XR, plus you get much better screen, and dual camera. And as long as you put XS wallpaper on your X, everyone will think it's an XS.

11. gamehead unregistered

Or an android phone altogether

5. notfair

Posts: 767; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

you can add as a plus the juicy bezels.

7. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Well, an Android guy talking about bezels here.

23. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Android phone always hold the best screen-to-body ratio title since forever.

6. limporgyuk

Posts: 376; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

That screen resolution is just embarrassing

12. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

So you wanna have the best screen resolution and yet it will be default. Its a small screen dude not a tv. 720p is good enough with a phone.

13. kozza3

Posts: 778; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

No it's not. 720p is horrid

14. Kibzara

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

other phones, from 200$ price range, have full hd screens. i don't see why XR couldn't include one for it's price...

21. monkeyb

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

Not defending Apple but the $200 phones you mention do not have the same quality as iPhones. Take for example, Samsung TV screen vs Spectre TV screen. You will see the difference as Night and Day.

24. Kibzara

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

What quality is that? Hd over fhd? Ips over ips? Only thing thats questionably better is iphones screen refresh rate. Thats it.

17. Shott3r

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 28, 2017

If this is true, why is there a *higher* resolution on the *smaller* Xs? Come on man, it's OK to accept that Apple cut corners to save themselves a buck. No need to delude yourself into thinking it's great, instead of merely workable.

25. Kibzara

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

Not a buck, a few million bucks...

20. monkeyb

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

If the 1080P on the 7Plus made noticeable difference than the 7 I am currently using, then without any doubt the 720P on an XR will make the picture dull.

8. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Liquid Retina? Wtf is that? Marketing nonsense.

10. Jrod99

Posts: 779; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Like the wireless charging. Not going back.

18. MarmiteTheDog

Posts: 192; Member since: Jul 31, 2017

You forgot to list 'Self respect'

26. tokuzumi

Posts: 1962; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

The only thing I can see that might be a point of contention is the lack of 3D touch. Dual cameras are a gimmick, and portrait mode is a nice to have, but not a deal breaker.

27. Valdomero

Posts: 704; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Only if the XR had a 1080p screen it would've been a success. Maybe next year Apple?

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