Apple already sells the iPhone 13 series, but two of its early models – the iPhone XR and the more expensive XS – have not lost popularity. If you are not chasing new products, but choosing from these two options, it’s time to figure out which one is better.

iPhone XR or iPhone XS

XR vs. XS

At the start of sales, these two phones had a very noticeable difference in price. Now in the secondary market they are almost equal. This means that now it will be quite correct to compare their technical characteristics:

Interestingly, both models are able to recognize the force of pressing the screen, but they use slightly different technologies for this:

  • 3D Touch (iPhone XS) – makes it possible to preview links and notifications without switching to applications or a browser.
  • Haptic Touch (iPhone XR) – turned out to be less expensive and is now widely used in new iPhones, starting with the 11th series.

Haptic works in hardware in the same way as 3D Touch, but without the support of vibration mechanics, which increased the thickness of smartphones. Because of this compromise, the tactile feel of the response has of course changed. But worst of all, it is not able to fully work out instead of the trackpad as a text cursor.

Aside from the rear cameras (we’ll talk about them below), this is one of the few differences between the two iPhone models that is even slightly noticeable. But we will consider them all to the smallest detail.


Any iPhone, by definition, is a status thing, so the design of both models is attractive. But initially positioned as a state employee, the XR immediately offers 6 rich colors of the back cover. XS is more solid and has only three rather restrained shades.

The difference is in the details:

  • The XS has a steel frame around the perimeter – it looks beautiful, feels good in the hands. This is where her virtues end.
  • The XR is contoured in aluminum that won’t show scratches or fingerprints. Those who do not plan to carry their phone in a case should definitely choose this option. In addition, it lies more comfortably in the hand due to the competent selection of sizes.

We recommend looking towards XR even if you take a used iPhone from second or third hands. At least he had a better chance of maintaining a presentable appearance.

But the moisture protection of the older model is a little better: ip 68 versus ip 67 for the XR. The difference is actually not so small – this is an additional meter of immersion in water for half an hour without consequences. But still, it is not enough to give victory to the body of the XS model.


At XS The screen is a bit smaller, but better quality. And the point here is not only the number of pixels per inch due to the higher resolution, but also the type of matrix.

If the iPhone XR is just IPS, then the younger model has a cool AMOLED screen. Yes, organic crystals do not last as long, but the picture here is more contrast, the display itself consumes less energy, and its response time is much less.

That’s just the flickering of AMOLED at low brightness adds a rather big fly in the ointment to sensitive people. For those who read from a muted smartphone screen in the evenings, scroll through social networks or watch videos at night, it is better to choose the XR for themselves. The IPS-matrix does not have a flickering problem.

The rest will be happy with the display of the older version. In addition, the side frames on the screen are noticeably smaller – the difference in diagonal inches between the two phones is not as critical as it seems.


The rear cameras are what allows you to distinguish one model from another at a glance. The iPhone XS has twoinstead of one, and this gives measurable advantages in portrait photography.

In addition to the wide-angle module (the same as the competitor), there is a telephoto. Thanks to him, it is possible to take pictures of people with more natural and correct proportions.

A plus is x2 optical zoom without loss of frame quality and a couple of additional portrait light presets. Blurring the background here works faster and more correctly, focusing not only on people, but also on almost any living and inanimate objects.

XR responds to this with RAW support, wider frame capture, as well as hardware enhancements to captured faces – it makes them a little brighter when compared with the “honest” shots from XS.

Another advantage of a single-camera smartphone is clearer photos in low light. The device is clearly designed for those who can take professional pictures themselves and, if necessary, refine them already in the editor.

Performance and memory

Even the initial configuration of the iPhone XS offers more storage than the equivalent in the XR line. For those who are looking for the most affordable option, the difference in 1 gigabyte of RAM will be decisive.

As for the built-in memory, only those who take the “full stuffing” will feel the difference. The iPhone XS is capable of offering up to 512 GB, and for the younger 216 gigs, there is already a ceiling.

At the processor level, phones are on an equal footing: both versions are equipped with a very powerful A12 Bionic that supports machine learning.


Here is the XR Comparison criteria

And if you want everything at once: the ideal screen of the maximum size, cool cameras, high performance and at the same time decent autonomy, then you don’t have to choose at all.

All the best that is in both iPhones is combined in the iPhone XS Max. There is no need to compromise here (unless, of course, its awesome 6.5″ diagonal scares you away).