The time is here! You can finally preorder the iPhone XR. But should you? Let’s take a look at whether you should pull the trigger on an iPhone XR or stick with last year’s iPhone 8.
Many people love the experience of using a device that feels new and refreshed. If this is you, the iPhone XR is your choice. The iPhone XR adopts Apple’s new iPhone design language with a near bezel-less display and the iconic notch at the top. The iPhone XR looks futuristic, just like the high-end iPhone XS and XS Max.
Choosing a color that fits you is exclusive to the iPhone XR. There is an array of colors to choose from including black, white, yellow, red, blue or coral. If you’ve been longing for the return of the iPhone 5c days, you’re in luck. I imagine these different color options will be a big selling point.
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The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, on the other hand, are still gorgeous phones. If you find the notch to be an eyesore and you don’t care too much about the near bezel-less display, you may want to take a serious look at either the 8 and 8 Plus.
The design of the iPhone XR allows for a much larger screen in a smaller body. The 6.1” display in the iPhone XR is noticeably larger than the 5.5” display in the iPhone 8 Plus, and it dwarfs the iPhone 8’s 4.7” display.
But aside from the size difference, the display quality shouldn’t be massively different. Both phones are powered by LCD technology and support True Tone to shift white balance to suit ambient light. The resolution is the same as the iPhone 8. The iPhone 8 Plus has a slightly sharper screen, but it’s not a big difference.
Apple’s buzz phrase for the iPhone XR’s display is Liquid Retina. This is mostly a reference to the near bezel-less, which feels more “liquid” I suppose. The display also improves color reproduction so photos should look better on the iPhone XR. However, the difference will be hard to notice unless you are comparing the devices side by side.
The iPhone XR features a new 12-megapixel camera with a larger sensor, larger pixels, optical image stabilization and a f/1.8 lens. Spec-wise, you won’t notice many differences compared to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’ primary wide-angle camera. However, there are some improvements enabled by the new A12 Bionic processor.
The most notable change is labeled Smart HDR. This is essentially HDR on steroids. HDR generally takes a couple of photos with different exposures and stitches them together giving you more pleasing images. For example, when you are outdoors on a bright sunny and take a picture of somebody, HDR properly exposes the person without blowing out the colors of the sky behind them. You still get to enjoy the blue sky. On the iPhone XR, the camera will take a multitude of shots at various exposures and use the power of the A12 Bionic chip inside to produce images with better dynamic range.
The iPhone XR only supports a single camera on the rear similar to the iPhone 8. The iPhone 8 Plus includes the dual camera set up used for Portrait mode. You would think Portrait mode would be absent from the iPhone XR, but you would be wrong. That sweet background blur is still available on the iPhone XR. Apple is applying the effect through software, similar to what Google does with its Pixel line. It remains to be seen how well Apple pulls this off.
Features are all well and good, but the real question is how much cash you’re willing to shell out for a new iPhone. The iPhone XR starts at $749 for 64GB of storage and will be available for pre-order beginning Oct. 19. Retail sales start Oct. 26. The phone will also be available in 128GB and 256GB configurations.
Here is the pricing details for users who are in the Apple Upgrade Program.
That’s just $50 more than the now discounted $699 iPhone 8 Plus with 64GB of storage. For the additional cash, you get a screen that’s 0.6 inches larger, much better performance and some impressive new camera tricks. The starting price for the smaller iPhone 8 is $599, $150 less than the iPhone XR.
The iPhone XR is the better buy for most people.
The extra $150 or $50 you would save going with an iPhone 8 model doesn’t make much of difference if you finance your device anyways, which most people do. Let us know if you’re pre-ordering and iPhone XR or sticking with an older model.