iPhone X vs iPhone XR: Which Should You Buy in 2019? This is a question that I’ll be trying to answer today as I make a comparison between the two Apple devices.
In the past, I owned some of Apple’s flagship phones namely the iPhone 4s, 5s, and SE. Following the demise of these models in my hands, I switched to an Asus Zenfone and eventually to a Huawei P20 sometime in 2018, making me an avid Android user in the process.
When my husband got the latest and much-talked-about iPhone XR late last year as a Christmas gift, I was amazed by its capabilities, especially in its processor and camera. I was so jealous that I would borrow his phone for my selfies sometimes. Nevertheless, my Huawei smartphone proved to be a very handy and sturdy companion given my toddler’s penchant for throwing it away at whim.
Then came the best selling Huawei P30 Pro and its unprecedented camera. When the time came that I was eager to upgrade, I had a hard time deciding whether to get the Huawei P30 Pro or the iPhone X/XR.
The Huawei P30 Pro is undoubtedly a beast. It has a gorgeous curved screen, flagship Kirin 980 processor, IP68 water and dust resistance, reverse wireless charging, a faster in-display fingerprint scanner, and a never before seen camera in a smartphone.
Why I Switched to iPhone from Huawei
The only thing that makes me wary about going for it was the national security issue it poses as it’s been accused by the US government of espionage mainly with cell tower infrastructures than phones. Huawei’s products have been banned in several countries including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Taiwan. At that time, before the Huawei ban on licensing Android by Google, my doubts were already formed on the Chinese tech giant. The accusations, true or not, greatly impacted my decision to switch again to the Silicon Valley company that is Apple.
Since I had been an Android user for some time, some of my friends who are iOS users themselves also convinced me to make the switch to an iPhone. Seeing that my husband truly enjoyed his iPhone XR, I grabbed Apple’s 2017 flagship smartphone — the iPhone X. Getting the iPhone XS was overkill for me, not only with its ridiculous price tag but also with its specs that I don’t really need.
Why didn’t I get the iPhone XR knowing it’s released in 2018 and had a faster processor?
It all comes down to personal preference, which I will explain in my comparison below.
iPhone X vs iPhone XR: Which Should You Buy in 2019?
Design & Build
|iPhone XR||iPhone X|
|6.1 inches||5.8 inches|
|Liquid Retina HD Display (LCD)||Super Retina Display (AMOLED)|
|1400:1 Contrast Ratio||1,000,000:1 Contrast Ratio|
|No 3D-Touch||3D Touch|
|1792 x 828 pixels||2688 x1242 pixels|
|Aluminum band||Stainless steel band|
The iPhone X paved the way for slim bezels and the now infamous notch at the top of the screen. These features became commonplace in 2018, with Chinese tech companies like Huawei replicating the design. The design was an impressive departure from Apple’s previous designs.
Both the iPhone X and XR have a larger edge-to-edge display, Face ID, glass back, and various gesture controls that Apple added to compensate for the absence of a Home button. The bezels on the XR are much bigger than the X though.
The biggest difference between the X and XR is its display. The iPhone XR has a larger 6.1-inch Liquid Retina Display dwarfing the X’s 5.8-inch display. However, the viewing experience on the XR might not be as vibrant as iPhone X’s AMOLED technology panel because the former only uses LCD. Personally, I don’t see much of a difference except when both phones are viewed side by side. The iPhone X sports deeper blacks and crisp, sharper display that could make your jaws drop due to its 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio compared to iPhone XR’s 1400:1 contrast ratio.
The XR also sacrificed the 3D-touch which can be found in the newer generation of iPhones.
Since the iPhone XR is much bigger than the iPhone X, it makes for a two-hand device, which I am not really a fan of. I go for a smartphone that I can use with one hand, and the iPhone X fits just right into that preference.
Features and Specs
|iPhone X||iPhone XR|
|Apple A11 Bionic||Apple A12 Bionic|
|iOS 12||iOS 12|
Because iPhone XR is a year younger than the iPhone X, it has a much faster processor with Apple’s latest A12 Bionic chip, just as it does in the iPhone XS and XS Max. It’s expected to be 50% faster in graphics performance and 50% lower power usage, which means it’s not only faster than its predecessor but also enables the XR to have the longest battery life than any iPhone models previously made.
The iPhone X only uses its A11 Bionic chip. However, it’s still proving to be a formidable piece when it comes to benchmarking tests. The XR’s newer A12 Bionic chip simply takes things up a notch, topping the iPhone X in every benchmark and real-world performance test.
I personally don’t mind using an A11 Bionic chip really. It’s a big leap for me as a previous Android user who has not experienced this kind of performance in a smartphone before. I am not also a heavy smartphone gamer, so graphics performance is the least of my concern. My husband might beg to disagree. He’s a sucker for performance tech-wise.
|iPhone X||iPhone XR|
|Dual 12MP OIS||12MP OIS|
|Portrait Mode||Portrait Mode with Depth Control|
|No Smart HDR||Smart HDR|
|Mono Audio Recording||Stereo Audio Recording|
|4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps||4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps|
At the back of iPhone X are dual 12-megapixel cameras. These are a 12Mp f/1.8 wide-angle lens and a 12Mp f/2.4 telephoto lens, both with OIS. The main advantage of that dual setup is lossless optical zoom, which the single sensor on the XR lacks.
What separates the XR from its predecessors in terms of its camera features is A12’s Neural Engine. This allows more advanced photography features in XR such as Smart HDR that improves the capture of highlights and shadows in images, Depth Control that allows you to change the depth of field after you’ve taken a picture, and enhanced Portrait mode for selfies. All of which are not present in the iPhone X unfortunately.
The XR has a better microphone for stereo recording, better stabilization (goodbye shaky video recordings), and higher dynamic range. Both smartphones can record 4K videos at up to 60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps, plus the ability to capture great still images while recording.
You’d be surprised to know that the video below is only shot using the iPhone XR at 1080p-60 fps. Notice the better camera stabilization? Observe it when I run after my daughter in the video.
For me, the big winner in this aspect is iPhone XR.
As you all know, I reached a verdict when I decided to get the iPhone X instead of the XR. I’m still jealous that my husband got better photography modes in XR; however, I don’t regret buying the iPhone X.
Aside from being a heavy gamer, my husband is also a professional photographer, which makes the iPhone XR the best smartphone for him due to its longer battery life and enhanced camera features.
I am a movie and television buff whose life revolves around work, my kid, and Netflix. Having a great display in a smartphone will always be on top of my choice. iPhone X’s AMOLED technology makes my viewing experience more spectacular. Plus, its size fits snugly in my one hand.
The iPhone X remains a great choice in 2019 and outperforms the XR in a number of ways, but for the right buyer the XR’s beefier processor, larger display and/or lower price tag may be enough to entice them to get their hands on it.
Learn more about their prices here.