iPhone XR or iPhone XS: Which one is right for you?

Although the iPhone 11 has been heralded as breaking ground in photographic technology, consumers remain interested in the similarly advanced alternatives: the iPhone XR and the iPhone XS. What are the key differences, and, more importantly, which one would be the best one for you?


The iPhone XS, unsurprisingly, is smaller. That said, it boasts an impressive OLED display, allowing it to display full HD content. The iPhone XR, meanwhile, uses an LCD display. Although it has the bigger screen, the screen does not have the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch technology that we are used to seeing in iPhones. For the most part, however, these differences are minor enough that casual users would not notice.


The iPhone XR comes in a more colourful range than the iPhone XS. If you prefer a customisable phone, then the XR might be the one for you. You can choose blue, black, white, yellow, red, coral and more as your base colour. By comparison, the iPhone XS has a fairly limited range of silver, grey or gold.

Portrait mode

Apple has become famous for its iPhone’s portrait mode option. This camera setting allows hyper-focused images of people (or other subjects), with the backgrounds blurred and the details sharpened. The iPhone XR does not have the iPhone XS’s telephoto camera. In other words, it has only one sensor. This prevents it from establishing the depth map that would separate the foreground and the background, a crucial component of a successful portrait mode photo. Once again, this change might be too minor for a casual user to notice, but an avid photographer might find the iPhone XS’s superior portrait mode to be worth investing in.


Arguably one of the most important factors involved in making a phone purchase is the price. The iPhone XS is technically no longer available for direct purchase from Apple (due to the debut of the iPhone 11); however, it can still be purchased from second-hand retailers for around £800. The iPhone XR, on the other hand, could be obtained brand new through Apple for the fairly reasonable £629.

Ultimately, the decisions rests on your personal priorities and preferences for a mobile phone. Read our blog today for more advice on the latest mobile technology and releases.