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Tim Cook did his annual song and dance and got Apple devotees all worked up over the new iPhone 11 at the latest keynote event. But with the new devices comes an added bonus—the price for everyone’s favorite iPhone from last year, the iPhone XR, gets a significant price reduction.
But what does the iPhone 11 have that the iPhone XR doesn’t? Aren’t they essentially the same iPhone, but with an upgraded camera? Should you use this opportunity to get an iPhone XR for less? Or is it worth it to buy the latest and greatest iPhone 11? Let’s take a look at how the two phones compare.
The iPhone XR was everyone’s favorite device for good reason. It ditched Touch ID (and its requisite Home button) for Face ID, giving the phone a large 6.1″ display (larger than the iPhone 8 Plus, but in a smaller iPhone). The XR also introduced Portrait mode for the front-facing camera as well as the rear. The rear camera of the XR sports a single 12MP wide lens. It takes amazing pics and gives you control over bokeh and depth control. If you like to shoot videos on your iPhone, the XR has excellent dynamic depth. With its A12 Bionic Chip and enhanced neural engine, the XR also gives you access to Animojis and Memojis. It has more battery life than the previous generation iPhone 8 Plus (despite being smaller). And if you’d like your iPhone to be something other than silver, space grey, or rose gold, the XR gives you blue, yellow, red, and coral options in addition to black and white. The current retail price at the Apple Store is $599.
So what does the iPhone 11 bring to the party that was missing from the iPhone XR? Quite a bit. It’s true that the iPhone 11 has the same 6.1″ display as the XR it replaces. It also has the same body and similar color options as the XR (thought I much prefer this year’s lavender to last year’s XR-exclusive blue). But once you start talking about specs, things get much more interesting. The iPhone 11 has two individual 12mp lenses for wide and ultra wide shots. Those two cameras and its next-gen A13 Bionic Chip also allow it to shoot in Night Mode – something that Apple fans have been jealous of ever since Google’s Pixel showed off the same party trick last year with its Pixel 3. The upgraded camera also allows you to shoot video at 4K resolution, something reserved previously for the iPhone XS. It’s more durable than the XR as well—certified water resistant up to 2m (as opposed to just 1m). The battery life is improved as well. Apple claims it will get one hour more of battery life than the XR. Need more space? Then you have to upgrade to the iPhone 11. It’s the only “low-end” model at the Apple Store that lets you upgrade to 256MB, though that’ll cost much more than the base price of $699.