Apple launched three new iPhones earlier this month, with two of those models sitting at the top of the pyramid due to just a few changes in their specs compared to the third, less expensive model.
While the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max boast price tags that will see buyers forking over $1,000 or more, the iPhone XR scales things back with a price tag that starts at $749. The top-of-the-line model, the one outfitted with 256GB of built-in storage, actually retails for just $899, making it the only new iPhone model not to reach the $1,000 mark. And the best part is that the iPhone XR isn’t really that much different from the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, save for some important differences.
Which is why when the reviews for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max started circulating yesterday, I wasn’t too surprised that a lot of them were suggesting some folks should just wait for the iPhone XR, rather than opt for one of the newer, more expensive options. This is definitely an “S upgrade” year, which means the upgrades between the iPhone X and iPhone XS are fairly minimal. And it’s also one of the reasons why the iPhone XS Max appears to be doing so well (based on what we can gather without direct confirmation from Apple, of course).
That bigger display is definitely going to attract a lot of customers.
Apple has a lot to offer with the iPhone XR, starting with that lower price tag. It has more color options. It has a big screen, measuring in at 6.1 inches with minimized bezels along the sides. There is the notch, but that’s just keeping things in line with the iPhone X’s design. And Apple didn’t cut back on the important specs, either. The iPhone XR has the same A12 Bionic processor under the hood, the same Face ID and TrueDepth Camera system, and several different storage options to choose from.
The major differences come in the display and the camera system on the back. Instead of OLED, the iPhone XR has an LCD panel, what Apple calls a “Liquid Retina” screen. And instead of having the pair of 12-megapixel cameras on the back, it has only one. But both of those features are still pretty good, but Apple obviously views the dual camera system and the OLED display as features that distinctly differentiate the top-tier iPhones from everything else.
I ordered the iPhone XS Max on preorder day, despite the ridiculously high price tag because I want that larger OLED display. I liked the iPhone X’s display a lot, save for the notch, and I’ve wanted it to be bigger since day one. Now that the display has been improved and it’s bigger, the XS Max just felt like exactly what I was looking for. But, that being said, I really like what the iPhone XR has to offer.
Especially the different colors. While I wish that blue option was a bit darker, I also know that I’d buy it in an instant if it was available for the iPhone XS lineup. I want a blue iPhone, but I don’t want to go back to an LCD panel — even if it’s the “best LCD display in a smartphone” and even earned itself a new marketing brand. I don’t even doubt that the Liquid Retina display in the iPhone XR is the best LCD out there, I just don’t want to switch away from OLED. It was hard enough going back to LCD screens in older iPhones, even though they were fantastic at the time, when I was using OLED screens in Android phones at the same time.
If I wasn’t looking for specific elements in my next phone –bigger OLED display, namely– then even I would be waiting for the iPhone XR. It isn’t so much that the reviews for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max confirmed that suspicion for me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did for a lot of potential future iPhone owners out there. Is the iPhone XS or XS Max worth it to you? That’s a personal question, as it typically is, but I don’t think waiting for the iPhone XR is a bad thing at all, especially if you want to save some money.
What about you? Now that the reviews for Apple’s flagships are out, have you decided to wait for the iPhone XR to launch next month before you upgrade?