Apple is known for many things, but affordability isn’t usually one of them. While the recent update to the old iPhone models makes them the lowest-priced iPhone available, the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 review show that these are excellent mid-range options.
Both have larger displays and more color options and are available from many network providers at a low cost. With that in mind, what’s the difference between the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR, and which should you choose when looking for the best iPhone for you?
This article compares the features of the two iPhones and helps you choose the best option.
iPhone XR vs. iPhone 11: Price
The iPhone XR was initially introduced in 2018 as a more affordable alternative to the iPhone XS, featuring the same internal processor and a sizable 6.1-inch display.
While the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max offer more power at a higher price point, the iPhone 11 is positioned as the “main” device of Apple’s 2019 lineup.
The base 64GB storage version of the iPhone XR costs $599 (£629/AU$1049), whereas the base 64GB storage version of the iPhone 11 costs $699 (£729/AU$1199).
Both devices have versions with 128 GB of storage, but if you need more, you should get the iPhone 11, which has a 256 GB version.
Of course, if you don’t mind purchasing a refurbished phone, Apple’s own refurbished store has the 128GB iPhone XR for as little as $539 (£539).
iPhone XR vs. iPhone 11: Design
There is little difference between the two devices at first glance. Both have the display dominating the front, and each has the divisive “notch” at the top.
The display could be more edge-to-edge, but neither are the bezels. Both are nearly identical in size and weight at 5.94 inches tall, 2.98 inches wide, and 0.33 inches deep.
The iPhone 11 is IP68 rated, which increases its water resistance up to 2 meters, in contrast to the iPhone XR, which is IP67 rated (able to survive under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes).
Whatever you decide, there are many different color options available. While the iPhone 11 is available in purple (more of a lilac), yellow, green, black, white, and (Product)RED, the iPhone XR is available in blue, white, black, yellow, coral (which is a sort of pastel orange), and red.
iPhone XR vs. iPhone 11: Display
The iPhone XR and iPhone 11’s displays are nearly identical. Both panels measure 6.1 inches and have a 1792 x 828-pixel resolution.
To ensure a smooth curve, “Liquid Retina HD” displays taper around the outside of each device, but they don’t have the same brightness as the more expensive OLED screens found on the XS, 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
While they both support True Tone, neither supports HDR, so your color options are somewhat more constrained when viewing HDR content.
iPhone XR vs. iPhone 11: Camera and Battery
The camera and battery on both devices are where they start to differ from one another.
The iPhone 11 adds a second lens for Ultra-Wide shots, while the iPhone offers an excellent 12MP wide camera. The iPhone 11 includes a “Night Mode” for taking pictures in low-light conditions and a bright true-tone flash.
The iPhone 11 has a 12MP front-facing camera, whereas the iPhone XR only has a 7MP. Both offer portrait mode, but the iPhone 11 adds Stage, Stage Mono, and High-Key Mono options to the XR’s Natural, Studio, and Contour modes.
Only the iPhone 11’s front camera supports 4K video at 24, 30, or 60 frames per second and supports slo-mo. Thankfully, the rear cameras are essentially the same, except for the iPhone 11’s ability to shoot extended dynamic range videos at 60 frames per second rather than 30.
According to Apple’s benchmarks, the iPhone 11 is once again the winner in terms of battery life. It only adds an hour of video playback to the iPhone XR’s already impressive battery life, but given a choice between getting home to charge your phone and potentially being stranded without it, it is better to take the extra hour as a safety net. It was also discovered that the iPhone 11 lasts even longer in real-world testing.
Both devices support wireless charging and can be charged quickly with an 18W adapter. That will get you to 50% in thirty minutes, but it is also sold separately, so you might never use it.
iPhone XR vs. iPhone 11: Specs and Features
The A12 Bionic chip in the iPhone XS is used in the iPhone XR, while the A13 Bionic chip in the iPhone 11 is currently the company’s fastest mobile chip.
Benchmarks show a 20% increase in performance, but it’s also worth noting that the A13 is more power efficient, allowing it to squeeze out as much power as possible from a single charge.
Apart from the processor, many of the specs on both devices are similar, with Face ID being the only way to unlock the phone, NFC technology for using Apple Pay, and the usual suspects of Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and Siri.
Interestingly, the iPhone XR lacks Wi-Fi 6, unlike the iPhone 11, so your connections may be slightly slower, though you won’t notice it.
The iPhone 11 also supports Dolby Atmos content that supports it, whereas the iPhone XR is limited to stereo sound.
It’s challenging to recommend the iPhone XR over the iPhone 11, given the relatively small price difference (at least when purchasing through a carrier).
The younger sibling provides an improved camera, more performance without reducing battery life, and the potential for more storage.
The iPhone XR won’t be offered anywhere for long, given its precarious position between the more recent iPhone 11 and the recently updated iPhone SE.