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Apple iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR: We get to the core of Apple’s cheaper iPhones

Stick or twist: With the promise of a new shiny Apple product soon to launch do you stick with your trusted XR or upgrade?

Apple has finally unveiled the much anticipated iPhone 11 handsets at the Apple event in California. It’s official, the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are confirmed and will be available to purchase from the 13 September launching on the 20 September.

Many Apple fanatics will likely pre-order the iPhone 11 immediately, excited at the prospect of yet another shiny new model, whilst the rest of us are deliberating over the most practical option.

Confused over which of Apple’s “cheaper” handsets to buy? We’ve got all the information you’ll need to get the juiciest bite for your buck.

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Apple iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR review: Design

Little is different between these two models minus the additional cameras. We’ll delve into the details of the camera upgrades below. From a design standpoint, the lenses do look slightly clunky, which arguably detracts from Apples consistently sleek aesthetic.

Both phones are made from glass and “aerospace-grade” aluminum. They also share the same 6.1in LCD liquid retina display, with the same wide notch and rounded corners.

For the fashion-conscious of you, both models are available in a number of different colours. The iPhone 11 comes in white, black, green, yellow, purple and red; the iPhone XR, meanwhile, is available in Product Red, coral, yellow, blue, black and white.

Both phones are IP68-rated for water- and dust-resistance. The XR can be submerged in up to 1m of water for 30 minutes, while the 11 will survive up to 2m.

Apple iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR review: Specs

To make all the details more digestible we’ve collated an easy-to-read list for you.

Apple iPhone 11Apple iPhone XR
ProcessorA13 Bionic chip with second-generation Neural EngineA12 Bionic chip with second-generation Neural Engine
Memory4GBNot yet confirmed
Display6.1in LCD Liquid Retina Display6.1in LCD Liquid Retina Display
Rear camera12MP (ƒ/2.4)

12MP (ƒ/1.8)

12MP (ƒ/1.8)
Front camera12MP (ƒ/2.2)7 MP (ƒ/2.2)
Battery Up to 17hrs of video playbackUp to 16hrs of video playback

As you can see, the Apple iPhone XR has a lesser processor, a singular rear camera, a lower quality front camera and a shorter battery life.

The 11 houses the new A13 bionic chip supposedly offering faster processing speeds and, subsequently, better overall user experience through harnessing AI technologies.

Apple iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR review: Features

The additional rear lens and improved front camera is the main upgrade in the 11 series. Whilst the quality is the same the extra cameras add depth to photos and create images that look closer to what the human eye can see.

With the addition in cameras comes the multiple photo add-ons such as Night Mode and 4K video recording. Whilst Night Mode is new for the iPhone 11, 4K recording is already a staple of the XR. You will, however, be able to edit your video settings during live recordings with the 11 but not the XR. The new, improved front camera can take slow-mo selfies (“Slofies,” according to Apple) at 1080p/120fps.

If you’re excited about the prospect of taking and editing photos like a professional, or just want really slow selfies, then the iPhone 11 will be for you. If you’re content with slightly lower grade (still impressive) cameras but still want a decent phone then the XR will definitely suffice.

Apple iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR review: Price

You’ll be happy to know that the iPhone 11 is Apple’s “cheapest” new handset, coming in at £729 for the 64GB, £779 for 128GB and £879 for the 256GB. Apple will also contribute funds from every Product Red-coloured iPhone 11 sold to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

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The iPhone XR is available from Amazon for £729 for the 64 GB, £779 for the 128 GB and £879 for the 256 GB. As you can see, both phones are exactly the same price-wise. If this doesn’t massively inform your decision, I don’t know what will.

Apple iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR review: Verdict

There are only minor differences between these phones but to get an extra camera and seriously upgraded image quality for no extra cost it’s really a no brainer. The iPhone 11 is the logical choice, both for new and returning Apple customers.

Aside from the snazzy new camera, there’s also the improved processor and the increase in battery life from the iPhone 11 which might just tip the scales if you’re still uncertain. Given the overall price-to-specs ratio, which is pretty good, it looks like the success of the XR – and relative failure of the Xs and Xs Max – has worked in our favour.

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