The iPhone XS and XS Max are finally on sale. But should you wait for October’s iPhone XR?


On Friday, Apple’s most expensive smartphones ever hit store shelves. The iPhone XS and XS Max, costing $999 on the low end and $1,449 on the high end, are the new “it” phone for Apple users. But the two devices aren’t Apple’s only releases for the fall; the iPhone XR is set to be released on Oct. 26.

The iPhone XR isn’t Apple’s top-of-the-line smartphone, but there are a few reasons you may want to hold off until late October before investing in a new phone.

More iPhone colors to choose from

Distinguishing the iPhone XS and XS Max from the XR takes little effort. Along with the matte aluminum edges and single camera on the back, the iPhone XR comes in vibrant colors. While the iPhone XS and XS Max come in three colors (silver, space gray and the new gold color) the iPhone XR is available in black, white, red, blue, yellow and coral.


The color options are reminiscent of Apple’s iPhone 5c. These iPhones aren’t the fastest you can buy, but they are the most visually striking.

The price is right

As mentioned before, the iPhone XS will cost you $999 or more at checkout. The iPhone XR offers a lower starting price, at $749 for a 64GB version. From here, the phone costs $799 if you want 128GB or $899 if you need 256GB of storage space. The company offers monthly payment plans if you’d rather pay around $40 per month for the device.


The iPhone XR is the cheapest way you’ll be able to use Animoji and an all-screen iPhone. The XR still isn’t a better deal than the older phones Apple still sells — the $599 iPhone 8 and the $449 iPhone 7. That’s also without mentioning you can probably find even cheaper phones on places like eBay or another non-Apple source.

In some cases, the battery is better

Instead of using the standard milliamp-hour measurement to describe how its batteries rate, Apple explains battery power by how long its phones potentially stay on in hours.

According to Apple’s measurements, the iPhone XR lasts up to three hours more than the XS when web browsing and up to five hours longer than the XS when talking on the phone. Apple’s estimates rate the XR as lasting up to an extra two hours than the XS when playing video.

When compared to the iPhone XS Max, it’s a different story. The iPhone XR is estimated to get equal battery as the XS Max when it comes to talk time and music playback. The XR lets you web browse for longer than Apple’s biggest phone.

Of course, there are drawbacks

Here’s why Apple sells the iPhone XR for less money.

The iPhone XR has a bigger screen than the iPhone XS, but it’s not a sharper screen. The more pixels a screen has, the more detailed an image it can show. The XR display contains 326 pixels per inch while the XS contains 458 pixels per inch. The iPhone XR screen doesn’t even measure up to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus from 2014, which had 401 pixels per inch.

Unlike the more expensive versions of the iPhone, the back of the XR only has one camera. This means buyers won’t be able to use higher quality zoom with a telephoto lens when taking photos. It may not make a difference to you, but it could if you find you often zoom in before taking photos.

The iPhone XR line maxes out at 256GB storage. And, as with all of Apple’s new phones, the iPhone XR lacks a headphone jack.

While the iPhone XR is cheaper for a reason, it still offers a lower cost way to gain access to fancy features like Face ID, Animoji and a mostly-screen design.

The call is yours to make.