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With the Launch of iPhone 11, Should You Still Consider Buying XR?

Apple launched three new iPhones earlier this month, but how does the 11 compare with last year’s iPhone XR?

Updated
Tech Reviews
4 min read
iPhone 11 (left) or the iPhone XR (right), which one is worth going for?
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Apple launched three new iPhones on 10 September, which will become available in India from 27 September. The iPhone 11 is the most intriguing of the three, especially when it comes to model Indian buyers are interested in.

So just how does the iPhone 11 compare with last year’s iPhone XR, which, somehow was launched at a higher price than the iPhone 11.

Has Apple made enough improvements on the iPhone 11, which makes it a better buy than the iPhone XR right now? Here’s a closer look at the so-called ‘affordable iPhones’ in the market.

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With the Launch of iPhone 11, Should You Still Consider Buying XR?
(Photo: Aroop Mishra/The Quint)

Design and Display

It’s fair to say that while holding both these phones, you’ll hardly see many differences or an upgrade on offer. Just like the XR, Apple has stuck with the anodised aluminium design for the 11, which is coloured to match the new yellow, blue, coral or red rear panels.

Of course, there’s the staid black and white too, but the colours were surely a big draw for the XR and I’d imagine most would make a beeline for the iPhone 11 because of this.

Glossy back panel on the iPhone XR.
Glossy back panel on the iPhone XR.
(Photo: The Quint)

Even in terms of the dimensions, the 11 feels exactly like the XR, which means it is not a large phone, but the extra screen real estate is discernible.

Mostly it feels like Apple has used the same design from the XR and packed the iPhone 11 with better internals, without really changing too much externally.

The LCD “Liquid Retina” display which we saw on the XR, has also been put to use on the iPhone 11. This unit, as we’ve said before, doesn’t push out that many pixels – 1792 x 828, to be precise. To some, these specs will seem abysmally low for the price range, more so when compared to the QHD+ displays on the Samsung and Google flagships.

Having said that, the LCD screen on the XR is a good panel with rich colours and ample brightness for outdoor use, which will satisfy the needs of most people out there.

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Hardware

Under the hood, the iPhone 11 gets the same processor as its ‘Pro’ and ‘Pro Max’ brothers. While the XR was powered by the A12 Bionic chipset with 3GB of memory, the 11 gets the A13 Bionic processor, but with 4GB RAM this year.

The phone carries a weight of 194 grams, offers dust and water resistance with an IP68 rating and the iPhone still supports its patented lightning connector for charging as well as data transfer.

iPhone 11 borrows its screen and quality from the XR.
iPhone 11 borrows its screen and quality from the XR.
(Photo: The Quint)
But it’s worth knowing that unlike the Pro series, Apple continues the bundle the slow power charger with the iPhone 11 this year.

Face ID is fast, apps load snappily and all the big-ticket iOS 13 features – live-action Portrait effects and Me-mojis, among others – work without skipping a beat. The lower amount of memory didn’t impact any day-to-day use with the XR, and we expect similar performance from the iPhone 11 as well.

The battery unit on the iPhone 11 has been marginally bumped up from the XR, but with low pixel density, and improved management options with iOS 13, we expect similar or better performance from the device.

Camera — From One to Two

In addition to the change in hardware, Apple also decided to improve the imaging power of the iPhone 11, with two camera lenses at the back of the phone. Both these sensors offer wide and ultra-wide capability, with apertures of f/1.8 and f/2,4 respectively.

This is a big improvement on the cameras from the iPhone XR, and people spending over Rs 60K on the new iPhone, will most likely feel it’s worth the price quoted.

Rear camera on the iPhone XR.
Rear camera on the iPhone XR.
(Photo: The Quint)

Global reviews of the iPhone 11 put its low-light shooting capability at much higher levels than last year’s iPhone XR. We’ll test out the new generation iPhone in the coming weeks to give you a better idea about the quality on offer.

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Which iPhone Is Worth Buying?

If you’ve got the iPhone 6, 7 or even the 8, upgrading to the iPhone 11 is a no brainer.

Compared to the XR, you’re getting the same phone, but with improved hardware in tow, as well as the new dual rear cameras. iOS 13 will also perform better on a newer version, which puts iPhone 6 and 7 buyers in a dilemma.

But coming to our main question, XR or the iPhone 11? We’d probably go for the latter, which is Rs 10,000 cheaper at launch, carries more power with the A13 Bionic processor and gets better performance out of the battery as well.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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