The iPhone XR officially launches on Oct. 27. It’s a mid-range device that packs many of the features Apple has introduced on its OLED flagship models — but at a cheaper price point.
Because of that, the iPhone XR may be especially appealing to many users. And you may just be considering getting one yourself. But if you have, say, an iPhone 7 Plus, there are several reasons why you may want to hold off on getting the iPhone XR and just stick with your current device.
7 It Won’t Cost You Anything!
This is probably the biggest reason why you may want to skip picking up a new iPhone XR. It may the cheapest of the 2018 handsets, but it still costs $749 for the base model. That’s an extra $749 you could be keeping in your pocket instead.
Even if you don’t have one, but plan to buy a new iPhone 7 Plus, you can still save a pretty penny. A 128GB iPhone 7 Plus currently retails for $669. Used options are even cheaper. The iPhone XR model with the same storage capacity, on the other hand, will run you $799.
6 Higher Display Pixel Density
Both the iPhone XR and the iPhone 7 Plus pack Apple’s traditionally excellent LCD display technology. But while the iPhone XR packs a bigger display than the iPhone 7 Plus, it actually has a lower pixel density than its older counterpart.
Sure, we’ve previously made the argument that pixel density doesn’t matter as much as some people think. But if you trade in your iPhone 7 Plus for an iPhone XR, you’re basically downgrading as far as resolution — and you’re losing the ability to stream 1080p video.
5 It Packs a Dual-Lens Camera, XR Doesn’t
Arguably, one of the biggest compromises that the iPhone XR makes is its retention of a single-lens camera system. That may not be a deal breaker for every user, but it does come with several tradeoffs in picture quality.
Despite advances in computational photography, the iPhone 7 Plus will still take higher-resolution pictures. Not only that, but the iPhone 7 Plus actually has 2x optical zoom — which results in objectively better picture quality when zoomed-in. The iPhone XR, by contrast, only has digital zoom.
4 Some People Prefer Touch ID (And It Might Be Faster)
Touch ID is probably in its final era. While the feature will hang around the lineup for a bit longer, it will almost undoubtedly be killed off as Apple keeps releasing iPhones that lack a fingerprint sensor.
But as great as Face ID is, a lot of people may prefer Touch ID. That’s particularly true to lovers of older iPhones or Android users migrating over to iOS. And there’s also an argument to be made that getting into your iPhone with Touch ID is just a tad faster than Face ID, all things considered.
3 It Has 3D Touch
The iPhone XR is the first Apple handset to kill off 3D Touch since the feature was introduced. Ostensibly, the device lacks it due to cost-savings. But it may be more accurate to say that the iPhone XR is an experiment in whether 3D Touch is even relevant anymore.
Of course, you may not use 3D Touch — many people who own iPhones don’t, and Apple hasn’t really done that much to market the functionality as it has with other features. If that’s the case, you probably won’t miss it much. But if you do use it regularly, it’s a glaring omission.
2 It Can Still Keep Up
The iPhone 7 Plus runs on Apple’s A10 Bionic chip. While it’s not cutting edge like the new A12 Bionic, it can certainly still keep up with today’s standards. That’s because the iPhone 7 Plus is still, at its core, an iPhone. And Apple’s handsets have always been top-performers.
This is especially true in the era of iOS 12, a software update that was tailor-made to make older iPhones faster. When it comes to benchmark stats, the iPhone XR will obviously look better. But unless you have both devices side-by-side, you may be hard pressed to notice any real-world difference in your daily life.
1 Many Features Are Incremental, Others Are the Same
With the iPhone XR, you’re paying for an edge-to-edge design, Face ID, and Apple’s startlingly fast A12 Bionic. But other than that, many of the features that the iPhone XR introduces to the mid-range Apple lineup just feel a bit incremental.
Both devices pack 3GB of RAM and the same IP67 dust- and water-resistance rating and even Portrait Mode! While the iPhone XR has dual SIM and wireless charging, there are many people who probably don’t plan on using those features. You have to weigh your options and decide which features you’d like to keep, lose or gain; and ultimately at what cost.