iPhone XR vs iPhone 11 – What Changed, and What did not.


The release of the budget flagship iPhone 11 by Apple, and the continued availability of the iPhone XR in the market has created confusion among the Apple fans on which device to go for.

When we compare both the phones, we can see that in going from the iPhone XR to iPhone 11, Apple has definitely upgraded some of the core features.

iPhone XR vs iPhone 11 – What Changed?

The main difference between the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 is definitely the camera. iPhone 11 hosts a dual camera setup consisting of a 12MP f/1.8 wide angle primary lens and 12 MP f/2.4 ultra wide angle lens. The XR on the other hand comes with a single 12 MP f/1.8 wide angle lens.

The new camera system allows the iPhone 11 to take photos that are rich in details. When one looks at the same photo taken using the iPhone XR and iPhone 11, it can be noted that iPhone 11 yields much more detailed images than the XR. This applies to photos taken in low-light conditions and using portrait mode.

iphone xr vs iphone 11
iPhone 11 with the dual camera setup | Source – Apple
iphone xr vs iphone 11
iPhone XR with single camera setup | Source – Apple

Features such as Night Mode, Portrait Mode extending to all objects, and New Generation Smart HDR have also been introduced in the iPhone 11. Though the iPhone XR camera did take good quality low light photos, a dedicated night mode was absent. Whether or not some of these features would make it to the XR as software updates is not yet clear.

iphone xr vs iphone 11
Night Mode in the iPhone 11 | Source – Apple

Coming to the front cameras, the iPhone 11 has a 12 MP front camera whereas the iPhone XR hosts a 7 MP front camera. The iPhone 11 takes selfies with great detail and also has the option to record slow motion videos using the front camera.

The next major difference between the iPhone XR

and the iPhone 11 lies in their processors. The iPhone 11 comes with the Apple’s latest A13 bionic chipset and the iPhone XR has the A12 bionic chipset. Although a notable difference in performance in day to day usage is not much, the A13 bionic chip is a major upgrade over its predecessor and a real difference in performance may start to kick in over a few years down the lane as these phones age. Difference in performance can also be seen when performing memory intensive tasks such as movie making, or video editing. Having a better processor also improves the post processing power of photos in the iPhone 11.

iphone xr vs iphone 11
Source – Apple

Also, the iPhone 11 carries 4GB RAM and 3rd generation neural engine whereas the iPhone XR carries 3GB RAM with 2nd generation neural engine.

iPhone 11 carries a higher battery capacity of 3110 mAh over the iPhone XR with 2942 mAh. Apple did mention that the iPhone 11 lasts one hour more than the iPhone XR when it comes to battery life. In a time when people are so dependent on their smartphones, one hour of extra battery life does make a lot of difference.

Both the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 has Face ID and detects faces and unlocks almost instantly. However, one point to note here is that the Face ID in iPhone 11 is nearly 30% faster than that of the XR.

There are only slight differences in the design of both the phones. On the front side, both the phones look exactly similar and the only notable changes in design are on the back side. iPhone 11 has a dual camera setup positioned on a slightly raised camera bump, whereas the iPhone XR has a single camera. The other difference lies in the position of the Apple logo. The Apple logo in the XR is slightly above the center and has the iPhone text whereas in iPhone 11, the logo is positioned on the center with no iPhone text.

Both the iPhone XR and iPhone are dust and water resistant. The iPhone 11 is marked IP68 and can be dipped 1.5 m in water for 30 minutes whereas the iPhone XR has an IP 67 water resistance and can be dipped in 1 m in water for 30 minutes.

iPhone XR vs iPhone 11 – What did not Change

Apart from the changes that we have seen, the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 does share some similarities.

Both the phones have a 6.1 inch LCD display with same screen to body ration, identical bezel dimensions, same brightness levels and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and a pixel density of 326 ppi. It is literally impossible to distinguish between these phones by just looking at their screens. Both phones offer 1080p video playback.

iphone xr vs iphone 11
iPhone 11 | Credits – Apple

Both the phones are identical in dimensions, weigh the same, have aluminium border around the phone, and also shares identical positions for buttons, charging ports, and speakers.

Both the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 lack the 3D touch feature, but gets haptic touch. Other similar features in both the devices include similar stereo speakers, lightning connectors for charging, fast charging feature, and iOS 13.

Should I go for the iPhone 11 or iPhone XR?

This choice is purely subjective depending on what the user expects from his phone. As we have seen, the iPhone 11 carries some major upgrades over the XR and as such is definitely the better iPhone. The key decision making features here are definitely the camera and performance.

If you are planning to get a new iPhone, we recommend that you go for the iPhone 11. On the other hand, if you are someone who already owns an iPhone XR and if the camera is not your highest priority, you can continue with your existing XR which is also a great phone for its price.