Magid: iPhone XR probably has everything you need for less

I’ve been testing the new iPhone XR alongside the new XS and the competing new Google Pixel 3. And, from a cost-benefit standpoint, the XR makes a lot of sense. It has a couple of drawbacks compared with its more expensive brethren, but, for practical purposes, it’s just as good. It’s everything most people need and want in an iPhone at $250 less than the cost of the smaller iPhone XS and $350 less than the somewhat larger XS Max.

Let’s start with size. With its 6.1-inch screen, the $749 XR is pretty much in the middle between the 5.8-inch $999 iPhone XS and 6.5-inch $1,099 iPhone XS Max. If you consider cost per diagonal inch of screen, the XR comes in at $122 per inch, compared with $172 for the XS and $169 for the XS Max. But when it comes to how it feels in your hand and how much screen real estate you get, it’s also in that nice Goldilocks spot as far as size – not too big and not too small.

The XS does have a higher-resolution OLED display compared with the LCD screen on the XR, but holding them side-by-side, the difference, to my eyes, is negligible. The XS has 2436-by-1125-pixel resolution at 458 per inch (ppi) compared with 1792-by-828-pixel resolution at 326 ppi on the XR, but the only reason I know that is because I read the spec sheet. I can barely tell by looking.

Both have what Apple calls “true tone display” and both achieve the same brightness level. The XS has 3D touch, which enables you to control some apps based on how much pressure you apply to the screen, but the XR lacks that feature. Some people love 3D touch, but most don’t bother with it, and most apps don’t support it. It’s far from a necessity and there are rumors that Apple may drop it in future iPhones because of a lack of consumer interest.

The XR also has the same level of water and dust resistance as the more expensive models, uses the same A12 bionic processor, and has the same front (selfie) camera with the same specs for both video and still images.

Some differences

There is a difference with the main rear camera in that the XR lacks the 2x optical zoom found on the more expensive XS and XR, which also doubles the digital zoom from 5x to 10x. Other than that, the cameras are the same, including portrait mode that blurs the background in closeup photos of people, though the more expensive cameras have a couple of extra portrait mode features that most people can probably live without. All the new iPhones have the same 12-megapixel resolution on the rear camera and 7 megapixel for selfies.

Bottom line, except for the 2x zoom, these cameras are pretty much the same and the results are equally impressive.

The XS is made with more premium materials, but I’m not sure that matters much. The more expensive phones have a stainless-steel chassis compared with …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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