iPhone XR vs iPhone XS: Which smartphone should you get?

iPhone XS

Even though the Apple iPhone XS was released in 2018, it still offers a great deal of processing power and an impressively clear Super Retina display. The iPhone XS was discontinued when Apple introduced the newer iPhone 11, but you can still find well-functioning refurbished iPhone XS phones for a smart price. For example, you can buy a refurbished iPhone XS from Swappie at less than half the price from the model’s original 1179 € price at launch.

iPhone XR

Released soon after the Apple iPhone XS, the XR model offers a slightly larger 6.1-inch display but is similar to the iPhone XS in many ways. For example, both phones are equipped with the same processor and 4K video recording capabilities as well as a 7-megapixel front camera. The iPhone XR comes in a variety of stylish colours, making it an ideal device for those who want to stand out with a colourful smartphone.

Comparing iPhone XS and iPhone XR

Are you thinking of getting either an iPhone XR or iPhone XS? In that case, there are some things to keep in mind when investing in your next smartphone. Continue reading and we will explain the differences between Apple’s iPhone XS and iPhone XR.

iPhone XS vs iPhone XR: Size

The iPhone XS is a great choice if you are looking for something more compact and slim, thanks to its 5.8-inch display. The iPhone XR is just a bit larger with a 6.1-inch display, but you might notice the difference when comparing the two models with each other. Go for the larger iPhone XR in case you watch a lot of videos or play games with the phone. If you are looking for something smaller, the iPhone XS is the way to go.


The iPhone XS has a stunning Super Retina display with a custom OLED panel. In other words, the XS can produce clear and vibrant colours, as well as an impressive range of different tones of black. The iPhone XR can’t quite match the XS’s level of resolution with its Liquid Retina HD display. 

However, the iPhone XR’s display will be sure to please most users with its high-definition LCD-screen. Just like the XS, the iPhone XR comes with the True Tone feature that adjusts the screen’s brightness and colours based on the surrounding environment.


Both the iPhone XS and XR come with a 12-megapixel camera. However, the iPhone XS has a dual-camera at the back of the device, whereas the XR has only a single rear camera. The iPhone XS also comes with 2x optical zoom in its rear camera, a feature that is missing in the XR. However, both phones include optical image stabilisation, making your photos more accurate, even if you are moving while filming. Both phones can also be used to film stunning 4K video at 30 or 60 frames per second. 

The iPhone XS and iPhone XR use Apple’s Smart HDR feature for even better pictures. The Smart HDR feature works by taking multiple images with different settings and then combines the best aspects of the different photos. This feature is included in both devices’ front cameras as well, allowing you to take good-looking selfies, for instance. 

Both the iPhone XS and iPhone XR have a single 7-megapixel front camera which is well enough to take high-quality pictures, even if it is not as good as the phones’ 12-megapixel rear cameras.

Processor and battery life

The benefit for having lower resolution in its screen allows the iPhone XR to have a longer battery life than the XS. Yet, the iPhone XS is still capable of holding enough battery to last you several hours of internet and multimedia use. In other words, this round goes to the iPhone XR with its long-lasting battery life, even though the XS is still not a great compromise when it comes to its battery. 

As for the processing power of the two models, both phones are equipped with Apple’s A12 Bionic -chip that makes using both phones a fast and smooth experience. Although some of the newer models might have even more advanced processors, the A12 Bionic -chip is powerful enough to run games and applications utilising even augmented reality. 

Colours and styles

We will not tell you which phone looks better, that’s for you to decide. However, the iPhone XR comes with more colourful designs than the XS. You can get the iPhone XR in six vibrant colours:  black, blue, coral, red, white and yellow. Although the iPhone XS offers only three colours, it will still look stylish no matter what. Check out the XS model’s Gold, Silver and Space Gray designs which will not disappoint.


The price between these two models varies a bit, depending on the amount of storage space. The iPhone XS can be bought with 64, 256 and 512 GB of storage space, whereas the XR is available with 64 and 128 GB. Regardless of the phone you choose, by buying a refurbished iPhone XS or XR from Swappie you do not have to worry about paying too much for your next smartphone. 

Depending on the phone’s condition, the prices for the iPhone XS start at just over 400 €. Back when the iPhone XS was launched, you might have paid over 1000 € for a brand new one. The iPhone XR is a cheaper option and the 64 GB version at Swappie starts at less than 400 €.

iPhone XR vs iPhone XS: Choosing the right phone for you

So, which one should you choose: the iPhone XR or the iPhone XS. This depends on what you value in your phone. If you are focusing on price, long-lasting battery or a colourful design, then go for the iPhone XR. In case you want a smartphone with a high-resolution display and a dual rear-camera, then opt for the iPhone XS.

Regardless of your choice, both phones are equipped with wireless charging, the face-ID feature for safe and quick identification as well as Apple’s A12 Bionic chip for a smooth user experience.

Choose the iPhone XS if you value:

  • High-resolution display: The iPhone XS is equipped with a 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display with HDR and True Tone.
  • Small and sleek design: Small and lightweight, the iPhone XS has a lot to offer, despite its smaller size.
  • High-quality dual rear cameras: The iPhone XS’s dual cameras are a great match with the phone’s stunning display.

Choose the iPhone XR if you value:

  • Lower price: Starting at less than 400 €, a refurbished iPhone XR is an affordable option when selecting a quality smartphone.
  • Larger display: Go for a larger display in case you watch a lot of videos and use your smartphone for playing games.
  • Longer battery life: The iPhone XR is capable of up to 16 hours of video playback with a single charge, for instance. 

Getting a refurbished iPhone

Once you have decided what you are looking for in your next smartphone, go and check out some of Swappie’s refurbished iPhones. Swappie’s iPhone XS and iPhone XR models are available in four different conditions: Acceptable, Good, Very Good and Like New.

Rather than buying a new iPhone, you can choose a refurbished iPhone from Swappie and save hundreds of euros. All Swappie’s iPhones go through our rigorous 52-step testing process. In addition, we offer a 12-month warranty as well as a free 14-day right to return.

So, check out Swappie’s selection of refurbished and affordable iPhones for a cheaper, smarter and environmentally friendly option for a new smartphone.