iPhone XR vs iPhone XS Max

The entire 2018 line-up of iPhones is some form of 'X' model so they all have the design introduced last year. There's a large price gap between the cheapest and most expensive models so we've compared the iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max in detail.

iPhone XR vs iPhone XS Max: Price and Availability

The iPhone XS Max is available now from Apple. Check out the best contract prices here in our iPhone XS deals article.

The iPhone XR is available to pre-order now, but you'll have to wait until 26 Oct to get hold of your device. Read our roundup of the best iPhone XR deals to make sure you get the best price.

The two we are comparing here are at opposite ends of the price spectrum. So the iPhone XR is the cheapest model starting at £749/$749.

Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max is at least £1,099/$1,099 so there's a £350/$350 difference which you need to weigh-up.

Below you can see all the prices for each phone, which highlights the storage capacities available as well. Note that prices are the same in US dollars.

  iPhone XR iPhone XS Max
64GB £749 £1,099
128GB £799 -
256GB £899 £1,249
512GB - £1,449

Fancy an even cheaper large screen option? We also look at the iPhone 7 Plus and the XS Max here.

iPhone XR vs iPhone XS Max: Design and Build

This year, the full line-up has adopted the design of the original iPhone X, so the style including the home button has now been retired with the iPhone 8 (which is still on sale).

The iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max are pretty similar when it comes to design and build. At the front the look essentially the same and at the back things are similar apart from the camera module - a single lens indicating that it's the XR.

Either way you're getting Apple's metal and glass design we're now accustomed to. They're both a similar size to the iPhone 8 Plus, but have much bigger screens thanks to the bezel-free design.

These two iPhones aren't very different in size with the Max namely being taller. The XR, being cheaper, is a little thicker at 8.3mm compared to 7.7mm, but the XS Max is heavier at 208g vs 194g. Neither is a difference you'll really notice.

iPhone XR colours

The biggest difference is the range of colours. While the XS Max is available in Silver, Space Grey and Gold, the iPhone XR seems  to pay homage to the old 5c with a wide range of options.

You can get it in White, Black, Blue, Yellow, Coral and (PRODUCT)RED.

One small difference is that the phones have different waterproof ratings with the XR at IP67 and the XS Max at IP68. This mean you can take the latter to a depth of 2m, twice that of the XR.

iPhone XR vs iPhone XS Max: Specs and Features

There's a fair amount of specs and features that are identical whether you buy the XR or XS Max. They include the new A12 Bionic processor, Face ID, wireless charging and the front facing 7Mp camera.

You'll notice a small difference in storage as the XS Max goes up to 512GB, but the XR tops out at 256GB.

Really, the big differences are in the display and photography departments.

iPhone XC Max

They both have the larger screens than ever seen before on an iPhone with the XR at 6.1in and the XS Max at a whopping 6.5in. There's more though, as the XS Max has a higher pixel density and OLED technology for better contrast and colours.

Meanwhile, the XR uses an LCD panel and doesn't support 3D Touch either. Both have a notch, even though Apple has cleverly hidden it in the XS images.

Although the phones have the same front camera and the same main rear camera, the XS Max also has a second rear camera. It's a 2x zoom telephoto lens just like the iPhone X.

It's interesting, though, that the phones have the same camera features like Portrait mode, Smart HDR and the new depth control feature. The XR only misses out on Stage and Stage Mono effects within Portrait Lighting.

Here is a spec comparison of the iPhone XR and XS Max:

  iPhone XR iPhone XS Max
iOS iOS 12 iOS 12
Colours White, Black, Blue, Yellow, Coral, (PRODUCT)RED Gold, Silver, Space Grey
Display 6.1in Liquid Retina HD Display (1792x828, 326ppi) LCD IPS 6.5in Super Retina Display (2688x1242, 458ppi) OLED with 3D Touch
Processor Apple A12 Bionic Apple A12 Bionic
Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB 64GB/256GB/512GB
Rear camera 12Mp, f/1.8, OIS, 5x digital zoom, Quad-LED flash 12Mp wide-angle, f/1.8, OIS + 12Mp telephoto, f/2.4, OIS, optical zoom, 10x digital zoom, Portrait Lighting, Portrait Mode, Quad-LED flash
Front camera 7Mp FaceTime HD, f2.2, 1080p video 7Mp FaceTime HD, f/2.2, 1080p video
Video recording 4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps 4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps
Biometric security Face ID Face ID
Wireless charging? Yes Yes
Waterproofing IP67 IP68
Dimensions 75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3mm 77.4 x 157.5 x 7.7mm
Weight 194g 208g
Price From £749 (same in $) From £1,099 (same in $)
Buy SIM-free Pre-order Pre-order
Buy on contract Pre-order Pre-order

OUR VERDICT

Despite the fairly large price difference, the iPhone XR and XS Max aren't hugely different.

Splashing out on the Max will get you a bigger screen which has OLED tech and a higher resolution and a second telephoto camera on the back. Smaller things include a minorly better IP68 waterproof rating and the (expensive) option of 512GB storage.

It's odd that your decision may well come down to what colour you want your iPhone to be. We think the XR is a bit of a bargain as long as you're ok with the LCD screen without 3D Touch and a single rear camera.

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