iPhone XS vs. XR Camera: Worth $250+ More?

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iPhone XR starts at $749. That’s $250 less than XS and $350 less than XS Max. And one of the biggest reasons for the difference is the camera system.


The front-facing TrueDepth camera is the same but the back facing camera on iPhone XS and XS Max is a dual system with one wide angle and one telephoto. XR only has the wide angle.

So, is that worth the $250 or $350 — or more, depending on the storage — price tag difference?

I asked professional photographer and YouTuber Tyler Stalman to help me figure it out!


Tyler Stalman:

iPhone XR Review:

iPhone XS Review:

iPhone XR Screen Explainer:




About Author


  1. I understand that you like to nerd-out. But can't you please provide a non-detailed summary of what you just said, because in the end I feel like I came away without learning what the headline claims I was supposed to learn – whether the camera differences are worth $250.

  2. I’ve been playing with my XR for about a week. I noticed that the front camera can take portrait mode photos of anything – including your dog. So, for those who really miss it with the XR and don't want to purchase an app to make it work, there’s a work around.

  3. I'm new here, both on your channel and to Apple, being a devout Android addict since day one….but getting tired of all the limitations that entailed. I bought the XR and am loving it, especially the camera. My prior phone was the LG V30 which has a pretty darn good set of cameras in it's own right. I never thought I'd actually prefer a single lens set up after getting used to two….but wow this phone changed my mind on that! I can't wait for the future software updates that come along, this can only get better over time ? Great review and great channel, glad I saw it and clicked "play"!

  4. A quick easy zoom ability is often a very important feature when taking photos from a distance. For example I want to shoot some up close details of someone in a kayak out on a lake, standing on the shore. He's moving, i want to be able to zoom in quickly. These are all important features. I don't understand why they don't just put everything into one camera as options. That's what Samsung is a lot better at. Why not give the option of FaceId AND TouchId. Why not have all camera features they have into all the phones. Better yet, why not just have one phone for the year packed with everything and for a reasonable price? Wow, now that's a novel idea! Maybe everyone will even buy one without thinking twice. Seriously what apple is doing lately is just pushing people to move away from their ecosystem due to all the confusion. Just one glance over to the 'other side' and you see – hey they have this option, oh and that one too, and oh you don't have to choose between this or that, it's just all there.

  5. How is distortion with the WA lens on XR with portraits & regular shots? I’m tempted to leave XS for XR but have seen some images from XR with good bit of distortion.. especially up close shots.

  6. It sounds like the XR is better in low-light conditions when in portrait mode as it does not rely/have a telephoto lens. How do these two phones compare when taking video? Are they the same?

  7. Love your videos! Can i ask you to adjust your camera so I can watch your videos in full screen on my xs max without cutting your head off? That would be great.

  8. I was going to stop watching your videos seeing as you’ve appointed yourself The Defender of Apple (the most valuable publicly traded company) but I’ll give you another shot for being the only person I’ve seen online properly pronounce bokeh.

  9. DSLRs are not showing what you get. DSLMs do. You need to use depth of field preview on an DSLR to close the aperture and be able to see the real bokeh but then the brightness does not match anymore.

  10. Very well review and I agree with you in everything. I was a samsung user until iPhone X came along.
    The fact is that Apple has come a long way from previous phones.

  11. Your videos are such a joy to watch on my XS Max. The colors in the background pop and the only thing that gets me is the top of the screen is cropped when I watch it on stretched full screen

  12. Hi, I don’t comment a ton but I wanted to say this:
    I think I’m fairly objective with what I think about phones that’s why I can safely say that the Xr is a great iPhone for the price. Again, an iPhone for the price, not a phone. Yes it is still one of the most powerful phone out there with its A12 Bionic CPU and yes the display is great even tho it’s not OLED and FHD. What stops me from buying this phone is Apple being a dick for this. As I said, even with the low resolution, the PPI manages to make the display look like a 1080p but here’s the problem:
    It’s not 1080p. Not making an OLED screen in order to make the phone cheaper is understandable but not making it FHD is just being a dick. No I’m not going to say « 2018 and not 1080p » because that’s just dumb. What I’m going to say is that we pay $750 for a phone that won’t give us a true 1080p resolution. The difference between the two are actually quite noticeable. I’ve been to my local Apple Store and tried out both the Xs Max and the Xr and I felt a difference. Not a huge one but still one.
    Now that’s one complaint but that doesn’t stop it from being a great iPhone for the price. (in the US at least because here in France it costs $1000 so I’m never going to buy it since it lacks so many things I could have for the same price on another phone).
    I got to say the A12 and the camera still make me want to buy it but I’ll pass my way.
    Oh and by the way. I’ve owned an iOS phone and an Android phone before.