Are you wondering which is better between the iPhone XR and XS Max or which of them to buy? Read through this iPhone XR vs XS Max comparison to see a comprehensive face-off between both models.
The objective of this review is to enable you to decide which of these two iPhone models packs the best value for your money. Therefore, to accomplish this objective, I will be pitching the iPhone XR against the iPhone XS Max in certain categories.
Speaking of the categories, we will look at the design, display, camera, storage, battery, and sensors. I will also include a rating for each model at the end of each category’s comparison.
For a quick tabular breakdown of how the iPhone XR and XS Max compare, check out the ‘our rating summary’ section. A lot has been said about what to expect in this review; without further ado, let us proceed to the other sections.
My Initial Thoughts
2017 marked a tremendous revolution in iPhone history which continued in 2018 with the release of the iPhone XR alongside the XS and XS Max. The iPhone XR (pronounced ‘ten-arr’) and iPhone XS Max (pronounced ‘ten-ess max’) are the focus of this comparison review.
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Despite the release of newer iPhone models, the iPhone XR and XS Max are still great phones. Although both models have been discontinued and cannot be purchased directly from Apple stores, you can readily get them from other retail outlets.
If you are wondering if the iPhone XR and XS Max are a good buy in 2022 and beyond, the simple answer is yes. Both models are speculated to get system and security updates up until 2025 (these are speculations, things could change).
Moreover, you also get to buy them at lower prices than when they were newly debuted. At the time this review was written (January 2022), the iPhone XR starts at $286.98.
Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max starts at $379.00. However, it is worthy of note that the prices change regularly.
Now, you have an idea about the difference in prices between the iPhone XR and XS Max. Therefore, let us see how they both compare in other categories.
IPhone XR vs XS Max Design, Dimension, and Weight Comparison
We have seen the switch from bezel screens to bezel-less screens with the 2017 iPhone X. Unsurprisingly, the iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max have followed this trend as well.
From the front view of the iPhone XR, you will see a 6.1-inch edge-to-edge display. Meanwhile, the front view of the iPhone XS Max is graced by a 6.5-inch display with a similar edge-to-edge design.
An all-screen design seems like the best thing that happened to these iPhones compared to the giant bezels that plagued previous models. However, just like the iPhone X, the screens of the iPhone XR and XS Max also house the infamous notch.
The notch unceremoniously cuts out a significant portion of the screen’s top. However, the notch is not as irksome as most people paint it to be.
As a matter of fact, its importance supersedes the screen obstruction quirk. Speaking of its importance, the notch houses essential features like an infrared camera, a front camera, and a dot projector.
Additionally, the notch houses a proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, a speaker, microphone, and a flood illuminator. Little wonder Apple dubbed the notch as the ‘sensor housing’.
Flipping the iPhone XR and XS Max to their backs, you will see glass backplates like that of the iPhone 8 and X. There is a glaring difference between the backplates of the iPhone XR and XS Max in terms of camera layout.
Speaking of which, the backplate of the iPhone XR houses a single circular camera module by the top-left corner. Meanwhile, on the top-left corner of the iPhone XS Max, there is a vertical dual-camera module.
On the camera module of the iPhone XS Max, there are two camera sensors, an LED flash, and a microphone. Meanwhile, on the iPhone XR, the microphone and LED flash are placed below the camera module.
On the backplates of the iPhone XR and XS Max, you will also find an Apple logo and an iPhone branding. Also, depending on the country you are in, some iPhone models include FC and EC logos while others do not.
Moving on, the iPhone XS Max frame is made with premium stainless steel. Meanwhile, the iPhone XR stuck with a more modest aluminum frame.
The polished stainless steel of the iPhone XS Max might be more sophisticated than the matte aluminum of the iPhone XR. However, the iPhone XR does not look cheap either.
The top frame of the iPhone XS Max houses no other feature except for an antenna line by the right side. Whereas the iPhone XR has no feature on its top frame, not even an antenna line.
On the other hand, the bottom frame of both the iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max is quite populated. On the iPhone XR, the bottom frame houses speaker grilles, microphone, and lightning connector.
The arrangement is symmetrical with an equal number of grilles on each side of the lighting connector. Meanwhile, the bottom edge of the iPhone XS Max also houses a speaker, microphone, and lightning connector.
However, that is not all, there is also an antenna line by the left side of the iPhone XS Max bottom frame. The antenna line grossly ruins the symmetry of the layout.
Hence, there is an unequal number of grilles on each side of the iPhone XS Max’s lightning connector.
For the right frame of the iPhone XR and XS Max, there is a sleep/wake button and the SIM slot. A light press on the sleep/wake button will put the screen to sleep or wake it from sleep as the case may be.
Meanwhile, a long press on the side button will activate a power off or switch the phone on as the case may be.
Placing the iPhone XR and XS Max side by side, one difference you will notice between them is their SIM slot positioning.
While the iPhone XR’s SIM slot is positioned close to the bottom, that of the iPhone XS Max is closer to the center. Moreover, the SIM slot of the iPhone XR houses a single nano-SIM.
Meanwhile, you can get the iPhone XR or XS Max in two versions depending on the country you are in. In some Asian countries, you can get these phones with support for two nano-SIMs.
Whereas in the US, the phones come with a single nano-SIM coupled with an eSIM for dual-SIM functionality. An eSIM (embedded SIM) is an integrated SIM that is unremovable but can be configured with any mobile network that supports eSIM.
Moving on to the left frame of the iPhone XR and XS Max, there is the handy mute switch. Pushing the switch down will put the phone in silent mode while pulling it back up will put the phone in ring mode.
Still, on the left frame, you will also find the volume buttons right under the mute switch. This brings us to the end of the hardware features of the iPhone X and XS Max.
However, before we round up this iPhone XR vs XS Max design features comparison section, let’s talk about other design features. Firstly, we will talk about the size and weight.
The iPhone XR measures 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm (H x W x D) and weighs 194g. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max measures 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm (H x W x D) and weighs 202g.
Unfortunately, both phones do not conform to the ideal weight of smartphones. Research has it that most users prefer phones that weigh between 140 to 170 g.
Consequently, the iPhone XR and XS Max are phones that should be held with both hands.
For color options, the iPhone XR is available in six alluring colors. Speaking of the colors, you will find the iPhone XR in black, blue, coral, red, white, or yellow.
Most of the color options did a good job of matching the color of the backplate with the frames. However, the yellow and white options are awful.
On a white iPhone XR model, rather than having a white frame, it has a silver frame instead. Likewise, on a Yellow model, you will get a gold frame and not yellow.
For iPhone XS Max color options, it is available in 3 colors only. You can get the iPhone XS Max in gold, silver, or space gray.
Comparatively, the iPhone XR has a wide color option to choose from rather than the limited options of the XS Max. However, for users that will be using a pouch, the phone color might be insignificant.
Moving on, the iPhone XR is rated IP67 for dust and water resistance. Hence, it can survive in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
On the other hand, the iPhone XS Max is rated IP68 which is more effective at dust and water protection. With that, the iPhone XS Max can survive in 2 meters of water for 30 minutes.
In summary, the iPhone XR and XS Max are tastefully built smartphones. However, the iPhone XS Max has a better design quality which means it gets more durability.
They also vary in size and weight with the iPhone XS Max being the bigger and heavier model.
Another major design difference between both models is their color options. Their water-resistant feature is also a point to consider with the iPhone XS Max having an upper hand here.
Putting these factors together, the iPhone XS Max excels in a crucial design area – durability. Hence, I crown it the winner of this category.
Therefore I will rate the iPhone XS Max an 8. Meanwhile, I will rate the iPhone XR an 8.
IPhone XR vs XS Max Display Features Comparison
For this section, we will compare the iPhone XR and XS Max in features such as screen size, resolution, technology, etc. Starting with the screen sizes, the iPhone XR has a screen size of 6.1-inch.
Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max has a screen size of 6.5-inch. Hence both models have enough screen estate to make media contents enjoyable.
Meanwhile, in comparison, the iPhone XS Max has a more generous screen estate. Unfortunately, the iPhone XR and XS Max do not conform to the general ideal screen size.
Since research has it that the ideal screen size is between 5 to 5.5-inches, these two phones fall outside the ideal screen sizes. However, so many smartphones of today have screen sizes above 5.5-inches and users love them quite alright.
The next display feature we will compare is the phone’s aspect ratio. On this front, both the iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max have a 19.5:9 aspect ratio.
In contrast to the standard 16:9 aspect ratio, 19.5:9 is even longer. Therefore, the iPhone XR and XS Max screens will display more content than screens with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
While the OLED is the best display technology to vote for, IPS LCDs are not bad either. OLEDs are loved for their efficient power management, better contrast, color, and viewing angles.
OLED displays are also thinner than IPS LCDs, little wonder the iPhone XR is thicker than the iPhone XS Max. Specifically, the iPhone XR is 8.3 mm thick while the iPhone XS Max is 7.7 mm thick.
Meanwhile, the IPS LCD also has its advantage such as better color accuracy and lesser tendencies of image burn-in. Moreover, IPS LCDs are also sold for a relatively cheaper price than OLEDs.
In the paragraphs below, we will further discuss contrast, viewing angles, color accuracy, etc. However, before we go into that, let us talk about the display resolutions and pixel density.
The iPhone XR has an HD resolution with (1792 x 828) pixels. On the other hand, the iPhone XS Max also has an HD resolution but with (2436 x 1125) pixels.
Moreover, the iPhone XR also has a pixel density of 326 PPI. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max has a pixel density of 458 PPI.
Consequently, the iPhone XS Max display is more detailed and sharper than that of the iPhone XR.
Moving on to contrast ratio and black values which determine how black color is displayed on screens. The iPhone XR has a contrast ratio of 1920:1 (higher means better) and a black value of 0.35 cd/m² (lower means better).
Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max has a perfect contrast ratio and black value. Precisely, the iPhone XS Max has a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 and a black value of 0 cd/m².
Consequently, the iPhone XS Max will produce deep true blacks. In contrast, the iPhone XR will display dark gray instead.
The next stop in this section is color reproduction and color accuracy comparison. For color reproduction, the iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max cover a wide color space which is an impressive feat.
Hence, the iPhone XR covers 100% of the sRGB color space while the iPhone XS Max covers 98.8%. We can see that iPhone XR has slightly more color support than the iPhone XS Max thanks to its IPS LCD.
For color accuracy, the iPhone XR and XS Max displays are very accurate. Therefore, the iPhone XR has a Delta E score of 1.3 while the iPhone XS Max scores 1.7.
Delta E scores refer to the level of color deviation exhibited by a display, a lower delta E score means more accuracy. The above Delta E scores show that the iPhone XR and XS Max deviate only slightly from the sRGB color gamut.
However, the iPhone XR excels better in color accuracy thanks to its IPS LCD.
Another display feature we will talk about is viewing angles, it determines how well you can view the screen from acute angles. Due to the OLED display of the iPhone XS Max, it has better viewing angles than the iPhone XR.
Hence, there were no distorted colors or decreased brightness from the acute angle view. The iPhone XR is also decent too, there is only slight brightness loss when viewing from acute angles.
Moving on to the display brightness, the iPhone XR has a maximum brightness of 672 nits. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max has a maximum brightness of 700 nits.
Consequently, the iPhone XR and XS Max are very bright hence, you will find their screen convenient to read even outdoors. Most impressively, the ambient light sensor detects light very fast and adjusts the screen brightness swiftly.
However, one little quirk that stands as a threat for outdoor usage is the sun’s reflection on the screen due to its glossy finish.
3D Touch and Haptic Touch are pressure-sensitive gestures that enable you to perform more actions. To activate these features, you need to press down on the relevant screen area where you need the touch functionality.
On the iPhone XR with haptic touch, you need to press and hold on to the screen until you feel an haptic feedback and popped up menu options. Meanwhile, on the iPhone XS Max with a 3D touch, there is support for different levels of pressure sensitivity including light and long presses.
Furthermore, some display features are common to the iPhone XR and XS Max, one of such is Apple’s True Tone. True Tone will detect the color of surrounding ambient light and adjust the display light to reflect that color.
Another feature that is common to both the iPhone XR and XS Max is 120 Hz touch sensing. Hence, both models are fast at registering screen touches.
Also, the iPhone XR and XS Max have oleophobic coatings on their front and rear glasses. With the oleophobic coating, fingerprints and smudges are kept to a minimum, the glass surface is also easier to wipe clean.
In addition to that, the glasses are also said to be scratch-resistant.
In summary, the iPhone XS Max display is sharper, brighter, displays deeper blacks, and has better viewing angles. Hence, I will make it the top pick in this display features comparison section.
This brings me to rate the iPhone XS Max an eight while I will rate the iPhone XR a seven.
IPhone XR vs XS Max Camera Features Comparison
Starting with the front cameras, the iPhone XR and XS Max have a 7 MP front camera with an aperture size of f/2.2. The front cameras of both models support portrait mode allowing you to take selfies with a blurred background.
This photography effect is known as the bokeh effect.
The iPhone XR and XS Max also support advanced bokeh effects and depth control. With depth control, you will be able to adjust the level of background blur before or after taking the pictures.
Additionally, both the iPhone XR and XS Max also support portrait lighting. This feature allows you to put some dramatic lighting effects on your portraits.
However, while the iPhone XR supports six portrait lightings, the iPhone XS Max supports five.
Furthermore, the front cameras of the iPhone XR and XS Max also support Smart HDR, which can be enabled in settings. Smart HDR combines several images shot at different exposure into one image which results in better quality.
Performance-wise, the front cameras are fast to capture thanks to the improved Image Signal Processor (ISP). Selfies on the iPhone XR and XS Max are simply not great especially when Smart HDR is disabled.
However, you can enable the Smart HDR feature and also keep the original non-HDR picture. If you compare the Smart HDR and non-HDR shots you will see the difference in image quality.
Thankfully, Smart HDR also works for portrait selfies as well.
At night, the front cameras of the iPhone XR and XS Max use a retina flash to take low-light selfies. The retina flash makes use of a burst of screen light to brighten up the face.
The resulting image is not the best we have seen but, it is decent.
Meanwhile, you will also be able to take non-blurry pictures thanks to auto image stabilization. It works by preventing handshakes that can result in blur pictures.
Additionally, the iPhone XR and XS Max front cameras support a wide color capture for photos and live photos. This enables pictures to have vibrant colors.
Speaking of live photos, these are motion photos created from short clips of things that happened before and after taking a picture.
For video performance, the iPhone XR and XS Max front cameras will record up to 1080p resolution images at 30 fps or 60 fps. Additionally, for videos recorded at 30 fps, there is an extended dynamic range which gives more realness to videos.
With the help of the cinematic video stabilization that is always on, you can keep your videos steady and free from shakes.
Other than taking selfies, the front camera of the iPhone XR and XS Max supports face ID. Face ID is a facial recognition feature that is used to protect your phone from unauthorized access.
We will talk more about the face ID in the security and sensors section.
Moving on to the rear cameras, the iPhone XR has a single rear camera, while the iPhone XS Max has a dual-camera setup. Precisely, the iPhone XS Max has a wide-angle camera as well as a telephoto camera while the iPhone XR has only a wide-angle camera.
The wide-angle camera of both the iPhone XR and XS Max has similar specs. The cameras have a resolution of 12 MP, an aperture size of f/1.8, and a pixel size of a 1.4-micron pixel.
The wide-angle cameras support phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and optical image stabilization (OIS). PDAF allows pictures to get automatic focus.
Meanwhile, the OIS is useful for controlling shutter speed and preventing shakes.
For the iPhone XS Max that has a telephoto camera, the resolution of the telephoto lens is also 12 MP. Meanwhile, the aperture size is f/2.4 and the pixel size is 1.0-micron pixel.
The telephoto lens of the iPhone XS Max is useful for taking close-up shots that require a lot of zooming. Just like the wide-angle cameras, the telephoto camera also supports PDAF and OIS.
Hence, the telephoto lens supports 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom. The difference between optical and digital zoom is that with optical zoom, you need to physically alter the distance between the object and the lens.
On the other hand, digital zoom uses software to crop out the edges of the pictures for a close-up shot. Apparently, optical zoom produces a better result than digital zoom.
Due to the lack of a telephoto lens on the iPhone XR, it does not support optical zoom. However, you will get a 5x digital zoom on the iPhone XR.
The iPhone XS Max also employs its telephoto camera to take portraits. It supports advanced bokeh, depth control, and portrait lighting with five effects.
Although the iPhone XR lacks a telephoto lens, it also takes portrait shots via its wide-angle camera. Additionally, it uses machine learning to create a separation between the subject and the blurry background.
Impressively, the resulting image is as good as that of the iPhone XS Max. Also, the iPhone XR rear camera supports depth control and portrait lighting with three effects.
However, there is a little caveat with the iPhone XR portrait, the iPhone XR only takes portraits of humans with their faces in view. You won’t be able to take portraits of objects or peoples’ backs.
The reason for this is that the machine learning algorithm used in creating the subject-background separation requires some facial detection.
Similar to the iPhone XR and XS Max front cameras, their rear cameras also support Smart HDR and wide color photos and live photos.
Performance-wise, the iPhone XS Max and XR produce excellent photos in daylight even without Smart HDR enabled. The pictures without Smart HDR are vibrant, detailed, and sharp.
Meanwhile, with Smart HDR enabled, the pictures have better dynamic range, contrast, and natural colors.
For low-light pictures on the iPhone XR and XS Max, the OIS helps to reduce the shutter speed to allow more light into the lens. Also, with the help of Smart HDR, both models take great low-light images with reduced noise and enough exposure.
Both the iPhone XR and XS also have a quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync. With the help of True Tone, the flash uses the surrounding ambient light to give a natural skin tone to low-light pictures.
Additionally, the slow sync functionality of the flash allows it to brighten not only the subject but also the background in low-light pictures. Hence, the iPhone XR and XS Max flash produce evenly bright night photos with plenty of details.
For videos, the iPhone XR and XS Max rear cameras will record 4K resolution videos at 24, 30, or 60 fps. Additionally, you will be able to record 1080p resolution images at 30, 60, 120, or 240 fps.
Thanks to the OIS feature of the iPhone XR and XS Max, videos are kept steady without jitters.
Meanwhile, the iPhone XR and XS Max not only let you save images in JPEG format but also allow HEIF format. Also, videos do not only save in H.264 format, but it also supports HEVC H.265 format.
The HEIF and HEVC formats allow double compressions than the conventional JPEG and H.264. Therefore, if you use the HEIF and HEVC formats, you will be able to save twice as many photos and videos.
In conclusion, despite the lack of a telephoto lens on the iPhone XR, it produces a similar result as the iPhone XS Max. However, the iPhone XR lacks optical zoom.
Additionally, while the iPhone XS Max can take portraits of any object, the iPhone XR’s portrait is only limited to humans.
Hence, these factors give the iPhone XS Max an upper hand in this category. In light of this, I will rate the iPhone XS Max a nine while I rate the iPhone XR an 8.5.
IPhone XR vs XS Max Battery Life and Talk Time Comparison
The iPhone XR has a 2,942 mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max has a 3,174 mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery.
Apple claims that the iPhone XS Max battery will deliver up to 13 hours of internet use. Likewise, the claim says that the iPhone XS Max will deliver up to 15 hours of video playback.
For the iPhone XR, Apple claim states that it will deliver up to 15 hours of internet usage. We also expect the iPhone XR to deliver up to 16 hours of video playback.
To determine if these Apple’s claims are real, we will consider the result of the battery tests performed by notebookcheck.com. From notebookcheck’s video playback test, the iPhone XR lasted 16 hours 51 minutes.
Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max lasted 13 hours and 21 minutes in the video playback test.
Also, in notebookcheck’s web surfing test, the iPhone XR lasted 15 hours and 10 minutes. On the other hand, the iPhone XS Max lasted 12 hours and 22 minutes.
The results from this test are in correlation with Apple’s claim, considering that testing conditions might be different in both instances.
However, it is impressive that the iPhone XR lasted longer than the iPhone XS Max despite its smaller battery capacity. This impressive feat of the iPhone XR can be attributed to its smaller screen size and lower resolution.
This section will be incomplete without discussing the charging capabilities of these iPhone models. Hence, the iPhone XR and XS Max support fast charging which will produce up to 50% charge in 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, you will have to spend about $19 extra to purchase a fast charger, as the 5W chargers bundled with the phones do not support fast charging. The 5W charger that ships with the iPhone XR will fully charge it in about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max will take about 3 hours to fully charge with its bundled 5W charger.
Furthermore, the iPhone XS Max and XR also support wireless charging thanks to their glass backs. Hence, you don’t have to worry about cables; you can charge your phones using compatible Qi wireless chargers.
In conclusion, the iPhone XR is my top pick for this category. The reason for my decision is not far-fetched; the iPhone XR lasts longer than the iPhone XS Max despite its smaller battery capacity.
Hence, I will rate the iPhone XR a nine and the iPhone XS Max an eight in this section.
IPhone XR vs XS Max Storage Options and Performance Comparison
In this section, we will discuss the iPhone XR vs XS Max storage options comparison. The iPhone XR and XS Max are both available in three storage options. The iPhone XR has a baseline storage configuration of 64 GB, a midrange configuration of 128 GB, and a high-end configuration of 256 GB.
Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max has a baseline storage configuration of 64 GB. It also doubles the amount of midrange and high-end storage you will get on the iPhone XR.
Precisely, the iPhone XS Max has a midrange storage configuration of 256 GB and a high-end configuration of 512 GB.
When deciding on which storage configuration will suit your needs best, you should also remember that the higher the storage space, the more expensive it is.
Finally, the iPhone XS Max has larger storage configurations in the midrange and high-end levels than the iPhone XR. Therefore, the iPhone XS Max will be my top pick for this category.
In light of that, I will rate the iPhone XS Max a nine while I rate the iPhone XR an eight.
IPhone XR vs XS Max Security Features and Sensors Comparison
These iPhone XR and XS Max came loaded with sensors. These sensors are Face ID, accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope, ambient light, barometer, and proximity.
Starting with the face ID, it is an authentication method that efficiently secures your phone from unauthorized access. Face ID uses the front camera and artificial intelligence to effectively map your face via facial recognition.
Therefore, you will be able to unlock your phone just by looking at the front camera.
The face ID feature unlocks the phone quite alright, but it does not stop there. It also helps with payment authorization for purchases on iTunes, Apple Pay, and Appstore.
Moreover, the face ID is also useful for authorizing sign-ins in applications.
The next sensor for discussion is the accelerometer. As its name suggests, the accelerometer is used to measure the force of acceleration.
It senses axis-based motion along the x, y, and z axes. It also detects the direction in which the phone is pointing at.
One of the applications of the accelerometer is for displaying driving speed in driving apps. It is responsible for switching the phone’s orientation.
However, the accelerometer is not the only sensor responsible for orientation changes. The gyroscope also plays an important part when it comes to changing the phone’s orientation.
For the gyroscope, it is useful for measuring the smartphone’s position. It detects the precise position of the phone in other to adjust the orientation correctly.
Next up is the ambient light sensor. It measures the ambient light around the phone and consequently, adjusts the screen brightness.
To make this work, you need to enable auto-brightness in the phone’s settings. After which, whenever you are in a bright environment, the screen brightness increases.
Also, if you are in a dim environment, the screen brightness reduces and this will help to conserve energy.
Let us also discuss the barometer sensor which is used for measuring atmospheric pressure. Your smartphone is capable of forecasting the weather due to the presence of a barometer sensor.
The barometer also measures altitude, which is why a smartphone can tell the floor you are in.
Moving on to the proximity sensor, its function is to detect objects that are in close proximity to the screen. In situations when you pick up a call and move the phone close to your ear, the sensor detects this action.
In response to that action, the sensor switches off the screen backlight. Switching off the screen is beneficial for energy conservation and preventing unwanted screen inputs.
In conclusion, both the iPhone XR and XS Max pack an equal number of sensors. Therefore, they make a draw in this category.
Considering that, I will rate both the iPhone XR and XS Max an eight in this security and sensors comparison section
Our Rating Summary
|Rating Areas||iPhone XR||iPhone XS Max||Notes/Comments|
|Design||8||9||The iPhone XS Max wins this round mostly for its better durability from its stainless steel frame and IP68 rating.|
|Display||7||8||The iPhone XS Max display is sharper, brighter, has deeper blacks, and has better viewing angles. Hence, the iPhone XS Max is the winner of this category.|
|Camera||8.5||9||The iPhone XR lacks a telephoto lens which implies that it does not support optical zoom. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max supports 2x optical zoom. Also, the portrait mode of the iPhone XR is limited to only humans, while the iPhone XS Max’s portrait has no limitations. Hence, the iPhone XS Max wins this category.|
|Battery||9||8||The iPhone XR lasts longer than the iPhone XS Max despite its smaller battery capacity. Hence, the iPhone XR is my top pick for this category.|
|Storage||8||9||The iPhone XS Max has larger storage configurations in the midrange and high-end levels than the iPhone XR. Therefore, the iPhone XS Max is my top pick for this category.|
|Security/Sensors||8||8||The iPhone XR and XS Max pack equal sensors therefore, they make a draw in this category.|
|Our Average Rating||8||8.5||On average, the iPhone XS Max is the better iPhone model.|
Frequently Asked Questions
To answer this question, I will consider two factors. The first is the touch-sensing rate, while the second is the screen refresh rate.
Touch sensing is the rate at which the screen registers screen touches. Meanwhile, screen refresh refers to the rate at which the screen updates the screen images.
Consequently, the iPhone XR has a touch sensing rate of 120 Hz but a refresh rate of 60 Hz. Hence, the answer to this question is a yes only if it refers to the touch sensing rate only and not the screen refresh rate.
The price is bound to change frequently; however, at the time this review was published (January 2022), the iPhone XS Max starts at $379.00 on Amazon.
The iPhone XR was released in September 2018; hence at the time this review was published ( January 2022), it is a little over 4 years.
Yes, the iPhone XS Max is rated IP68 for dust and water resistance. Hence, submerging your iPhone XS Max in 2 meters of water for up to 30 minutes should result in no technical fault.
Although the iPhone XS Max has a larger battery capacity than the iPhone XR, its performance falls behind. Hence, contrary to the question, the iPhone XR has a better battery than the iPhone XS Max.
My Final Thoughts
Arguably, Apple makes some of the best smartphones, and the iPhone XS Max and XR prove this. Such that, even in 2022, these iPhone models are still making waves.
This section aims to help you make your final decision of whether to buy an iPhone XS Max or the iPhone XR. To accomplish that, let us start with their prices.
Now that you know the prices, you can make the rest of the decisions based on your budget and needs.
Hence, if you want the best value on a budget or a leading battery performance, you are in luck. Additionally, do you mind having a phone that does not feature Apple’s 3D Touch or the lack of a telephoto camera?
Do the above statements define your needs? If yes, then I recommend the iPhone XR.
The good thing is that with my above recommendation, you will save some money to use for other necessary accessories like a fast charger and wireless charger. However, if you do not find the previous recommendation your best bet, then check out the next.
Do you want a flagship-grade overall performance and don’t mind spending as much as it takes? Also, do you want one of the best displays, an optical zoom-in camera, and 3D Touch?
If you answer yes to the above statements, then I recommend the iPhone XS Max.
I hope you found this iPhone XR vs XS Max comparison helpful. We would appreciate if you spare two minutes to share your feedback by replying to this article’s topic at Itechguides Community.