At a Glance
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.
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 buy now. 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|
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.
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.
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 (1792×828, 326ppi) LCD IPS||6.5in Super Retina Display (2688×1242, 458ppi) OLED with 3D Touch|
|Processor||Apple A12 Bionic||Apple A12 Bionic|
|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|
|Dimensions||75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3mm||77.4 x 157.5 x 7.7mm|
|Price||From £749 (same in $)||From £1,099 (same in $)|
|Buy on contract||