Last year, Apple announced two new iPhone models; the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR. While the XS costs $250 more, it’s entirely worth spending that extra cash to get the XS instead of the XR. Here’s why.
Despite the price difference and the resulting connotation that the iPhone XS is the luxury model over the iPhone XR, the XR is only the more practical iPhone for most users in the financial sense, not the functional sense—although, to be sure, we found the XR to be a really solid value.
I don’t consider myself a luxury-focused user at all and even I bought the XS without hesitation for a number of reasons. Mainly, the telephoto camera is actually really useful, the size is perfect for my tiny hands, and the OLED screen is really awesome.
The Telephoto Camera Is Actually Really Useful
I’ve heard so many people talk about the comparisons between the iPhone XS and the XR, and how the XR is a fine phone for the price, especially since the display still looks awesome and it has better battery life. But the one thing that gets left out in these arguments is the camera. Specifically, the second telephoto camera on the XS tends to go unmentioned.
If you’re unfamiliar with the telephoto camera, it’s a second camera on certain iPhone models that lets you zoom in up to 2x without distorting the image quality. It’s a natural zoom (“optical zoom” is the technical terminology) rather than a fake, digital zoom created by the camera’s software.
The telephoto camera was first introduced on the iPhone 7 Plus and continued to be a feature on all Plus models of the iPhone. It’s now been a default feature on all new iPhones since the iPhone X.