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-This year, Apple has two new iPhone lines --

the high-end XS and the budget-conscious XR.

What's the difference between them?

Mostly $250 of your hard-earned dollars.

I'm Washington Post tech columnist Geoff Fowler,

and I've been using both of Apples new iPhones.

The number-one question I've heard from viewers and readers

like you is what am I giving up if I buy the $750 XR?

Here's how I think about it -- the XR is 95% as good,

but costs 75% as much.

It's like the difference between NSYNC and Backstreet Boys.

One produced Justin Timberlake, but they're both fantastic.

It's Gap versus Old Navy, Lexus versus Toyota.

I think after an honest assessment,

many of you will choose the XR and hold on to your cash.

So let's review.

First, there's a bunch of important stuff

that's exactly the same.

They're both speedy, with the same processor --

Apple's newest A12 Bionic.

They both unlock with the same Face I.

D. cameras, which Apple

has slightly improved in the last year.

They both have screens that fill up most of the front.

They both come with 64 gigabytes of storage.

And they both can survive a dive into the toilet.

I can't believe I just did that.

Okay, so, what's different about these phones?

I noticed four things.

First up, the screens.

The XR uses an older technology called LCD.

It's still better than the iPhone 8,

but when you hold the XS and XR side by side,

you might notice the blacks are not quite as dark

and the colors are not quite as rich

as the OLED screen on the XS.

The pixels aren't as dense either.

But you'd need a magnifying glass to tell.

Second, let's talk about the phone's body.

The XR is actually slightly larger

to accommodate a screen that measures 6.

1 inches instead of 5.

8. That's right.

The cheaper phone actually has more screen.

But that also means it weighs half an ounce more

and is slightly wider -- three inches total.

For my grip, it doesn't feel quite as secure.

And, unfortunately,

Apple isn't making smaller iPhones anymore.

Also, the phone's frame is a little chunkier

and made of aluminum -- or, as Apple design guru

Jony Ive says -- -Structural aluminium bands.

-The XS is made of steel.

All of this means the XR is not as strong.

But Apple says it still

has its most shatter-proof glass on the front.

The XR also comes in more colors,

including this lovely blue,

which you're probably gonna cover in a case anyway.

But if you have your heart set on gold,

that only comes in the XS.

Third, there's battery life,

the thing leading to fights at airport outlets everywhere.

In my stress test, which keeps the screen

scrolling through websites for hours,

the XR actually lasted nearly three hours longer than the XS.

Apple claims you'll go an hour and a half longer

before needing to charge than with last year's iPhone 8 Plus.

None of this is gonna let you skip charging your phone

when you go to bed, but it is helpful on a busy day.

And finally, there's the camera.

This matters a lot to some people,

so I did some thorough testing.

The front-facing selfie camera is exactly the same as the XS,

but on the back, the XR has just one camera instead of two.

There's no zoom lens.

Normal wide-angle shots look exactly the same.

But when it comes to portraits,

the XR doesn't have data from a second lens

to make the background blurry.

In my bests, it didn't do quite as good a job,

but it was still decent.

I missed the second lens mostly for zoom shots.

It can bring your subject twice as close

without losing image quality.

As an avid photographer, I'd have a hard time

giving this up on the XR.

But if you're upgrading from an iPhone 6, 6S, or 7,

the camera on the XR

will already be such an improvement,

you probably won't even notice.

The takeaway -- Apple has finally made a phone

with most of the latest tech innovations

that doesn't cost a thousand bucks.

Now you're just gonna have to figure out what to do

with all of that money you saved.

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