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Did you buy the iPhone XR instead of the iPhone XS?

Apple iPhone XR in blue

Word on the street right now is that Google is planning on launching a new variant of the Pixel 3 at some point in the (hopefully near) future. The rumor mill has leaked the Pixel 3 Lite a couple of times now, indicating the handset will be a mid-range offering that features a 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s likely that this option will cost less than the other Pixel 3 options, thanks to the scaling back of some specifications compared to those handsets.

I think, in a perfect world, Google would have announced this handset alongside the other two variants. Even if the device isn’t ready to launch just yet, Google should have let folks interested in the lineup know that a third option exists, one that does feature less powerful specs but also boasts a lower price tag. I imagine it would have led to some folks out there holding off on a purchase and opting for the Pixel 3 Lite instead of, say, the standard Pixel 3.

That is if the Pixel 3 Lite exists at all.

Apple got this right earlier this year when it unveiled three new iPhones. The first two, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, are the company’s flagship models for the year. The third option is the not-so-flagship-but-not-mid-range iPhone XR. This handset shares a lot of the similar aspects of the higher-priced models, including the same processor, the same (single) camera on the back, and even the adoption of Face ID.

The differences are distinct, though. Instead of Apple’s “Super Retina HD” display, the iPhone XR has a “Liquid Retina” display, which means it’s not as sharp and doesn’t offer as good a contrast ratio as the iPhone XS lineup. It’s an LCD panel, too, rather than OLED, which may or may not be a deal breaker for some folks out there. There are other changes, too, all in an effort to help reduce the cost for the potential buyer.

More often than not I’m an early adopter, so I stayed up until well after midnight to order an iPhone XS Max when it launched. And while I didn’t necessarily regret that purchase after the fact, it later dawned on me that a lot of what I thought I wanted, or needed, in a smartphone I could get in the far less expensive iPhone XR. Thankfully I made that realization before the iPhone XS Max’s return date passed, so I went without a new smartphone in the meantime, since the iPhone XR came out a month after the iPhone XS.

There is definitely a difference in the displays, but I can live with it. That really comes down to the fact that while I’m looking at my phone quite a bit throughout the day, the benefits of High Dynamic Range, OLED, and other areas just don’t really impact me all that much on a day-to-day basis. I don’t watch full length TV shows or movies on my phone. And while some apps definitely look a lot better in their dark mode options with an OLED display, the alternative isn’t a big deal for me.

Between the iPhone XR model I chose and the iPhone XS Max model I went with, I saved $450. I’m glad that I did, too. Sure, it means I’m missing the dual rear cameras on the back, which do offer some benefits, but I have been more than happy with the single camera on the iPhone XR so far and I imagine that will remain the case until next year when I inevitably upgrade.

As an added bonus I got a blue iPhone, which I’m ridiculously happy about.

But, I wanted to find out if you went with Apple’s “other iPhone” this year, too. And if you did, what led you to go with the iPhone XR rather than the iPhone XS? Let me know!

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