Difference Between XR and 12:  Which one is Better

Don’t know which iPhone 12 model to get when you upgrade from an iPhone XR? If so, would you like to choose between the iPhone XR or any of the new iPhone 12 models?

This article will attempt to clarify the difference between XR and 12 to be able to help you decide whether or not the iPhone 12 is a proper update if you have the iPhone XR.

Price and availability

The iPhone 12 was released on October 23, 2020, and is now available in retail stores. The price range for Apple’s most recent flagship phone is $799 / £799 / AU$1349 for the 64GB model, to $949 / £949 / AU$1,599 for the 256GB model.

There is a 128GB model tucked away in that price bracket, which costs $849 / £849 / AU$1,429. A little over two years before Apple’s iPhone 12 hit the shops, the iPhone XR made its debut.

As of October 26, 2018, if you wanted the 64GB model, it was available for $749 / £749 / AU$1229, the 128GB model was available for $799 / £799 / AU$1299, and the 256GB model was available for $899 / £899 / AU$1479. You might think that this is just one more nostalgic look at an old phone that is now no longer in use.

The iPhone XR, which Apple still offers as new, can be purchased for $499 / £549 / AU$849 or $549 / £549 / AU$929. Apple is currently offering 64GB units for $499 / £599 and 128GB models for $549 / £549 / AU$929. Among the large-screen iPhones, this model is the cheapest.

Furthermore, it also means that a brand-new iPhone XR with 64GB of storage also will cost a decent amount less than a brand-new 64GB iPhone 12, a very impressive saving of $300 / £300 / AU$500. For the creaking iPhone XR, this is a rare and precious victory.


There is a slight difference in size between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone XR. In terms of its dimensions, the iPhone 12 measures 146.7mm x 71.5mm x 7.4mm (162g), and the iPhone XR measures 150.9mm x 75.7mm x 8.3mm (194g).

The iPhone XR is a larger, heavier, and thicker iPhone than the iPhone 12, but the 6.1-inch screen is identical to both the iPhone XR and iPhone XS. There is a difference of 4.2mm across the whole range in both length and height.

The 4.2mm difference is significant, as the iPhone XR screen border is slightly larger than the iPhone 12’s screen border, which is one of the key differences between the two mobile phones.

It’s not hard to understand how valuable that extra 2mm around the edge of the screen becomes when you consider that all that is needed is an additional 2mm.

The iPhone XR, in regard to its display, could have had a bigger display, but due to the type of display used by that model, there are limitations. As far as the screen is concerned, there are even more reasons to choose the iPhone 12 over any other device.

Even though it has the same-sized screen, the iPhone 12 packs in extra pixels: 2532×1170 pixels at 460 pixels per inch compared to 1792×828 pixels at 326 pixels per inch for the iPhone XR.

The iPhone 12 is the only iPhone model that uses HDR with a maximum brightness of 1200 nits, while the iPhone 12 offers a maximum brightness of 625 nits.

difference between XR and 12


Because the iPhone XR has an LCD 6.1-inch screen, instead of the OLED display found in the iPhone 12, the iPhone XR has a larger border around its screen.

For Apple to incorporate a backlight into an LCD, they will need to place the backlight around the edge of the screen since they cannot integrate this into a chin as they could do with Home buttons on iPhones.

It is because of this that the iPhone XR’s border is bigger than you would expect, and its screen is smaller than you would expect. Due to the absence of a backlight on the OLED, the screen can stretch to the edges without a problem.

Also, OLEDs have better contrast ratios, deeper blacks, and more accurate colors compared to LCDs. Compared to the iPhone XR, which boasts a contrast ratio of 1,400:1, the iPhone 12 offers a ratio of 2,000,000:1.


When you take a look at two different smartphones side by side, you will see that there is a two-year difference between the two. To be fair, you could argue that the gap is much larger.

The iPhone XR’s soft, rounded design at the time of its release had started to seem dated and tired. This was the first look that we saw with the iPhone 6 back in 2014, and it has only been moderately revised with the iPhone X released in 2017.

During our review of the iPhone XR, we noted the device was a mid-range iPhone 7 and an iPhone 8 all in one. That is an accurate way to describe the device. As we pointed out when we reviewed the Apple iPhone XS, the XR had a little more width than its more premium sibling.

The iPhone XR, with its dimensions of 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm and its weight of 194g, is certainly larger and heavier than the iPhone 12. With a size of 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm, and weighing just 164 grams, Apple’s latest smartphone is relatively small and sleek.

Although it is slimmer and lighter than the iPhone XR, the iPhone 12 seems to be more durable than its predecessor. It has a more watertight, IP68 rating than Apple’s IP67-certified iPhone XR.

It has four times as much drop resistance as compared to Apple’s iPhone XR thanks to its Nano-Crystal Ceramic Shield. Also, the iPhone 12 comes with a design that is a lot more stylish and unique than its previous model.

difference between XR and 12

There have been plenty of comparisons between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 12, but the iPhone 12’s flawless, flat corners and perfectly flat edges make it stand out by a mile in this curve-obsessed smartphone landscape.

There are six different colors to choose from when it comes to iPhone XR: Yellow, White, Coral, Black, Blue, and Factory Red.

The iPhone 12 has five colors to choose from, while it only has Black, White, Red, Green, and Blue – albeit Blue is the most alluring of the lot due to the rich tones it displays.


With its dual wide-angle and ultrawide rear cameras, the iPhone 12 stands out from the iPhone XR with its single 12-megapixel sensor. Night Mode is also supported on the iPhone 12, but not on the iPhone XR.

Low-light photos taken with the XR will be good, but the XR won’t be able to draw the same comparison to the iPhone 12’s software. Video recording on the iPhone XR and the iPhone is similar at 4K and 1080p, but HDR is also available on the iPhone 12.

Despite not being a huge upgrade, it bears mentioning. The iPhone 12 and the iPhone XR both features very good cameras and produce excellent photos or videos – but in the last two years, there has been a tremendous amount of development in camera technology. There is no doubt in my mind that the iPhone 12 is going to win the race here.

Specs And Performance

Apple’s phones are regularly updated every year by around 20% in terms of their power. So, to be frank for this particular purpose, we should anticipate that the iPhone 12 will have a performance improvement of 50% compared to the iPhone XR.

As for the iPhone 12 and iPhone XR, the iPhone 12 runs on the latest Apple A14 Bionic processor, and the iPhone XR runs on the A12 Bionic.

Apple does not explicitly mention the iPhone 12’s memory, but from teardowns and other sources, we know it has 4GB of RAM compared to the iPhone XR’s 3GB.

It creates a sizeable advantage, but we can still ask how meaningful that performance gap is, apart from the improvements in image processing that were mentioned earlier.

Even though Apple builds plenty of headroom into its smartphones, this means that an iPhone XR that is two years old still runs fast and smoothly.

Additionally, this means that no app or task will be able to seriously hurt the iPhone XR’s performance in 2022 as well.

difference between XR and 12

You can safely bet that the latest 3D mobile games will still run reasonably well, barring the odd stutter, even if they’re not at their absolute smoothest or visually inviting on the older phone.

I imagine that the iPhone 12 will still be fast and smooth long after the iPhone XR begins creaking and groaning after the iPhone 12 has that same headroom built into its performance. Both phones come with a 64GB storage space as a standard feature.

There is something forgivable in this situation, such as the shared 60Hz screen refresh rate on the iPhone XR, but not an issue on the iPhone 12.

Besides having 128GB and 256GB of internal storage options, the two handsets will also feature 128GB and 256GB of external memory options, although Apple has removed this option from its website.

In terms of spec differences, the iPhone 12 is expected to gain a lot of ground over time thanks to its 5G connectivity.

If you live in a rural area or a suburb that is still completely dependent on 3G and 4G, it may not seem like the most important thing to be connected to the fastest 5G mobile network. This is expected to change shortly.

Battery life

As Apple announced the iPhone XR, they claimed it has the best battery life of any iPhone they have ever made. That was the case at the time, but we didn’t anticipate the fact that two years after we originally purchased the phone, the argument was still being made for it.

The stamina of Apple’s smartphones has arguably taken a step back in recent years as a result of their “fastness”. Comparing the iPhone 12 with the iPhone XR is an excellent way to illustrate how much better it is.

Our review specifically said that the iPhone 12 simply did not have the same battery life as the iPhone XR.

Although both phones will be able to keep up with a day full of moderate use, the iPhone XR will be able to do so with considerably more battery life.

The older phone may even work for a second day if you’re pretty careful with the amount of data you use. This performance shortfall in the newer device appears to be due to a couple of reasons.

First of all, the iPhone 12 has a smaller battery than the iPhone XR’s, which measures 2815mAh while the iPhone XR measures 2942mAh. It is also important to note that the displays of the two devices are very different.

As a result of packing more pixels than the iPhone XR, the iPhone 12 will be consuming a lot more power than the iPhone XR.

Wireless charging is available on both phones, although the iPhone 12 offers faster wireless charging at 12W compared to the iPhone XR’s 7.5W. With the iPhone 12, there is also fast wired charging available at 20W, while the iPhone XR is limited to 15W.

Final Verdict: iPhone XR vs iPhone 12

The differences between the iPhone 12 and iPhone XR can easily be seen if you hold them side by side. The 12 has a 6.1-inch OLED display, which offers a greater resolution, and a slimmer screen bezel, which enables it to be more compact due to its smaller size and flatter body.

Even though the iPhone XR is not exactly a fragile device, the ceramic shield on the iPhone 12 makes it more resistant to bumps and falls than it is on the iPhone XR. On the flip side, dual cameras are more powerful than the single lens on the iPhone XR.

The iPhone 12 is without a doubt a better phone in almost every aspect. The only downside is its price. Currently, the cheapest iPhone 12 is priced at £679, though if you choose the iPhone 12 mini, you can save £100.

However, even when the iPhone XR is taken into consideration, it is considerably cheaper at £499 for the same amount of storage capacity as the iPhone XS.

The camera on the new iPhone XR is more than adequate for many users, although the 12’s camera is better than the one on the iPhone XR series.

Regarding performance, the 12 is faster and more responsive than the XR. The iPhone 12 and iPhone XR both offer excellent battery life, an all-important factor that the iPhone 12 and iPhone XR both have.

As a result, when it comes to displays, processors, and cameras, the iPhone 12 is the right phone for you.

However, if you prefer the curvier designs of the iPhone XR, if you like the color choices better, and if you intend to save at least £200 compared with the iPhone 12, the iPhone XR has a lot to recommend it.