Upgrading to a Newer iPhone

Hardware and Accessories

I have been using an iPhone 6 since 2015, and I think it's time for an upgrade. I'm not concerned about the lack of a headphone port on any iPhone I'm likely to buy, since I have some good headsets.

A friend tells me that the iPhone 7 or 8 are likely to be dated next year, but I know these have the home button that gives haptic feedback. But if these date, I'd probably want something newer.

I'd like decent memory, probably between 128 and 512 GB, and 3-d touch is optional.

Does anyone have suggestions on what might be the best iPhone? Thanks.



Submitted by Lukas on Friday, December 14, 2018

Not getting a 7 or 8 this year seems reasonable to me. When you need to upgrade anyway, why not upgrade to the most recent model that's future proof for at least several years to come?

The XR is certainly the cheapest of this year's models. It doesn't have 3D touch, it has slightly less durability and water resistance than the XS and XS Max (it has an aluminium frame, whereas the other two have stainless steel frames, and it has only IP67 water and dust resistance whereas the others have IP68), but the question is how much of a deal and difference this actually is in real life. :-) It's said to have a slightly larger battery than even the XS Max, but on the other hand the other two have physically more efficient displays (OLED in the other two versus LCD in the XR), so the real gain in battery life is, again, somewhat questionable.

The XR has only a single camera on the back whereas the other two have dual back cameras, but the actual lens hardware is the same on all three devices. The XS and XS Max have one gig of RAM more than the XR but the extra gigabite is said to be used only to help manage the processing of the input from the dual cameras, so who knows if that actually makes any difference in practical usage for a blind person. Probably not.

The processor is the same in all three devices.

The XR's size is in between the XS and XS Max, which all have larger displays than even the plus phones but are actually more comfortable to hold and use than the plus phones because they are a little taller but also a little more narrow. I don't know the actual physical dimensions and shape of the XR, I've never held it in my hand personally, but I would assume it's going to be similar to the XS and XS Max.

You'll also have to get used to the gestures that replace the home button and to Face ID on all three devices but it's not actually as much of a hassle as it might seem at first glance, or at least it wasn't for me. Yeah, it's something unusual at first, it took me several days until I felt really comfortable with Face ID in all scenarios, including things like unlocking my phone while lying on my back, etc. I think it was way more hiped than it actually deserves, to me there is no real gain or obvious improvement over Touch ID, but at least I can now safely say it's not an issue either. Some VI users around here go as far as saying that the gestures are actually faster and more intuitive to use than the home button, which I still can't see how they reached that conclusion if you really crave for productivity and every single second of efficiency even in speech rate and responsiveness and so on like me, but yeah, it does work as well. I would say it's not any worse, it's not any better, it's just quite different.

I believe that should be all the important differences between this year's three models. I would definitely consider the XR for its price if you don't care about 3D touch, dual back cameras, OLED or the supposedly increased durability.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Friday, December 14, 2018

Big thing is how much can you spend? I heard the Xr. is $750. Whereas the lowest end Xs. & Max start at $1,000 or a little over if memory serves me. Plus, the more storage you add, the higher the price goes for example.
If I was going to buy an iphone and I had only this year's models to choose, I'd go with the Xr. because I'm a cheap skate. Which is 1 reason I don't have a cell phone! lol Another story for another time.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Friday, December 14, 2018

And as a blind person, I really don't give a rat's you-know-what about the visual stuff like the camera and the Oled. screen.

Submitted by Lukas on Friday, December 14, 2018

Well, the dual cameras on the XS and XS Max should supposedly, theoretically be better for OCR stuff like KNFB Reader, Seeing AI or whatnot, although the XR does try to make up for the lack of a second back camera with software tweaks, so I really don't know. It would be interesting if someone could write a review comparing the OCR and image analysis performance of say an XS Max and an XR from a blindness perspective. Also, the OLED is supposed to be more energy efficient, you know, even with screen curtain off, as it simply doesn't light the pixels that are not needed at a given moment at all, whereas LCD does have to supply some power even to the pixels that are supposed to be dimmed at the moment if I understand it correctly. All of these seem to be just really tiny differences in real life scenarios though.

Submitted by Brandon X on Friday, December 14, 2018

First, the screen does it matter to me.
Second, if i would to pick an phone i would choose 8 plus or 10r.
Third, if I want the latest and greatest but at an affordable price I would have chose the iPhone xr. The 8 plus would be great to it just matters what the user is looking for.
Fourth, The cameras on both devices. Both can have the portrait mode feature for the back camera, the difference is that the 8 plus has a dual camera lens camera setup on The bag instead of having a single lens on the 10r. To me death does not matter because I am blind and I do not take as many pictures. The 10r might be better but it’s up to the consumer who is purchasing the device.
Fifth, my final overall review would be mutual. Every device it’s different for every consumer having the latest and greatest might be great but to me it doesn’t matter. Purchasing a Phone like the iPhone 8+ will give me a home button but that’s me. iPhone ex are is great but if you want 3D Touch the iPhone 8 plus is a great choice . I hope this helps you with your choice for a new phone. I currently have an iPhone 8 which is OK for me. I also upgraded from an iPhone 6.

Submitted by Jeff on Friday, December 14, 2018

If your current phone is an iPhone 6, then the iPhone 8 (not the 8 Plus) is going to be closest in physical size to your current phone. All 3 of the current X models are larger -- the XS coming closest in physical size to your iPhone 6. I think the real question you need to answer for yourself is what features actually matter to you.

Is the Home button important to you? How about Touch ID versus Face ID? Do you like to unlock your phone without looking at it? (e.g., while it's in your pocket or bag)

According to what I've read, there are hardware factors that more or less negate the fact that the pixels in an OLED screen can be completely turned off. I think it has something to do with the OLED screen requiring more power. So I think that's probably a wash. I haven't heard any reports that there's a noticeable difference in battery life between the OLED and LCD screens.

Regarding the extra camera on the back of the XS models, I recall reading something about this that suggested the second camera isn't even used for OCR. If this is the case, no point in buying a phone for the extra camera just for OCR purposes. Again, you need to evaluate how important OCR even is to you. If it's important to you, you should probably research this further.

If storage is important to you, then you might consider that saving money on the base price of your phone choice would allow you to put that money towards more storage, although if you actually want 512 GB, then you'll have to go with one of the XS models.

I upgraded from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone 8 last year and am very happy with my iPhone 8. I'm not even tempted to consider upgrading from my 8 to one of this year's phones. Bottom line: I think upgrading from your 6 is a good idea, but any of the 8 or X models would probably offer you a very noticeable improvement over your smart phone experience.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, December 14, 2018

I have the iPhone XX because I got a nice deal from ATT. You may want to check with your phone company to see what deals they can provide to you. Specially for Christmas. The iPhone Xr is good also. The new way of moving on the phone is easy that Bella the cat can open my phone if she wants.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Saturday, December 15, 2018

I have an iPhone 7 and it's working well for me with no problems. as for which iPhone to go for, I'd say go with the XR, as it's the cheapest. also, if you're with a phone provider, the price is lower when purchased with a phone contract (different company's may very). again, I have an iPhone 7, and it still works well. If I do decide to get an iPhone XR, I would need to learn the new gestures, which isn't that hard. but I much rather prefer the iPhone 7, as I prefer the home button. anyways, the choice is up to you, it all depends on what configuration you choose. best of luck.

Submitted by Eric Davis on Saturday, December 15, 2018

Well, on the site, you will get as many opinions as there are people about your new phone. My advice is that you should get your hand all of the new phones to find out which one is more comfortable for you to hold. Look at your budget and see what fits into it. Also play with the devices and see which one you are more comfortable with. My own recommendation for what it is worth, is the iPhone XS. You might also look at the iPhone 10. They are supposed to be releasing that once again or so and article I read the other day stated. Sorry didn't more confusion, but it seems like when someone brings up this topic, that's all that you can do.

Submitted by Justin on Saturday, December 15, 2018

I've got the iPhone X. I'd say if you're looking for a newer device go with the iPhone X, XS, or XS max. the max is the biggest phone with a 6.5 inch edge to edge display. The XS and X are equal in size at 5.8 inches, and the XR is using older technology, LCD vs OLED, thus battery life and energy usage are higher due to LCD backlight being used even whilst screen curtain is turned on. Oled displays, however do not use a backlight. Each pixel is it's own light, so if your display is black, screen curtain, then the display will not be drawing any energy from the battery. Keep energy usage in mind when purchasing a new device, please. I've had the X, last year's model for almost a year now and it's working perfectly fine. Don't get the 7 or 8, they'll just run out of apple's ios warranty faster.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Sunday, December 16, 2018

Um...what? The warranty on your phone doesn't depend on what phone it is, but rather when you bought it. So you'd get the same warranty if you went with the 7 that they're still selling. Sure it's not the latest and greatest a12 chip, but not everyone cares about that. If you're talking about iOS updates, everything going back to the 5S has iOS12, so I think if you buy any of the iPhones that are being sold right now you'd be good for a while. As for the screen curtain consuming less battery on the XS due to the different type of display, it'd be interesting to see how much more battery you'd save on the OLED phones. I always have my brightness set to 0 anyway. I'm considering upgrading as well, and am thinking about the XR. I haven't seen it in person yet, but it's supposed to have good battery life.

Submitted by Justin on Sunday, December 16, 2018

I'd still say if you're looking for a newer device either go for the iPhone X or the XS. the Iphone X is probably at a reduced price from last year, so go with whatever you can afford. I'm just saying I'd rather have the latest I can afford, stick with it for a couple years, not pay it out front, and have it work for a couple years then upgrade. I went from the 6S plus to an iPhone X, so it was a big jump. Apple usually holds onto there devices for 4/5 years or so before discontinuing them.

Submitted by Anna Beige on Sunday, December 16, 2018

As the subject line says, my iPHone seven works just fine. Also, Apple has discontinued the iPHone X, so you can't get it at a reduced price. Like another commenter said, iOS twelve runs on the 5S, so even if someone got the eight, they could still upgrade software for years.

Submitted by Justin on Monday, December 17, 2018

Oh, i thought the X was still being offered. Anyway, as long as it works fine for you, that's good.