Apple Fans Dismayed That Cheaper iPhone XR’s Photos Sometimes Better Than XS’

Image via Apple

When Apple pitched the iPhone XR, it just about placed the mid-tier model neck and neck with the iPhone XS, even though the latter was US$250 more expensive.

To shed away misconceptions that iPhone XR might be inferior to the flagship smartphone, Apple powered it with the same A12 Bionic chip, 7MP front-facing shooter, as well as 12MP wide-angle rear shooter with f/1.8 wide-angle lens and sensor as those in the XS and XS Max.

A key difference is that iPhone XR only has a single wide-angle rear lens, while iPhone XS has two rear cameras. Ironically, it’s due to this disparity that iPhone XR’s portraits sometimes look better in low-lit areas.

Since it only has a single wide-angle rear camera, the mid-tier XR relies on software to make up for the lack of hardware. Specifically, it runs on ‘Focus Pixels’, which is Apple’s phase detection autofocus technology, along with machine learning to measure depth.

This allows the cheaper smartphone to accommodate portrait shooting modes, depth control, and Smart HDR with only one lens. Its technology is similar to that of Google Pixel 3, which has been lauded even by Apple diehards for its superior low-light camera mode.

The US$999 iPhone XS, on the other hand, doesn’t actually shoot with its wide-angle rear camera, which is just there for computational help. Instead, portraits are snapped through the f/2.4 telephoto camera, which is smaller and captures only half as much light as the wide-angle lens.

Apple forces its dual-lens iPhones to take portraits with the telephoto rear camera. The iPhone XR doesn’t have one, so it depends on the more sensitive wide-angle camera to complete the job.

As noted by users including John Gruber from Mac-focused blog Daring Fireball, the distinctions between iPhone XR and XS portraits are stark.

iPhone XS users on Reddit have griped about the differences, which result in better portrait photos on the cheaper XR.

“Apple should add wide-angle portrait mode on the iPhone XS,” said user ‘weeklyed’. “The iPhone XR is much better in low light [because] it’s using the wide angle.”

“I feel left out owning the XS Max now that the XR has wide-angle portrait mode,” commented ‘sjcpilot’.

That’s not to say that the iPhone XS camera lags behind the XR at all. Gruber explained that the XR tends to capture brighter portraits in the dark, whereas the XS fares much better in normal lighting conditions.

“Portrait Mode is usable on the XR in some low light situations where it’s unusable on the XS,” he detailed.

Wow it is really irritating that portrait mode on iPhone XR works better in low light than on the much more expensive iPhone XS (image via

— David Chen (@davechensky) October 23, 2018

Apple should add wide angle portrait mode on the iPhone Xs. The iPhone XR is much better in low light bc it’s using the wide angle. Pls apple pls from r/iphone





[via Daring Fireball, images via various sources]

Apple Fans Dismayed That Cheaper iPhone XR’s Photos Sometimes Better Than XS’

October 25, 2018 at 01:52AM
via TAXI Daily News