You Should Get the iPhone XR, Unless…

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

I was talking with a family member this weekend and the topic of phone upgrades came up. This person was using an iPhone 7 and was looking to upgrade to a new phone. They quickly ruled out anything that wasn’t an iPhone, which simplified the conversation, but the conversation didn’t quite go how I expected.

Basically, this is someone about my age (early 30s) and they care about having nice tech, but are not a techie nerd whoc gets hung up on specs and that sort of thing. based on our conversation and my general “most people should get an XR” opinion, I said I thought the XR was the best value because it got a great single camera, great screen, killer performance, and a fun design. She was sold.

Then my wife, who owns an XR, took it out of her bag and showed it to this relative. At that exact moment, my XR recommendation fell apart. “Wow, this is too big!” she exclaimed. She held up her iPhone 7 next to my XS and my wife’s XR and immediately switched her choice to the XS. She’d rather pay $250 more for tech she didn’t really care that much about to get a phone that was the right size for her.

I found this interesting because in the tech world we almost always talk about screen sizes are a feature like anything else: bigger is better. On top of that, because the average phone has gotten bigger over the years, we start hearing crazy things like people saying the Pixel 3a is a “compact” phone, despite it having a 5.6” screen and being physically almost as tall as the iPhone XS Max.

But this reminded me that there are lots of people who don’t see bigger as better and would prefer a phone they can fit in a pocket. Hell, I’m even in that crowd! When the new iPhones came out last year I could have gotten either the XS or XS Max and I chose the smaller phone because I was sick and tired of having a giant-ass phone in my pockets all the time.

Any-who, I don’t have a larger point here, I just wanted to share an anecdote about tech pundit common knowledge and the real world deviating a bit.