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Apple iPhone 11 vs. iPhone XR – Battle of the Refurbished Flagships

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Both the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11 have both been covered extensively. These phones are still popular in 2021 but which one is the right choice for you? They do offer quite a bit of value especially if you go for a refurbished one.

Both of them are large iPhones with a similar design and you’re not going to paying as much as the latest iPhone. So let’s go ahead and discuss the prices to get things kicked off.

The price of a refurbished iPhone 11 starts at $799 AUD and it is available in several different colours, whereas, the price of a refurbished iPhone XR 64GB in Australia starts at $449 AUD if you buy from Industry Experts like Phonebot.

You can also checkout the new iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13.


The iPhone 11 comes in Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, Red and White. Both iPhones are offered in similar colours but they swapped out the Blue for the Green on the iPhone 11 and I do think the colours on the iPhone XR just pop out a little bit more.

Build Quality & Design

Both these phones have gone on to be some of the best-sellers and it’s not hard to see why these phones are so popular. The iPhone XR looks a little bit cleaner with its single-camera but over on the iPhone 11, it looks a little more modern with its dual camera setup, in addition, I think it does have a much better overall camera to offer.

Now both of these do have the exact same build quality. When it comes to the sides, both of them have an Aluminum frame on them and even at the bottom they are identical.

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On the front, you’ll notice that these phones do have bezels that are kind of thick compared to the latest iPhone 12. They look and feel like more modern devices. Let’s talk about display, if you go with either, you’ll be getting the same Retina LCD display with 625 nits of brightness.

They offer a true tone display that adapts to the lighting conditions to make it easier on the eyes. It has been on the iPhone since the iPhone 8 series. Both of them also have the night shift modes along with a dark mode.

They don’t have 3D touch but they do have haptic presses. The colours on the iPhones are plenty accurate, it is no OLED panel but as far as LCD panel go, Apple has done a good job with the display.

Performance & Software

Both of these are the same and they operate exactly the same, you wouldn’t even know until you turned it around if you were using an iPhone 11 or an XR thanks to the iOS 14.

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They’re identical but go for a refurbished iPhone 11 if you want more longevity as the iPhone 11 has 4GB of ram versus the 3GB on the XR. You won’t really notice either of them lagging at all. From a performance standpoint, both iPhones perform great and you won’t notice any difference in day to day use.

A refurbished iPhone XR is equipped with Apple’s A12 Bionic chipset whereas, the iPhone 11 is equipped with Apple’s A13 Bionic chipset. The chipset on the 11 is an upgraded one but the A12 Bionic chip is no slouch when it comes to performance. They can easily handle all your gaming needs and they’re a treat for power users.

Storage & Battery Life

The storage starts at 64GB for both the devices and I would recommend you go with the 128GB if you plan on keeping this phone for more than a couple of years because 64GB will run out fast if you have a lot of data and just like all other iPhones, these also do not have expandable storage.

When it comes to battery life on both of these phones, the iPhone XR has slightly better battery life. It’s less than an hour better in my experience but the iPhone 11 also has very good battery life. Both of these are easily able to make it through a day and that’s a good thing because certain newer phones have a slightly worse battery like the iPhone 12 lineup. So the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11 won’t let you down.

Both of these are excellent in this regard they also do excellently when it comes to standby and gaming battery life so when you’re doing those activities they do drain slower than other iPhones so, this is a major win here for the battery life.

Camera & Face ID

The camera is just overall good on both the devices, the iPhone 11 has a wide-angle lens and where it really improved is the front-facing camera. The front-facing camera here is superb, it can record at 60 frames per second in 4k resolution.

If you like zooming, neither of these phones will offer a long zoom like the Samsung S20 Ultra. The zoom on these devices tops out at 5x but a lot of people don’t even need zooming abilities beyond 5x as it can potentially ruin the quality of the image.

The iPhone XR also has a good camera setup, it’s an iPhone camera so you know, it’s going to be pretty good. Both the front and the back camera on the iPhone XR produce good results with the smart HDR and even without it.

The iPhone 11 and the iPhone XR, both are equipped with the Face ID feature and the iPhone 11 is just a little bit faster on certain angles than the iPhone XR. They can be unlocked effortlessly just by pointing the phone near your face.


Honestly, both the refurbished iPhone 11 and the XR are amazing phones to buy in 2021 and you can’t go wrong with any of them. If you want a phone with a slight more versatile camera with a slightly better chipset, go for the iPhone 11 and if you just want a phone that performs great, take excellent pictures and last a whole day then go for a refurbished iPhone XR. I hope this comparison helped you in making an informed decision.

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NaijaTechGuide Team
NaijaTechGuide Team
NaijaTechGuide Team is made up of Experienced Tech Enthusiasts and Professionals led my Paschal Okafor, a graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering with over 17 years of Experience writing about Technology. Some of us were writing about Mobile Phones before the first Android Phones and iPhones were launched.

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