iPhone Upgrade Regrets

Back in September when the latest model iPhones were announced, I took advantage of T-Mobile’s Jump On Demand feature and upgraded from the iPhone X I had to an iPhone XS Max.

I loved it. It shot great photos, the screen was amazing, and, for the first time ever, I got silver instead of space gray. It was gorgeous.

Then, at the end of October when the iPhone XR was released, I decided to switch to that in order to save some money on my monthly lease payment with T-Mobile.

There were a few things I was concerned about with regard to this “upgrade”, but my main concerns were regarding the difference in cameras between the XS/XS Max and the XR, particularly with portrait mode.

I fell in love with portrait mode when it was released on the iPhone 7 Plus and was a little worried about how well the single camera in the XR would handle it.

Despite my concerns, I switched anyway. In hindsight, this was stupid.

I started to miss having portrait mode on non-human subjects almost immediately. We recently got a puppy, and not having this feature in the built-in camera app is driving me bananas. I miss it A LOT.

While this can be alleviated somewhat by using Halide instead of the built-in camera app, there are some definite differences and drawbacks, such as not being able to launch it from the lock screen and not being able to adjust the aperture like portrait shots with the built-in camera app allows.

I also miss optical zoom much, much more than I ever thought I would. Apparently I used it far more than I realized and never even thought about it. Now I feel like I try to use it once or twice a day and it isn’t there.

The other thing I was unsure about with the XR was the difference between the OLED display in the XS & XS Max versus the LCD display in the XR. This was a non-issue. The LCD on the XR is great, and though the bezel is a little wider, I stopped noticing the difference within a few hours of use.

Now, I’m not saying the XR is a bad phone, nor am I saying the camera is bad. It’s an amazing device with a great camera and amazing features… I just don’t think it’s the right device for me.

So, now what? While I realize that this is an entirely first world problem, I’d love to switch back to the XS Max (hell, or even the XS) and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to go about doing that. But for now, I’m sticking with the XR and using Halide for portrait mode.


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