Should You Upgrade from iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus to iPhone XR? A Decision Calculator

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 20 Oct 2018

iPhone XR vs iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6s

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were revolutionary back in the day and managed to create quite a stir with their beautiful new design and big displays. Apple then followed it up with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus the following year with improved cameras and faster chips. However, the iPhone 6 and 6s series is old now, with their internals showing their age. If as an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s owner, you are wondering whether you should upgrade to the iPhone XR or not, check out our decision calculator.

The iPhone XR makes for a compelling upgrade over the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series in almost every aspect. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series is old now, with the internals of the devices clearly showing their age. If you are in two minds about whether you should upgrade to the iPhone XR from the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, read below.

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus to iPhone XR – Upgrade or Not?

Bezel-less Design

iPhone 6s unboxing photos

The biggest upgrade from the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s to the iPhone XR is in terms of design and display. Yes, the iPhone XR has a notched display and lacks a headphone jack but it is still a massive step up from the iPhone 6/Plus and iPhone 6s/Plus. The iPhone XR features a more premium build and design which includes a more durable glass. Plus, it also comes in six different (and bold!) colors while the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus were only available in a variety of boring colors.

The iPhone XR comes with a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display which is notably bigger than the 5.5-inch LCD panel of the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus. The best part, despite the jump in display size, the iPhone XR is only marginally bigger than the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus. This is thanks to its 19.5:9 aspect ratio notched display which makes it relatively easy to use one-handed.

If you are coming from the iPhone 6 and 6s and its 4.7-inch display, this is going to be a huge jump.  If you are wary of the jump in display size making the iPhone XR difficult to use, you might want to check out the device first from your nearby local Apple store before pulling the trigger.

The overall display quality is also noticeably better, with the iPhone XR’s Liquid Retina display supporting Dolby Vision and HDR10 playback.

The iPhone XR does not have 3D Touch as the iPhone XS series but it does have Haptic Touch which should be as good. Given that an iPhone 6 owner never likely experienced 3D Touch, this is not a feature they are going to miss. While the iPhone 6s series does have 3D Touch, it is not a feature that many people are going to immediately miss.

The iPhone XR features IP67 certification which makes it water-resistant for up 30 minutes in 1m depth. The glass design does make the iPhone XR less durable but it offers wireless charging which the iPhone 6 and 6s series lacks. On the plus side, unlike the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone XR will not have any #bendgate issues.


Irrespective of how big a performance improvement iOS 12 has introduced, there’s no way one can deny the fact that the A8 chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is old and simply lacking in terms of power to run today’s modern apps and games. In comparison, the A12 Bionic chip is an absolute monster packing 6.9 billion transistors, an 8-core Neural engine, a custom 4-core Apple GPU, and an equally powerful 6-core CPU. The A9 chip inside the iPhone 6s is slightly faster than the A8 but even then it feels awfully dated and slow when compared to the A12 Bionic chip.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series comes with 2GB RAM while the iPhone XR features 3GB RAM. This means users will also see a notable improvement in multitasking performance on it.

TrueDepth Camera, Face ID

iPhone 6s unboxing photos

While the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s  feature a regular FaceTime HD camera, the iPhone XR features a TrueDepth camera sensor. The latter is significantly more complex and consists of a bunch of sensors alongside a 7MP shooter. This allows the TrueDepth camera system to capture depth information. It also allows Apple to offer Face ID on the handset which is now even faster than on the iPhone X from last year.

Yes, there’s no Touch ID on the iPhone XR but Face ID is more convenient and it works flawlessly in most conditions. It will fail more than Touch ID and it is not as fast as it as well but its the convenience factor that Apple is playing here which cannot be undermined.


There’s no need to talk about the rear camera of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series here. The iPhone XR’s 12MP rear camera is among the best right now in the smartphone market. Its combination of stellar hardware which includes a f/1.8 aperture, a large sensor, and OIS along with Smart HDR ensures the device is able to capture photos with plenty of details and dynamic range. Then there’s also Portrait mode and Portrait Lightning which the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series completely lacks.

The iPhone XR is also a champ in the video recording department as it offers the ability to record 4K videos at up to 60fps with stereo sound, cinematic video stabilization, extended dynamic range, and more.


The iPhone XR offers faster LTE speeds, better Bluetooth range and experience, and faster Wi-Fi speeds. It also has dual-SIM support so you can connect to two networks simultaneously on the device, though your carrier must have eSIM support for the same. Faster connectivity might not seem like a big deal but it will have an overall positive impact on how you use your device daily. Unlike the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR does not support Gigabit LTE though. So, if you want the best network performance, you might want to have a look at the iPhone XR.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s do come with a 3.5mm headphone jack which the iPhone XR lacks so be prepared to live the #donglelife.

Battery Life

If you are ready to compromise with the size of the iPhone XR, you will be rewarded with an extremely long battery life. Apple’s official battery life numbers for the iPhone XR might be very similar to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus but the XR will easily last through a day of heavy use, something which is no longer possible with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series.

Even better, the iPhone XR has fast charging support which means it can be charged to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. Plus, it has Qi wireless charging as well for that wire-free charging experience.


The iPhone XR is priced at $749 for the 64GB variant, with the 128GB variant coming in at $799. This means you will roughly pay for it the same as you paid for your brand new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s/Plus when you had purchased it back in the day. Once you make the upgrade, you will again be sorted for the next 2-3 years.

If you are not happy with your iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, or the iPhone 6s Plus, I will strongly recommend you to upgrade to the iPhone XR since it will offer massive improvements in almost all areas possible. If you don’t mind spending the moolah though, you might want to check out the iPhone XS as well which offers a more premium build, display, and a dual-camera setup over the iPhone XR.