If you’re thinking about buying the iPhone XR, make sure you pick the correct model. This process can be tricky and today we want to help you decide on the best iPhone XR storage option for your needs and your budget.
You might be tempted to go with the cheapest iPhone XR or the model with the most storage, but many of you should skip those and go with the 128GB model.
Before you commit to one model or another, there are some things you’ll want to consider and we’ll break everything down for you in this guide.
iPhone XR Storage Options
The iPhone XR comes in a variety of colors with three storage options.
Instead of offering a 64GB/256GB/512GB like it does with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, the iPhone XR comes in 64GB/128GB/256GB.
The 64GB iPhone XR is $750 or $37.41/mo through a payment plan via Apple. The 128GB model is $799 or $39.50/mo via a payment plan at Apple. The 256GB model is even more expensive and comes in at $899 or $43.66/mo via a payment plan through Apple.
The iPhone XR, like the iPhone XS, doesn’t come with expandable storage via a microSD card. If you decide you need additional storage you’ll need to add it through Apple’s iCloud service or via Lightning drive.
Apple won’t announce additional storage options down the road so you’re stuck with these three options.
Pay for Storage Now or Pay Later
In 2019, 64GB isn’t enough storage for most people. If you plan to shoot 4K video, download content for travel, or play games, you’ll probably need additional storage space.
We’ve been using a 256GB iPhone X for more than a year now and we’ve managed to use 94GB of storage. Not quite 128GB or 256GB, but well beyond the 64GB you get with the cheapest iPhone XR option.
That space is taken up by our applications, photos, 1080p videos (not 4K), podcasts, and other miscellaneous files. We went over the 64GB threshold within a month.
Some of you might not come close to 64GB, but many others are going to go over that mark soon after you switch to your new device.
If that happens, you’ll either need to delete files to free up space or pay for additional storage via iCloud or an external drive. In the United States, iCloud pricing starts at $0.99/mo for 50GB and goes up to $10/mo for 1TB of space.
If you run out of space you might have to resort to streaming movies and music and that could lead to data overage charges if you aren’t careful.
Who Should Buy the 64GB iPhone XR
Again, the 64GB iPhone XR is the cheapest option Apple sells. You’re going to save on the upfront cost of the phone and many of you will be perfectly fine with 64GB of space. You should buy the 64GB iPhone XR if you:
- Stream most of your movies and music.
- Don’t plan to record a lot of 4K videos.
- Plan to store your photos in iCloud Photo Library or locally on a computer.
- Don’t come anywhere close to using 64GB of storage on your current iPhone.
Who Should Buy the 128GB iPhone XR
The 64GB option is worth considering, but you might want the peace of mind that comes with the larger 128GB iPhone XR.
Again, we’ve been using the iPhone X for more than a year now and we haven’t even reached the 128GB yet. And it’s nice knowing that we can shoot a ton of video and download an app we want without having to worry about hitting the threshold.
You should buy the 128GB iPhone XR if you:
- Store some of your movies and music locally.
- Prefer to keep your photos stored locally.
- Plan to shoot some 4K video.
- Don’t come close to using 64GB of space on your current iPhone.
- Can’t stand having to constantly manage the data on your phone.
Who Should Buy the 256GB iPhone XR
Most of you should be fine with 64GB or 128GB, but power users will want to spend the extra money and go with the largest storage size. You should buy the 256GB iPhone XR if you:
- Plan to shoot a ton of 4K video.
- Are a photo buff who don’t want to use iCloud.
- Someone who travels often and wants to store everything locally.
How to Check Your Storage
If you’re currently using an iPhone and are struggling with this decision, do yourself a favor and check out how you’re currently utilizing your device’s storage.
Here’s how to do this:
- Tap on your Settings app.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on iPhone Storage.
Once you’re on this screen you can see how much storage you’re currently using on your iPhone. You can also see what’s taking up the most storage on your device.
If you’re already over 64GB or coming close, you’ll probably want to go with the 128GB or 256GB option. If you’re barely using your storage, you probably don’t need to spend the extra cash.
If you plan to use the iPhone XR for a year before upgrading to a new device, there’s less pressure to go with a bigger storage size. You can make do and upgrade to a bigger model next year.
If you don’t plan to upgrade for two years or more, the 128GB model is probably the safest bet for most people. If you go with this option you should be able to avoid spending additional money on storage.
Install iOS 12.3.1 for Better Security
If you're on the fence, here's one of the best reasons to install iOS 12.3.2 if you own an iPhone 8 Plus or iOS 12.3.1 if you own another device.
If you skipped previous versions of iOS 12 and you value your device's security, you'll want to download iOS 12.3.2/iOS 12.3.1 in the near future because it could bring important security patches for your device.
iOS 12.3.2 and iOS 12.3.1 don't have any security updates of their own, but if you skipped iOS 12.3, your iOS iOS 12.3.2/12.3.1 update carries iOS 12.3's security patches on board. The iOS 12.3 update brought 23 patches and you can read about all of them right here.
If you skipped iOS 12.2, you'll get its security patches with your version of iOS 12.3.2/iOS 12.3.1.
iOS 12.2 brought a whopping 41 security patches to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in March. You can read more about the iOS 12.2's patches over on the company's website.
It's important to note that Apple's iOS 12.2 update patched up an exploit that allowed websites to use motion sensors to "fingerprint" devices.
Fortunately, Apple's patched up the issue. If you skipped it, you'll probably want to move to iOS 12.3.2 or iOS 12.3.1 soon.
If you skipped iOS 12.1.4, you get four important security patches including fixes for a widespread FaceTime eavesdropping bug that lets you call someone via FaceTime and hear the audio coming from their phone before they pick up the phone.
If you skipped iOS 12.1.3, you get some additional patches with your version of iOS 12.3.2/iOS 12.3.1. Again, they're baked into your upgrade.
Apple lists a grand total of 23 patches on board iOS 12.1.3 and you can read about all of them over on Apple's website.
If you skipped iOS 12.1.1, you'll want to install the iOS 12.3.2/iOS 12.3.1 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch today.
The iOS 12.1.1 update brought 17 patches for potential security exploits. They'll will help protect your phone. You can read about them here.
If you skipped iOS 12.1, you'll get the 24 patches from that update with your version of iOS 12.3.2/iOS 12.3.1. If you skipped iOS 12.0.1, your iOS 12.3.2/iOS 12.3.1 update brings two additional patches. Both patches are for potential lock screen exploits.
If you skipped iOS 12.0, and you're still running iOS 11.4.1 or below, your iOS 12.3.2/iOS 12.3.1 update comes with a longer list of security updates.
The iOS 12.0 update delivered 16 patches for security issues. You can read about all of them over on Apple's security page.
In addition to those patches, iOS 12 delivers new security features aimed at protecting you and the data you store on your device. These include:
Long story short, if you store sensitive data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have some really good reasons to upgrade to iOS 12.3.2 or iOS 12.3.1 today.
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