Apple iPhone XR review
Test results are in
Update, November 2: We got round to carrying out the majority of tests that we couldn't do a couple of weeks ago. You can find the results in the updated lab tests section of the review.
The iPhone XR is the third iPhone to be launched this year, after the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. While the two iPhone XS models are nearly identical save for the size, the iPhone XR is a significant departure for the iPhone X series and possibly a new chapter going forward.
When Phil Schiller introduced the iPhone XR, he said Apple wanted to bring the technology and the experience of the iPhone XS to as many customers as possible, and the iPhone XR is Apple's solution to that. It aims to bring the design, features and much of the experience of the iPhone XS at a lower price.
For starters, the iPhone XR starts at $749, which is $250 less than the base iPhone XS. So, what do you have to give up to get that price? There's now a lower resolution LCD, the body is thicker and heavier and made out of aluminum, and there's only one camera on the back.
What you still get is the same general iPhone X series design, the same powerful A12 Bionic chipset from the XS, the same TrueDepth camera with the faster Face ID system and the single camera on the back is the same as the main 12MP sensor on the back of the XS.
To make things more interesting, the iPhone XR also comes in six colors, the most Apple has ever had for any iPhone.
Apple iPhone XR specs
- Body: Aluminum frame, glass back, IP67-certified, six colors
- Display: 6.1-inch, 1792 x 828 (326 PPI), IPS LCD, 1400:1, wide-color (P3)
- Rear camera: 12MP, f1.8, OIS + EIS, dual pixel PDAF, quad-LED flash, 4K60 video, wide-color
- Front camera: 7MP, f2.2, 1080p60, EIS, display flash, wide-color
- Software: iOS 12
- Chipset: Apple 12 Bionic, 2.49GHz six-core CPU (2x Vortex + 4x Tempest), quad-core Apple GPU, octa-core Neural Engine
- Memory: 3GB LPDDR4X SDRAM, 64/128/256GB NVMe storage
- Connectivity: Dual SIM (nano SIM + eSIM), LTE-A, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac with 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, AGPS/GLONASS/Galileo/QZSS, NFC (Apple Pay only)
- Battery: 2942mAh, USB-PD fast charge support, Qi charging support, 5W supplied charger
- Misc: TrueDepth camera system with Face ID, stereo speakers
It's a tough balancing act to get the price, features and performance right. Whether Apple managed to do it is something we have to find out but only after spending some time with the device. Apple sent us the device ahead of launch and after a full week of use, we think we know the answer.
One thing's for sure, this is easily the most interesting iPhone to have come out this year.
The packaging is where the iPhone XR and the iPhone XS are identical. Both include the same accessories, which feature the measly 5W charger, Lightning to USB cable, and the EarPods with Lightning Connector. It's pretty Spartan and while it avoids waste, we wish Apple at least provided a higher wattage charger, like the 12W model that comes with the iPads or the 10W model some iPhones came with in the past.
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