As the entry-level option in Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup, you might expect some sacrifices to hit a lower price. While there are some compromises made, they’re in areas that the average person might not notice. Reviewers all agreed that Apple chose the perfect places to cut corners with the iPhone XR.
On the design front, you’ll find aluminum instead of stainless steel on sides. But since this aluminum is color-matched to the glass back, you’ll likely never notice. There are also more color options available for the XR than the pricier models -- including red, blue, and other bold options.
The phone is rated slightly lower for water resistance. Earning an IP67 rating, the phone is protected from submersion in up to one meter of water instead of the two meters offered by the pricier models.
Around front, you’ll find another compromise in the 6.10-inch, 1,792-by-828 pixel LCD panel. There’s still a notch at the top. And since it’s an LCD instead of OLED there is a drop in contrast compared to the more expensive Xs or Xs Max . Still, reviewers found the screen excellent with bold colors, great viewing angles, and plenty of brightness.
Many noted that unless you placed the phone side-by-side with the more expensive models, you’d have trouble noticing a difference.
A lack of 3D Touch is the only other change to the screen. Apple instead, included Haptic Touch, which is similar but doesn’t have the pressure sensitivity of the 3D version.
The phone also includes the same A12 processor as the Xs or Xs Max but only 3GB of RAM. Given the power of the A12 chip, reviewers had no issues with performance despite the lower memory.
In an odd twist, the XR gives you more storage options, offering 64, 128, or 256GB of storage. That’s one more option than the Xs or Xs Max .
The front-facing camera on the XR is identical to the other models. However, the rear camera is simplified to a single-lens camera with software portrait mode and digital zoom. It uses the same lens, sensors, and aperture size as the other models, it only lacks the additional 2x telephoto lens. Reviews show it keeps up with the dual-lens options in most cases.
Finally, the XR beats the Xs and Xs Max in terms of battery life. This is likely because it uses a smaller, lower resolution panel.
Overall, reviewers loved the iPhone XR, with many calling it the best iPhone to date. SlashGear notes, “... though the iPhone XR may not be ‘perfect’ it’s definitely close enough for most.”
Otherwise, the phone looks and runs just like its pricier siblings. For more on what to expect from the XR, check out our iPhone XS summary .
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Julian Chokkattu, Digital Trends
Unquestionable superb value — that’s the iPhone XR. It may be missing a few features, but this is the iPhone that will make others yellow, blue, or coral with envy. The colors are stunning, battery life is great, Face ID is still industry-leading technology, iOS gestures are intuitive, the camera is...
- Gareth Beavis, TechRadar
If you're looking for an affordable iPhone, the iPhone XR is a strong contender boasting the latest software, enough power and surprisingly good battery life... for an iPhone. With the introduction of the iPhone 11, the XR price has dropped further, making it great value for money.
- Adam Speight, Recombu
While iPhone XR has now evolved into the 2019 iPhone 11, the older model offers plenty of value at the cheaper £629 price. The cheaper priced model still offers speedy performance and the impressive photography capabilities we’ve come to expect from Apple’s phones.
- Damien McFerran, Know Your Mobile
While it’s not cheap when compared to what the Android market has to offer, if you’re a diehard Apple fan then the notion of switching sides means this will seem reasonably-priced when compared to the company’s other iPhones this year – yet it never feels like you’re missing out by choosing the XR.
- Karen Khan, Tech Advisor
The iPhone XR has lost its lustre a little since the iPhone 11 came out, but this is still a fantastic phone that delivers solid specs and features at a price that still makes it the cheapest full-screen iPhone you can buy right now.
Prices (Where to Buy)
The iPhone XR price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Apple iPhone XR prices from around the web here on The Informr.
Apple backs up the iPhone XR with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your iPhone XR has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Apple support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Apple's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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