The iPhone XR is the cheapest offering of Apple’s 2018 release but it doesn’t come cheap with a price tag of 750 dollars plus.
Is it worth your hard-earned cash? Let’s find out!
Let’s start with the build quality. It has an aluminium frame and glass back, so now you can smash your phone on both sides!
The phone feels very study, the body is surprisingly thick but not excessively so, it feels substantial without being bulky. The XR has slightly thicker bezels at the side than the iPhone XS but this is something you only notice when you compare the phones side by side, if you’re upgrading from an older iPhone you will be too busy admiring how much screen you have to notice.
Even though the notch is ugly, once you’re immersed in the phone, you won’t even notice it’s there. The exception is if you watch a video in zoomed view where the notch cuts out an part of the video
The iPhone XR has a 6.1 inch LCD display but even though this makes the phone sound very large it doesn’t feel that way because the phone has a high screen to body ratio.
The XR has a resolution of 1792×828, with 326 ppi. There have been people saying that a sub 1080p Display in 2018 is ridiculous, but the truth is that this is the same pixel density as in previous iPhone generations and the average consumer will be perfectly happy with this display. If you’re the sort of person who really cares about resolution and pixel density then you’re probably either an android user with no interest in switching to iPhone or someone with money to burn who should look at getting an iPhone XS instead. The average consumer won’t notice or care about the specifications. Unless you compare the phone side by side with a better display, you won’t notice any differences in sharpness or colour reproduction. The battery should last the whole day with decent usage and because of the low screen resolution, it’ll use less power than a phone with a higher resolution screen
The XR has a notch that houses the front camera and sensors used for face ID, the phone lacks a home button but you won’t miss it because it’s been replaced by speedy face recognition and sleek on screen gestures, both of which are so fun and convenient that you won’t miss your old phone. A swipe up from the bottom of the phone brings you to the home screen, swipe up and press opens your recents screen, a swipe from the left corner serves as a back gesture and long pressing the power button triggers Siri. The face ID sensors also allow you to create memoji or animoji, in case you want to turn yourself into a dinosaur or talking excrement.
Face ID is the same on the XR as the XS and tends to work speedily and accurately, even in the dark. One feature the XR lacks is 3D touch, you can no longer long press on apps to get additional options. However you can use a long press in your control centre to make adjustments such as the intensity of the torch or screen brightness. You can also still use a long press on the space bar of the keyboard to move the cursor.
To take a screenshot, you press the power button and volume up button quickly, to turn the phone off or make an emergency call you press and hold the power button and either one of the volume buttons
As there’s no headphone jack, the XR comes with lightning headphones. Unfortunately Apple no longer includes a 3.5mm to lightning dongle in the box, you’ll have to buy it for $9 on top of the cost of your expensive iPhone. The phone is capable of wireless charging and fast charging however in the box all you’re given is a slow 5 watt charger, the necessary cable and a 30 watt wall plug for fast charge will set you back 68 pounds or dollars. Upgrade this to an 87 watt charger and the total rises to 88. The required USB C to lightning cable is also the same cable needed to connect your iPhone to a new Macbook without a dongle. Want to be able to charge your phone and listen to music at the same time? That’s 160 for Bluetooth AirPods. And the list of things Apple wants to use to make you part with your money continues. After all, Apple did not become the first public trillion dollar company by accident.
The iPhone XR features the same 12 megapixel rear Camera as the XS but lacks a second lens. While you can still use portrait mode on the XR, it is less accurate and can only be used for people, not objects unlike on the XS. The front 7 megapixel camera also has portrait mode and the level of blur can be adjusted after the image is taken. By default the effect is very obvious, in this selfie you can see that the edges of my curls and the bottom of my hair has been unnaturally blurred due to the poor edge detection.
Overall image quality is however very good, images are bright and well exposed, the camera is quick and sharp to focus and colour reproduction is generally pleasing although it does tend towards being slightly brighter than natural.
The camera deals will with photographing into the sun, the same can’t be said for street lamps at night, which take on a large halo and leave something to be desired. This low light shot of some houses looks good, noise is kept under control well enough for all but the bottom line of the sign to be legible when zoomed in.
Portrait mode adds a noticeable background blur and can be adjusted after the photo is taken. However if you’ve got frizz the edges of your hair will be blurred as the edge detection isn’t perfect
Video stabilisation is very good, video colours are decent but slightly lighter and paler than in real life. The camera can record up to 4K 60
You can find phones with high resolution AMOLED screens, face recognition, a headphone jack, a fingerprint sensor and dual cameras on the android market for a fraction of the cost of the iPhone XR, for example the Oneplus 6 which starts at 469 pounds. Although the XR is overpriced, it’ll still sell well because devout Apple fans will always be willing to pay a premium for a half eaten Apple.
In conclusion, this phone is actually very good albeit rather pricey. I would recommend it to any Apple fan with an older iPhone who is looking to upgrade but doesn’t care about screen resolution or dual cameras. If you’re open to buying an android phone then I’d recommend you save your cash and get something cheaper from the android market.
Thanks for watching, let me know what you think about this review and the phone itself in the comments. If you enjoyed the video then give it a like, dislike if you hated it, subscribe for more tech videos and enable notifications with the bell icon! See you next time