Apple’s flagship smartphones are inclined to get all the eye, however in case you look previous the shiny OLED shows of the present XS and XS Max, you’ll discover that there is one other telephone that delivers an enormous serving of the flagship Apple smartphone expertise in a extra vibrant and, importantly, extra reasonably priced bundle. We’re speaking concerning the Apple iPhone XR.
Some would possibly dismiss the iPhone XR because the poor man’s iPhone XS, however that will be doing the handset an enormous disservice.
Sure it’s a less expensive handset, however we’re speaking low cost by Apple’s requirements. They’ve by no means actually been an organization to scrimp on construct high quality and there’s little doubt the XR nonetheless seems like a premium product.
It’s not as svelte because the iPhone XS, with thicker bezels across the display, and the ‘previous’ glass black and aluminium design reasonably than the brand new chrome steel. However in isolation it nonetheless seems to be the half. The choice so as to add a splash of color (you may select from black, blue, white, coral, yellow and crimson) doesn’t cheapen the look of the handset – the aerospace-grade aluminium band operating across the fringe of the handset is completed in the identical color and actually seems to be and feels the half.
You get a much bigger display than the iPhone XS (6.1in vs 5.8in) – in truth it’s the most important LCD show ever fitted to an iPhone. However, in comparison with its OLED sibling, each decision (1972 x 828 vs 2436 x 1125) and pixel density (326ppi vs 458ppi) are decrease. Does that influence image high quality? We’ll come to that shortly.
Apple iPhone XR tech specs
(Picture credit score: Future)
Display screen measurement 6.1in
Decision 1792 x 828
Working system iOS 12
Dimensions (hwd) 15.1 x 7.6 x 0.8cm
The Liquid Retina HD Show options Apple’s True Tone tech, which suggests it makes use of a light-weight sensor to regulate the white stability to match the color temperature round you. In actuality it makes the image barely simpler in your eyes by giving it a barely hotter hue, particularly in darker environments.
Beneath the hood, you’ll discover the identical A12 Bionic chip utilized by the XR’s pricier siblings. Its CPU and GPU (each Apple-designed) are each quicker and extra environment friendly than the previous-generation A11 chip discovered within the iPhone eight and iPhone 8 Plus.
The XR definitely makes brief work of skipping via iOS 12. Scrolling and navigating between menus is seamless with apps speedy to each open and reply to your swipes.
One space the place the iPhone XR does lose out to its pricier siblings is the digicam. There’s solely a single 12MP wide-angle lens on the XR, in comparison with the twin association (wide-angle and telephoto) on the XS and XS Max.
However you continue to rise up to 5x digital zoom, Portrait mode, a six-element TrueTone flash and it might probably nonetheless use Apple’s Good HDR characteristic.
In follow, the XR’s digicam works completely properly by trendy smarpthone requirements. Photos look clear and sharp with balanced colors and good ranges of element. They’re not fairly as much as the usual of images supplied by the Google Pixel 3 or the Huawei P30 Pro, however for these of you simply on the lookout for a succesful point-and-shoot snapper, the XR will do the job properly and with minimal fuss.
You would possibly count on the cheaper value to imply compromised battery life too, however the iPhone XR truly trumps each the XS and greater XS Max, with as much as 25 hours of discuss time and as much as 16 hours of wi-fi video playback.
Sure, the iPhone XR does have a notch throughout the highest of the display, however in our expertise you quickly get used to it, and the one time it does influence the image is whenever you faucet to develop it full-screen. We wouldn’t suggest doing this, although. By increasing it, you truly find yourself cropping what you’re watching prime and backside.
Total, the iPhone XR delivers a properly rounded picture that’s simple on the attention. Colors are reproduced in a good, balanced method. There’s no sense of them being overbaked, which is one thing you will get with some rivals. Pores and skin tones look pure, reasonably than flushed, and there’s a superb stage of black element within the opening scenes of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix.
It’s solely actually whenever you place the XR up towards its OLED siblings straight that you simply begin to see a distinction or two. And, they’re actually solely right down to the 2 sorts of show expertise getting used.
In testing we discovered blacks to be that little bit deeper when seen on the iPhone XS. Whites are additionally barely punchier and extra pronounced as Luther emerges from Moon Station 01. There’s way more of an apparent distinction between the blackness of house and the lights emitting from every window of his house house.
The smaller display measurement and better pixel density of the XS additionally make for barely sharper and crisper outlines of objects, however the XR nonetheless holds its personal and it’s price remembering you’re getting a bigger picture in your cash too.
Included within the XR specs is assist for HDR10 video and Dolby Vision HDR, however it’s best to observe the telephone’s show doesn’t truly meet HDR for cellular requirements, not like the OLED screens fitted to the XS and XS Max. You would possibly see a slight enchancment with HDR content material, however you’re not getting the identical advantages.
There is no headphone jack on the iPhone XR, and no bundled dongle, so your choices are to make use of the equipped Lightning Earpods (which sound distinctly common), use the dongle out of your previous iPhone, or companion the XR with a pair of appropriate wi-fi headphones (the iPhone helps the Bluetooth 5.0 normal).
To their credit score, the built-in audio system produce Apple’s ‘wider stereo sound’ with a effective sense of conviction. They sound extra succesful and managed than a lot of rivals. After all you’re extra more likely to get humorous seems to be than earth-shattering bass, listening to music via a smartphone enclosure, however for the odd blast within the consolation of your personal house, the XR is completely palatable.
However, like most iPhones we’ve examined, the telephone actually comes into its personal when listening with a good pair of headphones. These could possibly be a funds pair of Beyerdynamic Soul Byrds or a premium pair of Sony WH-1000XM3 wi-fi over-ears and the iPhones XR’s entertaining character nonetheless shines via.
A fantastic sense of rhythm and musicality is one thing we’ve come to count on from Apple’s smartphones, and the XR will get your toes tapping very quickly.
Play Royal Blood’s Determine It Out and the XR begins its assault in your senses with a easy, but purposeful guitar riff. As soon as the drum equipment arrives on the scene you get a correct really feel for the iPhone XR’s impeccable sense of timing, which begins to drive the music house. There’s element in abundance with the crisp drum thwacks clearly and concisely communicated, as are the delicate variations in dynamics.
There’s an amazing sense of openness and readability to the soundstage, as a fast blast of Umi Copper’s All will testify. You’ve acquired percussion, strings, piano, bassline and vocal all vying in your consideration at numerous factors within the observe, and the iPhone offers each room to breathe with out sacrificing their influence. The vocal nonetheless steals the present, performing because the glue for all the opposite parts, and the XR organises and arranges all the pieces in a regimented, but wholly fluid soundscape.
So the place does this depart the iPhone XR? Properly, we expect it sits proper within the candy spot of Apple’s present smartphone line-up.
It’s considerably cheaper than each the XS and XS Max and the truth is that the XR delivers an enormous chunk of what the pricier fashions provide. The consumer expertise is just about an identical, as is the processing energy on provide. No, the digicam isn’t fairly pretty much as good as its siblings and film high quality will be bettered, however you’ll must pay extra upfront.
Not solely does the XR boast higher battery life, you even have the choice of a 128GB model, which ought to cater for most individuals, and it’s a measurement that isn’t obtainable for the XS or XS Max. It not solely stacks up properly towards its members of the family, it shows a stage of musicality that rivals manufacturers can solely dream of. A wise alternative for individuals who need a chew of the Apple for a comparatively reasonably priced value.
- Display screen 5
- Sound 5
- Options 5
Learn our Apple iPhone XS review
Learn our Google Pixel 3a review
Many due to 3 for supplying the handset for this evaluation