Overview & Price

So the iPhone XR is one the 3 Apple phones released this year is probably most impressive, it offers some impressive feature and unlike the XS or XS Max wont break the bank whilst doing so.

The XR was available for pre order on October 19th and started being shipped on October 26th.

Check out the best XR deals in the UK..

The XR price is around £650 in the UK, which is considerably cheaper than last years iPhone X!

However not as cheap as we expected after seeing the iPhone XS and XS MAX.

The XR specs are impressive and it actually has a better battery life than the one seen in the more expensive iPhone XS.

The XR offers a range of different colours and storage capacities making it a strong contender for Apple users of any age.

However the XR camera does lack when compared to the iPhone XS, although the price difference between the two phones is enough to make you question the XS as a choice.

Design & Display

The first thing we noticed about this phone is that is looks and feels extremely familiar, sharing a lot of characteristics as last years iPhone X.

So the XR looks and feels great, the phone is kind of a mix between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

So on the exterior the phone is not quite as classy as the iPhone XS as it has an aluminium frame making it light, but also cheap.

That being said around the front of the phone you will find one of the strongest and most durable glass in any smartphone to date.

Again like most iPhones nowadays you will not find a headphone jack and will need to go out and buy your own 3.5mm adapter if you wish to plug your phone into an AUX port, this costing an extra £5.

Something that we really loved on the iPhone XR is the vast range of colour options, you get to choose from Black, White, Blue, Coral and Red, keeping everyone happy when it comes to colour choice.

xr price

Image: Jenifer Chen

We would strongly advise going for one of the more exotic colours rather than a standard White or Black as it really gives you something extra to love about this phone, it also hides any fingerprint marks you might find on the back!

The buttons are in the same placement as last years iPhone X and all feel really ‘clicky’ and nice to press, however the XR does still have quite a big bezel at the top and the border around the display of the phone is noticeably bigger than the one on the iPhone XS or XS MAX.

So the 6.1” Liquid Retina LCD display we found was a great middle ground as the iPhone XS is 5.8” and the XS MAX is 6.5”.

A major concern for people when Apple released the phone was the fact that they have switched back to an LCD display rather than OLED.

The switch means that the phone is not quite as capable as the XS for delivery high quality footage due to the pixel density.

That being said as a whole the display is not bad at all but a real downfall is that Apple have marketed the phone as being edge to edge display when in fact it isn’t due the to thick black border around the display.

This can get annoying as coupled with the notch at the top it can cut out information on apps (I.E Instagram captions when posting a picture), we are certain apple will fix this bug very soon due to the inconvenience of this.

Considering the XR price, we were actually very impressed with its LCD display and build quality, it feel great in your hand and has plenty of colour options to please almost anyone.

Overall as a package the display is strong and makes for a great experience when gaming or watching movies on Netflix, we had no real issues apart from the notch and border but after a while that became very minor.

Performance

The XR offers 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage capacities and a strong 3GB of RAM, the iPhone XS does have 4GB of RAM so if you’re a heavy gamer or someone who demands high amounts of power for your phone you may want to consider opting for the iPhone XS.

That being said the XR does have the A12 bionic chip just like the XS, which is incredible and allows for some extremely smooth navigation.

The XR has the fastest CPU and GPU available in any phone to date, making the phone one of the best out there for gaming.

The XR specs are great when you factor in the price of this phone compared to the XS, making it great value for money and an easier pick for those who don’t want to break the bank on a new phone.

We tested out playing ‘RuneScape’ on the mobile app in the highest graphics available and the phone did not struggle at all, in fact apple have upgrade the graphics processor up 50% from last years iPhone X.

It loaded extremely quickly thanks to the A12 chip and was a pleasant gaming experience overall.

If you’re upgrading from say an iPhone 6 or 7 then you will notice a massive increase in power and speed!

Now because the phone has so much power it is very future proof and means that taking the phone on a 2-3 year contract is no issue as the phone certainly wont be slowing down any time soon!

The phone is IP67 water resistant meaning if you take it in the shower with you to keep the tunes thumping that’s not an issue, IP68 would have been nice but IP67 is more than enough for most people unless you’re an Olympic Swimmer and always around water, maybe then opt for the XS.

Speakers on the phone are the same as last years but that being said they are still extremely good, sound quality is crisp and clear and the speakers compliment the display nicely when watching Netflix movies or YouTube.

You may also want to consider investing into some quality wireless headphone, such as the Apple Airpods. They offer style, comfort and a great accessory to your gym bag!

Another awesome feature of the XR is Face ID, unlike some phones the Face ID feature cannot be fooled by a photograph and can even recognise you through wearing sunglasses.

Face ID works exceptionally well and is super quick and accurate, it even works in the dark!

Every single time we glanced at the phone it would unlock in an instant, making it super secure and convenient to get into your phone quickly when needed.

The XR operates on IOS 12 allowing users to experience Augmented Reality (AR) and Memoji.

Both of these work very well on the XR but hopefully will get even better in time as it is still not perfect but are extremely fun to play with and test out.

Camera

When it comes to the XR camera, it has dropped a lens and now only features a single 12-megapixel f/1.8 optically stabilised wide angel lens.

The only real differences from the XS and from dropping a lens is that the camera is unable to 2x zoom and portrait mode is now slightly different.

The XS will create a depth map and be able to detect which areas of the image to blur out due to how far away they are from the subject.

The XR is unable to do this so uses software to blur the background, this still resulting in a fantastic image.

xr specs

Image: Jenifer Chen

Good lighting really helps the lens with this but adjusting the blur is also easy if the photo needs a little manual tweaking.

Smart-HDR is still implemented into the XR which essentially alters the settings automatically in order to produce a better well rounded image for you, this works very well and results in some fantastic shots.

Smart-HDR is basically working behind the scenes to ensure that the photo looks its best.

Overall as a camera package it is essentially the same as the iPhone XS minus the 2x zoom, so that being said the XR is able to produce almost exactly the same shots as the XS when not zoomed in, all for a for a lot less cost of the handset itself.

This extends into video recording too, the footage is great at 4K at 60fps but even in standard 1080p it looks great, image stabilisation allows to keep everything smooth and it is really easy to capture some amazing video footage on this phone alongside the XS and XS MAX.

Battery Life

The moment we have all been waiting for! Is the iPhone XR battery living up to the hype?

Yes it most certainly is! The phone can easily last for up to 2 days with moderate use which is a lot better than the iPhone XS, Apple totally backed up its claim here when they said it has one of the best battery life’s they have ever produced.

The XR is great at conserving battery and just like most Apple phones will hardly drain any juice at all when on stand-by, the phone uses a ‘power saving mode’ too for when you are feeling anxious about running flat which allows you to hang onto that last 10% a little bit longer.

Because the phone is slightly larger it can hold a bigger battery pack inside, thus giving us extra juice, another reason that the XR is so good at holding its power is down to the LCD display, rather than an OLED sucking the life out of the phone the much more power efficient LCD is not draining the iPhone XR much at all.

Wireless charging is also featured on this phone making it a lot more convenient to top up when on the move.

Battery life is undoubtedly the star of the show here as it does a remarkable job of holding onto power in situations like using GPS or intense gaming where most other Apple phones really struggle.

However what is slightly disappointing is the time it takes to charge as the phone does not come with a fast charger and only comes with a 5W plug, we would definitely recommend investing into a fast charger for this phone to speed the process up a little.

Summary

So is this phone worth your money? Most definitely! This phone is a great alternative to the iPhone XS or XS MAX; it is undoubtedly one of the best Apple handsets ever made.

Value for money I great on this phone and it offers a ton of features, which are offered in the more expensive iPhone XS, it still has a fantastic camera, a great battery life and an awesome display!

This phone is easy to recommend for people who don’t want to spend quite as much for an XS but still want a lot of the features, AR and Memoji’s are great and lots of fun for the family too.

The XR specs are impressive, offering much of the same as the XR and even offering a battery life, however it does sacrifice the dual camera setup and the OLED display.

That being said if you are someone who demands a little more power, better camera and a little more peace at mind when around water you may want to opt for the slightly more expensive iPhone XS.

The XR camera is strong, but not quite as strong as the dual-camera set up you will find in the iPhone XS, that being said the cost of the XS might make you question your decision.

We feel like the XR price is fair, and offers plenty of value for money for those who are questioning the decision between the XS and XR.

For us the XR is a clear winner as it offers many of the same specification at a far lower cost.

We hope you have enjoyed our XR review, and feel free to leave a comment and give us some feedback as we are always looking for ways to improve our blog posts.

Full Spec Below:

Launch: October, 2018

Body:

  • Dimension: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm (5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches)
  • Weight: 194 g (6.84 oz)
  • Build: Front/Back glass, aluminium frame (7000 series)
  • Sim: Nano-SIM and e-SIM
    – IP67 dust/water resistant (up to 1m for 30 mins)
    – Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX Certified)

Display:

  • Type: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours
  • Size: 6.1 inches, 90.3cm² (-79.0% screen-to-body-ratio)
  • Resolution: 828 x 1792 pixels, 19:5:9 ratio (-326 ppi density)
  • Multitouch: Yes
  • Protection: Scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating
    – True tone display
    – Wide colour gamut display
    – 120 Hz touch-sensing

Platform:

  • OS: iOS 12, upgradable to iOS 12.1
  • Chipset: Apple A12 Bionic Chip (7 nm)
  • CPU: Hexa-core (2×2.5 GHz Vortex + 4×1.6Ghz Tempest)
  • GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)

Memory:

  • Card slot: No
  • Internal: 64/128/256GB, 3GB RAM

Camera:

  • Primary: 7MP, f/2.2, 32mm (standard)
  • Features: HDR
  • Video: 1080p@60fps

Sound:

  • Alert Types: Vibration, proprietary ringtones
  • Loudspeaker: Yes, with stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm Jack: No
    – Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic

Comms:

  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11, a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
  • Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, LE
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, GZSS
  • NFC: Yes
  • Radio: No
  • USB: 2.0, proprietary reversible connector

Features:

  • Sensors: Face ID, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  • Messaging: iMessage, SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email
  • Browser: HTML5 (Safari)
  • More:
    – Fast battery charging: 50% in 30 min
    – Qi wireless charging
    – Siri natural language commands and dictation
    – iCloud cloud service
    – MP3/WAV/AAX+/AIFF/Apple Lossless player
    – MP4/H.265 player
    – Audio/video/photo editor
    – Document editor

Battery:

  • Non-removeable Li-Ion 2942 mAh battery

Misc:

  • Colours: Black, Red, Yellow, Blue, Coral
  • Price: As seen in above post

Tests:

  • Battery life: Endurance rating 78 hours

Device Dictionary helped me choose the right device for me, after going through their website I soon found a phone that had everything I was looking for. The information provided on the iPhone XR was compelling and after scanning through their deals I soon found one I was happy with. Thanks so much guys I really appreciate it! P.S love my new phone!

Sam Johnston

Sales Advisor, PC World