Apple iPhone XR Review: Fast Smartphone with a Decent Battery Life

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Apple still produces the best smartphones anyone can lay their hands on. One feature of smartphones churned out by Apple is the high price tag. However, the iPhone XR’s price is slight deviation from the normal price tag associated with most  high-performing iPhones. iPhone XR’s winning ingredients are speed, a decent battery life, and of course, a fair price.

With Apple’s impressive A12 Bionic chipset and iOS 12 operating system tucked inside the iPhone XR, the smartphone truly delivers.

PROS

  • Excellent camera
  • Impressive audio
  • Ample colour variants
  • Decent battery life
  • Price is fair for an iPhone

CONS

  • Screen resolution can be improved
  • No 2x optical zoom technology on camera

Appearance and Display

  • 6.1-inch display
  • 1792 x 828 pixels
  • 194g

The iPhone XR has a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD display. Apple claims the XR has a ‘special’ LCD screen. We thought it would sport an OLED display, but that isn’t the case. Truth is, the ‘special’ LCD on the iPhone XR isn’t any different from what you’ll find on recent Apple smartphones. Just know: the display doesn’t support high dynamic range (HDR) imaging.

The XR’s display is just as beautiful and crisp as what newer iPhones manage. The beautiful and sharp colours of the XR isn’t quite as good as the iPhone XS’. The screen is not completely edge-to-edge as the OnePlus 7 Pro, as there are still bezels on the four sides of the display.

The iPhone XR has ample colour versions than we had envisaged. Yellow, black, coral, white, blue and red are the colours you can choose from.

It weighs 194g, which means it’s heavier than the iPhone XS (177g) and lighter than the iPhone XS Max (208g). In terms of size, the iPhone XR’s dimensions are 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm.

With regard to durability, the metal back of the XR has an aluminum and glass finish. The back is tough. This replaces the steel rear of the iPhone XS and XS Max. The front is made of a strong glass material as well.

 

Apple has gotten rid of the Touch ID technology on the iPhone XR.

 

We noted previously that the iPhone XR is cheap. Well, it is cheaper than what most high-end iPhones cost. You’ll get it at a cheaper price than you would an iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

The physical home button which used to be one of the most recognizable features of iPhones and Apple tablets has been scrapped from the iPhone XR much like the Xiaomi Mi 9, Hono View 20, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, and some new smartphones on the market.

Also missing on the XR is a headphone jack — you won’t find this on most smartphones right now. Thankfully, there is a provision for a Lightning connector meaning you can still use a wired headphone on the iPhone XR with the right accessories.

Don’t Miss: Google Pixel 3 Review

The volume, power, silencer, and lock buttons can be found on the right side of the phone.

Apple iPhone XR Specifications 

Display 6.1-inch, 1792 x 828
Processor A12 Bionic
Operating System iOS 12
RAM 3GB
Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB
Battery 2942 mAh battery
Fast battery charging 15W:
USB Power Delivery 2.0
Qi wireless charging
Audio Stereo Speakers
Front Camera 7MP
Rear Camera 12MP
Colours Blue, White, Black, Yellow, Coral, Red
Size 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
Weight 194 g
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot

Storage

  • 64GB/128GB/256GB
  • 3GB RAM

Apple has made available three storage variants on the IPhone XR: 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB. All of the variants come with 3GB of RAM. We’re glad that the storage options are in line with the competition.

The phone doesn’t have a microSD card slot.

Camera

  • 12-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 7-megapixel rear camera

The iPhone XR has a single 7-megapixel camera on the rear, a 12-megapixel selfie camera.

 

The iPhone XR’s camera isn’t the best in the industry, however, it is impressive.

 

The camera on the iPhone XS is better than the iPhone X’s. You won’t find a telephoto sensor, this means the iPhone XR lacks the camera zooming capabilities owners of the Huawei P30 Pro and OnePlus 7 Pro now enjoy.

Images taken on the XR aren’t the best any smartphone can offer. However, the camera is impressive, but only just. In low light conditions, you still manage to get good pictures.

Read our Huawei P30 Pro review

Software

  • Apple A12 Bionic
  • iOS 12

The  iPhone XR is run by Apple’s iOS 12 and the A12 Bionic chipset. The OS on the smartphone is upgradable to iOS 13.1.2

Performance 

  • Apple super-fast A12 Bionic chip

With 3GB RAM, opening apps, and performing light tasks are not a problem. You’ll only notice the small RAM size when you try running heavy programs on the iPhone XR. Of course, the XS and XS Max which have 4GB of RAM post better performances, even on Geekbench.

The iPhone XR is fast thanks to the cutting-edge A12 Bionic chip inside it. The A12 chip is faster than the Snapdragon 855 you’ll find inside recently manufactured premium Android phones.

Apple has excluded 3D Touch technology from the iPhone XR. The 3D Touch technology makes it possible to access some app functions by pressing the screen hard.

 

The A12 Bionic chip inside the iPhone XR is faster than the Snapdragon 855 chip some premium smartphones boast.

 

The iPhone XR Pro is dust- and water-resistant with an IP67 classification unlike the Huawei P30 Pro, and even the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max which have an iP68 rating.  An iP67 rating means your device is protected against harmful ingress of static water at up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, while iP68 guarantees protection in water at up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes.

The XR has two speakers — one at the top, the other at the bottom. The speakers are loud and clear, but the sound you get doesn’t quite hit the heights of those on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, as well as the iPhone XS and XS Max.

Check out our Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review

Battery Life

  • 2942 mAh battery
  • 15W Fast battery charging
  • Qi wireless charging

We slammed Google for packing a paltry 2915 mAh into the Pixel 3. But Google is not the only culprit. The almighty Apple iPhone XR comes with a battery of almost the same capacity: 2942 mAh.

This is surprising because many high-end smartphones now have almost twice the battery size of what Google and Apple are packing into their smartphones. We know that the iPhone XS Max has a better battery capacity at 3174 mAh. This isn’t as good as what some premium phones offer.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro (4200 mAh), Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (4200 mAh), OnePlus 7 Pro (4100 mAh), and Huawei P30 Pro (4000 mAh) are good examples of smartphones with outstanding battery performances.

 

If battery performance is a priority, then the iPhone XS Max is a better option.

 

With the 2942 mAh battery tucked inside the XR, you may likely get an all-day battery performance, however, this depends on usage. Other smartphones like the Huawei P30 Pro have moved past the 24-hour battery life and are racing towards a 3-day mark.

Check price of iPhone XS Max on Amazon
Check price of iPhone XS on Amazon

What You May Not Like

  • Home button is gone — probably forever.
  • No OLED display or HDR support.

FAQ

1. Which iPhone is better XS or XR?
With regard to speed, both iPhone XS and iPhone XR are on a par since they both have the same super-fast A12 Bionic chip inside. But when it comes to battery life, the iPhone XR is preferred.

2. Why is the iPhone XR cheaper than iPhone XS?
The iPhone XS comes with more RAM than the iPhone XR. More RAM attracts a higher price.

3. Does the iPhone XR come with Airpods?
No, the iPhone XR is not shipped with Airpods, you’ll find EarPods in the box instead.

4. Does iPhone XR have fingerprint scanner?
The iPhone XR does not have a fingerprint scanner. Apple has gotten rid of it. You can make do with Face ID for logging in.

5. Does the iPhone XR have dual speakers?
Yes, the iPhone XR has dual speakers. You’ll find the speakers one at the bottom and the other at the top.

Bottom Line

The iPhone XR is one Apple’s finest smartphones, considering performance, excellent camera, decent battery performance and other features you get for the price tag. Again its battery life is better than what previous iPhones boast.

So, should you buy the iPhone XR? Yes, it’s worth the price.