Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Read more: iPhone SE review
For those who have already seen an unboxing of the iPhone XS (Check on Amazon.com) or XS Max (Check on Amazon.com) the contents of the package will not be a surprise. We have the USB/Lightning cable, a standard power adapter and a pair of Apple headphones with a lightning connector. The Lightning to Audio Jack Adapter is no longer included.
Read more: Apple iPhone XS review
Build and Ergonomics
The real difference lies in the use of aluminum instead of steel for the side frame. The back cover is made out of glass and you can easily mistake it for an iPhone XS. The Power/Siri button is always on the right and on the left we find the volume keys and the mute switch. It is larger than an iPhone XS, but it is not too thick or heavy in hand. The smartphone is also IP67 water and dust resistant certified. The glass cover is also more durable, just like the one on the iPhone XS. An extra point in favor is the wide choice of colors: black, white, red, light blue, yellow and coral.
The main reason why this XR has nothing to do with the SE version is that here we have a real top-of-the-range smartphone, that has in common much of the hardware that we find in the premium XS. We have the brand new and powerful 7nm Apple A12 Bionic Hexa-core processor. The quad-core GPU and the octa-core Neural Engine processor ì are also present. We also find 3GB of RAM and 64, 128 or 256GB of non expendable internal memory. This iPhone is also dual SIM thanks to the support for an eSIM. Connectivity-wise the device sports high-speed LTE, NFC for Apple Pay and the company’s trademark Face ID unlock. There is no FM radio or an audio jack. The stereo audio has good quality sound and is more powerful than many other smartphones in this price range.
The iPhone XR comes with the same great camera as its older brother. It is an optically stabilized 12-megapixel ƒ/1.8 sensor with larger pixels that capture more light and a new Smart HDR mode that plays an important role in all the shots that you will take, managing light in a much better way than in the past. This is why the photos taken with an iPhone XR are among the most enjoyable in circulation, with well-calibrated and smooth colors and without ever showing any exasperated contrast. The camera is not perfect and the competition in the high-end is very tight, but it is important to know that buying an iPhone XR doesn’t mean you compromise. A secondary camera is absent, but the iPhone XR can still shoot great pictures in portrait mode. 4K at 60fps videos are also great with the use of electronic stabilization. Super slow motion is a rare treat, and the 7-megapixel ƒ/2.2 front-facing camera is as solid as always.
The real difference between the iPhone XR and the XS is the display. The iPhone XR is equipped with a 6.1 inch IPS and not AMOLED display, with a resolution of 1792×828 pixels only. In everyday use these differences are imperceptible.
The difference that is instead noticeable is the bigger bezels that surround the display. At least they are symmetrical and therefore aesthetically less annoying.
As always the experience of using an Apple smartphone is constant throughout the entire lineup and this is a huge plus for the iPhone XR that offers the same experience of its pricier siblings. The OS runs buttery smooth and the user experience is excellent, thanks to the new gesture system. The integration with various services and other Apple devices is obviously a breeze, but you will appreciate this smartphone even if it is the only Apple device you own.
The battery measures 2942mAh and the autonomy is better than the iPhone XS and not too far behind the iPhone XS Max.
The iPhone XR isn’t cheap, but it costs much less than the iPhone XS, making this a much more attractive device for most people.
The experience of using an iPhone XR (Check on Amazon.com) is basically the same as an iPhone XS, but you will save some money and you will choose a color you like more. This is the best iPhone ever.