iPhone XR : iPhone to buy this year.

Apple released three phones this year, iPhone XS, XS Max and cheaper iPhone XR. How does iPhone XR looks compared to iPhone XS ?

Apple naming scheme is quite complex this year. X”S” stands for the “S” as in other 7S, 6S but what does the “R” stand for ? Any guesses comment below.

iPhone XR is equipped with the same fast A12 Bionic chipset as in iPhone XS but quipped with 3 GB of RAM. But 3GB RAM is still a lot. The phone is fluid all round thanks to the fast A12 Bionic processor. Everyday tasks, gameplay is smooth all round.

Unlike iPhone XS, its side rails is made from aluminium instead of stainless steel as in iPhone XS. It back is still made of glass coming at 6 different colours with side bands to match the back colours. It comes at Black,White,Yellow,Blue,Product RED and Coral. Instead of LED, we get LCD in iPhone XR. Apple claims is the most colour accurate LCD in the industry and it seems pretty true. It’s Super LCD naming isn’t a gimmick this year. Side by side with iPhone XS, you don’t find much difference in the display at all. Its sharp and has dark black as an LED. It’s not as good as the LED in the iPhone XS but considering the $200 price difference between the XR and XS, you don’t loose much. I am pretty happy with the LCD in the new iPhone and if you are coming from previous generation Apple LCD screens, you would find a lot of difference in the screen.

iPhone XS and XR side by side

With LCD display, we don’t get the close bezel-less sides but small lines in the sides. LED is pretty easy to bend at the end as each LED has its own individual back light. But LCD panel requires single backlight that lights up the entire panel. Bending the screen or curving it requires special engineering to prevent light from bleeding over at the end. Verge has a good video showcasing the pretty cool engineering under microscope. Be sure to check it out.

Verge iPhone Review – YouTube

With the curving engineering of the LCD, we loose 3D Touch and instead, we get long touch coupled with Taptic feedback. I don’t use 3D Touch, I won’t miss it when its gone but some does. But hey we still got a replacement and works.

iPhone 8,8 Plus, XR and XS Max

Coming to the camera, it carries the same wide angle back camera as the iPhone XS but lacks the telephoto lens. Apple depends on machine learning magic to bring portrait mode to the rear camera shots and it looks pretty good. Google has been depending on machine learning to bring portrait mode shots on Pixel, and it worked out good so far. But with the lack of secondary camera, you loose the ability to take portrait mode shots on non-human subjects. Apple machine learning needs to recognise a face to bring the portrait effect.

The photos look sharp, crisp and colourful. Due to Apple’s smart HDR, the photos are not colour accurate as previous generation iPhones. Apple acknowledges this and promised to fix it in upcoming software update. I for one miss the telephoto lens, but hey Apple has to sell iPhone XS right ?

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Battery life is strong. You can easily get through the day with heavy use. Its battery life is even higher than the pricy iPhone XS. The phone is IP67 dust and water resistant.

Concluding this post, at $749 this is a solid iPhone. You get the same Face ID, front facing camera, A12 Bionic processor, strong battery life. The display and the secondary camera, you don’t loose much on XR. The 128 GB model at $799 is pretty good deal for iPhone XR considering the pricing of Note 9 and Pixel 3. And I for one expect Apple to sell lot of iPhone XR than XS this year around.



  1. Also it lacks Gigabit LTE support.

    1. Yea.. it lacks Gigabit LTE support. Its technically not a bummer right now as most carriers dont support Gigabit LTE yet. But in long term it may make a difference.

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