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Home / Technology / iPhone XR Review: Testing Apple's New iPhone

iPhone XR Review: Testing Apple's New iPhone

We never know what R in iPhone XR really means – Apple VP Phil Schiller himself said that R does not really matter to Apple. But I have my own guess: reboot.

Before iPhone X released last year, iPhone 8 needed a new design. It had been three years since Apple first unveiled its big iPhone screens, but nothing about them changed much since iPhone 6. iPhone 8 brought wireless charging and a better camera, but it does not look like a 2017 phone, than it does. say a 2018.

But instead of scratching the idea of ​​iPhone 8 and going all the way to the more expensive and marginal X, Apple returned to the drawing board to create an apparently impossible iPhone that had the specs of a flashy iPhone 9, the appearance of an iPhone X and the price of an iPhone 8.

  iphone xr power Christopher Hebert / IDG

iPhone XR's glass tray is easy to move, but not too smooth.

Like any reboot of a classic, the iPhone XR could have gone amazingly wrong. But with the iPhone XR, Apple did it. The chip, battery and storage are best in class. The price glides between iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone XS. And the design is close enough to the iPhone X and XS that the phones look like a reasonable distance – you might have expected some serious compromises that push people to the upper models in a bait and switch motion. That is not the case.

When you take into consideration the price, design, storage, camera, battery life and performance, the iPhone XR can be the best iPhone Apple has ever done, although it's not technically most advanced. In fact, I would dare to guess more people should buy an iPhone XR over an iPhone XS. It's just so good.

A first class design for smaller

iPhone XR is basically the iPhone XS fraternal twin. It has the same shape, same glass back, same contour tape, same rounded corners. And it has just as big a notch at the top of the screen. Pick it up and it feels just like a little thicker XS.

  iPhone xr xs max Christopher Hebert / IDG

The 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max (left) is pretty much larger than the 6.1-inch iPhone XR.

In addition to their superficial similarities, there are different differences between the two phones. Mostly, XR's glass back comes in a variety of colors giving it a playful personality. The sides are made of aluminum, a material downgraded from stainless steel on the XS, but they are anodized to fit perfectly according to the color you choose. It's a subtle change that comes down to a matter of preference, but I actually preferred XR's matte finish to XS shiny chrome.

XR is easily the most unique iPhone since iPhone 5c, and I suspect most people will choose to use it without a case. Apparently, Apple also makes it so much that it does not sell a first-party case for XR. For this purpose, Apple claims that the glass covering the screen is stronger than any iPhone that came before and the rear glass, while not as splitting resistant as the iPhone XS, is at least as good as the iPhone 8. It also has

  iphone xr porter Christopher Hebert / IDG

The iPhone XR (port bottom) port is a bit out of the center, compared with the iPhone XS Max.

If you're a symmetry sticker, you'll notice that the lower edge lightning port is so small outside the center, probably because of the technical tricks Apple performs under the screen to make your bones uniform. And bezels are that. If it's a knock against iPhone XR's design, the edges are distractingly thick, to the point where it almost feels like a cheap iPhone XS knockoff.

It will surely be a deal breaker for some, but it's perfectly valid because of such thick framing: iPhone XR uses an LCD monitor so it must be continuously backlit. As such, the extra millimeter ensures that there is no light leak or bright spots. It's a nice trade-off when considering the option would have been a deeper chin and forehead. In addition, wrappers are a superficial problem anyway, and they will quickly melt away when you use it.

The second best of OLED

While the iPhone XR screen looks like it on XS, it does not matter: It's basically a larger iPhone 8 Plus with rounded corners. That means its 720p HD LCD is one step below the full HD screen on iPhone 8 and far from 2K OLED on XS.

  iPhone xS Max White Balance Christopher Hebert / IDG [19659006] The iPhone XS Max (right) screen is noticeably sharper and clearer than the iPhone XR, but you only want to mark it if you hold them next to it.

But the iPhone XR is still in the Retina Zone, which is all that really matters. When Apple reviewed the term Retina back in 2010 with 3.5-inch iPhone 4, 326 ppi measurement was exactly the same as it's iPhone XR. That's how display technology has improved enormously over the past eight years, and even giant phones probably have high pixel densities, such as Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (516) and Google Pixel 3 XL (523). Even though you compare apples with apples with another 6.1-inch LCD phone like the LG G7, XR is trounced (563 ppi to 326 ppi).

It is a major dealon paper than in practice. Everything over 300 ppi is basically indelible to the human eye, so it's only based on resolution, iPhone XR will look as good as iPhone XS or Galaxy Note 9. Even when you play scaled-down HD content on Netflix or YouTube, It is very difficult to detect much of a difference in the image quality between it and a higher resolution display.

However, the screens are more than the sum of their pixels, and the color accuracy and saturation of the iPhone XR's LCD is not as close as good as a high-quality HDR-certified OLED. It is not so noticeable in everyday use as it is when comparing it next to XS or Pixel 3, but the LCD screen on iPhone is definitely a downgrade from premium OLED phones.

  iphone xr bezels Christopher Hebert / IDG

Ermer on the iPhone XR is noticeably thicker than the iPhone XS Max.

But in its own context, the XR's LCD is quite strange, with excellent white balance and impressive brightness. It can not have the deep black in OLED, but as iPad Pro, XR still feels like a modern smartphone screen, especially with True Tone turned on.

Apple's 120Hz sampling makes the items appear faster when they are dragged and touched, and while animations are not as fresh as they are on the iPad Pros ProMotion screen, it goes a long way towards making the XR feeling faster than it should. And the rounded corners and balanced full screen design really believe in the price tag. You lose 3D Touch, but something like icon shortcuts can be added later using haptics.

When I used the iPhone XR, I really did not really miss my OLED phones, and the only criticism I can level is the viewing angle, which is significantly narrower than older LCD iPhones. What I missed from the Android OLEDs was an ambient display. Despite the introduction of OLED monitors, Apple has hardly refused to ever implement the display on any of the phones. As such, the display lights up every time an alert arrives and the lock screen must be fully lit just to check the time. I would like to see a surrounding screen that is added to iPhone XR in iOS 12.3 as part of Apple's regular midcycle feature plug-in.

Amazing Speed, Amazing Battery Life

With fewer pixels to push, the iPhone XR can actually beat the iPhone XS and XS Max in a key category: battery life. Even with a capacity of 3,000 mAh batteries, the iPhone XR is one of the longest phones in this or any price range, and it ran circles around Pixel 3 XL and Galaxy S9.

It even gave Galaxy Note 9 and its 4000 mAh battery a run for their money. I got consistently 7 to 8 hours of hard-press screen (games, movies, streaming, etc.), and close to 10 on less strenuous days. I never had to charge iPhone XR before my day was over, including a particularly long time while streaming Apple Music and using turn-by-turn navigation.

  iPhone xr xs max pencils Christopher Hebert / IDG

Despite a smaller battery, the iPhone XR (right) keeps longer than the iPhone XS Max.

Apple has not cut performance to increase iPhone XR's battery life either. XR has the same A12 Bionic chip as XS, and it's a straight-up screamer. Apps and animations fly over the screen due to a combination of processor speed and regular iOS optimization, and someone upgrading from an iPhone 6 or earlier, which I suspect will make up a large part of the sale, will see a huge boost. Even if you move from an iPhone 7, it will be a deep improvement.

In our Geekbench 4 tests, we found that iPhone XR's speed is completely consistent with Phone XS and XS Plus. Compared with iPhone X, XR is 13 percent faster in single-core performance, and about 10 percent faster in multi-core. You can get the complete story of our reference results (which includes several other tests) in our iPhone XR benchmark article.

  iphone xr benchmarks geekbench4 IDG

Higher points / longer posts indicate better performance. Click to enlarge.

And that's little stuff, but I appreciate the storage levels on XR as well. While it has the same 64GB base level as the higher end phones, Apple forces customers to spend extra $ 150 for 256GB of storage on XS, artificially inflating the price for more storage than most people need. At XR, you can double the storage space to 128GB for just $ 50, which is much more tasty.

Face ID Leads The Way

A rear fingerprint sensor would have been an easy way out for the iPhone XR, offering a familiar biometric while allowing an even smaller notch on the front. Instead, Apple adds a next-generation True Depth camera to XR, and, like the chip and design, it puts Apple's cheapest mobile phone in the same way as the most expensive.

  iphone xr notch Christopher Hebert / IDG

] The IPhone XRs hack hides the same True Depth camera and sensors as the iPhone XS.

Face ID on iPhone XR is as much as it's on XS, and a little faster and more forgiving than iPhone X. It's not just an improvement over Touch ID on iPhone 8, it gives the same surprisingly glorious ease of use that I felt the first time I used the iPhone 5 fingerprint sensor or the original iPhone's zipper. You will not realize how lumpy it is for a fingerprint sensor before you experience Face ID for the first time.

On iPhone XR, Face ID is far more mature than it did on iPhone X. You can add a different face, and the integration with password and other apps makes it much more useful than just a locking mechanism. But most people who buy this phone care more about Animoji and Memoji, both of which work just as well on iPhone XR. For most, the true truth camera is more likely a bonus than a reason to buy XR, but its presence on XR goes a long way towards raising it to top rank status.

This is mainly due to iOS 12. There is nothing here you can not get with iPhone 7 or 8, but in combination with the A12 Bionic chip, iOS 12 feels at home at XR. Visitor navigation is smart and fluid, Face ID is angry fast, and app switching is incredibly smooth. However, I would like to have shared multitasking and applets, but iOS 12 only shines on XR.

One camera does the job to two

Other than the screen, the other semifinal on the iPhone XR is with the camera. Instead of a dual array like the one in the iPhone XS, the XR has a one-sided lens on the back. Apple did the same to separate iPhone from the Plus models, and just like those phones, you lose the zoom lens.

  iPhone xr xs max camera Christopher Hebert / IDG

One of the biggest differences between iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max is the camera.

Although the lack of a 2x optical zoom could certainly be a deal for anyone, I found that XR's digital zoom was perfectly adequate in most situations. Yes, it's noisy than optical zoom, and sometimes the zoom algorithm has picked the wrong white balance, but the digital results are hardly useless.

  iphone xr portrait nature compare Michael Simon / IDG

Since the iPhone XR can not shoot without personality, Pixel 3 XL (center) and Galaxy Note 9 (right) can handle the depth of this photo of a flower much better. In the pictures below you can see the iPhone XR portrait engine at work. The digital wide opening is as good as Pixel 3 XL (center) and Galaxy Note 9 (right).

  iphone xr portrait compare Michael Simon / IDG

To compensate for the bokeh tasks of the zoom lens, Apple has taken its computational shooting game to allow XR to take portraits, a first for a single camera iPhone. And they are quite good. Compared to Note 9's dual camera system, XR could also distinguish the background from the subject as well (and often better), and was mostly able to keep up with Pixel 3 XL's exceptional capabilities. [19659002] It's a bummer that portrait mode is not working with anything but people, but it will be interesting to see how Apple improves the processor engine, assuming future iterations of the single-lens XR stick.

  iphone xr color compare Michael Simon / IDG

iPhone XR (left) handles consistent exposure and contrast better than Pixel 3 XL (center) and Galaxy Note 9 (right).

When you take common pictures, XR is basically an XS, which is to say that it is one of the best cameras you should enter a smartphone. Even in a season of serious thousand dollar standouts, the $ 750 iPhone XR does not add anything to its peers, and I consistently took high-resolution, gallery-worthy shots. Apple's famous engine often shares the difference between Samsung's weak overexposure and Google's artificial underexposure to capture crisp, detailed and hyperrealistic images that needed a little re-touching. The XR was excellent in all kinds of light and while there is little light mode, it's not as good as Pixel 3 XL's wonderful Night Sight, I would not hesitate to recommend XR to anyone discussing between it and a higher priced phone

  iphone xr zoom compare Michael Simon / IDG

iPhone XS Max (right) takes clear and color-sensitive images when using 2X optical zoom, but iPhone XR's digital version is not terrible. [19659007] Some other observations:

  • I snapped all my photos with Smart HDR turned on, mainly because Apple makes it unnecessarily complicated to turn off if that's not possible. Instead of a switch in the app, go to the Camera Settings in the Settings app.
  • Apple has given XR the same ability to adjust portraits as on XS: You can adjust the depth screen before taking a shot (by pressing the "f" button at the top right and after (by clicking Edit in Photos-
  • You can not use the XR scene light.
  • Even without optical zoom, I missed the one-touch 2X zoom button above the shutter. It's much more convenient than squeezing.
  • Apple's storage camera app is still missing A hard set of manual controls, but there are a number of third-party apps that will give it functionality.

Bottom line

While iPhone XR obviously takes its sign from Apple's thousands of dollar flagship phones, it's priced like an iPhone 9 would be. In an alternative reality where iPhone X never existed, XR would be the most exciting iPhone over the years, and people will be keen to buy one

  iPhone xr xs max back Christopher Hebert / IDG

iPhone XR right) does not have a good screen or a camera like iPhone XS Max, but you can not beat the value it provides.

As such, iPhone XR becomes another billing for the iPhone XS, and is seen as a smaller option. It is certainly not. It can not be as exciting as XS, but it's a huge improvement over the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and even with a single camera, XR can take the stars, even portraits. Simply, the iPhone XR is the best entry level iPhone Apple has ever done, and it's not much to say that iPhone XR is the best iPhone Apple has made to date, with a perfect blend of good, better and best.

If you upgrade from an iPhone 7 or earlier and you can spend a thousand dollars on a phone, the iPhone XR is really a no-brainer. The new design is a huge improvement over the home button, and battery life is the best I've ever experienced in an iPhone. And iOS 12 brings just everything.

Frankly, everyone on the iPhone upgrade should also consider XR. It includes people who use an iPhone X. I switched my 256 GB iPhone X for a 128 GB XR, and I saved $ 15 a month in the process and I have not regretted it. So you can add higher payouts to the list of things you do not want to miss with iPhone XR.

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