“The iPhone XR is, at its heart, a cu­ri­ous beast.”

Apple Magazine - - Summary - By Ben­jamin Kerry & Gavin Le­naghan


Al­though Ap­ple has al­ready cherry-picked opin­ions from more than a few press re­views of the iPhone XR, we ob­vi­ously can’t rely on those re­marks to pro­vide a wholly ob­jec­tive view of the hand­set. It’s re­as­sur­ing, then, that var­i­ous re­views quoted by the re­spected Ap­ple news site MacRu­mors have also shown op­ti­mism, if slightly more cau­tiously on a few as­pects.

The Verge’s Ni­lay Pa­tel, for in­stance, has de­scribed the XR’s dis­play, which mea­sures 6.1 inches rather than the re­spec­tive 5.8 and 6.5 inches of the XS and XS Max screens, as “fine”. He noted that de­spite the use of aging, al­beit en­hanced ‘Liq­uid Retina’ LCD tech­nol­ogy, peo­ple “com­ing to this phone from any iPhone save the iPhone X will not no­tice a huge dis­crep­ancy in res­o­lu­tion.”

Ap­ple has re­placed the usual 3D Touch pres­sure-sen­si­tive tech­nol­ogy with the more rudi­men­tary Hap­tic Touch, which is some­what akin to the func­tion­al­ity of the MacBook Track­pad. How­ever, you might not no­tice the ab­sence of 3D Touch un­less you have ha­bit­u­ally and widely used it on an­other iPhone. iMore’s Rene Ritchie has com­mented that, where the XR does al­low the use of Hap­tic Touch, “it feels enough like 3D Touch that I some­times find my­self for­get­ting it’s not 3D Touch.”

Then, there’s the bat­tery life. Ap­ple has al­ready hailed this as 90 min­utes longer than that of the 8 Plus, but ac­cord­ing to TechRadar’s Gareth Beavis, the sit­u­a­tion is even bet­ter than this. He de­clares that the XR “fi­nally achieves the holy grail of all­day bat­tery life in an iPhone”. Even the Pixel 3 XL

is left trail­ing in the dis­tance; rig­or­ous bat­tery­test­ing by Tom’s Guide saw the XR en­dur­ing for 11 hours and 26 min­utes, while the Pixel 3 XL could only muster nine and a half hours.


Nat­u­rally, ev­ery new iPhone model at­tracts a num­ber of “early adopters” who are will­ing to quickly put the phone through its paces and re­port back with their find­ings. The iPhone XR has been no ex­cep­tion, with many of its users hav­ing al­ready taken to the MacRu­mors fo­rums.

If you were tempted to buy the XR due to the mid­dle ground its screen size ap­pears to strike be­tween the dis­play mea­sure­ments of the XS and XS Max, MacRu­mors reader Kendo has sounded a note of cau­tion. Kendo re­marked that, with the bezels each a mil­lime­ter thicker than those of the Max, the XR is ac­tu­ally very sim­i­lar to the Max in the over­all size of its en­clo­sure – mean­ing that some­one seek­ing an “in-be­tween” size is “bet­ter off just get­ting a Max” if their bud­get al­lows.

On the flip­side, watch out if you pre­fer your phones on the rel­a­tively small side. MacRu­mors reader tks900 has called the XR “quite big” and “heavy”, adding: “Com­ing from the 6S, this is a re­ally dif­fer­ent an­i­mal.” Even with his large hands, he found one-handed use of the XR “im­pos­si­ble”.


If you are ea­ger to buy an iPhone in a color that has long been ne­glected in the smart­phone range, your pref­er­ence might be sated with the XR. How­ever, if you feel es­pe­cially drawn to­wards one of its col­ors, you should con­sider judg­ing it with your own eyes at a re­tail store.

An es­pe­cially large num­ber of ques­tion marks might linger over the co­ral fin­ish. Is it some­what close to or­ange, as on­line im­ages of the co­ral XR might have led you to be­lieve? ZDNet scribe Matthew Miller begs to dif­fer, de­scrib­ing the back panel as “salmon color and more of a pink than or­ange in most light­ing con­di­tions”, al­though it “ap­pears or­ange-ish in some en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions”.

The alu­minum sides, how­ever, dif­fer from the rear panel’s shade, as they “look more or­ange or cop­per in color”. There is more uni­for­mity with the color of the PROD­UCT(RED) model. In a hands-on video of this par­tic­u­lar XR, Ap­pleIn­sider com­mented that the red of both the back and sides “matches up very well” and even called the “gor­geous” shade “the best red color you could pos­si­bly get on an iPhone”. Red has pre­vi­ously been an avail­able fin­ish on both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8.


Al­though pre­cise sales fig­ures for the iPhone XR are – un­sur­pris­ingly at this early stage – hard to come by, there has been a suf­fi­cient ar­ray of pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tors to keep op­ti­mism brew­ing. Just days af­ter the XR went on sale, Rosen­blatt Se­cu­ri­ties an­a­lyst Jun Zhang cited “weak pre-or­ders” and “slow­ing de­mand”, but still es­ti­mated that the first week­end sales glob­ally to­taled roughly nine mil­lion units.

There had ear­lier been good news in a re­search note quoted by MacRu­mors. TF In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­ri­ties an­a­lyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that, in the ini­tial three days of the XR’s pre-or­der avail­abil­ity, this par­tic­u­lar ver­sion of the iPhone at­tracted more pre-or­ders than the iPhone 8 series dur­ing the equiv­a­lent pe­riod of 2017.

Whether you are still on the fence about whether to pick up an iPhone XR or have al­ready acted on the urge to buy one, 9to5Mac has filmed a video of what it deems the XR’s 20 best fea­tures that you might be in­trigued to watch.

All in all, the pic­ture be­ing painted of the iPhone XR so far has been a strongly pos­i­tive one, de­spite a few caveats here and there. As for whether all of this will be enough to mo­ti­vate you to place your own or­der… nat­u­rally, that de­ci­sion will be down to you.

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