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The best and worst of the new iPhone XR

September 13, 2018

Photo: Courtesy Apple

Apple recently unveiled the much anticipated larger and pricier iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. But this year’s hit has to be the least sensational of Apple’s three new iPhones for 2018, the iPhone XR (pronounced “10-R”).

Here is everything you need to know about the new iPhone XR.

The best


Without having to pay an arm and a leg, the iPhone XR costs around $749 which is hardly “cheap” by the standards of mid-range handsets in 2018, but it’s not a $1,000 phone, either. If you want a 2018 iPhone (and not the iPhone 8, 8 Plus or iPhone 7), you can keep a little more money in the bank. Among the three, the iPhone XR is a pretty good entry-level price for an Apple handset.

Battery life

It has been widely reported that iPhone XR might have longer battery life than the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Apple have given cryptic guidance like “it lasts 90 minutes longer than the iPhone 8 Plus”. Since that phone lasted longer than the iPhone X in CNET’s looping video tests (in airplane mode), we at least have an inkling that the XR could outlast Apple’s more expensive iPhones.

Colorful identity

Unlike the iPhone XS and XS Max which only come in gold, silver or black-grey, the iPhone XR comes in a rainbow of new colours — yellow, coral, blue and red as well as the traditional black and white.

The worst 

Screen technology

The 6.1-inch screen is fine on its own, but has a much lower screen resolution than either iPhone XS and uses an LCD display instead of an OLED. Side by side, the iPhone XR screen looks duller and less pin-sharp. But remember, Apple used LCD screens up until last year’s iPhone X.

A single rear camera lens instead of two

This is a big one. A single 12-megapixel camera resides on the back of the phone. Having the same upgraded technology as the iPhone XS phones, you can take bokeh portrait shots with the help of software but you can’t zoom in as much, leaving you with fewer portrait lighting effects.

Storage options
You have storage options of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. People storing albums upon albums of home movies will prefer the 512GB option that the iPhone XS and XS Max offer.

Aluminum vs steel

Stainless steel sides hug the pricier iPhones but the iPhone XR is made with an aluminum frame, like many other phones on the market.

3D Touch

There’s no more 3D Touch in the iPhone, which means you won’t press a button to launch apps or see widgets. However, you can still launch the camera app and flashlight from the lock screen and feel some haptic vibration when you do.

Giving you a little more time to decide which iPhone to go for, the iPhone XR will be made available for sale by October 26 while the other iPhone XS devices will go on sale September 21.


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