The Apple iPhone XR: a new breed of iPhone
If you haven’t paid attention to the world of technology in a while, you might not be familiar with the fact that every year Apple releases a new iPhone. But this year it did something different. It released three new iPhones (well, two and a half).
The supposed star of the show was the iPhone XS and its slightly bigger brother the iPhone XS Max. It looks almost identical to last year’s iPhone X, albeit with upgraded insides and a dual-camera setup. So far, so Apple. But then it lifted the lid on an entirely new phone – the iPhone XR. And terrible naming conventions aside, it’s the phone most people will end up going for.
WATCH: APPLE IPHONE XR REVIEW
Why? Because it comes in a range of fancy new hues, sports the same class-leading camera (and software) as the other models, as well as an identical processor. Oh, and it has a bigger all-screen design and – most importantly – it’s cheaper. A lot cheaper.
Apple iPhone XR: what’s under the hood?
Let’s get the tech stuff out the way first; you get a 6.1-inch LCD screen, a 12-megapixel rear camera (along with a 7-megapixel front-facing one), the ability to record 4k video, a new A12 bionic processor, wireless charging, waterproofing (up to 1-metre for 30 minutes) and storage up to 256-gigabytes.
All that makes for a compelling smartphone package, and one that is more or less the same as Apple’s more expensive XS models. The main differences here lie in the camera (the XR sports a single wide-angle camera and no zoom sensor) and that screen.
The screen is the biggest differentiator here, and the one that is most responsible for the iPhone XR’s smaller (well, in comparison) US$865 (AED3,179) price tag over the US$1,150 iPhone XS (AED4,229).
It might be bigger, but it’s made of LCD tech not OLED. In reality that means the resolution is lower, which can make images less buttery smooth than on the XS. That won’t matter to most people, but if you use your iPhone as a media device, it’s probably worth a visit to your friendly neighborhood Apple store to check out the screen up close.
Apple iPhone XR: how’s it handle?
The phone flies. It packs the same digital brain as the XS models, which themselves are bleeding fast when it comes to opening and closing apps, hot-swapping tabs and playing games. Apple has been pushing augmented reality quite hard of late, and the iPhone XR more than handles AR-based tasks.
But what of that single camera sensor? Competitors such as Samsung and Huawei seem adamant that more camera sensors make for a better smartphone camera (new models from both brands have upwards of four apiece), but Apple seems quite happy with just one. They have, however, given that camera some clever artificially-intelligent smarts.
Snap a shot in Portrait mode, and you can still play with the blurry bokeh effect and change the lighting. Video is still super smooth, incredibly dynamic and I can still record in ultra-high-definition 4K.
It’s a lot of phone – and it should be considering the price (which is still expensive when compared to rival Android models) - but the iPhone XR is in no way a scaled-back version of Apple’s flagship iPhone XS.
In fact, we’d say there are far more similarities between the two models then there are differences.
Apple iPhone XR: where do I get one?
The iPhone XR is up for pre-order now on the Apple Store, and you can expect models to appear in Apple Stores this Friday, on November 26th, 2018.for pre-order now on the Apple Store, and you can expect models to appear in Apple Stores this Friday, on November 26th, 2018.