IPhone XR Review


This part of the year is when we all will be expecting the launch of new iPhone models and that’s already done and dusted with the introduction of the new iPhone 11 series. Now let’s turn back an year and look at one of the best and pocket friendly device launched last time and check how they are doing today. Of course people, we are going to analyse the iPhone XR.

Now we have to justify the reason why we are calling it the best iPhone of the previous launch. iPhone XR becomes the ideal choice when you compare the cost, screen size, and the everlasting battery life with its siblings.

We literally went on a hunt for different type of reviews about this phone wherever possible to identify the positives and negatives both from the pro users and day to day urban users. Here we did our best by getting the overall gist of it and presenting to you all in a detailed and crisp manner as follow:-

What’s in the box:-

  • Iphone XR (don’t lose it 😁)
  • 5-Watt charging adaptor
  • Lightning to USB cable
  • Earpods with lightning cable
  • Documentation


This phone has a really simple and sleek yet great design that anyone will enjoy. It comes in a full glass and aluminium build so it does have a very premium feel in the hands. In fact, this is one of the phones that many used without a case and screen protector. When you compare XR with its siblings (XS and XS Max), they both have a much premium stainless steel material but the aluminium material here on the XR is still great. Now if something that XR gets past the others is that it comes in 6 different colours. Black, Red, Yellow, Blue, White and Coral. Probably there’s a colour here for everyone.

Now there is another difference between XR and the rest is that it comes with a lesser IP 67 rating for water and dust protection whereas the other two gets IP 68 rating. This means that XR can stay under water up to 1 metre for 30 minutes while the rest can go up to 2 metres. It should be good enough for the unexpected drop in the happening.  So really not a huge deal; not much of a difference it makes and furthermore you are not supposed to dump your phone into water anyways.

There’s also this question that you should ask yourself, “Can I love this phone with that notch?”


The biggest difference between XR and the rest is the display; coincidently, this is also the most controversial. While both XS and XS Max have an OLED display with 4k video playback capability, XR has an LCD display with 1080p video playback. This will make us understand how the great price tag is justified. XR comes with 6.1 inch liquid retina display which is another Apple term for LCD. The resolution of this display is 828 by 1792 with the pixels per inch density of 326. In fact this is not a bad display at all. This is a good functioning display and an average user would never notice any differences but if you’re looking for the pro features, it’s a miss hit here.

With no OLEDs, you will not be able to get the darker blacks and whiter whites. This is definitely not the best display for those who watch a lot of video content but you will get used to it over the course of time. Also our final complaint about the XR display is that it had much thicker bezels when compared to XS and XS Max.

If you’re someone who loves to have the latest technology aspects then this display might disappoint you. But when it comes to day to day usage like web browsing, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the display does really well. But really guys, that is the only complaint we have ever come across on this super duper VFM product from Apple.

The display is not depressing though. We are hearing complaints like XR uses the same LCD display used in iPhone 4 but my friends, PPI (326 pixels per inch) and screen resolution are two different things. iPhone XR comes with a 6.1 inch screen size with 1792*828 resolution whereas iPhone 4 was with 3.5 inched 960*640 screen which is approximately 869,000 pixels more.

On paper it might not be that impressive but actually take a look and use the screen, it’s really not bad. It’s actually the greatest LCD display on the planet but both the XS are superior with its OLED.

The biggest challenge in any LCD display is contrast and this is a great contrasty display. Apple grade  worked really well with anti aliasing the edges, the roundabouts, curvy edges to be exact, are nicely rounded and on top of that the black of the actual display up top does match nicely with the notch.


The biggest surprise of the XR is it’s rear camera. It’s obvious that Apple made the price cut visible with one lens in the rear. But they’ve unintentionally made a camera system that’s better than the XS in many expert opinions. Images have the iPhone look of the cooler colour temperature and the bright overall look but that’s no bad thing. Colors and sharpness from this phone are much better, despite not having the secondary telephoto lens, this seam like one of the best iPhone cameras.

iPhone XR has the wide angle camera system as the XS however it doesn’t have the secondary zoom lens. The same 12 mp primary camera with f1.8 aperture from the XS, 26 mm wide lens, larger individual pixel size of 1.4 micron, OIS, twice the number of autofocus pixels are present here as that of XS. With no secondary camera, XR can take portrait images with Apple’s new computational photography algorithm. Packs in same software features like smart HDR, depth control before and after taking portrait shots, portrait lighting effects and so on. You can shoot 4k videos at 24, 30 and 60 fps, 1080p videos at 30, 60, 120 and 240 fps.

Though this is not pixel great, it does look better. However I’d like Apple to give night mode photography feature that people like in their Google counterpart.

 iPhone XR has a unique portrait mode when compared to XS. XRs’ portrait mode is completely software based whereas XS uses both of the lenses to capture depth data. Now Obviously the XS is good, we feel the XR has more light in its portrait mode pictures. This is because the XR camera has a low aperture; it can capture more light even in the darker environment.

The notch has the 7mp selfie camera, not the best in the market but it does create best images. It’s also responsible for the face ID, the same in XS. At the front, 7mp true depth sensor camera from XS. It comes with f2.2 aperture, smart HDR and ability to shoot at 1080p at 60 fps. However, the results are far away from the Google standards.

 You can’t capture the portrait of your pet or that new gift you have received on your birthday. In portrait mode, the rear camera only detects a person and that’s the only down side. This is what Apple did purposely to let this phone down composited to its higher siblings. In portrait mode, unless the subject is a person, it won’t take a portrait photo so that we can convince to get the XS.

Thanks to the absence of secondary rear camera, you cannot take 2x optically zoomed photos. You can take 2x digitally zoomed photos alternatively. This can be done till 5x digital zoom. They are not great but they look good enough. Smart HDR offers amazing dynamic range in any lighting condition. Colours are really good and everything gets equally exposed. The focusing speed of the camera is also really good when the focus jumps from a far away target to the nearest one and the vice versa. It’s quick at sliding the focus from far to near objects and then back again. The same goes for the change in the exposure of the scene as well.

The wide f1.8 aperture sensor blurs the background and provides the perfect and sharp focus for the image. Portrait shots are good as well in detecting the edges and separating the subject from the background. Edge detection is perfect especially with keeping the hair, ears and glasses kind of objects that are close to the body. Losing the secondary camera acts as advantages here in case of portrait shots as you’ve to be at a certain distance from the subject in XS whereas in XR, since it completely uses single wide camera to collect all the information, you can be at any distance to capture these shots.

Another advantage of using the primary camera for taking portrait shots is that, since this camera has a larger sensor and wider aperture than the telephoto lens, you get better portrait in the low lighting conditions.

 As a workaround, I’ve found halide camera app to take portrait mode images of pets and objects. It’s a paid app, who have found a way to capture the depth information available and manipulate the images. If a third party app can do this, why can’t Apple fix this in their next os update?

Even in low light, XR managed to capture good images with perfect details. There’s no telephoto option which you lose over to XS, but it goes really well with the 90 percent of the photos. There’s also the same gesture based navigation from the X and XS. Probably the noticeable cut back from the XS is the camera.


The overall user experience was really great; thanks to the same hardware it shares with its siblings. XR runs on the same A12 bionic chipset like its siblings however it’s posted with only a 3 GB of RAM while XS brothers get a 4 GB RAM. Thus difference can be understood as this device pushes only less pixels when compared which makes it a much faster and snappy device.

XR comes with three different storage options such as 64, 128 and 256 GB versions, of course without any expandable memory option. The stereo speakers did a great job while they weren’t as loud as one would expect, the sound quality was still great. Face ID worked perfect 9.5 times out of 10.

iOS is the cleanest feeling operating system as per the experts. The experience of using this phone with iOS 13 would genuinely make someone consider switching from Android. There’s something unique about the iOS that it satisfies the minimalist within and it’s a fabulous experience from start to finish. Everything from the subtle animations and the rest of switching apps, iOS feels like a finished product where everything is same. A few within the tech community is pretty polarized. However, iOS isn’t perfect.

There’s some part of apps that just don’t make sense from a user experience POV such as sharing a link from a tweet which is completely different from using Facebook and Instagram. You can feel a bit confused when you switch from Android, only in specific areas. The main basis for iOS is perfect; it’s just the tiny detail that kind of spoils the experience.

With an A12 bionic chip and 3 GB ram, performance will be very similar to the XS, if not the same, thanks to the lower resolution screen. From gaming to social networking, performance could not get any better with this phone. Integration of the animations, haptic within iOS, within apps that are developed, everything feels so well laid out, well programmed to the device, and that’s really what makes an iPhone.

This phone didn’t change since the day of its release and it only got better with the iOS 13.


Now let’s address the elephant in the room, the best battery life in any iPhone ever. The battery life on this phone is simply fantastic; it comes with a 2942 milliamps battery which lasts for a day with moderate to heavy usage, thanks to the A12 chip and lower resolution screen. Even though some heavy apps like FaceTime and pubg drains battery quickly, it makes sense.

You’ll recieve a regular charging brick and not a fast charging brick which you have to buy separately. This device is capable of Qi wireless charging as well.


Through putting the LCD display and the removal of portrait mode for objects, Apple is doing things to reduce the attraction to this phone and it seems unnecessary. Force touch is also been removed which really limits the experience that you can get from this phone when compared to other iPhones. Apple replicated the experience well enough by holding down the buttons that give you exactly the same haptic feedback but it’ll never be the same as it was with force touch. It feels like the third element of using an iPhone is ripped off and it’s a little bit jarring to use when the software itself is built around the integration of using the force touch.


  • High-end design
  • Multiple colour options
  • Powerful internal components
  • Superior battery life
  • Face ID
  • IP 67 rating


  • Thicker bezels
  • LCD display
  • Lack of 3D touch
  • Single rear camera

Verdict :-

The design alone can be reason why everyone loved this phone. It’s minimalistic, blended with Apple aesthetic. The subtle curve of the front and rear end glass leads seamlessly into the curved edges. The perfect button placement and everything is just about perfect here and it’s pretty for any phone of today. While the notch is just a history now, one thing Apple does well is symmetry. It goes all the way throughout the phone with the thick side bezels as well something that only Apple can do right.

The XR is a great phone all around but because of Apple’s teared product line up, it’s always going to be restricted by software restrictions and the lack of force touch, lack of portrait mode for objects, softer looking LCD display instead of higher resolution OLED, it’s all of these things out together, Apple have removed intentionally that have the potential of ruining this phone and the experience it has. But if you can look past them, there’s a great device to be had here and that great device is worth buying in 2019.

About the author


I'm Arunyuvaraj, very much fascinated about the world of science, a techno freak, love to share my knowledge with my friends. with the help of this blog, I aspire to help more friends.

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