Cheapest way into iPhone X club? iPhone XR

The iPhone XR is the least expensive iPhone X derivative from Apple. Does that mean its story will be the same as the iPhone 5C or better than expected?

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Apple’s 2018 Keynote Address saw the launch of three new iPhones. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were at the centre of the announcements. A surprise came in the form of a third iPhone. This iPhone, called the iPhone XR, reminded me of the iPhone 5C (less we talk about that one, the better). The Apple iPhone XR has been positioned as the most inexpensive iPhone of 2018. But is it worth buying or even considering?

Specifications Apple iPhone XR
Price Rs 76,900 – 91,900
Processor A12 Bionic with next-gen Neural Engine and proprietary GPU
RAM N/A
Display Liquid Retina LCD, 6.1-inch, Retina HD (1792x828p) resolution
Internal Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB
Operating System iOS 12
Rear Camera 12-megapixel
Front Camera 7-megapixel
Battery Unknown size with fast charging and wireless charging
Dimensions 150.9mm x 75.7mm x 8.3mm
NFC Yes
Fingerprint Scanner No
Water/Dust resistance IP67-certified

What’s new about the Apple iPhone XR?

The Apple iPhone XR is not a derivative of the iPhone XS. It tries to give that impression with its glass back and the notched all-display front. The devil, as usual, is in the details. The chassis of the iPhone XR are made of 7000-series Aluminium, unlike iPhone XS and XS Max’s stainless steel. Look closely and you will see hints of iPhone 8 design language. Some bits, like rear camera flash, have been retouched to make it feel like a new phone. All in all, it still looks quite good, despite being in iPhone XS’ company and those bezels around the display.

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iPhone XR in Black

Moving to the internals of the iPhone XR, it gets the same A12 Bionic SOC as the iPhone XS and XS Max. Its 7-megapixel front camera is the same as that on iPhone XS and XS Max. It also comes with almost all the connectivity options as its costlier brethren – Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, dual-SIM with dual standby, and GPS/GLONASS/Galileo. It also packs wireless charging and fast charging support for its battery (50 per cent charge in just 30 minutes). It gets Face ID too.

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iPhone XR in Yellow

Here’s what makes the Apple iPhone XR different from iPhone XS and XS Max. First off, it gets three storage options – 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. It gets an Liquid Retina LCD display measuring 6.1 inches with Retina HD (1792x828p) resolution and no 3D Touch. It has IP67 water and dust certification (can only go 1m underwater as opposed to 2m like iPhone XS and XS Max).

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iPhone XR in Blue

The rear camera of the iPhone XR gets a single 12-megapixel lens with f/1.8 aperture, 5x digital zoom, and Optical Image Stabilization. Apple has thrown in Portrait Mode with Portrait Lighting and Quad-LED flash to lessen the blow. The battery on the iPhone XR (per Apple) provides 1.5 hours longer usage than the iPhone 8 Plus. The real party trick of the iPhone XR are its six colour options – Blue, White, Black, Yellow, Coral, and (Product) Red.

Is the Apple iPhone XR worth consideration?

In isolation, the Apple iPhone XR isn’t worth consideration. However, that renders almost all flagships out of the equation as well. Let me rephrase that statement – the iPhone XR is worth consideration but you can’t have it right now. Apple will bring this device to India on October 26.

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iPhone XR in (Product) Red

If you want to invest in the latest, greatest iPhone yet, the iPhone XR is the least expensive way to go about it. Yes, there are a few trade-offs for that low price, but the iPhone XR feels more funky than its siblings due to those colour options. It has a larger screen than the iPhone XS and its battery life is likely better too.

Apple-iPhone-XR-3

iPhone XR in White

Due to daily wear and tear, its brushed aluminium is not going to look as worn/scratchy as the shiny stainless steel of its costlier siblings. In as simple words as possible, the iPhone XR is the least expensive way to enter the iPhone X club. It still is costlier than the top-tier Samsung Galaxy S9+ or even the Galaxy Note9, but Apple fans won’t care either way.

Apple-iPhone-XR-2

iPhone XR in Coral

Design wise, the iPhone XR is the best of two iPhone generations – the iPhone X and the iPhone 6/7/8. It remedies the damage caused by the iPhone 5C years ago too. Most importantly, it does not feel like a downgrade from the iPhone XS and XS Max. Rather, it makes the iPhone XS and XS Max feel like its updated versions. For all these reasons, it is at least worth consideration. All you now have to do is wait till October 26.

Apple iPhone XR – Synopsis

  • Prices start from Rs 76,900, arriving in India on October 26
  • Merges the design of iPhone X and iPhone 8
  • Cheapest iPhone X derivative to date, cheaper than 2017’s iPhone X
  • Drops stainless steel in favour of 7000-series aluminium
  • Gets the same A12 Bionic SOC as the iPhone XS and XS Max
  • 6.1-inch display of  Liquid Retina LCD variety with Retina HD (1792x828p) resolution
  • Display does not get 3D Touch support
  • Rear camera gets a single 12-megaixel lens with f/1.8 aperture, OIS, 5x digital zoom, and Portrait Mode with Portrait Lighting features
  • Front camera has a 7-megapixel lens with Face ID support
  • Connectivity options – Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Wi-Fi, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo, and dual-SIM with dual-standby
  • Battery lasts 1.5 hours longer than iPhone 8 Plus and has wireless+fast charging support
  • Gets IP67 water and dust resistance certification
  • Offered in six colour options – White, Black, Blue, Yellow, Coral, (Product) Red
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