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Apple iPhone XR review: A better upgrade than iPhone XS?

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  • 6 min read

If you skipped buying luxury Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max simply because your pocket did not allow, here comes iPhone XR in India that starts from Rs 76,900 and houses most of the next-gen features available in the costlier iPhones.

Top analysts have claimed that Apple is likely to sell its cheaper iPhone XR faster than iPhone XS and XS Max globally, and India is no different.

iPhone XR that went on sale from October 19 will be available at the Apple authorised resellers in India from October 26 in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models in black, white, blue, yellow, coral and “(Product) RED” colours.

With all-screen glass and an aluminium design featuring a 6.1-inch display which is touted by the company as ‘the most advanced LCD in a smartphone,’ the XR houses A12 Bionic chip with next-generation ‘Neural Engine’, which unlocks new experiences for immersive augmented reality (AR), games and photography.

Also read: Apple Watch Series 4 review: Apt fitness buddy for everyone

Let us find out why iPhone XR is an easy upgrade from iPhone X or older Apple variants.

Why is iPhone XR a better upgrade?

Apple iPhone XR review: A better upgrade than iPhone XS?
Photo by IANS

The display has rounded corners that follow a beautiful curved design. According to the company, the device has the most durable front glass ever in a smartphone along with a colour-matched, aerospace-grade aluminium band.

The new back-light design allows the display to extend into the corners, enabling a larger LCD than ever before in an iPhone.

‘True Tone’ technology uses an advanced ambient light sensor to subtly adjust the white balance onscreen to match the colour temperature of the light around us.

Result? Images on the display looked as natural as on a printed page, thus reducing eye strain.

The largest LCD ever in an iPhone has a footprint that falls between iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.


In the camera section, the iPhone XR with 12MP rear camera produced much better low-light performance than older iPhones. The rear camera supports three lighting effects: Natural, Studio and Contour.

The 7MP front camera also delivered advanced Portrait mode with sophisticated “bokeh” and “Depth Control” for stunning portraits. The “Smart HDR” feature brought more highlight and shadow detail across images.

iPhone XR shoots good-quality videos, with better low-light performance and extended dynamic range in video modes up to 30 fps. The “Depth Control” feature lets users adjust the depth of field both in real-time preview and post-capture.

Also read: New Apple iPads and Macbooks are launching on October 30


The iPhone XR is water resistant, with a rating of IP67, and protects against everyday spills including coffee, tea and soda.

For music lovers, iPhone XR delivers wider stereo sound for an immersive cinematic experience. It uses the four built-in mics to record stereo sound.

The glass back of iPhone XR allows faster wireless charging and improved off-axis performance even when your iPhone is off-centre on a wireless charging pad.

New processor brings new ways to engage

Photo by IANS

The A12 Bionic chip with the next-generation “Neural Engine” uses real-time Machine Learning (ML) to transform the experience of photos, gaming and Augmented Reality.

If you want to experiment with new apps on XR, try ‘Memrise’ — an app that features more than 200 courses teaching Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, and more.

Point your iPhone at an object, take a photo and Memrise will identify it in your chosen language.

‘Brainapse’ is another informative learning app which helps in exploring the anatomy, structure and functions of the human skull and brain using AR.

Users can explore the external and internal parts of the skull, brain and brain cells, learn about the functions of brain cells, and experience how our brain communicates with the five senses.

Conclusion: At this price point, iPhone XR will give you a near identical performance of an iPhone XS or XS Max. Android users looking to jump the wagon can also try this variant to enter the iOS family.

If you buy the “Product Red” variant, a portion of your purchase will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.

You can check out few of our other reviews here. says: While the iPhone XS and its bigger variants, XS Max, might look like the go-to purchases, there aren’t a lot of differences between the XS and XR. The major difference is that the XS comes with an OLED display as opposed to XR’s LCD and has a telephoto lens on the rear in addition to the primary lens.

Other than that, the XR has an aluminium casing while the XS has a stainless steel one. The latter might seem more durable but it lacks the colour options that the XR comes with — white, black, blue, coral, yellow and red. They use the same A12 Bionic processors, run on the same OS, have the same wireless charging capabilities and numerous other similar specs as well as functionalities.

While the display might seem like a big big difference to Apple fanatics, the better one also comes at a $250 (INR23,920 via Airtel online store) difference. So, basically, sans the display and partly the camera too, the performance on both the devices is the exact same. So, it’s actually up to you to decide if you really wish to shell that extra cash for a better display.

PS. If you’re upgrading from any other Apple device, except the iPhone X, you wouldn’t even feel a difference in the quality of the display. So, if you’re raring for an upgrade to the new lineup of Apple iPhones, the XR is a better bet at the price point.

In the News: Apple reveals the user data it collects, available for perusal on its new privacy portal


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