iPhone XR review roundup: great value for money despite LCD display

iPhone XR brings the technology of iPhone X to the masses, at a lower price and some feature cuts. Has Apple achieved the perfect balance of price and features with it to make it a worthy purchase? We find out with our review round up.

iPhone XR has an almost bezel-less 6.1″ Super Retina LCD, and contains a notch which houses the TrueDepth camera for FaceID. The display has the same pixel density as older LCD based iPhones. The phone is powered by an A12 Bionic chip, with the same performance benefits as iPhone XS. Although XR has a single lens camera, unlike dual-lens on XS, it is capable of capturing portrait photos with adjustable bokeh after capture.

A few websites and YouTubers had shared iPhone XR hands-on impressions recently, however they couldn’t go into much detail. Here is a list of detailed reviews by different publications and what they thought about iPhone XR.

Wired

Wired really liked the camera despite its single lens. While they prefer the XS display, but understood that the screen on XR is a major part where Apple had to cut corners to make the phone affordable. The battery life is longer than that of the XS but falls short of XS Max. Overall, they were impressed with the phone and said that the price point for the phone is well worth the purchase.

Lauren Goode from Wired writes:

“You’ll have a great smartphone camera. Your phone’s battery might last a whole weekend, the way mine did, and you probably won’t miss the OLED display, since you won’t be looking at the two different displays side-by-side every day like I’ve been. This iPhone was a steal, you’ll think to yourself. Well. Maybe. Sort of.”

The Back of the iPhone XR

The Verge

The Verge was less forgiving with the phone in terms of the display. They put the phone under a microscope just to show how Apple went to great extents to create perfect rounded corners with the LCD display. They also said that Smart HDR had difficulty with certain lighting environments where they had problems with exposure and noise in bright backgrounds. Low-light photos also deviated from the scene’s actual appearance. In the end, the site leaves it to the consumer to decide whether the extra $250 is worth it or if that display appetite can be sated at the $749 price range with an LCD display.

Nilay Patel writes:

“When I first picked up the iPhone XR, it felt like the big questions would be about what the XR was missing compared to the XS. But now that I’ve used this thing for a while, that seem like the wrong way to think about it. The real question for iPhone buyers is whether the high-res OLED display on the XS is worth $250 more than the XR. Because otherwise, the XR offers almost everything you’d want in a 2018 phone.”

iMore

iMore expressed how they would gladly spend an extra $250 for the OLED display and 2x optical zoom.
Rene Ritchie writes:

“At $750. iPhone XR certainly isn’t a budget or even a midrange phone. It’s just on the lower end of high. But, thanks to Apple’s top-of-the-line hardware engineering and the headroom afforded by A12 Bionic, it’ll last you or anyone you sell or hand it down to a good long while to come, maybe as long as a couple of phones that are half the price.”

The iPhone XR Display

Pocket-Lint

They loved the phone in almost every aspect and claims that old iPhone users would really appreciate the upgrade.

Stuart Miles from Pocket-Lint writes:

“Sure, the iPhone XR doesn’t offer a screen or camera setup that’s as good as the top-of-the-range, but that’s the play in having a more affordable handset. Besides, many will be perfectly happy with what’s on offer, especially as there’s no compromise in power.

For those who want Apple’s latest design without spending a fortune, this is the iPhone for you.”

Haptic Touch on the iPhone XR

Engadget

Engadget were singing high praises of the iPhone XR due to the impressive performance delivered by A12 Bionic Chip, superb build quality, variety of colors options and how the 6.1″ phone prefectly fit in their hands. They said that the XR had the best battery of any iPhone they tested in 2018. They also share the same opinion with others that the display is lacking and camera features are limited.

Chris Velazco writes:

“How do you give people as good an iOS experience as possible for $750? Apple’s answer — by folding top-tier performance, valuable software and a solid camera into a cheaper, well-made body — seems like a winner. That’s not to say the XR is perfect: People concerned about the display’s resolution have a point, and the camera just isn’t as flexible as other ones Apple has produced.”

iPhone XR running ARKit

Daring Fireball

Despite comparing it with the iPhone XS, John Gruber opened his review by expressing his love for the phone and says it is the best phone available in its price range. He also wrote about how the XR camera was superior to the XS in certain low-light conditions for portrait shots. John also said that the $800 128GB iPhone XR is currently the best value for money, out of all new iPhones.

John Gruber writes:

“It sounds too good to be true, but the XR is almost as good as the XS models at a far lower price. Dollar for dollar, the XR is almost certainly the best iPhone Apple has ever made.”

The common consensus here is that iPhone XR is well-worth the $749 price tag if you can look past the LCD display panel and accept the lack of dual-lens and optical zoom.