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iPhone XR Review | The best value iPhone

The iPhone XR is the very latest phone from Apple in 2018, and here’s our review. Despite the fact that it’s by far the cheapest iPhone launch of the year, we reckon that for most people, that it might be the best fit out of the current lineup and here’s why.

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Looking good

Well let’s start with those looks. Clearly this is a good looking phone. And I think we can all agree that Apple makes great looking hardware. What really makes the look stand out here is the range of colours to choose from. Far more colors are on offer here, then the more expensive iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. You’re probably more likely to find a favourite here with the XR.

Another reason that is phone looks so good is that it follows the design language started by the iPhone X, which gives us the notch up at the top, with it’s super impressive facial-unlocking technology inside and a huge amount of screen for the size of the phone. You’re likely to love this design if you’re coming from iPhone 8, 8 Plus or an older iPhone.

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Use your face

Sure, the home button fingerprint scanner is gone, but there’s no need to worry about that. Unlocking the phone using your face is unbelievably convenient, and you get used to it in no time, and wonder how you ever did without it.


So let’s take a look at the display. It’s probably the biggest difference between the XR and the XS and XS Max. Because here you get an LCD display. Whereas on a two more expensive models you get an OLED display. Is that a big deal? Well, if you’re obsessed with having the deepest possible blacks and the best screens at possible, the XR won’t cut it, but most of us just want a good looking display. And this liquid retina is certainly very good looking. Unless you compare it directly with the XS, you won’t notice that it doesn’t have the same finesse as the XS.

It’s a 6.2 inch display, which is between the size of the XS and the XS Max.

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Smile for the camera

As for the camera, we’re working with just one lens here, not the dual lens system from the XS and the XS Max. But it is the same main camera that is on the more expensive models. And for the most part it’s just as good. The zoom is digital rather than from a separate dedicated lens and portrait mode shots will only work if there’s a human subject in the frame. But for everyday shots is great. Even in low light conditions. Again, I can’t help but feel that for most people that I know, like friends and family, this is an ideal smartphone camera.

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Same same

So we’ve covered some of the major differences here between this and the more expensive iPhones. But for me, the big news here is what’s the same? Pretty much everything else is the same that’s crucial to making this phone rapid, easy to live with and future proof. In other words, in many ways apart from the screen and the camera tech and ever so slightly less premium build material, you’re getting the same phone internals, including the staggeringly powerful A12 bionic chip.

You’re also getting that legendary Apple longevity. I expect you could run this phone for up to five years if you wanted to. And enjoy the frequent security and operating system updates throughout. Apple’s software experience and ecosystem is fantastic, of course. And if you’re already invested in that you’re unlikely to want to leave.

The XR is an excellent choice if you’re coming from previous generation iPhones and don’t need the ultra premium and ultra luxury Apple finishing touches of the XS and the XS Max.

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The good, the bad?

Now, no phone is perfect, so what other things that we’re not so keen on? And what do you need to be aware of? Well, apart from the XR having technically a less than full HD LCD display, one camera lens and not two and an aluminum build, it’s not quite as premium as the XS and the XS Max.

But what else you need to be aware of? Well, if you’re coming from an older iPhone, there’s no 3D Touch anymore. Does that bother me at all? Not that much. I’d actually forgotten about 3D Touch as I hardly ever use it. And the XR uses haptic feedback to get you virtually the same results anyway. You’re getting less water and dust protection with the XR, it’s IP67 versus IP68 on the XS and the XS Max. The XR has bigger bezels around the screen too, which you won’t like if you’re coming from an iPhone X, XS or XS Max, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be coming to a XR from one of those phones.

Far more likely is that you’ll come from an older iPhone, and regardless of whether or not that’s a plus size model, you will love this new design. Some people have worried about only having three gigabytes of RAM versus the four gigabytes in the XS and the XS Max. But you’ve got nothing to worry about here. In everyday normal usage, you’ll never notice the difference. I recommend the 128GB version, as it has double the storage of the entry level XS and it’s still way cheaper.

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So there you have it. The iPhone XR, a great iPhone and the best value iPhone at the moment. It competes really well with it’s much more expensive siblings and it has the best battery life of any iPhone ever. I rate this phone and I recommend it.

Whichever phone you choose, you’ll find it at Direct Mobiles.

Compare the latest iPhone XR deals here.

Let us know what you think of the iPhone XR in the Comments.

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