👤 Stefano Chiodino 📅 Wed, Jan 16, 2019


Despite being the cheapest of the recent iPhones the Xr is still expensive. Prices start at £749 / $749 for the 64GB, through to £799 / $799 for 128GB, and up to £899 / $899 for the 256GB version. To compare, this phone is just as expensive as the most expensive android Phones, like the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

The following graph shows the cost increase of iPhones in $ over time. Data source: Wikipedia. iPhone cost over time

Low-resolution screen

Apple built the 6.1-inch screen with “liquid retina” technology (IPS LCD), while the Xs version uses a “super retina” (OLED technology) display with HDR. This means blacks are not as black and the resolution is lower. Both Xs versions boast 458 PPI (pixels per inch) compared to the 326 of the Xr, and 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio compared to 1400:1!

Single camera

The iPhone Xs has had a boost in the camera department thanks to a telephoto lens that not only helps when zooming in but also in producing a blurred background. The iPhone Xr doesn’t have a second camera to perceive depth, so AI 🤖 has to step in and make an educated guess, but this only works with people, not animals and objects.

No 3D gestures

3D gestures were probably an under-utilised feature of the most recent iPhones, so Apple has sacrificed it in this lower end model. Many will not even realise that it’s gone, but if you ever opened the camera pressing hard on the screen or used other 3D gestures just be aware.

No headphone jack

With the iPhone X debut, Apple was the frontrunner in the race to remove the headphone jacks. Back then, Apple probably felt bad about it and added an adapter in the box 😇. Not so lucky this time. Just like with the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, for the privilege of plugging a 3.5mm jack on your already expensive phone, Apple will charge you £9 / $9. Apple store’s ratings of this adapter seem to reflect users‘ feelings 😡: 1 out of 5 in the UK and 1.5 out of 5 in the US. 🙄

No expandable memory

Apple has possibly started the trend of not allowing external memory cards on their phones and didn’t change its mind this time. While it does seem like a cheap move to charge (a lot) more for storage, allowing only built-in memory definitively increase the iPhone performances.

Large notch

Whether you like it or not, in the current generation of phones the notch is a status quo, ever since Apple released the iPhone X. While on the OnePlus 6t you’ll find a very minimal notch, Apple couldn’t quite get there with this iPhone generation and the Xr notch takes up about half of the screen width. Why does it matter? That’s where notifications appear in portrait 🙎‍♂️ and the content becomes cropped in landscape 🖼!

Looking for more?

Amazon critical reviews 👎

Prefer the iPhone Xs?

The iPhone Xs is also IP68 certified, compared to the IP67 certification of the Xr model, allowing it to survive at depths of 2 meters for 30 minutes, rather than 1 meter.

Head over to the iPhone Xs and Xs Max review or check out their price straight away:

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🇬🇧 UK: Check price on Mobiles.co.uk 🇬🇧 UK: Check price on Carphone Warehouse

Still interested?

No phone is perfect 🤷. The iPhone Xr may not be as good as the Xs, but at a much more affordable price may be better value for you! It also comes in a nicer colour selection and the battery lasts longer!

🌍 Check price on
🇬🇧 UK: Check price on Mobiles.co.uk 🇬🇧 UK: Check price on Carphone Warehouse

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