Apple iPhone XR Review: The Best Is Not Costly

9.5 Total Score
YBLTV Review: iPhone XR

Amazingly responsive, absolutely beautiful and very durable.

  • 6.1 inch liquid retina LCD screen
  • Lightening fast A12 Bionic chip
  • 12MP rear / 7MP front camera
  • Colored finishes (coral, blue, yellow, black and white)
  • True depth camera
  • Face ID
  • Apple Pay
  • Many preloaded apps I don’t use
  • Apps that seem finicky with Face ID
  • No 3.5 headphone jack
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iPhone XR. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

iPhone XR. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

Why the Apple iPhone XR

Many wonder which new iPhone is best for their money. Will it be the large 6.5 inch screen of the XS Max? Do you take the smaller XS? Or do you go in a less expensive direction and go with the iPhone XR? It took me a minute to figure out which. After the release of the iPhone 8 and the X, I was perfectly fine waiting until something worthwhile came from the place that Steve built.

With the fact that I probably won’t be buying any version of the new iPhones, I went about the research of buying a phone. You know, checking internet reviews, going to the website of the phone maker to see some spec videos and as always surfing YouTube for some more in-depth videos like drop, speed and comparison test. The info wasn’t that prevalent when I was thinking about buying. Well, there were some serious drop tests that hurt my hurt, but no real thoughts on the three phones.

I was fine with keeping my iPhone 5S for another year. Just slog through the pain of a slower and less responsive OS, but then I saw this video In the video from ZoneofTech, I got to see just what I wanted. There was a true salesman present in that video. ZoT gave you the reasons why the phone may be bad to some and why it is the next great phone from Apple.

iPhone XR. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

iPhone XR. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

Opening the Box

The first thing I noticed when I inboxed the iPhone XR is its size. Coming from a 5S, the size of the XR is enormous. It’s 6.1 inch screen is an excellent upgrade from whatever the size of the 5S. Picking the phone up, I noticed that it’s heavier. The XR is sturdier in my opinion, than many of the phones in the Apple lineup. It’s thicker at 2.98 inches, but that makes it feel more comfortable in your hand.

After a few minutes of checking the contents of the box. I try to turn my phone on, which is a new experience for me because I’m used to the old way of working with iPhones. After a little work with my new phone, I get it turned on and immediately get confused with what the hoopla is from others. The display is great! Images are crisp and smooth. After getting myself up and running, connecting my iOS account and making my XR mine, I get into discovering my phone.

iPhone XR. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

iPhone XR. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

Face ID

One of the first things you’re introduced to after setting up one of the new iPhones, is the face identification feature. Removing the home button, Apple has made their Face ID the default way of unlocking your phone. Heck, Face ID is used for pretty much everything and it is pretty nifty! I set up my first ID scan while sitting in a gloomy room. Wanting to test if the feature would recognize my face when I’m in a dark area, I needed to test the phones perception. After working for a company that dealt with scanning faces that are darker, I wanted to see if the iPhone would have the same issue, it didn’t.

Face ID is easy to setup and Apple gives you options on how it will work. After setting up their first Face ID, the user is able to make changes to how the feature works in the options menu. Making choices like needing attention to unlock and other choices become available to the user and they work well. I’ve turned away from the phone while trying to unlock it and couldn’t get in.

The Camera

This wouldn’t be a review about a phone without some reference to the camera. After all, the camera is one of the things that people use the most on their phone. Apple has done a remarkable job installing the camera from the new XS and XS Max into the less expensive iPhone XR. The result is a camera that is remarkable. I spoke about the low-light detail in the last section but this needs to be reiterated, the low-light feature gives you deeper, larger pixels that allows more light to hit the sensor.

Using the smart HDR, the iPhone XR produces some of the best pictures an amateur photographer can shoot. The adjustable depth of field, is an unknown plus that selfie royalty didn’t know it needed. It allows users to adjust the depth of field visible after the photo is taken. The 12MP camera is fantastic– but I’m coming from an iPhone 5S, so my opinion may be biased. Shooting 4K video at 60fps is something to see.

A12 Bionic: A Whole New Level of Intelligence

The A12 Bionic is fast– way faster than the iPhone 5S and 15% faster than the A11. I didn’t get a chance to try out A11 but if it’s slower than what the XR is pushing out, then I am happy I didn’t. The A12 is pretty smooth. Apple says it learns while it is used and I can feel that the phone seems to be learning what I prefer but I haven’t done enough to confirm or deny it.

I will say this though, the phone is amazingly responsive. It’s absolutely beautiful and it’s very durable. Those are great reasons to try out the phone.

iPhone XR. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

iPhone XR. YBLTV Review by Washington Thompson III.

Final Thoughts

Writing this review made me really consider the iPhone XR. What I like about it, and what if any, are the things I dislike about the phone. The dislike part of this review has been hard. There are a lot of things to love about the iPhone XR– first and foremost is the price. Paying more for almost the same things that are present in the XR seems ridiculous, especially considering that the XS is smaller and just as powerful. It’s a no-brainer.

Before I got the XR, I rarely took pictures and never took a selfie. Since I got the phone, I’ve taken at least 100 pictures. I’ve enjoyed the loss of the home button, being able to just swipe away an app is efficient. It wasn’t too long before I was looking to swipe up on an app when using my now “old” iPad Pro.