iPhone XR Hands-On: Vibrant Colors, Solid Camera/Display, and Cheaper Price Should Entice Many Users

In addition to hands-on time with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, members of the media today got the chance to see the new LCD iPhone XR up close. This is Apple's cheaper alternative to the higher-tier XS models, with the XR starting at $749 in 64GB and rising from there.

iphone xr hands on
In person, The Verge said that the six new colors of the iPhone XR are all very vibrant, and the site particularly liked Coral and (PRODUCT)Red. Additionally, The Verge described the iPhone XR as noticeably lighter in comparison to the XS, and ultimately said that the XR will likely become the "default" iPhone for many users this holiday season.

I just spent a few moments playing with the new iPhone XR, which feels like it will be the default iPhone for many people this season. Not only does it have a very similar design to the more expensive iPhone XS model, it has many of the same features for a considerably lower price.

The iPhone XR comes in six different colors, including very nice-looking coral and blue options. The colors are extremely vibrant in person; the coral and red, in particular, are terrific. (They’re honestly a reason to get the XR over the XS if you don’t care about the other features like dual cameras and 3D Touch.)

In terms of downgrades from the iPhone XS to make the XR cheaper, Apple went for an LCD display instead of OLED, chose a single-lens rear facing camera instead of the dual lens on the XS, and removed 3D Touch. TechCrunch, like many outlets, said that if you don't miss these features then it's easy to see why the XR will be enticing, particularly if you want more color options.

iphone xr hands on 2
Other than those differences, the iPhone XR has an A12 Bionic chip, a TrueDepth camera system, and Face ID -- just like the iPhone XS.

For most users, I suspect most of these elements won’t really be missed — unless, of course, you’ve already gotten comfortable with the iPhone X. While $749 is hardly “cheap” by the standards of mid-range handsets in 2018, it’s a pretty good entry-level price for an Apple handset. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of colors choices in the phone-buying process.

The XR feels like less of an afterthought, unlike the iPhone 8, which was hugely overshadowed by the iPhone X released alongside it. It looks and feels enough like the premium handset that, when coupled with the $250 price drop, it seems inevitable that Apple will sell a ton of the damn things.

Mashable reported that the rear camera on the iPhone XR is still impressive, despite the fact that it's not a true Portrait Mode effect like those produced by the dual cameras on iPhone XS or XS Max.

Noticeably impressive is the camera. It's got just a single rear camera (there's no 2x telephoto lens), but it's still stunning. The Steve Jobs Theater hands-on area was relatively well-lit, so it's hard to say how well the camera performs IRL, but that adjustable bokeh effect for portrait photos looks sick. Not so great: the even larger camera bump. The thing is massive.

A couple of minutes is obviously not enough time to get to know the iPhone XR, but at first blush, it looks like a winner. The colors will suck you right in. I'd totally buy the yellow one.

The iPhone XR will go up for pre-order this Friday, October 19, ahead of a launch one week later on October 26.

Related Roundup: iPhone XR

Top Rated Comments

BootsWalking Avatar
31 months ago
Removed 3D Touch in a $750 phone? Apple, if you're going to bend your customers over at least buy them flowers first.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brofkand Avatar
31 months ago
We will never get a flush backed phone again. Sad.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sam_S Avatar
31 months ago
Would be nice if they started with 128GB as standard.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nr123*123 Avatar
31 months ago
£750 for a phone with no dual camera.

Hardly cheap.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Neko1500 Avatar
31 months ago

Looks cheaper than a $50 Huawei.

Wrong. Xr looks like a deco piece of POP ART. It's almost as if the XR design team decided to think different. Steve would have approved.

EDIT: Full disclosure I will be buying the XS, but why oh why can't we get a colorful flagship? The gold is pretty but looks like every other smartphone people carry around. The XR is different, true to Apple's roots, in the best way possible.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krause734 Avatar
31 months ago
If you want the flyest honeys, you have to have the XS Max!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...