First Impressions From New iPhone XR Owners

We've seen plenty of iPhone XR reviews from media sites that Apple invited to test the new device ahead of its release, but now that the iPhone XR has officially launched in all countries around the world, iPhone XR first impressions from regular Apple customers are now available.

New iPhone XR owners on Reddit, Twitter, and the MacRumors forums have been sharing their opinions on the new device, and for those considering a purchase, thoughts from average consumers provide useful insight.

iphonexrredcorgi

iPhone XR image via Reddit

On iPhone XR Size, Color, and Design

MacRumors reader Kendo warned that the iPhone XR isn't a middle ground between the XS and the XS Max due to the size of the device's bezels. If you wanted the iPhone XR because the iPhone XS Max was too big, you may still be unhappy with the size.

Because the bezels are one mm thicker (two if you include both sides) and with the 6.1" screen, the width is pretty much identical to the XS Max. It is only a little shorter but also significantly thicker. I was originally in the market for a slightly bigger phone than the XS and a slightly smaller phone than the Max (the cheaper price was just icing on the cake). However because the width is essentially the same, you are better off just getting a Max if money wasn't a concern and you only wanted an "in between" size between the XS and the Max. If you're going to handle a bulky phone anyway, you might as well get the bigger screen on the Max since the width and weight are really similar to the XR.

MacRumors reader tks900 said that he's having second thoughts about his iPhone XR due to its size compared to the iPhone 6s even though the display is gorgeous.

iphonexrbluetks

However: It's quite big. And heavy. Coming from the 6S, this is a really different animal. I have large hands and am used to handle my phone with one hand. Impossible with the XR. This bulkiness of this thing becomes even more obvious when I use it with a case. I know many people won't, but to me, the phone is just too slippery without a case and actually even harder to handle.

Redditor Meerkatch said the iPhone XR feels like a toy version of the iPhone XS due to the bezel size.

The bezels on the sides are noticeably big in real life, the bezels are like how a glass screen protector is on an iPhone 6, but the screen protector is the actual screen of the phone excluding the home button and the camera and including a notch (if that makes sense). I wouldn't say it's enough justification to get the Xs. I felt like it's a toy version of the Xs for some reason, it feels like an Apple Watch Sport compared to the Apple Watch Edition (Xs).

Redditor downwardCorgi said that the red color is brighter than blood red and that the bezels aren't noticeable. Using it one handed in some situations is difficult, he says.

iphonexrredcorgi2

It is a slightly darker shade than a typical rainbow flag red. It's maybe slightly brighter than actual blood red. And yeah now that everything is rounded, it's kinda cute. If the display was small the same bezels would look larger, but the phone itself is already big, you just look at the content on the screen, not the bezels.

Reaching top is fine if you use reachability. It's another step but I think it's a fine compromise. Reaching the left edge with the right hand thumb to go back to the previous page is kinda hard but it's possible. So in short, vertically it's fine if you use reachability, it's quick and easy, horizontally, reaching all the way to the other side with a thumb is a bit hard when one-handed. When using with just left hand, probably not as much an issue cause I don't think there's gestures to swipe from the right edge. But typing with one hand still is hard due to the horizontal length.

MacRumors reader c.s. pointed out that the iPhone XR is much easier to grip than older aluminum iPhones, for customers who are coming from an iPhone 7 or earlier.

Just picked up an iPhone XR at the Apple store to replace my iPhone 7. No line at noon, it was an easy buying experience. I've always used the Apple leather case on my 7, and I was pleasantly surprised when handling the XR. My 7 always felt slippery when out of the case, but the XR is much more grippy to me. In fact, I'm opting to go caseless and just got AppleCare in case I regret that decision.


On the iPhone XR's Display

Redditor 3mbersea shared images of the iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max screens side by side in portrait and landscape mode. 3mbersea says there's a "big difference" in screen quality when watching high quality videos, but not in regular use.

iphonexrdisplaycomparison
MacRumors reader Nitefly shared some details on the display of the iPhone XR, pointing out that there's some color shifting, but it's slight.

I am posting this from an XR. Phhwooooar what a phone!

There is some colour shift. However, the point at which it makes a material difference is the point at which you would never choose to use the screen at that angle.

In other words, the colour shift is slight in a generous viewing field. At extreme angles, ones you couldn't even watch TV shows from, it is more pronounced. I'd say the screen dimming is more obvious than the colour shifting. Likewise, it's really quite immaterial.

My god, the camera is ace. Also, I viewed this screen right next to an XS and could not see a difference in sharpness at a sensible, 'phone using' distance.

Redditor MonstersUGrad98 confirms that the XR uses the same iOS layout as Plus-sized iPhones, showing a two-column split view in apps like Messages and Mail.

MacRumors reader gig090 said that the iPhone XR's display resolution is "fine" and nothing that you need to worry about, even compared to the XS. The bezels, though, are "a little bit too fat" in comparison to the iPhone XS.


MacRumors reader sjperformance said the LCD display is great, but he prefers the smaller bezels of the XS and XS Max.

iphonexrinhand

Overall good LCD display. Probably best LCD display on an iPhone. The Max a little bit taller. Width is about the same. Weight is good on this XR too. Now the bezels...I don't like them but it's ok. Prefer the smaller thinner bezels of the OLED displays.

On the A12 Bionic Processor

Redditor imagineJack, who came to the iPhone XR from Android, says it's super fast and responsive.

The phone is extremely snappy, fast and responsive. Every app I'm opening stays in memory for ages. (Not sure if this is just a general iOS 12 thing but it's great.) The speakers are great, the camera is great.


Have a new iPhone XR? Feel free to share your first impressions and your photos in the comments below.

We'll be sharing a more in-depth look at the iPhone XR and comparing the iPhone XR's camera to the iPhone XS camera, so make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors for more iPhone XR coverage.

Related Roundup: iPhone XR
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

baryon Avatar
36 months ago
I don't understand why phones keep getting bigger, with no small options. I mean if you want a huge phone, go for it, there's probably a use for that, but why is there nothing for those who want a "normal" sized device?

Why didn't they make the phone *smaller* than the XS? Currently the XS is larger than the 6/6s/7/8, and there is simply no iPhone for those who found the non-"plus" sized iPhones big enough. That size no longer exists. The XR could have been the "cheap" iPhone and therefore the smallest one. Personally I find that even the iPhone 6/7/8 was way too huge, and while I may get used to it, there's no way I'd want anything even bigger than that. I think the SE is the perfect size.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
36 months ago
Whole heap of compromises listed rather than positives it seems.....
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joueboy Avatar
36 months ago
All of sudden a complain about a bit too big for 1mm. But nobody complaints about iPhone 8 or any previous model.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
36 months ago
What glowing reviews.
"Feels like a toy"
"Kind of a brighter blood red"
"Too heavy"
"Screen noticeably worse watching videos"
"Colors wrong when viewed from an angle"

Please, tell me some more about how Apple thinks this phone is worth a higher price tag than the Plus lines of years past while it's more comparable to the 5C.

Which honestly, the 5C didn't deserve that knock. It was a pretty great budget iPhone. Apple did an okay job for a budget phone here with the XR it sounds like, except they forgot to give it a budget price tag.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
36 months ago
Really don't like these huge phones so I'll probably stick to my iPhone 6 for another year.
The picture of Tim Cook from 2 days ago said it all. Huge phone in a pocket shows precisely where the trend is and unfortunately it is not what I wish for so until there is a smaller alternative I will not upgrade. Shame.
Get the XS. It is about the same size as your iPhone 6.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
falainber Avatar
36 months ago
All of sudden a complain about a bit too big for 1mm. But nobody complaints about iPhone 8 or any previous model.
Nobody complained about huge iPhone bezels (especially the top and bottom ones) either but time have changed. Samsung introduced people to really small bezels and they liked it. The standards changed and by modern standards XR bezels are considered not up to par.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

General Apps Messages

All Three Major U.S. Carriers and Google Adopt Rich Communication Services, But No Sign of Apple Interest

Tuesday July 20, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
For the last several years, Google has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. RCS is designed to replace SMS, the current text message standard, and it offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file sizes, better encryption, improved group chat, and more. Verizon today announced that it is planning to adopt...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

Gurman: Redesigned MacBook Pros to Launch Between September and November

Sunday July 18, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to release its redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros sometime between September and November, as part of another packed fall season for new product launches, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman says that the new MacBook Pros will go into production in the third quarter and can be expected to be...
macOS Malware Feature

Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Wednesday July 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by
A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. ...
magsafe battery pack solo

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack

Tuesday July 20, 2021 11:14 am PDT by
The new MagSafe Battery Pack that Apple debuted this week is arriving to customers starting today and it's also now available for in-store pickup in many Apple retail locations around the world. We snagged one this morning and thought we'd take a look at it to let MacRumors readers know if it's worth the $99 asking price. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. As the name ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 14.7 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday July 19, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 14.7, the seventh update to the tvOS 14 operating system that initially debuted in September 2020. tvOS 14.7 comes two months after the launch of the tvOS 14.6 update. tvOS 14.7, which is a free update, can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ owners who have automatic software ...
ipad pro m1 feature

Apple Releases iPadOS 14.7 With Apple Card Merging Option, Fix for 3.5mm Headphone Jack to USB-C Adapter Bug

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:18 am PDT by
Apple today released iPadOS 14.7, marking the seventh major update to the iPadOS operating system that came out in September 2020. Apple already released iOS 14.7 on July 19, but for some reason, delayed the iPadOS 14.7 debut until today. The iPadOS 14.7 update can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new ...