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

Top Rated Comments

baryon Avatar
32 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
32 months ago
Whole heap of compromises listed rather than positives it seems.....
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joueboy Avatar
32 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
32 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
32 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
32 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

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...