Are you tempted by that nifty A12 Bionic chip that Apple put inside its iPhone Xs and Xs Max, but don't have a wallet as fat as Tim Cook's? Well, surprise, surprise. That cutting-edge silicon is also inside a third, not-quite-so-high-end model: the iPhone Xr. This iPhone is priced aggressively against Samsung's Galaxy S series of phones and others of its ilk. While the phone's name sounds a lot like a variant of Xanax, the specs are anything but calm-inducing. Let's take a deeper look.
The iPhone Xr takes the high-end SoC of the iPhone Xs and wraps it with a display and camera system that keep its price closer to that of an iPhone 8. The handset comes with an aluminum chassis, glass back, and a 6.1" edge-to-edge LCD panel that Apple calls a "Liquid Retina" display. The resolution of this array is 1792×828, which works out to 326 PPI. Apple says the screen has a nominal contrast ratio of 1400:1 and maximum brightness of 625 cd/m².
Around the back, you'll find a single camera instead of the higher-end models' two-shooter system, but we'd wager that the vast majority of folks will be just fine with it. The 12-MP unit has a wide-angle lens, an f/1.8 aperture, and optical image stabilization, and it's powered by the A12's image signal processor and Neural Engine. The front camera is the same TrueDepth system used on the iPhone Xs. Much like its higher-end siblings, the iPhone Xr allows photographers to adjust images' depth-of-field after the fact with Apple's Depth Control feature. It also boasts an improved Portrait Mode for bokeh effects, as well as multi-exposure "Smart HDR" functionality that can tackle extreme dynamic ranges.
The iPhone Xr also supports dual-SIM functionality by combining its nano-SIM-card slot and a digital eSIM function. The phone is IP67-rated for water and dust intrusion, allowing it to be submerged in one meter of water for 30 minutes. This model also inherits its siblings' stereo speakers, and Apple says the battery should last 1.5 hours longer than that of an iPhone 8 Plus. That works out to an estimated talk time of 25 hours or 15 hours' worth of internet usage. 30 minutes plugged in should be enough to get it to 50% charge, too, and there's Qi wireless charging on tap.
Eager buyers can preorder their iPhone Xr on October 19. The price rings in at $749 for a model with 64 GB of storage, $799 for 128 GB, or a sum of $899 for 256 GB of flash. Apple's decided to add a dash of color to the available finishes, too. Pigment options include black, white, yellow, red, coral, and light blue. The handsets are expected to be in customers' hands on October 26.