Apple iPhone Xr packs A12 Bionic power for $750 and up

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.

Comments closed
    • R-Type
    • 11 months ago

    Nope, still don’t want products that enable certain people with unhealthy proclivities and confusion.

    • blastdoor
    • 11 months ago

    Pass.

    I’m hoping my iPhone 7+ will last another year.

    The Series 4 watch looking much more interesting. I’ll get that instead.

    • gmskking
    • 11 months ago

    Waiting for Samsung’s foldable phone.

    • Chrispy_
    • 11 months ago

    barely 720p with IPS instead of OLED, yet this is more than $200?!

    Apple’s RDF is truly incredible.

      • trackerben
      • 11 months ago

      I wouldn’t get too xr-cised about it.

      • tipoo
      • 11 months ago

      I wished for a resolution bump over my 7 too (which I can absolutely see pixels on), but calling any 200 dollar phone comparable is a stretch to the other extreme, apart from a one dimensional resolution comparison.

      I’ll be curious for displaymate to get their hands on it anyways. There was some interesting tech in this one, even just being an LCD.

    • btb
    • 11 months ago

    Its amazing that Apple can procure 7nm processors in the quantities needed for all those phones. Even for the “budget” R-models. Kind of embarassing for Intel they are still stuck at 14nm..

      • jarder
      • 11 months ago

      I disagree. Everyone in the tech industry knows that Intel’s 10nm is roughly equivalent to TSMC’s 7nm. And Intel already released plentiful quantities of fully functional 10nm chips……. oh wait……

    • End User
    • 11 months ago

    I’m going to pass. Waiting for Andromeda.

      • DancinJack
      • 11 months ago

      funny.

    • Captain Ned
    • 11 months ago

    Bionic??

    We can rebuild him. Make him better, stronger, faster.

      • Pwnstar
      • 11 months ago

      We have the technology.

      • End User
      • 11 months ago

      Good grief. [url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_A11<]You are a year late with that joke[/url<]. Do try and keep up.

    • tipoo
    • 11 months ago

    Is the bezel a few hairs thicker than the X, or is it me? I guess it’s enough to look ever so slightly downstream, while packing most of the Xs features.

    Also wondering if this has Studio Lighting, or just the bokeh with the single camera now.

      • DancinJack
      • 11 months ago

      I’m pretttttttty certain they are a tiny bit bigger than the original X. I thought that when I first saw it too.

      It should have the lighting effects in the camera/photos apps. They are enabled by the NPU in the A12.

      edit: Yup, specs confirm it: Portrait Lighting with three effects (Natural, Studio, Contour)

        • tipoo
        • 11 months ago

        It’s missing two then. Stage and Stage Mono, the latter of which was unfortunately my favorite.

        [url<]https://www.apple.com/iphone-xs/specs/[/url<] Xs has them. I wonder why? If the X could run them. Edit: Theory, those two effects crop you out of the background, so maybe the single camera depth system was only good enough for other effects, but would mess up too much there.

          • DancinJack
          • 11 months ago

          Dang, I suppose that would make sense with the added depth of the telephoto, but it’s still kinda lame.

      • RdVi
      • 11 months ago

      This phone is 3mm taller than the Xs Max while having a smaller screen. The Xs is the same body and screen as the X while the Max looks the same but bigger, so yeah, I’d say the bezel is quite a bit chunkier.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 months ago

        That’s a feature to me. I don’t mind a little extra bezel to hold onto the phone

        • DancinJack
        • 11 months ago

        This is wrong…from Apple’s own compare page.

        [url<]https://www.apple.com/iphone/compare/[/url<] XR Xs Max 150.9 mm 157.5 mm - H 75.7 mm 77.4 mm - W 8.3 mm 7.7 mm - D Yeah, like I said earlier (above) the bezels do look thicker, but this phone is not bigger by the Max except for a tiny bit of thickness.

    • DancinJack
    • 11 months ago

    Despite the relatively low resolution, which IMO is fine, the rest of the phone is pretty high-end. A12, 64GB base, 3-4GB RAM, great cameras, Face ID, good screen (if you don’t think Apple’s LCDs are good then I don’t know what you’re looking at), some cool colors, wireless charging, and a vastly better gesture experience than Android currently employs. I imagine this phone will sell pretty well.

      • Magic Hate Ball
      • 11 months ago

      The specs are fine, the price and size isn’t for me.

      I want a spiritual successor to my iPhone SE sometime next year.

        • DancinJack
        • 11 months ago

        Well, this isn’t it. Better check out swapp.

      • Spunjji
      • 11 months ago

      The problem is, all of those things bar the gestures are true of Android devices at the $400 price point. Only you could reasonably expect those devices to have one or more of the following advantages: a larger battery, expandable storage, a better display, dual cameras.

      Once you hit $600 those are all an absolute given, along with a good shot at some moderately reliable updates, too.

      It only really looks good if you compare it only to other iPhones. But then, that’s Apple’s whole game and it sure isn’t harming their bottom line.

        • DancinJack
        • 11 months ago

        Lol if you think any Android device, especially at 400 dollars, has the performance of an A12 and smoothness of iOS then I desperately need to know what phones you know of that I do not. I also need to know which Android phones implement FaceID the same way as Apple (listen, I don’t care THAT much about FaceID but you said Android phones have all that stuff too so I’m asking).

        This phone is perfectly fine for 749. It’s clear you don’t think it’s enough, but I would bet this 749 dollar experience is nearly if not always better than a 400 dollar Android experience, and at least on par with 600-749 dollar Android experiences.

        Believe me, I have owned a ton of Android phones and a number of iPhones. I’m not just saying it to praise Apple for no reason. It’s a good phone.

          • Eversor
          • 11 months ago

          You can buy a new S7 Edge for $300 or so and slap LineageOS on it. Plenty of performance, 4GB of RAM and expandable storage. It’s one of the many models that are supported and LineageOS is pretty much bug free in most regards.
          Do you actually need A12 performance on a phone? Will you need going forward but before the battery gets wrecked?

          The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625) runs buttery smooth on 1080p screen, so I guess the S7 or even an S8 will take care of everything you mention but FaceID.

          Now if you want a top end camera… well, that’s maybe the reason the spend more?

      • hungarianhc
      • 11 months ago

      Well said. I totally agree. This is a very compelling device. And not to make it about “old people” but my parents are senior citizens who don’t have the best eye sight. That’s a pretty big market for Apple. You think they care about whether or not it’s a retina display or an even higher resolution retina display? Nope.

    • chuckula
    • 11 months ago

    So is this one pronounced Tenner?
    With a cockney British accent?

    Right I’ll ‘ave me a Tenner fer seventy five tenners then!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 months ago

      Tim Pavarotti, the iPhone Tenor.

        • chuckula
        • 11 months ago

        I could go see the three Tenors for a lot less than one Tenner.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 months ago

    [quote<]1792x828[/quote<] Ah, got my answer. I guess I had no business expecting flagship resolutions despite flagship pricing, but I knew there was a functionality kind of "gotcha" on this thing.

      • DancinJack
      • 11 months ago

      FWIW, 750 isn’t really considered flagship pricing anymore, for better or worse.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 months ago

        Yeah I suppose you’re right. *sigh*

      • tipoo
      • 11 months ago

      Yeah. At 326ppi I can occasionally catch jagged edges on my 7 around text and round things, so I was hoping for a little more, but that’s part of why the Xs commands a premium I guess.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This