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Don’t Want to Pay for the XS? The iPhone XR is a Great Option

Monty Steinman, Staff Member

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Every iPhone season, Apple geeks are faced with the most daunting first world question one could imagine: which new phone do I get? And it’s usually an easy answer: the most expensive one Apple released. However, for the average joe, this may not be the case. We like to save our money, but we don’t like compromises, so it’s necessary to have a middle ground for people like us. All hail the iPhone XR.

If you haven’t read my iPhone XS/XS Max article, I am going to restate what I said in it, prior to beginning. This isn’t a review or even a really nerdy overview of what the XR is. Instead, I’m taking a more simplistic, yet informative standpoint and giving you all the details you’d want with none of the boring stuff to hopefully help inspire you to make your choice on which phone is for you.

Anyways, here we go! The iPhone XR is a fantastic phone in many ways, flat out. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it costs $250 less than its corresponding variant of the XS, it doesn’t compromise in extreme ways at all. The XR boasts the same exact A12 Bionic chip found in the XS and XS Max, so it’s still going to be just as fast as the more premium flagships Apple released. The three main areas Apple shaved off some of the price are: the camera, the materials, and most importantly, the screen (spoiler: it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds like it would/should be.) The biggest reason the camera is “cost efficient” isn’t because it has lower resolution or terrible low light; it’s none of those, actually. The camera is still great! It’s just missing that second telephoto lens found on the XS line up. Which basically means the portrait mode uses the standard wide angle lens with some help from computer machining to give the effect of some blurring out in the background, but doesn’t actually have a dedicated lens for that effect. And some people have actually said they prefer this effect over the XS because the wide angle lens allows for more to fit in the frame of a portrait photo than a telephoto lens would! (Ex. Say you want to take a portrait photo of a person with some blurred trees in the background and you are roughly two feet away from the person, in order to capture those trees on the XS you would most likely have to backup a couple of feet to let them into frame due to that smaller telephoto lens, but with the XR, it’s just point and shoot.)

There is one drawback to the single lens however since the camera uses a lot of computer machining to give the bokeh effect, it only works on people, so no nice depth of field shots on plants or whatever else you would like with the XR. But the same 12MP wide angle lens in the XR will do more than okay in the real world, so don’t worry about it, unless you plan on using portrait mode a ton, which I don’t think people do… maybe I’m wrong? Regardless, onto the materials. It’s pretty black and white (or red, or blue, or yellow, or coral, which can also be chosen as color options on the XR,) Apple swapped the stainless steel bands found on the X, and XS for a more cost efficient aluminum edging. What does that mean? Nothing really, unless you’re dead set on the shiny look of stainless steel and a more sturdy frame for when you feel like bending your phone in half… moving on to the part you’ve all been waiting for; the screen!

The most controversial piece of the iPhone XR thus far has been the 6.1” screen (larger than the XS’ 5.8” OLED) and its rather lacking (on paper) specs. With an embarrassing 326ppi (pixel per inch,) the same number of pixels per inch as the… iPhone 4… it sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Wrong! After looking at and using the XR I can without a doubt say the screen is beautiful. It doesn’t provide the stunning true blacks of an OLED, but it envelopes everything that a smartphone screen should be. It’s fast, responsive, and visually appealing. So don’t let the specifications scare you; in person, the iPhone XR screen looks fantastic, and I think you’ll like it too.

That’s a wrap on the 2018 iPhone lineup! I tried to keep it short and sweet yet give you the most definitive and important information about each, and I hope I have helped you make up your mind on which phone you’ll be putting in your pocket this year. Happy spending!

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Don’t Want to Pay for the XS? The iPhone XR is a Great Option