For those who have not saved up: a first look at the iPhone XR

The budget iPhone is deprived of a number of functions in comparison with the flagships, but still remains a worthy smartphone.

October 26 in Russia, as in the rest of the world, begin selling iPhone XR – the most budget of the latest generation of smartphones Apple. we received a novelty in advance and spent several days with her.

The XR is not a flagship, of course, but interesting for several reasons. First, he is the first of the generation in which Apple released three smartphones at once, instead of the usual two: you have to figure out what kind of product it is. Secondly, it is much cheaper than the flagships, and functionally it is not so different from them: there is an expectation that it will enjoy significant demand.

We tell and show the main thing.

What is iPhone XR

Since the days of the iPhone 6 line-up, the company has always released smartphones in pairs – regular and Plus-version. The situation changed in 2017, when the iPhone X came out, but then it stood apart from the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

In 2018, Apple launches a trinity – the top iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR after them. Externally, the XR form factor (correctly speaking “Ten Ar” or “Ten Ar”, but everyone will still call it “Iksar” – and rightly so) is between XS and XS Max, but as the product is lower in quality – and cheaper. This is what is called a budget smartphone within the Apple rulers.

Similar things happened in 2013, when Apple released the iPhone 5s (in it, by the way, the Touch ID was introduced for the first time) in a metal case and with it a palette of plastic iPhones 5c. That year, in US prices, 5s cost 650 dollars for a version with 16 GB on board, and 5c costs 560 dollars – not such a strong reduction in cost for a “budget smartphone”, especially since it had a weaker processor. But 5c was then the cheapest of the new smartphones, and the novelty effect worked because of the wide color gamut.

With the iPhone XR, the story is similar – it will go on sale in six colors (from classic black and white to yellow, blue, coral and red) and at the same time it will not differ much in quality from the top versions. Just like the iPhone XS, it has an A12 Bionic chip, Face ID face recognition system, the same wide-angle camera (so I didn’t even test it in this review), and the battery will be even bigger.

But a number of functions cut out. It is not very clear how this allowed the iPhone XR to become cheaper, but it is really much cheaper than its older brother.

Differences between iPhone XR and iPhone XS. Tezisno and impressions

  • The most noticeable is the lack of a dual camera . In the XR, there is only a wide-angle, and since there is no telephoto lens, there is no dual optical zoom. This is perhaps the most unpleasant: double zoom is extremely useful, without an iPhone, from the camera’s point of view, it turns into a soap box, and almost all more or less advanced Android smartphones have a dual camera for a long time;
  • Without a dual camera, you cannot make “real” bokeh , that is, photos in “portrait mode” with beautiful background blur. But XR is able to do the blur artificially: his camera was supplied with a machine-trained algorithm for recognizing the silhouettes of people, and in general, he is able to do human portraits with artistic blurring and does it well. But here is something else (for example, a vase) in this mode you can not take a photo, but there is also a possibility that the XR camera will not always recognize people in the lens;
  • The frames around the display are noticeably thicker . Everyone will whine about it, but there is no problem. At all. They look natural. Technically, they greatly reduce the useful area of ​​the front panel – only 79% of its area is the screen. For comparison, in XS this indicator is 82.9%, in XS Max – 84.4%;
  • The case is a bit cheaper . Aluminum frame instead of steel, a bit worse screen protection against impacts, IP67 moisture protection standard instead of IP68. Unpleasant, but tolerable;
  • Screen – LCD instead of OLED . I expected to observe the decline in image quality with my own eyes – but for some reason this did not happen. Although the resolution is at the screen (828 × 1792 px vs. 1125 × 2436 for the iPhone XS), and the pixel density (326 ppi vs. 458 ppi) is much lower for the XR, with the naked eye it is invisible. Even the colors when viewing photos do not differ – or I did not notice. How this was achieved, I sincerely do not understand;
  • No 3D Touch . The ability to “press” on the screen is not the most demanded function, especially since on the iPhone XR those things that are made on other smartphones using 3D Touch are emulated by holding the button for a long time.

There is a difference with the plus sign: in terms of battery capacity, the iPhone XR (2942 mAh) is higher than the iPhone XS (2658 mAh), although lower than the XS Max (3174 mAh).

Brief about flowers

I got a black and boring version for testing (because there is nothing new in it), but I personally saw the whole palette. Although the iPhone XR is being promoted as a fun and colorful smartphone, the palette is not that bright.

The black and white versions are standard – the white is the most pure, the black is the darkest. The black version looks quite stylish due to the dullness of anodized aluminum frame. The red version (PRODUCT RED) is perhaps the most juicy in terms of color.

But the blue, yellow and coral look quite faded – especially the color of the sprayed aluminum frame, it is not rich enough. However, the back cover is also not very bright, although Apple says that the color was applied in seven layers and, in theory, the paint should be thick.

Sad about pricing

When the iPhone 5c was brought to Russia, the dollar still cost 32 rubles. Now even the “budget” iPhone XR costs from 65 thousand rubles. For comparison – other models of iPhones:

  • iPhone XS – from 88 thousand rubles;
  • iPhone XS Max – from 96 thousand rubles;
  • iPhone X – from 73 thousand rubles (Apple no longer sells it, but it remained with the partners);
  • iPhone 8 Plus – from 60 thousand rubles.

And now, for comparison, the prices for Android flagships in Russia (and after all, these brands also have budget smartphones):

  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro – from 77 thousand rubles;
  • Galaxy Note 9 – from 70 thousand rubles;
  • Sony Xperia XZ3 – from 70 thousand rubles;
  • LG G7 ThinQ – from 45 thousand rubles;
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 – from 30 thousand rubles.

And so on.

And what about accessories

Before the start of sales of the iPhone XR, there are only three days left, and it is still not known whether official covers will appear to it. From other smartphones, they will not fit – it has a different body thickness, a different cutout under the camera. In the end, before that, Apple produced only opaque covers, and they would have destroyed the whole point of the XR color case.

On October 12, there was a leak that Apple was going to release special transparent cases (probably silicone or plastic) for the iPhone XR, but so far no official information has been received about it.

In which case it makes sense to take the iPhone XR

If the difference of 8 thousand rubles between the iPhone XR and iPhone X is significant, and if it is not very important to have a processor and a camera of the latest generation, but you want to use Face ID, then you should take the XR. The same option, if you want to try new colors – but if this is a determining factor, then you should check with a psychologist.

If you can pay, it is better to take last year’s iPhone X – it has a dual camera and it is still very fast. The only problem is that his battery is weaker. If you don’t need a Face ID, and you want to save as much as possible, then it’s better to take last year’s iPhone 8 Plus.

Compared to the iPhone XS and XS Max, of course, the iPhone XR loses due to the lack of a number of functions – but here the price gap is much larger than it was between the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, which is much more important.

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