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The iPhone XR is one of the cheapest iPhones you can buy. It may be two years old but after Apple refreshed its line-up to include the iPhone 12 range, the phone was still available and sits alongside the iPhone SE for those looking for an iPhone on a modest budget. If you are wanting an iPhone with a decent-sized screen but don’t want to pay a premium, then the iPhone XR is a good choice. It’s one of the most colourful iPhones, too, with a choice of six options - ranging from blue to yellow.
The iPhone XR was released in 2018 as a more affordable alternative to the (at the time current) iPhone XS range. It inherits a lot of the features from that range, but also tones down some of the more expensive hardware, swapping it for components that are a touch more budget conscious. This is Apple, though, so things like an LCD screen becomes a Liquid Retina display. This sounds impressive and for an LCD it is but it is a step down from the OLED displays on the XS range.
3D Touch is something that is also missing, with Apple using haptic feedback instead. This is a good substitute but not as intuitive. A single camera setup is also on board, down from the dual cameras on the XS range and internal storage is capped at 128GB. These are minor changes but do give an indication as to why this is one of the cheaper Apple handsets.
Range of colours
Liquid Retina HD display
Glass and aluminium design
Single 12MP camera
1080p HD video
64GB or 128GB capacity
Optical image stabilisation
The iPhone 11 came out almost a year after the iPhone XR and it is a more expensive handset because of this. Like the iPhone XR it is still on sale (as of December 2020), despite the iPhone 12 range having recently been released. Because the iPhone 11 was released later it has a better battery, better camera array and upgraded internals (an A13 Bionic chip, compared to the iPhone XR’s A12 chip). Screen wise they are almost identical, though, and the iPhone XR remains around £100 cheaper.
|Model||iPhone XR||iPhone 11|
|Screen size||6.1 inches||6.1 inches|
|Display||Liquid retina HD||Liquid retina HD|
|Colours||Blue, White, Yellow, Black, Red, Coral, Red (Product)||Black, White, Purple, Yellow, Green, Red (Product)|
|Camera||Selfie (front), Wide camera (back), 7MP||Selfie (front), Wide-angle (back), 12MP|
|SD card slot||No||No|
|Other||Water resistant up to 1 meter for 30mins||Water resistant up to 2 meters for 30mins|
As with all the modern iPhones, storage can’t be expanded on the iPhone XR using an SD card. While this may seem like a strange choice given that the iPhone creates some stunningly high-quality images that can eat up space on your phone, Apple Photos is a solid solution. The iPhone XR offers 64GB and 128GB capacity.
The iPhone XR’s memory is capped at 128GB but as it offers 64GB you have a choice here. We would always err on the side of caution and get more storage. Even through the uPhone XR (and the iPhone 11) have a 64GB option, we think that you will begin to use that space up quite quickly, especially if you like to store your images on the device and are still downloading things like music.
64GB is ideal for people who:
Store photos on the cloud rather than hoard files on their phone
Stream rather than save music
Don’t use too many large apps
128GB is a happy medium between casual and heavier users, suitable for most people and ideal for:
Storing some photos on your phone but still using the cloud for larger portions
Storing some music on your phone
Using heavy apps but not too many
Regular users shouldn’t ever run into a problem with 128GB. And if you use Apple Photos, you may find that 64GB is enough. When you think of what takes up storage on your phone, think of things that can’t be transferred. Photos and videos are easily moved to cloud storage, but if you depend on having heavier apps open on your phone often (image editing, video editing, gaming, etc.) you might want to opt for more space.
The iPhone XR battery was, at the time of its release in 2018, the best Apple had offered. While this has since been eclipsed by the iPhone 11, which Apple says lasts 1.5 hours more, the XR is still a very reliable option. It’s relatively hard to say how long a battery will last as this depends on the user – streaming a series all day, for example, takes up much more battery than just checking social media every hour. The important thing is that the XR’s battery will almost certainly see you through the day on a single charge.
The iPhone XR features a range of colours to let you get a more personalised finish. It’s worth noting that while most network providers should be able to offer the full range of colours, you shouldn’t assume you’ll have the option of all six with your choice of provider.
Here is the entire colour range:
Where any model of iPhone truly shines is in its camera, and the XR is no different. It may sport one camera less than the iPhone 11, but its ability to take stunning photos is still very much intact.
iPhone XR cameras:
12MP wide camera
12MP front camera
The phone also boasts plenty of little extras to make your photos truly pop:
Optical image stabilisation
Digital zoom up to 5x
True tone flash
4K video recording
The iPhone range shares similar levels of security and the XR does so by using facial ID. This means you can unlock your phone with just a glance.
Considering the iPhone XR is no longer the frontrunner in Apple’s offerings, you can likely find some pretty good iPhone XR deals in the UK. As with any phone deal, though, you should define its worth by more than just price, when looking for the best iPhone XR deals make sure to think about the following:
Any discount you can get through upgrading with your current provider
Ease of upgrade in the future
Models and colours available
Customer perks like priority tickets or freebies
General coverage and roaming
Contract length and contract flexibility
How expensive is the iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR is viewed as a slightly more affordable iPhone option, though that’s not to say it might not still be a big investment depending on your budget. It has seen a price drop since the iPhone 12 line-up was announced. There are plenty of plans out there to make sure you can get your hands on one though:
You can set up a pay monthly iPhone XR contract, with the main network providers:
The iPhone XR stands as one of the best iPhone deals you can get at the moment. You’ll get a lot of the same tech and impressive features for a lesser price, so if you find any iPhone XR deals that bundles all that with a great entertainment plan, a few perks or a fully flexible iPhone XR contract, you’re probably onto a good thing.
You buy the iPhone XR from Apple’s official website, for £499 or £20.79 a month for 24 months. If you were to buy the iPhone XR SIM free, then you could look at a number of iPhone XR Pay As You Go Deals.
The closest member of the Apple family to the iPhone XR is probably the iPhone XS which gives similar specs with a bit more polish, including a sharper display and improved camera. When it comes to the screen, the iPhone XR has similarities to the iPhone 11.
There are a number of accessories that you can get for the iPhone XR. These include:
Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Max
Apple Watch Series 6
No, if you are looking for a 5G iPhone then you need to look at the iPhone 12 line-up.
In short, no. The iPhone 11 is a step up from the XR, being the next instalment in Apple’s iPhone history. But that doesn’t mean the XR isn’t still a great phone. For the smaller price, one less camera and slightly less capable battery, the compromise may be very worth it if what you want is an impressive smartphone that won’t break the bank.
Yes, but it does use an older IP67 certification, which offers 1 metre up to 30 minutes. Newer iPhones have been certified IP68.
Last updated: 9 December 2020