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Apple iPhone XR review: Still worth buying

(Pocket-lint) – The Apple iPhone XR sits at the bottom of the Face ID iPhone range and while not sold by Apple anymore, you’ll still be able to get your hands on it if you want to. Despite being almost four years old now, it’s still got a powerful processor, a large screen and a great camera.

There are several compromises compared to the iPhone 13 series – it has a slightly lower waterproof rating, an LCD display rather than OLED, and just one camera lens rather than a pair but otherwise, it offers a lot.

Sitting below the standard iPhone 11, and the newer but Touch ID iPhone SE (2022), is the iPhone XR still worth a punt? Read on to find out.

Sure, the iPhone XR doesn’t offer a screen or camera setup that’s as good as the other Face ID iPhones, but that’s the compromise with a more affordable handset. Many will be perfectly happy with what’s on offer, especially as there’s no compromise in power.

For those who want Apple’s Face ID design inside a colourful shell without spending a fortune, this iPhone could be for you if the iPhone 11 is out of budget. However, if you’re not fussed by Face ID, it’s definitely worth looking at the iPhone SE (2022).

The Apple iPhone XR was still sold by Apple until 2021, but, when the iPhone 13 models were introduced, the entry level Face ID switched from the iPhone XR to the iPhone 11. You’ll still be able to buy the iPhone XR in other outlets, as we mentioned, but whether you should is an entirely different question? In short, we probably wouldn’t recommend it.

The iPhone XR is coming up to four years old, and while it will still work well and does still supports iOS software updates, that won’t be the case forever. You’ll save yourself money by buying the iPhone XR, but it’s possible you’ll have to upgrade again sooner than if you were to opt for the iPhone 11, which not only offers a second camera lens on the rear, but also features like Night Mode, allowing for better low light photography.

If the iPhone 11 is out of budget, then we would recommend the iPhone SE (2022), which has the same power as the iPhone 13 models, making it much more powerful than the iPhone XR. It will also support future iOS updates and features for longer than the iPhone XR will. If you’re still set on the iPhone XR, though, below you’ll find our review.

The iPhone XR features the same design language as its more premium siblings, with an all-glass back and a notched screen dominating the front. It delivers this with an aluminium frame, making it slightly thicker than the more expensive models – although the thickness isn’t noticeable in the hand. It has a slightly lower water resistance rating at IP67 rather than IP68.

There’s a single-lens camera on the rear, while hidden beneath the rear glass cover is wireless charging. Like its predecessors, the iPhone XR is compatible with Qi wireless chargers. If you prefer the speed and convenience of wired then there’s still the Lightning port on board for at-the-plug charging – that’s the default anyway, as there’s no wireless charger included in the box.


Ajmal Solangi is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and reviews. He likes tech news, mobile unboxing, reviews, gadgets, and more.

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