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Apple iPhone XR hands-on: the new default iPhone

Apple iPhone XR hands-on: the new default iPhone

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I just spent a few moments playing with the new iPhone XR, which feels like it will be the default iPhone for many people this season. Not only does it have a very similar design to the more expensive iPhone XS model, it has many of the same features for a considerably lower price.

The main thing is, of course, the display, which is a 6.1-inch LCD with a notch at the top. It’s very nice — as nice as any previous iPhone LCD, which have always led the industry. Looking closely at the notch and the rounded corners, you can see the anti-aliasing tricks Apple had to do to make the technology work, but it all looks great in person. There’s a pretty prominent bezel all the way around. Other edge-to-edge LCD phones have a “chin,” but the larger bezel evens all that out. It’s clever, and it preserves the look of a full-screen phone.

Specs-wise, the XR is notable for matching many of the specs of the new XS, but one notable omission is 3D Touch, which simply isn’t here. We’ll be asking Apple about the omission and if the company thinks consumers will miss it on these new mainstream devices.

3D touch is the big missing spec on the XR

The iPhone XR comes in six different colors, including very nice-looking coral and blue options. The colors are extremely vibrant in person; the coral and red, in particular, are terrific. (They’re honestly a reason to get the XR over the XS if you don’t care about the other features like dual cameras and 3D Touch.) The XR lacks the stainless steel frame of the XS, but it still has an aluminum frame and glass sandwich design. It does feel noticeably lighter than the XS, however, much like how the iPhone 8 felt compared to last year’s X.

Inside, the XR has Apple’s new A12 Bionic processor, which is the same chip in the more expensive models. It also has IP67 water resistance, a battery that lasts an hour and a half longer than last year’s iPhone 8 Plus, and a single 12-megapixel camera that is capable of portrait-style blurring effects. In addition, the XR supports dual-SIM features through its nano SIM and eSIM capabilities.

The XR will be available starting in October for $749 for a model with 64GB of storage. There will also be options for 128GB and 256GB of storage.