Apple iPhone XR Review

It's just one phone that tries to accommodate all iPhone users looking to upgrade this year, to something that's not so mercilessly bank-breaking like Apple's higher-tier line. This is the iPhone XR – a $750 product that promises to deliver almost everything the iPhone XS has to offer, at a considerably lower price point.
This is a discussion for a review. To read the whole review, click here

196 Comments

2. Cat97

Posts: 1616; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Best video footage I have seen from a smartphone with almost no rolling shutter. Pictures are also great. Finally Apple caught up and even exceeded the best Android flagships. Too bad it doesn't have a notification LED, I can't afford to waste my time waking up the phone periodically in search for pending notifications.

3. w1000i

Posts: 229; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

Not even FullHD and get 9.0. what a joke

7. Galaxy_Apple

Posts: 129; Member since: May 24, 2015

ppl in the tech community r bigger sheep than avg consumers they go blindly by numbers, lower resolution has several advantages too , smoother performance, more fps and much better batterylife, even samsung agrees by making the lower res default on their phones. these guys still don't understand also that bigger numbers doesn't always mean better , remember camera megapixels. sure this display cant match samsungs OLEDs but few can they r the best of the best..... but its a Dci-p3 display ,plus has manual color calibration making it the best LCD in terms of saturation and brightness n colors. go see it in real life its pretty darn good compared to a XS. is it as good as samsung oled ? no ofcourse !!! but Go see a LG IPS display or a xiaomi ips display n come back.... they wont even hold a candle to this XR's LCD. and yes LG probably makes the display for Apple , but for whatever reason they use god awful displays on their own phones. despite being 2k or 1080p

33. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

If that resolution/ppi is enough or better for you, then why does the XS and XS Max have higher resolutions? Please explain without contradicting yourself.

62. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

They (XS and Max) don't have higher resolutions; they actually have a lower number of light sources/inch than the XR ;). The difference in quality comes from the deep contrasts and not the difference in resolution.

68. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

You really are full of BS Leo_MC. You are the typical blind Apple sheeple. "They (XS and Max) don't have higher resolutions; they actually have a lower number of light sources/inch than the XR ;)." Please tell me that you don't believe the crap you are spewing out? Please tell me you don't believe in your lies. The density of the displays for the XS and XS Max is 458 DPI. The XR is 326 DPI. The resolution for the XS is 2,436x1,125 and the XS Max is 2,688x1,242. All your doing is showing the world how ignorant you really are.

73. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

XS and Max only have 458 green light sources; red and blue are way less (less than in XR); the same is true for Note although the numbers are a bit different.

120. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

You are referring to sub-pixel density, a quantity that no longer matters over 400 ppi. And by this , I don't mean the "Retina" display thing where you can't see individual pixels when phone is at a distance of 10-12 inches(*don't remember the exact distance*) , but people with good vision, like me, are able to discern betwen a quality QHD display vs FHD/HD. This is subpixel density, each pixel further being split....biologically impossible to discern over 400 ppi. But it was a big deal when Galaxy S2 was launched. I still remember , S2 has RGB subpixels for each pixel whereas another phone , Moto Driod Razer used a high resolution (960*540 qHD) display , but appeared more distorted / less sharp than Galaxy S2. At that time in sharpness, iPhones were in a league of their own.

121. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Yes, sub-pixels and it's 300. It is biologically impossible for a normal human being to see a difference in pixel density over 300 ppi from a 30-40 cm distance; I can't see it, you can't see it, NO HUMAN can see it. You might not trust science and medicine, but maybe you trust YouTube more so here you go, one of numerous experiments that prove XR resolution is just fine:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcFXEXJicgc

123. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

I was already aware of this video and have seen it in its entirety. The comparison is with Pocophone F1, a sub $300 phone. Huge corners were cut to make it a 1080p FullHD display. I am aware that between the Poco and the XR , latter has way better display properties. Also, the true differentiation in pixel density comes to the fore when you compare fine text and when the user is allowed to play with the phone. Sure, if two phones are kept in a box and I am just seeing a couple of video clips being looped, I will not be able to make out the difference. It is a totally different case when I have the phone in my hand and am using it to see both video and text as per my usage. Like the calendar, easy to make out the difference there. Another place would be the timer / clock app. Also 30-40 cm is a very subjective distance, most people hold their phone closer than that. What I would like to conclude with is, if given the XR and the XS/XS Max for 5 minutes, just a free-to-pay-around-with display, most people with good vision would make out that XS/XS Max is, hands-down, the better display. Holds true with other $750 phones like Galaxy S9 or the OnePlus 6T even($629 top tier version). Definitely, Apple cut corners in the display department, but I guess it is sort of fair, otherwise the XR would have eaten away at the sales of XS/XS Max.

124. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

So, if the comparison were to be made between XR and a 800€ phone with the same resolution display - 1080p - and quality as pocophone, do you think the result would be different? A 800€ phone uses the exact same body parts, the only difference is that the manufacturer has marketing costs, physical stores, employees etc. You are right: the differences are noticeable in texts - btw, can you zoom the text in calendar or clock apps, both in iOS or Android (with normal usage, not accessibility tools)? - but giving the test subjects the opportunity to use the phones they would just been biased (look at the faces of some of them, look how hurt they feel because they admitted the iPhone is better). XS and/or Note have better displays than XR, but not because of higher number of green light sources in their pixels but because the latest oled technology produces higher contrasts and better color reproduction. The resolution is fine on all of them and, no matter how much you lie yourself that your eyes can distinguish between 2 displays that have more than 300 ppi, you just can't see no goddam individual pixel.

125. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

*) A 800 euro phone with the same quality and resolution as Pocofone F1: That would be stupidity on the manufacturer's part. I don't think any such phone exists at present or will ever in future. It would, for sure use something better in this cut-throat world of technological competition. That is why there is a clear difference in build quality of flagships and relatively cheaper devices. The difference exists between the XR and XS as well. Tech chaps will notice of any such incidence. A $300 phone like Poco does not use expensive series 7000 aluminium or glass back or an OLED display precisley to keep the costs down. The argument " A 800€ phone uses the EXACT SAME body parts, the only difference is that the manufacturer has marketing costs, physical stores, employees etc" is fundamentally flawed and has no real basis. *)I can see pixelation on the calendar and the clock app without zooming(not sure if there is a zooming option). And by giving the test subjects phones to use , I meant to do it while keeping the identity of the phones hidden. *) Like I mentioned in a previous comment, OnePlus 6T has a better display than the XR, and it keeps the cost lower than the XR. Also , you contradict your initial premise by saying "XS and/or Note have better displays than XR, but not because of higher number of green light sources in their pixels but because the latest oled technology produces higher contrasts and better color reproduction" This is exactly what I wanted to say, sub-pixel density does not matter around 400 ppi. *) I don't think you recognize the difference between "pixelation" and "seeing individual pixels". There is an observable amount of jagginess and fuzziness which I observe on the calendar app / clock app , particularly on these apps because they use small iconography for their fonts (btw, zooming would counteract on the lower pixel density i.e. remove the fuzziness). This is similar to saying that you cannot differentiate between 60fps and 120fps in games, just because you can't see each individual frame. People perceive, does not mean that they have to see the tiniest units.

126. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Also, just to be clear, I never said that XR's display is bad. If someone can't see / doesn't care about this, then it is fine. Good for the buyers. But it does not mean that no human can perceive the lower resolution during usage. I just want to say that for an asking price of $750 , Apple could easily have put a better display on the XR. I also don't mind if people, such as you, are biased towards Apple. In fact I envy it. So much easier to make a purchase decision when you have a bias. Just stick to one thing, you have expectations that have already been met by the brand, and there are no nasty shocks. Me, since I am perceptibly unbiased as of now, have to juggle with multiple factors before landing on a phone. Also need to manage expectations of people who drop money on a phone which I recommend. Makes it that much harder :)

128. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I'll reply to both your messages here. Sony Xperia XZ2 (2018 phone) is about 600€ but it was almost 800€ when it was launched. Of course there are differences in build quality but the essential parts are the same (there was a video on YouTube, explaining why Xiaomi is able to build and sell such a cheap and powerful devices). iOS controls are so different from Android's that it's impossible to keep the identity of a phone hidden when given to someone to play with; the apps are different, the interfaces are also different; I think the video was the best choice. I'm not going to go into a debate about the screen resolutions, because it's biological impossible for human beings to see pixelation on the XR; the only thing you see is the difference in contrast (the text is darker on OLEDs). A pentile OLED display needs at least 428 ppi to be just as crisp as the LCD of the XR (over 450 to match its sub-pixel number - the magic number for XS). Don't ask me why Apple decided to use this display (I personally don't think it's because of the money), it just did and it's a good display; I also don't know why a phone cost as much as it does, I only decide to buy one or not. "To be biased" means "to have preconceptions", to judge before you check the facts; I have never - not even once - post an opinion about anything I did not knew. I have never hidden the fact that I like Apple products and I have always explained WHY; I have never dissed a product, I only dissed the bad way in which a product fulfills a task (for instance, Samsung phones are great, but they don't get timely updates - love the product, hate the feature; Apple's products are also great, but their charging times are hellish - love the product, hate the feature); some things I can live with (for instance, the resolution of the XR - or my 7) other things I can't (for instance the lack of 3Dt on the same XR). I have absolutely no bias, I just know what I want and I know that FOR ME Apple offers the phones with the least compromises I am willing to make; you have your own subjective preferences and I will respect them all, but what I will not respect is the thrashing of a device because of subjective and biased reasons (like a resolution no human being is able to see, a bezel, the amount of base memory, its price etc). Peace!

129. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Are you saying that the display on the XZ2 is the same as the display on Poco F1 ? Because they are world apart. The only common thing between them is the resolution. Sony’s phone uses many advanced technology like X reality Engine, Triluminous display , quantum dot tech etc. Go ahead, you will find a YouTube video on these. Meanwhile the lab test of both displays on GSMArena shows that the Sony phone you mentioned has a max brightness of 618 nits and a sunlight contrast ratio of 3.58. Meanwhile , Poco has a peak brightness of only 450 nits and contrast ratio only a litlle over 3. Clearly the panels are not the same. Same processor and ram does not equate to same phone. There are several ways to keep the identity hidden. The most basic one would be to have participants walk of the room while switching apps and also switch the positions of the phone itself (several iterations, random switch). There are other more complex methods to do so. A OLED display needs 458 ppi to be as sharp as LCD with 300 ppi just because of 1 subpixel difference (1g for 2 r and b subpixles) ? So on one hand you say that human eye cannot make out differences 300 ppi , but on the other you claim to make out a difference between subpixels ? That makes no sense. Also zero info exists on how you arrived at the “458” figure. Bias is not only preconception . Bias also means refusal to acknowledge what’s perceivable. I clearly told you that I can perceived the difference between the 300 ppi and the 400+ ppi displays ,given sufficient freedom of usage. There are several others who also can, including MKBHD (its in one of his videos). To say that pixel density is not perceivable but subpixel density is , is like saying that you canoot differentiate between 1 metre but can see the individual centimeres within the metre. Logical fallacy. Plus, I neither have any easy means onr the will to prove that what I say is the truth. Perhaps someone else reading comments will vouch for what I say but again, the chances are slim since this thread is old. But here is a link which busted 300 ppi myth :https://www.ubergizmo.com/what-is/ppi-pixels-per-inch/ Anyway having lookes at your previous comments, I can see that you took my impression of XR’s display as *thrashing*, inspite of me admitting that it has a very good display, except its sub par ppi issue. Thus, since the argument deviates from the tech aspects to blind support, I cease this conversation here. Enjoy your purchase.

130. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I'm just saying that Sony is a "stupid" manufacturer that put a 1080p LCD display in a 800€ device. Yes there are many ways, but that was the fastest and cheapest; you do another one. Dude, when a display has less than 300 sub-pixels, it means it also has less than 300 pixels and the naked eye can see a difference. You have zero info, I based my numbers on the measurements. The definition of bias is "having preconceptions" - you just can't change the meaning of the word as you see fit. I'm sure you see all the pixels and I can fell your pain, bro... too bad nobody built you a phone, but when you'll grow out of puberty you'll be plenty happy with a Retina resolution (that's just life and we have to accept it). Yes, most of us see differences but only when we hold the phones close to our noses, the rest of the time we are concentrated on what we are doing. You have only thrashed the resolution, which is just wrong because it is just fine. I am enjoying my 3y old iPhone 7 (which has the same resolution); I most probably won't buy any iPhone this year.

132. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

So Sony is stupid for putting a good 1080p display in its €800 phone but it is okay for Apple to put 828p display in its €750 phone. Bias confirmation. You too have just thrashed the resolution for Sony phone, but calling it stupid. You are worse than blind Android fanboys too. I never talked about 300 subpixels. Only about pixelation. Introducing irrelevant new false information. Bias confirmation. You have fallen to cheap insults like a troll. I am sure more are coming from your end , but it is my bad...I though you might be reasonable enough but it is clear that you are a blind fanboy. Bias confirmation. Btw , puberty has nothing to do with vision. You would know that if you would have hit puberty yourself. It would be a piece of cake to shut down a troll like you but then other trolls might miss your company. Lastly , zero interest in what you buy. Not sure even if you own an iPhone 7.

134. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

"A 800 euro phone with the same quality and resolution as Pocofone F1: That would be stupidity on the manufacturer's part." That's what YOU said, which means YOU are the one that thinks Sony is stupid for putting a 1080p display in a 800€ phone, I have only shown you how wrong you are, thinking that. A pixel is made of... sub-pixels (you can't have a pixel unles it has at least 3 sub-pixels). Normal vision is 6/6 (or 20/20 for those that still use an archaic system), the exception being in preteens and very few - usually sick - adults; if you're not a preteen, I hope you get better soon. As long as we talk tech, I will be in this dialog, but I'm sure nobody wants to read about my phones and they sure as hell don't care if you have doubts about them.

131. wickedwilly

Posts: 458; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

I can support your comment, there is no way that suddenly at a magical 326ppi the human eye cannot see a difference. Saying categorically that at 300 you can see and at 326 you cannot is ridiculous, what about 325 to 326? The fact is that there is no globally agreed level at which the human eye can see a difference. What we can say with a high level of confidence is the level varies from person to person and for sure many people can see the difference between 326ppi and over 400 and 500ppi, I can for sure and my eyes are far from perfect!

133. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Thanks Wickedwilly ! But it is very clear that leo_mc is a troll. I thought of having a conversation with him but he has descended into cheap insults, so just giving you a heads up. I have met many reasonable supporters on this site who are actually intelligent , like meanestgenius, crispen_ratza( misspelled I think) , Venom and several others. Today I meet a troll. Btw , what phone do you have ?

135. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Whatch out for the donkey that cums on stupid people's faces that are calling me names. btw, if you think meanestgenius - which is one of the kings of illogical thinking - is reasonable, then there's not much to be said. PS: anytime you think of calling me names, remember the donkey.

141. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Your trolling effort is pathetic. What is the first sentence even supposed to mean (logically, oh but wait, you are a troll...) ? Just some cheap insults, shows your level of thinking. And the correct spelling is *Watch. Like I predicted , it was only a matter of time before you descended to cheap insults. As you can probably can (or can't) make out, I haven't stooped to your low level. And I won't. I have mentioned some other names except meanestgenius too, and I have many more, but I am sure you believe everyone is illogical except you right ? Smh .. I am calling you for what you are , a moronic troll. It is not an insult, it is the truth drawn from your comments. That's your new name from today. MORONIC TROLL. PS : Is that supposed to be a threat ? Feeling brave behind a keyboard today ? Sad.

143. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

As long as I am talking about tech, even if you consider I am wrong, you have no right to call me names; by doing that you only show how limited you are.

146. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Sorry Troll, puberty and donkey cum does not fall under tech. Let's see who started with insults first.... Till now I was interested (remotely, with interest waning with every reply) but now I am bored of you, please do reply to this comment, so that I can have the pleasure to ignore your response.

149. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

That donkey only appears when some stupid schmuck calls me names.

138. wickedwilly

Posts: 458; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

I have a Galaxy S9+ (main phone) and a Xiaomi Mi6 at the moment.

140. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Yep, that is why you understand the difference. Because you have a QHD+ phone with high ppi. Leo_MC probably has never owned a QHD phone for long, so he does not understand the difference. Coupled with his poor vision and even poorer trolling skills, it quickly becomes apparent why he is trying to justify the 828p display on the XR. It is bad even for genuine Apple fans, because only when the consumer makes the effort to demnad better, the company will give better products. Apple is a trillion dollar company and all, but this year's phones are lackluster except camera improvements and the usual A12 speed enhancement. iPads are relatively better this year.

142. perry1234

Posts: 613; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

justify the *PIXEL DENSITY* of the XR.

136. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

It's actually 300 for a 6/6 vision. Just talk to an optometrist to find out why.

137. wickedwilly

Posts: 458; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

I did ...... Michael Gordon, Optical Engineer, Ophthalmic Surgical Instrumentation R&D "A human with normal vision (20:20 on a Snellen eye exam) can resolve details as fine as 30 line-pairs per degree. At a viewing distance of 12", this means a person with 20:20 vision will be able to resolve 140 line-pairs per inch. People with worse vision will see a uniform gray rather than separate bright and dark lines. In order to display content with this level of detail, more than two pixels* per line-pair are required. The display on the first Retina iPhone had a pixel density of about 320 pixels per inch, just enough to be resolution limited by a viewer with 20:20 vision at 12" viewing distance. A 27" diagonal 4K computer monitor positioned 24" away will have similar pixel density. Most people are capable of appreciating resolution far beyond that however. A large majority of people have visual acuity sharper than 20:20 after corrective lenses. Many users, particularly younger users, can also accommodate viewing distances closer than 12". Someone who has 20:15 vision and holds their phone at 8" away can resolve 280 line pairs per inch, meaning over 560 ppi would be needed to match the retina resolution. Users that fit this criteria are not uncommon, and phones with this resolution do exist. For example the Samsung Galaxy S6 has 577 ppi. However, the limit for detecting incremental improvement is even further past this. When viewing high contrast still images (e.g. something like Google Maps, or black on white text) the eye is able to perceive details far beyond than the optical resolution limit of the eye." I personally can see the difference between an Apple LCD iPhone at 300-325ppi and a Galaxy Note 9. The higher number of ppi makes the display look more sharp, detailed and undistorted. My eyes are not perfect, I use glasses so obvious others can see it too. You need to look past Apples marketing which takes a very narrow view to suit their own ends and open your eyes and look properly.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.