iPhone XR review – The Best Value iPhone

We have three iPhones in Sep 2018, and due to lack of innovations, the sales didn’t go well for Apple last year. But I think iPhone XR is The Best Value iPhone in 2019.

It’s also your best entry iPhone which allows you to experience the full-screen design on iPhones, iPhone X might be a bit pricy for some of us!

Let’s follow Blablaphone to have a closer look. 🙂 🙂 🙂


iPhone XR inside the box

(iPhone XR, inside the box)


Product: iPhone XR
Display: 6.1” Retina HD display (1792 x 828 pixels)
Chipset: Apple A12 Bionic
Storage: 64/128/256 GB
12.0 MP Quad-LED dual-tone flash, HDR
Front Camera:  7.0 MP HDR
Battery: 2,942 mAh and support Qi wireless charging
Other Features: IP67 (maximum depth of 1 meter up to 30 minutes)


Design & Display

“Does it come with a phone case?” is my first thought when I hold iPhone XR on my hands. The black matrix seems much thicker than iPhone Xs & Xs MAX.

The alternative for this issue is choosing the black color then the bezel won’t look that obvious like other colors.

Apple offers 6 colors for iPhone XR, such as red, yellow, white, coral, black, blue. People said that many color choices make iPhone XR feel like the full-screen versIon of iPhone 5C, but more powerful.


From iPhone 4 till iPhone XR, “Pixels Per Inch” on retina screen is always the same 326 ppi, people mentioned that it’s the biggest compromise for the price to obtain more users for iPhones 2018.

Although LCD is not that ideal as Apple’s OLED screen, it does has some other advantages. For example, iPhone XR’s LCD screen doesn’t have the notorious PWM issue, and it’s better for your eyes and protect them from getting damaged in the low-light environment.

PS. PWM means Pulse Width Modulation, it’s the way OLED screen to control brightness and it will flicker at lower brightness levels.


So it harms your eyes and makes you eyestrain after a while you stare at your phone a bit longer. For sensitive users, it might be uncomfortable. So, be careful about your eyes!


LCD screen doesn't have PWM issue.

(LCD screen does not have PWM issue!)


Another advantage is it won’t have burn-in marks on LCD screen which is the also a big issue when you have an OLED screen phone. The LCD screen doesn’t affect much for my daily use, but if you are heavy video game players and also care much about the color contrast or color saturation, you might go for the iPhone Xs & Xs MAX directly. People tend to go for iPhone Xs for a whole better experience since the price gap is only USD$250.


PPI for iPhones:

iPhone X & iPhone Xs & Xs MAX: 458 ppi
iPhone 8 plus: 401 ppi
iPhone XR: 326 ppi

iPhone XR

(iPhone XR is with thick black matrix.)



The single-camera iPhone XR is mostly compared with Google Pixel 3. It takes the best photos with one single camera, and it combines lots of software enhancements by A12 Bionic Chip.

Although iPhone XR only gets one camera, the photos were taken by it still look amazing. It proves that a good camera on your phone nowadays needs more than just sensors and lens, but also with the advanced software and a powerful chip.


There is another highlight of iPhones in 2018 called “Smart HDR“, it brings more highlight and shadow details to your photos.

You could also use the front camera to take selfies with “Portrait Mode” which make your photo like a pro, although we are not.


With iOS 12 update (now, it’s iOS 13), you may choose from “Studio Light” to brighten facial features, “Contour Light” for more dramatic directional lighting, “Natural Light” (no need to explain, right?)

There are no “Stage Light” to isolate your subject in the spotlight or “Stage Mono” for stage light in a classic black and white in the rear camera of iPhone XR.


But with the front camera, you still have these two light mode choices.


front camera of iPhone XR

(With the software enhancement and A12 Bionic Chip, iPhone XR still takes good photos in the daylight.)


What my experience told me the three lightning modes is enough since I don’t take selfies that much. The Bokeh mode by iPhone XR front camera(TrueDepth camera) gets better than the previous iPhones, and it looks natural.


Bokeh mode allows you to adjust the background blur naturally.

(Bokeh mode looks naturally in iPhone XR, you could adjust the background blur as you want.)


In the daylight, the performance of iPhone XR & iPhone Xs is almost the same, no big difference since both get A12 Bionic chip. At night, iPhone XR does a “so so” job for night photos.


If I have to pick up something bad about the single-camera of iPhone XR, it must be the night mode. I take scenic photos a lot which also include many night photos. But every time I look at the results, I delete them often. This is really something Apple needs to work harder.


Face ID

After iPhone X brings this great feature, people accept the idea – “Your Face is your password!” It works 90% quite well, as for the rest 10%? I mentioned this 10% in my iPhone X review.


“Imagine I am in a meeting with important customers, I need my phone to check something maybe the time for next meeting or another schedule, it’s not possible to lift my phone and face me and do the unlock process…” I will take a step back to use passwords to unlock my phone instead, this is the 10% situation.


I also tried this year for the FACE ID learning path, it gets quicker and quicker to recognize my face. No matter I wear a mask when I am on my way to work, or sunglasses on a sunny day, it almost recognizes my face and unlocks instantly.


(There are Dot Projector, Flood illuminator, and Infrared Camera in the notch of iPhone XR.)


A12 Bionic Chip

A12 Bionic Chip is the most powerful chip in the smartphone industry. A12 delivers extraordinary performance with a next-generation Neural Engine.

It houses a 6-core CPU, with two of these works for performance, the other 4 works for efficiency. With A12 Bionic Chip, iPhone XR is running 15% faster and 50% energy saving.


A12 Bionic Chip

(A12 Bionic Chip houses 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, Neural Engine etc.)


That’s the reason people call iPhone XR lasts the longest among all the different iPhones. There is Neural Engine on A12 Bionic Chip, it is just like you and me. It develops to recognize patterns, make predictions, and learn from experience.


A12 works so fast for AR

(The powerful A12 Bionic chip helps AR experience become so easy and fun.)


Other downsides

Top#01 NO 3D Touch

The 3D touch is gone with iPhone XR. After people get used to 3D touch, Apple decides to remove this feature from the new iPhones.

It is used for people to preview apps and replay some messages quickly like Apple first introduced in 2015 with iPhone 6s, and I used it a lot to launch some functions in different apps quickly to save more time.


Top#02 Heavy Weight

Normal phone ranges from 150 gram to 180 grams, but iPhone XR weighs 194 grams. Just imagine you buy an iPhone XR case to protect your phone, and the total weight will become…?


Weights of iPhones:

iPhone Xs MAX: 208 grams

iPhone 8 plus: 202 grams

iPhone XR: 194 grams

iPhone Xs: 177 grams


Weight and dimension of iPhone XR

(iPhone XR weights 194 grams, and it’s quite heavy if you also have a nice and proper iPhone case.)


Top#03 Camera

iPhone XR is not equipping dual camera as iPhone Xs & Xs MAX, so it does not allow you to use optical zoom for your perfect photo.

Although we know iPhones in 2018 all get A12 Bionic Chip, you could use iPhone Xs for a 10x digital zoom while iPhone XR only allows 5x digital zoom.


Top#04 Battery

It seems that iPhone XR lasts the longest among all the iPhones, but I kind of hope the battery could be larger like the famous ASUS zenfone 6‘s 5,000 mAh.

I need to give a big thumb that Apple uses A12 Bionic Chip for iPhone XR instead of using the last version A11 Bionic to make it less flagship. But, the larger battery the better battery life!


>>>Check the Best Value Here<<<



iPhone XR is never a cheap phone to me since it gets almost everything that iPhone Xs & Xs MAX get. It’s definitely The Best Value iPhone so far!


What I don’t like the most about it is only the performance for a night photography. If Apple could update iOS 13 with “Night Mode”, iPhone XR will still be very competitive in 2019.


I hope you enjoyed this review and if you have any questions about iPhone XR or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment below.



(All photo: Apple)


You may also like:

01.iPhone Xs & Xs MAX review – The Best iPhones Ever

02.iPhone X review – The First Proper Notch Phone

03.iPhone 8 & 8 plus review – The Best Phones in 2017

04.Apple Watch Series 4 Review – The Best Health Monitor

05.iPhone 11 2019 LEAKS – 5 Rumors You Should Know!

iPhone XR








Build Quality




Matt Lin


  1. Thanks that is helpful to know the best entry iPhone.

    I have been using Android so it would be good to know that if I wanted to switch to iPhone this would be a good one. 326ppi seems much lower than Google’s phone that has almost 400 PPI.

    Thanks for the heads-up about the night mode not working as well. Night mode can be important for photos. I will keep this page for a future reference.

  2. IPhone XR is one of the most beautiful phones I have ever seen in my life and unarguably to me, the most beautifully structured iPhone.

    Leaving the outer structure and beauty, this phone has got some great features too and could be on the level of the X or XS.

    I have a friend who uses it and the camera is awesome too. This review has pointed out some other features I never knew were present on it. Thanks

    • Hi RoDarrick,

      Yeah, iPhone XR is made by the super high standard from Apple which we never the same built quality at other smartphone manufacturers.

      It’s very interesting that the difference between XR and XS is not huge, so it confuses people quite often. You may check out my review on iPhone Xs & Xs MAX here, hope you also enjoy it. 🙂

  3. That’s a really cool and informative article.

    I am a big fan of apple products and the iphone XR is one of my favourite products. But how does it compare to the XS, since the price gap is about $250, there is a lot to think about getting both the phones. I would love your opnion on this.


    • Hi Shashwat,

      Thanks for the feedback, If I choose, I might go for iPhone XS since you would get a better camera experience and you may check out my review on iPhone Xs & Xs MAX, hope it could clear a bit more for you! 🙂

  4. That phone is really heavy. Adding a case to it even makes it look bulky.

    I don’t understand why the iphoneX have too look that way but the camera though single still works really well. Never tried them out at night though. The battery is great but like you said needs upgrading.

    As a disclaimer, I didn’t use the phone, a friend of mine bought the Car yellow type and it was really cool. I just felt the single camera didn’t allow for wider angle shot but the phone was really good.

    • Hi Henderson,

      Yeah, I agree on the weight issue and Apple tried hard to use the algorithm to make the photo shot from iPhone XR great too, and they did a great job on this although iPhone XR only gets one camera.

      I hope you may check out my review on iPhone Xs & Xs MAX or maybe iPhone X, hope you enjoy it!

  5. My daughter wants me to get her and iPhone and she said she wants XR, I checked for the price and saw it was more expensive than iphone X.

    Eventually we settled for iphone X and after a while of using it she came back saying she prefer X over XR. Sometimes I want to try these phones myself. 

    • Hi Dane, 

      Haha, you are a great father who always provides something best for children. Yeah, although iPhone X or iPhone XR get one camera, both could take great photos too.

      I hope you to consider to get an iPhone Xs or Xs MAX for yourself next time? 

  6. Hello, Matt Lin,

    Thank you for uploading this informative article. You have included every feature in iPhone XR one by one. That is great. When we are seeking to buy a phone from a shop the shop owner or dealer always describes the facilities and features on the phone.

    But, when we do online we don’t get much information. There, you are in the right way to put all the information on this phone. I feel this is a really good phone but I am not rich as much as to buy it at this time.

    However, I decided to buy this very best phone in the future. Good luck.

    • Hi Jayakodi,

      I think iPhone XR is the best choice for an entry iPhone user, and even you want to re-sell it in the future, the price will not go down much compared to other flagships in the market.

      You could also think it’s an investment too 🙂 You could also check iPhone X if the price goes down further when the new models released later this year.

  7. The iPhone XR delivers fast performance, great cameras and longer battery life than other flagship phones, all in a colorful and affordable package. 

    The single rear camera offers excellent performance and impressive portraits, complete with depth control, but the Pixel 3 has a better camera in low light.

    Again as a phone snob,i couldn’t help but notice how cool it is. Thanks 

  8. My current phone is Vivo and I’m thinking of switching to iPhone, maybe iPhone XR. The reason is, my current phone is low in RAM which prohibits saving more videos and photos. What I like with iPhones is, they generally have higher RAM and in the settings, you can choose to save on SD rather than on phone memory only. With my Vivio phone, there’s no option in the settings to make it the default storage.

    • Hi Gomer, 

      Love to see you back on my blog and thanks a lot for the feedback on my review of iPhone XR. I assume you are mentioning the storage on smartphones instead of RAM, right? Since iPhone XR only has 64/128GB versions, you might be careful about the best one that suits you. 

      If you need to save more videos and photos on your phone, I might suggest you check my review of Samsung Galaxy Note10+ which storage up to 1TB!!!

  9. Thank you for this review of the iPhone XR. Ever since cell phones became touch screen, I have always owned an iPhone. I am a big fan of iOS mobile devices, I even have an iPad too.

    The features of the XR look and sound amazing and I am sure there will be many people who will be getting this. But I have always been someone who doesn’t get the next best model right away. As far as highest quality photo taking, which model X phone would you recommend?

    • Hi Robert,

      Thanks for the honest feedback on my review of iPhone XR, and I think I am like you don’t like to get the latest models right after it launched. For example, iPhone series 11 this year. For iPhone X, I think iPhone Xs will be my top#01 choice since my hand is not big enough to handle a big phone and still a fan for the one-hand phone like iPhone used to be ten years ago. 

      You are more than welcome to check my review on iPhone Xs & Xs MAX, and would love to hear your thoughts on both of them.

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