Last year, Apple changed tradition by launching three new phones, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the special iPhone X. This year, Apple shuffled the product portfolio further by making the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max the primary products, and the new iPhone XR as the outlier. At first glance, the iPhone XR may give off the impression it’s a resurrection of the iPhone 5C, given all the colour choices, but a closer examination reveals more than meets the eye.

The iPhone XR features the same powerful processor from the iPhone XS (Review); the A12 Bionic. The A12 Bionic is built using the 7nm fabrication process and features six-cores with two performance cores that are up to 15 percent faster than the CPU performance cores in the A11 Bionic chip. The phone also has a 6.1-inch display which Apple calls “Liquid Retina” with a resolution of 828 x 1792 pixels, pegging its pixel density at 326ppi. This is the same pixel density as the iPhone 8, but this time, packed into a display that’s larger than even the iPhone 8 Plus (Review), but with an overall form factor that’s smaller. Apple says that this is the most colour accurate LCD in the industry at the moment, but we’re going to test this out. To top the basics off, there’s a 2942mAh battery which you can top up via fast charging or even through wireless charging.

Unlike what happened with the iPhone 5C, the iPhone XR does not skimp out on the quality of construction or the design language. From the front, the iPhone XR looks like it belongs in the league of the iPhone XS. Turn the phone around and you start to notice the differences. Apple is offering the iPhone XR in an explosion of colours, all which are pretty nice. The colour is applied below the glass on the back and the frame is painted to match the colour on the back. Unlike the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR’s frame has a matte finish which feels nice to the touch. The iPhone XR has an IP67 rating, which is still good enough for most liquid accidents that can occur in day-to-day life.

The Apple iPhone XR comes with a single camera at the back, which shares its specifications with the wide-angle camera found on the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max (Review). A 12-megapixel sensor with an increased amount of phase detect pixels for faster focusing are aided by an optically stabilized lens with an aperture of f/1.8. Now, this is where some people might not be very happy. The iPhone XR starts at Rs 76990 for the 64GB variant, just a few hundred rupees short of the price of the iPhone 8 Plus when it launched. Thus, the lack of a dual camera setup will pinch, but that’s how you know you’ve opted for the cheaper iPhone. However, Apple does try to make sure you don’t feel the loss of camera too much by offering a machine learning based Portrait Mode along with 3 Portrait Lighting effects.

For the front, Apple is using the exact same hardware found on the iPhone XS/Max; the same 7-megapixel camera with a depth sensor and dot projector to enable FaceID and hardware-based Portrait Mode for selfies. We can’t wait to find out just how effective the imaging setup on the iPhone XR is, whether it lives up to the expectations people have from Apple’s smartphones or not.

There are hints of all of Apple’s previous interesting products, the iPhone 5C, the iPhone SE, the iPhone 8 and in some ways, even the iPhone XS. It’s a rather “interesting” mish-mash of many iPhones and while some aspects of it appear promising, there may be certain features (like a missing secondary camera) that may put some users off. As of now, our first impressions of the Apple iPhone XR is that it is definitely an interesting product from Apple, fitting into a rather unique price-point, however, whether this is a smartphone that’s worth your money is something we’re going to detail out in our in-depth review.

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