Apple unveils the iPhone XR, a $749 budget smartphone

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Apple's "Gather Round" event kicked off today, and company executives revealed quite a few exciting new products. We were shown the all-new Apple Watch Series 4, the iPhone Xs, and Apple's new flagship device, the Xs Max.

That wasn't all, though - towards the end of the event, Apple revealed that it had one last trick up its sleeve: the iPhone XR, the company's newest budget smartphone offering.

The device features a 6.1" "Liquid Retina" all-screen LCD display (with Apple's signature notch), Apple's "most durable" glass to date. From a hardware perspective, the XR has pretty much the same tech as the Xs and Xs Max.

For example, the XR will ship with the Apple's newest proprietary A12 Bionic chip (the same chip the Xs and Xs Max house), which contains a four-core GPU that offers "up to" 50 percent faster performance and a six-core CPU with "up to" 15 percent better performance.

The chip also contains a "next-generation" Neural Engine that aims to bring the power of machine learning to photo editing and augmented reality apps. For example, users can try out the new depth-of-field control image editing feature, which lets you bring the background of any given image in and out of focus after it's already been taken.

Given the XR's budget nature, a few feature cutbacks were inevitable. For example, the XR only houses a single 12mp rear camera, though the front-facing camera does retain the TrueTone Face ID technology present in the Xs and Xs Max.

One of the other downgrades the XR comes with is a lower overall maximum storage capacity. Whereas the Xs' flash storage can be upgraded to a whopping 512GB, the XR caps out at 256GB.

Apple hasn't compromised on the XR's defense against the elements, though. The device features IP67 dust and water resistance, allegedly allowing you to drop the phone into a swimming pool, dive down to retrieve it, and continue to use it as normal after a drying-out period.

Apple claims the XR will boast "all-day" battery life. Though the company didn't specify what exactly that means, it did say the XR will last "up to" an hour and a half longer than the iPhone 8 Plus on a single charge.

Briefly returning to the XR's camera tech, Apple says the device will come with "TrueDepth" camera sensors, which reportedly paves the way for significantly faster Face ID authentication.

If that claim is accurate, it'll be interesting to see it in action; Face ID in the iPhone X is fast, but there's still room for improvement.

In terms of device construction, the iPhone XR boasts "aerospace-grade" aluminum with glass backing, allowing for full wireless charging functionality.

With the XR's notable features and specifications out of the way, let's talk pricing. The smartphone's base model starts at $749, and comes in six surprisingly vibrant colors - white, black, blue, yellow, coral, and "(PRODUCT)RED."

You'll be able to pre-order the XR on October 19, and it'll ship out a week later on October 26.

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dispo

TS Rookie
Garbage title. It's not a budget phone and it isn't positioned as one. It is cheaper than the previous iPhone 8 Plus while increasing screen size, and upgrading the screen, camera, SoC, and battery. It's a flagship by the specs, it's just that Apple also has a higher-end series that is their actual flagship. Calling it budget is just begging the Apple-hating trolls to come out (and contribute nothing to the conversation). If they marketed it as a budget phone, then by all means, let's make fun of Apple, but they continue to sell the iPhone 7 and 8 series to fill the lower price points.
 

Jeff Schmidt

TS Addict
I guess you can call it a budget device when it's $250 cheaper than the next model. Or $350 for the one after that (before any storage upgrades).

I'll stick with my pixel 2 xl for a while longer. It has amazing battery and it doesn't get throttled to hell after a year of being released.
 
Apple is made to tax stupid people. No sane person would pay so much for budget phone and it's good they take money away from them before they use it to support republicans or some other more harmful entity. I mean apple is evil but they only want your money, they don't actively try to make your life worse.
 

L Monty

TS Rookie
Garbage title. It's not a budget phone and it isn't positioned as one. It is cheaper than the previous iPhone 8 Plus while increasing screen size, and upgrading the screen, camera, SoC, and battery. It's a flagship by the specs, it's just that Apple also has a higher-end series that is their actual flagship. Calling it budget is just begging the Apple-hating trolls to come out (and contribute nothing to the conversation). If they marketed it as a budget phone, then by all means, let's make fun of Apple, but they continue to sell the iPhone 7 and 8 series to fill the lower price points.
Hate to burst your bubble, but the iPhone Xr screen is not an upgrade. The resolution is below Full HD, and only slightly better than 720p. It is below the resolution of even cheap (but very good) Android phones like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.

So yes, the iPhone Xr *is* a budget phone. An expensive one, unfortunately, but with truly budget screen resolution.
 

Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
Lol ok Apple... that isn't a budget phone, more like a mid-range phone. Make a 4" screen version for $450 and we'll talk.
Mid-range phone, get a Moto G for less than $200, if it's more than $500 I prefer to get a last gen flagship phone (Not the scam Apple though, that they start throttling down phones for "battery purposes").

I got an LG G2 at the same time my wife got an iPhone 6, today if you put them side by side on performance and loading times, the LG wins by a humongous distance.

She got the iPhone X although I recommended -and almost convinced her to get- the S9 (And it was cheaper on the plan), and I got the S9, all I will say is that the next phone we get will be an Android for her :)
 
LOLing at the people here complaining about the phone being labeled "budget". Techspot said that, Apple is doing no such thing and frankly would probably be annoyed with the association.

Oops sorry, now where and how do I make a "sheep" comment so I fit in with the rest of the herd parroting "sheep" comments.
 
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m-tec

TS Booster
I'm now on my 3rd smartphone and all 3 still come to less than this "budget phone". Nokia 8 for £230 new, that'l do nicely!
 

Peter Farkas

TS Evangelist
Lol ok Apple... that isn't a budget phone, more like a mid-range phone. Make a 4" screen version for $450 and we'll talk.
I would love to see a 4” version too!! I quickly bought an SE today before stock runs out and we may without proper 4” smartphones. I hope apple is just trolling by removing the SE without even mentioning or explaining why....
Hopefully a surprise SE2 will come at spring.
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Mid-range phone, get a Moto G for less than $200, if it's more than $500 I prefer to get a last gen flagship phone (Not the scam Apple though, that they start throttling down phones for "battery purposes").

I got an LG G2 at the same time my wife got an iPhone 6, today if you put them side by side on performance and loading times, the LG wins by a humongous distance.

She got the iPhone X although I recommended -and almost convinced her to get- the S9 (And it was cheaper on the plan), and I got the S9, all I will say is that the next phone we get will be an Android for her :)
Yeah no doubt Android phones are a better value for money, but I'm done with Android phones for now as you are pretty much screwed on regular OS updates on non-flagship phones after a short while. The manufacturers and carriers don't care keep the budget phones updated so not before long your phone is out of date. Apple controls the updates for their OS and releases it to all compatible phones regardless of carrier. So that appeals to me a lot more, even though I'm starting to get annoyed with the small bugs, general annoyances, and inadequate Clock/Alarm app in iOS that remain unchanged in each major release.

As for the performance throttling that was a pretty crappy thing for Apple to do. They are still beta testing the battery health info and they better damn well give the user the option to turn off throttling if they want. If I want to sacrifice run time between charges for performance then that is my decision. That being said there is no point in being a hater, because the idea in general is helpful as a lot of people would prefer a longer run time and would be ok with the phone moving a little slower.