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What just happened? If you're looking for a new iPhone and want to save a bit of money, Apple is now selling refurbished iPhone XR handsets in various colors and storage capacities. They're available with $100 to $120 off the regular prices---a good saving for something that's essentially identical to a brand-new model.
The iPhone XR was the best-selling phone last year, so purchasing a refurbished version is likely to prove popular. Boasting the A12 Bionic SoC and a 6.1-inch IPS LCD panel, the XR only recently lost the "world's most popular smartphone" title to its successor, the iPhone 11.
Apple slashed the price of the iPhone XR's base price from $749 to $599 when the iPhone 11 series landed, and now buyers can save even more by opting for a refurbished device. The 64GB model is going for $499, offering a $100 saving, while a 128GB handset is $539, which is $110 cheaper than purchasing a new one. There's also the now-discontinued 256GB iPhone XR available for $629.
$499 is still $100 more expensive than the new iPhone SE, which comes with the superior A13 Bionic chip that helped it win the 'Best Mainstream Segment' in our Best Smartphones feature. What you do get with the iPhone XR, however, is a more modern handset design with minimal bezels and a notch, along with Face ID instead of the Touch ID used in the iPhone SE.
Buying anything that's classed as "refurbished" can be a concern, but Apple says these iPhone XR handsets come with both a new battery and outer shell. They're also thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged inside a new box with all manuals and accessories, making them identical to the new versions. You even get Apple's standard one-year guarantee, which can be extended with AppleCare+