iPhone XR review - The Lower Limit That is Still Very Feasible

iPhone XR review - The Lower Limit That is Still Very Feasible

You're wanting to get into the Apple ecosystem and look for a smartphone, it's not expensive, but you can give a good experience. Or just moving from Android, wants to change the operating system, but with hardware that is not much different. The iPhone XR can be the best solution in 2021.

iPhone XR review - The Lower Limit That is Still Very Feasible

This smartphone is present since 2018, present as the first "cheap" iPhone that carries a full-screen design (even if compared to the current generation smartphone, where is it "full"?). It looks colorful, big screen, and supports the latest series of other series such as emoji through a FaceID camera, for example.

Even though it always uses it with some of the latest Android series even flagship, it is not infrequently I prefer to use this one cheap iPhone to access applications and others. Is it still worth buying? Here's the full review.


Do you want the cheapest old iPhone that has a new iPhone-like design? Of course, it's not an iPhone SE (2020), but the iPhone XR is the most appropriate choice. Even though, indeed, if the selfie is in front of the glass, it will be seen if the camera sensor is only one. But for other parts it is just the same as the iPhone 11 - even you can use the case of the iPhone 11 precisely.

Build Quality also feels like a flagship. Both the windshield and back of the frame of Gorilla Glass, while the frames are not made of plastic, but aluminum series 7000. Weighing 194 grams, not too heavy, but it feels very sturdy. Don't seem cheap at all.

Of course, it is also complete with IP67 dustproof and water to a depth of 1 meter. It's just that, the dimensions of this Apple smartphone are indeed quite large. It might be trouble for those of you who have small hands - even though Apple gives help to 'lower the top screen portion so that it can be touched when using it with one finger.

Without a fingerprint sensor, the iPhone XR utilizes its front camera equipped with a Face ID sensor. The sensor is very instant and accurate in all conditions, even when I am using a mask (to cleanse the face, yes, if the medical mask will certainly directly bring the PIN option).


Don't see the specifications on the paper, but it's better to see it directly. On paper, it feels very poor - a standard flagship smartphone has a 6.1-inch screen with IPS panels and resolution approaching HD +. Don't have a high refresh rate too.

All I can say, I prefer to edit photos with the iPhone XR screen rather than the middle-class Android smartphone, including pixels. Because the screen is more accurate, so it will be more precise when giving an additional touch. It could be, one of the best IPS screens (when overriding resolution).

Regarding resolution, it is also not seen, how come. What might need adjustments is the thickness of the bezel around it. It will look very thick, especially if you get used to the mid-range Android smartphone bezel which is getting more minimalist. At least, the left and bottom left bezel has the same thickness.


Again, it cannot be seen just from the specifications on paper. The iPhone XR rear camera sensor is only one, but I still often use it for snap photos of every day, compared to the Android camera that I am holding both classmates and more new and expensive series.

The sensor is 'only' 12MP F / 1.8. Without a secondary sensor, portrait photos can only be taken specifically for human objects, and the results are quite good. In my opinion, the Smart HDR feature on this smartphone can still be considered equivalent to today's flagship. Able to balance photo exposures in many conditions.

iPhone XR review - Camera

Because of the features of the HDR and a typical Apple color tone, I use the iPhone XR camera more often to photograph human objects, because skin tone or the color of the skin is neutral and accurate. Including photos in the outdoor scenario. What is lacking, of course in the lack of light, because it is not equipped with night mode. Can be a little tricky by buying third-party applications, such as neuralcam.

The front camera is also very natural and can provide the most fitting skin color, with quite high detail additional effects. Utilizing sensors from FaceID, portrait effects also look very natural, with special additional effects. The point of view is not wide, indeed, but it's still very right for my photo.

Video recording is also very high quality. The OIS and EIS combination which also works in 4K resolution can give the best and stable footage, up to 4K 60fps. Stable framerate plus HDR that works effectively, as well as a quality stereo microphone.

Launched with iOS 12, of course, the iPhone XR still supports the latest iOS series even in the next few years. The feature section is also one of the determining factors why I chose this smartphone, rather than the iPhone SE (2020), for example. One of them is a FaceID sensor.

The sensor gives a lot of abilities. In addition to unlocking the screen (which is rather futile when using a mask and do not use Apple Watch), the sensor in FaceID can produce more subtle portrait effects, plus features such as emoji. Automatic, iPhone SE (2020) cannot make expressive emoji.

And the larger screen size is also more suitable to put widgets or utilize the Picture-in-Picture feature. But this might also depend on personal taste. NFC sensors can certainly be used for top-up e-money cards. Even stereo speaker setup, I think it's very high quality.


Can still compete with today's Android flagship. Apple A12 Bionic used on the iPhone XR has used the 7nm fabrication process, with a 6-core CPU architecture and a 4-core GPU. His RAM Capacity? Only 3GB. But I guarantee, as long as you use it don't need to close the application to keep it tight.

Pause Open Close Application is still relatively instant, the application displacement is also fast and minimal reload. A very far leap, especially if you move from the iPhone 7, for example. And because of fast, the iPhone XR quite rarely feels hot. Even though is being used a VPN or zoom access while charging power, the temperature is still very well maintained.

For storage, there is a capacity of 64/128 / 256GB. When using the smallest capacity, I get used to backup photos and videos regularly around 2-4 weeks. It must be done because the quality of the camera and video that is still good makes me quite often captured the moment, which is directly proportional to memory consumption.

The iPhone XR that I use is more than two years old, and the percentage of Battery Health has shown 86%. For use during that time, it was quite impressive in my opinion. The capacity is 'only' 2.942 mAh, far compared to today's Android. But I can still make this smartphone hold up to one full day.

A little need to struggle, indeed, but it can still be achieved. If you buy a new unit with a 100% battery, it will certainly be very easy and maybe it can reach 1.5 days of use. Because despite the release of 2018, the processor has indeed been strong and power-saving.

Fill this smartphone with a lightning cable and the default 5W adapter doesn't taste like hell. But if Gizmo Friends bought a new unit, generally using a Lightning to USB-C cable that supports Fast Charging 15W. With a suitable adapter, filling until it takes a time at 90 minutes. Not too long, the standard is yes.

I think the capacity of the battery is large (for iPhone size) and an efficient processor makes this device more often charged. Which certainly has an effect on the battery life for years ahead. Important factors to determine the iPhone as an option.

iPhone XR review - Specifications

Apple iPhone XR Specifications

  • Type: Smartphone
  • Screen size: 6.1 inches
  • OS version: iOS 12
  • CPU: Apple A12 Bionic, Hexa Core Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
  • CPU speed: 2.4 GHz
  • Internal memory: 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • External memory: -
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion 2716 mAh Non-Removable
  • Screen resolution: 1792 x 828 Pixel
  • Network: 2G, 3G, 4G
  • Camera: Back 12 MP, Front 7 MP
  • Dimensions size: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
  • Weight: 194 g
  • Other features: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Barometer, Face ID
  • Price: $ 416.73 (the price depends on the place of purchase)


In my opinion, the iPhone XR fits into the 'lower limit' for those of you who want to try to plunge into the Apple ecosystem, trying out the smartphone but don't want to get too much budget. Physical design, screen, and experience of use are the same as the latest series, so it doesn't feel lagging even though the release has been a few years before.

So if the question arises between the iPhone XR and the iPhone SE (2020), consideration can be reduced into three main counseling points; Is it okay with more wasteful battery life? Small screen without FaceID support? And an old-school design with a thick bezel? If okay, just go ahead. Prices are cheaper, and the processor is even a newer level.

My consideration, from the previous use of the iPhone 7, is a battery factor. It's a bit lazy if you have to fill in power (because the iPhone that I use is quite often for video recording and social media access). As well as a little pessimistic because the iPhone SE uses the old-fashioned screen ratio, while XR is modern, where I assume if there will be a change of UI, it will certainly be more fitting. Just assume.

Hopefully, this review can help you who are planning to buy an iPhone XR or are being hit by confusion to choose between XR and SE (2020). Again, adjust to your personal needs.