Of the three iPhones announced recently, the iPhone XR is the most affordable. The basic 64 GB variant costs Rs 76,900, about Rs 23,000 less than the new flagship XS, again the 64 GB version (we refrain from discussing the XS Max as it is the bigger version of the XS). Both the XR and the XS share many core features, namely, the iOS 12, a seven-nanometre A12 bionic chip, wireless charging, FaceID, selfie camera and the upcoming dual-SIM support. But there are a few differences.
The XR sports a glass front and rear with an aerospace-grade aluminium band and comes in six attractive hues - the classic white and black, funky blue, coral, yellow and elegant red. The 6.1-inch liquid crystal display - Apple calls it Liquid Retina - with 326 ppi ensures sharp images and good colour reproduction. But place it next to an OLED screen and it looks dull. Display settings include TrueTone for adjusting the colour temperature based on the light of the surroundings, but I preferred keeping it off.
The XR features a notch at the top, housing the FaceID module and the front camera. But the bezels running into the notch are much thicker than those on the XS. It also supports gestures - swiping up from the bottom takes to the home screen; swiping up and holding shows the running apps and so on. At 194g, this one weighs on the higher side and the soft finish makes it slippery.
The display is not too big, but I had to stretch my hand a little to reach the top of the screen. The XR is IP67-certified, which means it is water-resistant in one metre of water for up to 30 minutes.
Then there is the rear camera. The XR features a single 12 MP rear camera instead of the dual-camera set-up on the XS. But it is on a par with the XS main camera at the back minus the telephoto lens, which is required for bokeh images.
Apple, however, uses IPS, neural engine and algorithms to capture portraits. It also allows adjusting the depth effect for portraits during editing, but the results are not as good as the stunning depth images taken by Google's Pixel 3 that uses a single camera and AI power.
There is no compromise on the performance front, though. There was no app crashing or freezing and no frame loss as I put it to test as a gaming device. FaceID was quick to unlock the iPhone and a single charge lasted me an average day.