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Apple iPhone XR - Hands On

14 September 2018

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have bigger displays, a custom-designed chip and new photography powers. In a worst-case scenario, the iPhone SE will mark the last compact iPhone model to ever appear in an Apple store.

In addition to unveiling some new models, Apple looks as if it just pruned its collection of iPhones.

Apple surprised with a third smartphone, the "lower-end" iPhone XR ($749).

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Apple iPhone XR - Hands On

Like their predecessor, the iPhone X, the name is meant to be pronounced as the number 10. The phone, which costs more than a basic Apple laptop ($1449 in its maxed-out Max configuration), is in many ways becoming a replacement for a laptop - minus the keyboard.

On Twitter, Apple fans are simultaneously hailing the sleek new products and dragging the company for its name choice. The iPhone XS has a price that starts at $999, but tops out at $1,349. On the top of the device is a notch which houses the front camera and the Face ID.

"Did they really name the new iPhone the 'excess"?' XS? Is this an SNL skit?' another user commented. The processor in the new iPhones is more advanced than any rival product, capable of the kind of heavy lifting once consigned exclusively to supercomputers.

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It is positioning the new watch as a more comprehensive health device, able to take an electrocardiogram to detect an irregular heartbeat and start an emergency call automatically if it detects a user falling down, potentially appealing to older customers.

Then there's the Xs Max with a 6.5-inch display. The iPhone XS and XS Plus are proper ultra-premium flagship Apple smartphones with the best technologies that the Cupertino behemoth can cram into a phone right now. While we still don't know what the R stands for (Regular, Rookie, Rad?), it's obvious this is the iPhone for Apple fans with a smaller budget, with a design that isn't quite as flashy, a single 12-megapixel camera and a 6.1in LCD display.

This idea of minor refinements, rather than huge leaps forward, also seemed evident in the iPhone XS" camera system, which Gareth notes highlights "how this is very much an "S' year for the iPhone range".

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Apple has bolstered the batteries loaded into each phone too.

The iPhone Xr sports a bigger display compared to the iPhone 8 Plus, and unlike the iPhone Xs and Xs Max's OLED displays, it features a different setup which Apple calls, "Liquid Retina" boasting the most color accuracy in the industry, with wide color support and True Tone for a more natural viewing experience. The first new design for the watch since its launch three years ago, the new Apple Watch has a almost edge-to-edge display and comes in both 40mm and 44mm sizes.

Apple's promised wireless charger was notably absent from its latest iPhone event. Both will come in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB sizes. I couldn't run benchmarks during my short time with the phone, but the A12's specs look absolutely fearsome, especially in the graphics and image-processing departments.

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Just like last year's iPhone X model.

Apple iPhone XR - Hands On