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Oct 23, 2018

If you want a next-as-in-X-generation iPhone but you don't want to pay a thousand or more bucks for it, you want an XR.

iPhone XR — never mind what the R means, it's just a new letter for Apple, one before S, "racing" if you're into cars, "reflex" if you're into cameras, cool-sounding either way. It's everything you need in a next-as-in-X-generation iPhone, minus some bells and whistles... and the higher price tag.

LCD instead of OLED display. Single instead of dual camera system. Haptic touch instead of 3D Touch. LTE Advanced and 2x2 MIMO instead of Gigabit and 4x4. Aluminum instead of steel bands. Back glass that's stronger than iPhone X but not quite as strong as iPhone XS.

It does come in a range of fancy new finishes though: black, white, blue, yellow, coral orange, and Product (RED). And at that lower price — $250 lower — starting at $749.

It does have the new edge-to-curved-edge design language, Face ID and the True Depth camera up front, the latest 12 megapixel, Smart HDR camera on the back, the industry-leading A12 Bionic chipset inside, wide stereo speakers on both ends, and dual SIM card support if one carrier and one number just isn't enough.

So, what are you getting with iPhone XR and what are you giving up? I've spent the last week with a black iPhone XR, and here's what I've found.