Forget the iPhone SE — iPhone XR just dropped to $499

iPhone XR
The iPhone XR. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone XR is now available in officially refurbished from via Apple's own website. It may be a little out of date compared to the iPhone 11, but this is now your cheapest official way to get a modern iPhone.

Originally reported by MacRumors, you can find the refurbished iPhone XR models alongside the iPhone 8, iPhone X and iPhone XS and XS Max on Apple's own website. The starting price is $499.99 for a 64GB storage model, going up to $629 for the 256GB storage version.

iPhone XR (refurbished): Now $499 @ Apple

iPhone XR (refurbished): Now $499 @ Apple
The refurbished iPhone XR just hit its lowest price yet on Apple's website, getting you a 64GB version of Apple's budget handset.

Compared to a new iPhone XR, these refurbished models are approximately $100 cheaper, and are down close to $250 from its price when it launched in 2018. All are unlocked, so you can plug in your own SIM card with the carrier of your choosing when it arrives.

While refurbished sounds a lot like second-hand, Apple puts in a surprising amount of effort to rejuvenate its phones. The handsets have had their chassis and battery replaced, and the rest has been thoroughly cleaned and checked over for damage before it's put in a fresh box. You'll get all the accessories you'd expect to find contained within and a one-year warranty.

The iPhone XR shares a lot of DNA with the iPhone 11, such as its size and display. However, the XR uses the older A12 chipset instead of the current A13, and because of its age it will most likely lose out on software updates before the 11. You can also buy the iPhone 11 in a choice of six colors, while these refurbished XRs come in either black, coral, white or yellow, the choice limited by storage capacity.

If you want an even cheaper iPhone, then the iPhone SE (2020) starts at $400, although you will miss out on the larger display and Face ID of the XR if you do. Considering what a difference the lack of bezels makes to the smartphone experience, it may be worth forking out the extra $100 for a handset you may find much more enjoyable to use.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.