Updated Oct. 26: The iPhone XR is available in stores and online today. Be sure to check out our best iPhone XR deals.
The iPhone XR is here. The 6.1-inch phone gives iPhone shoppers a less expensive — and more colorful — alternative to the $999 iPhone XS and $1,099 iPhone XS Max.
Here's what you need to know about the iPhone XR, including where you can get it, the color options and cost for different storage options.
When is the iPhone XR coming out?
The iPhone XR lands in stores today (Oct. 26). In addition to being available from Apple, you'll be able to get it from wireless carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon and Xfinity, and retailers such as Best Buy and Sam's Club
Where can I buy the iPhone XR?
No, preorders for the iPhone XR actually started last Friday. You can order for the iPhone XR at Apple, where you can buy the phone outright or pay for it in monthly installments through the iPhone Upgrade Program. Under this program, you can upgrade to a new iPhone next year, getting priority for pre-orders; Apple also includes AppleCare coverage as part of the program. Your monthly payments would be higher at Apple, than if you bought the iPhone XR on an installment plan through a wireless carrier.
At this point, if you want your iPhone XR in your hands as soon as possible, your best bet is to head down to the nearest Apple Store on Friday and see what models are in stock. You can still order online, but a quick check of Apple's online store suggests you'll have to wait three to five business days before your phone ships out. That means you won't get your new iPhone until next week at the earliest unless you grab one at a brick-and-mortar store.
All of the Big Four carriers in the U.S. are taking iPhone XR orders, too, with prices varying on the length of the installment plan — Sprint offers an 18-month lease, Verizon lets you pay the phone off over 24 months, AT&T's program runs 30 months, and T-Mobile now has 36-month pricing if you really want to stretch out your payments. And depending on the carrier, you may find an appealing iPhone XR deal.
How much does the iPhone XR cost?
The iPhone XR costs $749 for the base 64GB model. Upping the storage to 128GB costs another $50, while you can get a 256GB iPhone XR for $899.
That means the 64GB iPhone XR costs $250 less than the base model iPhone XS. While adding extra storage to Apple's other iPhones will push your price tag over $1,000, the you'll pay no more than $900 with the iPhone XR.
What colors does the iPhone XR come in?
Price is only one of the differences you'll see between the iPhone XR and Apple's current iPhones. The new model also comes in a wider array of colors than the silver, space gray and gold finishes for the iPhone XS and XS Max.
Besides conventional black and white options, the iPhone XR gives you a choice of blue, yellow, coral and a ruby Product Red variant. The aluminum bands around the XR match those colors, too. Some colors are proving to be more popular than others in pre-orders (or it could mean that there are just fewer yellow iPhone XRs to go around).
How is the iPhone XR different from the other iPhones?
To keep the price tag down on the iPhone XR, Apple sacrificed a few features from the iPhone XS. The OLED panel on the more expensive iPhones is gone, replaced by a less expensive LCD screen. You'll also give up 3D Touch with the iPhone XR, meaning you'll no longer hard press on an app icon to bring up shortcuts. (The XR replicates some of the 3D Touch experience with something called Haptic Touch, which will summon up some of those shortcuts.)
On the back of the iPhone XR, you'll get a single camera instead of the dual shooters you'll find on the XS and XS Max. That means no optical zoom, though you'll still be able to take photos in portrait mode, adding stylish blurs to the background.
Otherwise, a lot of the features you'll find in the iPhone XS are back in the XR — chiefly, the A12 Bionic processor that makes Apple's phones the best-performing handsets available today. You'll also get a TrueDepth camera on the front of the phone for unlocking your iPhone with your face and creating all those Animoji and Memoji you've been seeing your iPhone XS-toting friends having fun with.
iPhone XS vs iPhone XS Max vs iPhone XR
|iPhone XS ||iPhone XS Max ||iPhone XR|
|Processor||A12 Bionic||A12 Bionic||A12 Bionic|
|Screen||5.8-inch OLED (2,436 x 1,125 pixels)||6.5-inch OLED (2,688 x 1,242 pixels)||6.1-inch LCD (1,792 x 828 Pixels)|
|Storage||64GB, 256GB, 512GB||64GB, 256GB, 512GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|Rear Camera||Dual 12MP wide (ƒ/1.8) and telephoto (ƒ/2.4)||Dual 12MP wide (ƒ/1.8) and telephoto (ƒ/2.4)||Single 12MP (ƒ/1.8)|
|Front Camera||7MP, ƒ/2.2||7MP, ƒ/2.2||7MP, ƒ/2.2|
|Battery Life (claimed)||9:41 (tested)||11:30 (tested)||Up to 15 hours (claimed)|
|Metal frame||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Aluminum|
|Colors||Gold, Silver, Space Gray||Gold, Silver, Space Gray||Black, White, Red, Yellow, Blue, and Coral|
|Weight||6.2 ounces||7.3 ounces||6.8 ounces|
|Size||5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches||6.2 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches||5.9 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches|
Is the iPhone XR the least expensive iPhone?
Among the new iPhones, it is. But true to its past approach, Apple keeps around models from previous years, selling them at a discount. So if price is your absolute focus, as nice as the iPhone XR is, you can buy an even cheaper phone from Apple.
That would be the iPhone 7, currently available at $49 for the 4.7-inch model. (The 5.5-inch 7 Plus costs $569.) If you'd like a phone with more recent specs, last year's iPhone 8 is available for $599 and the 8 Plus costs $699. Those are all lower prices than the iPhone XR's starting price of $749, but you'll get older specs in return.
What do people think of the iPhone XR?
Well, we like it. The Tom's Guide review of the iPhone XR calls it "the best iPhone for the money," with editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer marveling that you get the same fast processor and many of the same camera improvements found in the iPhone XS, but for much, much less. That seems to be the consensus among iPhone XR reviewers, who note that the new phone requires some trade-offs but bonuses like longer battery life make it worth giving up the more premium features of the XS.
Image Credits: Tom's Guide