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Early iPhone XR reviews praise performance & battery life

Some of the first iPhone XR reviews are emerging ahead of the product's official launch on Friday, pointing out some limits for Apple's device, but maintaining an overall positive tone.

Apple iPhone XR



There is "no difference" in the power or performance of the iPhone XR versus the iPhone XS, Pocket Lint noted. Both phones use an A12 Bionic processor, but the XR technically has 3 gigabytes of RAM versus the 4 in the XS and XS Max.

"Battery is where the iPhone XR really shines," CNET commented, writing that it was able to run the XR on a single charge for a full day, despite tasks like games, videos, music, and reading. "It looks like a smart choice for anyone who's been waiting for some extra battery kick without needing to bring a battery pack," the site said.

One of the earliest battery benchmarks comes from Tom's Guide, which found the phone able to last 11 hours and 26 minutes during continuous Web browsing at 150 nits of brightness. That's equal to Samsung's Galaxy Note 9, but better than the 10 hours and 38 minutes of the XS Max, and the 9 hours and 41 minutes of the standard XS.

The lower-resolution LCD display on the XR is "fine," according to The Verge. "Anyone coming to this phone from any iPhone save the iPhone X will not notice a huge discrepancy in resolution."

TechCrunch observed that people who put the XR side-by-side with an XS will see the deeper colors and blacks made possible by the latter's OLED panel.

On the XR's camera, Wired indicated that while it's largely on par with the XS, Apple has implemented some restrictions to Portrait mode for a single-lens camera. Trying to use the mode with anything but a person will trigger a "no person detected" message, and the phone only has access to three Portrait Lighting options, two less than the XS. The XS and XS Max have dual-lens cameras that enable more depth data, as well as 2x optical zoom.

Another gap between the devices is 3D Touch, which is absent on the XR. iMore noted that Apple has a functional replacement, but it only works with the Flashlight and Camera lockscreen icons, the Control Center, and the keyboard when long-pressing the spacebar to invoke the trackpad.

"Everything else, from Live Photos on the Lock screen to shortcuts on the Home screen to peek and pop... are simply not there. Like you might as well be using an iPhone 6 or iPhone SE or, yeah, iPad, not there," the site wrote.

Initial preorders of the iPhone XR have sold out, but Apple stores and third-party retailers should still have at least limited stock on Friday.