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Apple announces colorful new 6.1-inch iPhone XR with full-screen Liquid Retina Display and Face ID

By Andrew O'Hara

At the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino on Wednesday, Apple debuted the new iPhone XR that includes a full-screen LCD display, Face ID, and is available in six colors.

The all-new handset acts as the successor to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, falling just below the iPhone Xs and Xs Max in price and specs.

Almost as if a callback to the never-updated iPhone 5c, the iPhone XR comes in several new colors, aside from the usual grey and white. Blue, coral, yellow, and a red model join the lineup.

The new device takes the place of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in Apple's lineup, falling below the iPhone Xs and Xs Max.

Technical details

On the face, iPhone XR features an LCD panel instead of the OLED display found on Apple's upper-tiered phones. It measures in at 6.1-inches. It lacks 3D Touch, but adds "Haptic Touch" as a compromise, similar to that of the MacBook glass trackpad. The displays also support tap to wake, wide color gamut, and True Tone.

Stainless steel is traded in for aluminum for the body, which should yield a lighter weight and give the device's bezels a matte finish.

With support for Face ID, this signals the end of Touch ID and the Home button on all but the low-end iPhone 7 which is still available, as has been rumored.

The iPhone XR has a 12MP wide-angle single camera -- the same as on the iPhone Xs and Xs Max. As a single-camera system, it doesn't support the exact same Portrait Mode as on the iPhone X/Xs/Xs Max, but they are still able to replicate the effect using image segmentation. The bokeh-adjusting depth adjustment feature is also available on the XR.

iPhone XR will garner an hour and a half longer battery life than the iPhone 8 Plus.

Even though the iPhone Xs and Xs Max got IP68 water resistance, the XR will stick with IP67.

The Apple-designed A12 Bionic, the same chip as in the iPhone Xs, features the first 7-nanometer chip ever in a smartphone. The A12 Bionic features a six-core fusion architecture with two performance cores that are up to 15 percent faster than the A11 Bionic in the iPhone X with four efficiency cores that are up to 50 percent more efficient, a four-core GPU that is up to 50 percent faster, and a powerful Apple-designed Image Signal Processor.

Pricing and availability

The iPhone XR will sell for $749 for 64GB of storage, with 128GB selling for $799, and the 256GB configuration retailing for $899, making it the most affordable of Apple's 2018 lineup, even less than the iPhone 8 Plus at launch. Color options are silver, space gray, coral, yellow, red, and blue.

Apple notes that pre-orders start on Oct. 19.

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