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Is the iPhone XR still worth buying?

Taking a look back at one of the Apple classics

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on July 18, 2023
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With the approaching launch of Apple’s newer iPhone models, you might be wondering if the iPhone XR is still worth buying. Well, that depends on your preferences and needs from a mobile device. If you’re not seeking cutting-edge technology or the highest resolution cameras, the iPhone XR is still a good option. This is especially true when considering its more affordable price compared to newer models like the iPhone 13, 14, and upcoming iPhone 15.

Want to learn more? Keep reading.

Is the iPhone XR Still Worth Buying? 

If you’re interested in owning an iPhone but don’t want to invest in the latest iPhone 14, the Pro Max models, or the forthcoming iPhone 15 due to budget constraints, you might want to consider some of the older models. The iPhone XR, running on iOS 16, comes in at a lower price point than the newer iPhones. However, it still has some of the great features beloved by Apple enthusiasts.

You can purchase the iPhone XR from online retailers like Amazon, starting at prices around $220 for the 64GB storage option, which is comparatively more affordable than the iPhone 14 and the upcoming iPhone 15, projected to be priced at over $1000. If you’re looking to save a few hundred bucks and aren’t too concerned about having the latest upgrades, the iPhone XR could be worth exploring. However, it’s important to check the specifications carefully to make sure it’s the right phone for you. 

Features and specifications

SpecificationiPhone XR
Display6.1-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1792 x 828 pixels, 
ProcessorApple A12 Bionic chip with a 6-core CPU and a 4-core GPU.
Storage64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
Rear cameraSingle-lens 12MP wide-angle camera with an ƒ/1.8 aperture, optical image stabilization (OIS), and quad-LED True Tone flash.
Front camera7MP TrueDepth camera with an ƒ/2.2 aperture.
BatteryBuilt-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery with Qi wireless charging support and fast charging capability (up to 50% charge in around 30 minutes with an 18W adapter or higher).
Water and Dust Resistance:Rated IP67 (up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes), providing protection against accidental spills and splashes.
iPhone XR specs

The iPhone XR arrived as Apple was really hitting its stride. Many of its features are still present on newer Apple iPhones. Face ID, Memoji/Animoji, Haptic Touch and the all-screen display and ‘notch’ layout which replaced the home button are still a major part of Apple smartphones launched more recently. 

The LCD Liquid Retina display, while not as flash as the OLED screens which dominate the market today, still stands up as a bright (625 nits) display, with lush True Tone technology and wide color gamut. The bionic processor promises fast performance, and the frame features durable glass compared to earlier models.

The camera is where some problems arise – the single rear camera is a 12MP affair, with no telephoto lens, which pales in comparison to the more recent models. However, it still supports features like Smart HDR, Portrait mode with Depth Control, and 4K video recording at up to 60fps. The front camera has support for Portrait mode with Depth Control and Smart HDR, too.

How long will the iPhone XR last?

The iPhone XR will get iOS updates until around 2025, which means that after that the phone will not work as well as newer models. This is worth considering if you are considering buying one. Plus, as most models available online are used or refurbished, they will have a somewhat diminished lifespan. However, considering the lower cost compared to all other functional iPhone models on the updated iOS system, this might be worth it if you’re on a tight budget.

Is the iPhone XR Still Worth Buying? Gloria’s Thoughts

The iPhone XR is one of the cheapest iPhones you can find online which still has most of the features present in newer models. However, the camera doesn’t really match up, which could be a problem if you are regularly taking photos for social media content. Whether the iPhone XR is worth buying, then, really depends on your desire for a good camera.

As a tech and AI writer for PC Guide, Gloria is interested in what new technology means for the future of consumer electronics and digital and broadcast journalism.