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Is iPhone XR worth buying in 2023?

iPhone XR has one of the best cameras today, a good screen, and a great powerful, yet efficient processor. It doesn’t slow down and gives many phones a run for their money. It is the successor of the iPhone X. With iPhone 13 and 14 around. You must be asking, is the iPhone XR worth buying?

Probably not for all. But why?

I have explained it in the rest of the article. Let’s begin.

Is iPhone XR worth buying in 2023?
iPhone XR

iPhones have always had a special place in people’s hearts. It doesn’t matter what the prices are, iPhones are market leaders. We see the iPhone launch every year, and the models from the previous years get a price cut. This year iPhone 13 was launched and iPhone 12, 11, and even XR got a price cut. iPhone XR’s release date was 12 September 2018. Ever since then, It is selling like hotcakes. Sales took a small dip after the launch of the iPhone SE and iPhone 11. It is still selling well.

iPhone XR: what do we get in the box?

The brand new iPhone XR comes in a traditional apple box. Peel the seal and lift the cover. You will be invited by the back of the phone. All the other items are hidden inside. Here are the contents of the box

  • An iPhone XR
  • Hello starter guide
  • Sim ejector tool
  • Apple logo sticker
  • Warranty card
  • Lightning cable

Shouldn’t we have a competitor?

A picture showing the back of Product red iPhone 11
credits: Wikimedia

The review will be interesting if we have a competitor for the product. The competition here is within the apple space. It’s none other than iPhone 11, retailing about $100 more than iPhone XR. Both have a similar form factor and related specifications. Let’s see the differentiating elements one by one and see what is worth it.

Display – Is 326 PPI enough?

A picture showing the Display of iPhone XR and a hand using it.

The screen is one of the sought-after features on any phone. You use or interact with the phone through the display. The screen on both devices is the same. We get OLED displays even in cheap smartphones and older phones like iPhone X. Unfortunately, Neither the iPhones have one. It is just an LED-lit LCD panel.

Don’t get disappointed with the iphone xr screen being LED LCD. Both iPhone XR and iPhone 11 have the same display. This display is the best of any of its kind. Numbers don’t signify how good the display is. When you see it in real life, you notice its brilliancy. Here go the numbers. The display is DCI- P3 compatible. It means the phone shows punchy colors. The screen-to-body ratio is 82.9% which is not bad at all.

iPhone XR and iPhone 11 measure about 6.1 inches of display. The resolution is just 1792 x 828. Don’t get disappointed with the low res display. What counts is how it feels to use real-time. If you have ever used an iPhone before, you would know. It’s the same 326 PPI display. The texts are sharper. The pictures are clear. The video is beautiful. Simply, it is the tie between iPhone XR and iPhone 11.

If the display is you after, it’s iPhone XS, XS max or iPhone 11 pro with an awesome Oled display with a resolution of 2436 x 1125 at 458 PPI is the one to go with. Both come with a True Tone Display that adjusts the white balance based on the lighting environment you are in. However, the iphone xr price makes it worth buying.

Camera – Are we lagging behind?

Picture showing cameras of iphone 11
Credits: Apple

The camera is one of the important components of any phone. You can be after cameras for buying a new iPhone. iPhone cameras are too good from the start and have always been on top of the competition. You can trust your iPhone camera eyes closed.

It is the biggest differentiating factor when we do iPhone XR vs. iPhone 11 comparison. iPhone XR has the same main camera as the iPhone XS. It is definitely better than iPhone 8 but no better than iPhone 11. iPhone 11 has two cameras. One standard camera and a wide-angle camera. The camera spec goes as below.

  • 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide)
  • 12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide)
  • 4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, HDR, stereo sound rec.
  • Quad-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama)

The spec of the iPhone XR is as follows.

  • 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide)
  • 4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, HDR, stereo sound rec.
  • Quad-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama)

The image taken using the iPhone XR camera will sweep you off your feet. It will be gorgeous. It is not for the pixel peepers though. The camera is only 12 Megapixels. However, the output image from normal use is more than enough with 12 megapixels. The camera is definitely better than iPhone X or iPhone 8, for that matter. iPhone XR has good optics and hence the image turns out very good. This also makes iPhone XR worth buying.

In iPhone 11, You can see only ultra-wide is different, and the rest is the same. In fact, it is, and there’s more to it. iPhone 11 features a brand new sensor despite the same specs as XR. The dynamic range is high. The sharpness is high. With the added night mode, the night shots are surprisingly very good. The night mode makes use of long exposure to take night photography.

The Optical Image Stabilizer has a great role in taking good pictures. The system opens the camera shutter for 3 seconds or more and thus lets in more light for processing. The result is a great night shot. With iPhone 11 you will get much more than a night shot.

With two lenses in place, you can take a portrait with bokeh mode, and it looks awesome.

With two lenses in place, you get a seamless zoom.

With two lenses in place, Augmented reality will be ‘spot on.’

With two lenses in place, you get the sharpest pictures ever.

It doesn’t mean the iPhone XR camera is a slouch. It is still worth buying that it leaves the other brands running for their money. The pictures are true to life. No smoothing or extra sharpening is done. The skin tone is intact. But for an extra $100, you get much much more from the iPhone 11 camera, and is worth spending as far as the camera goes. Hence, it is worth buying an iPhone XR but it is even more worthy to buy an iPhone 11 in the first place.

Related article: Is iPhone 8 worth buying?

Performance- Still matters?

Performance is subjective. Let’s see the spec from

The spec of the iPhone XR goes as below.

  • Ram – 3gb
  • Processor – Apple A 12 (7 nm)
  • Chipset – Hexa-core (2×2.5 GHz Vortex + 4×1.6 GHz Tempest)

The spec of the iPhone 11 goes as below.

  • Ram – 4 gb
  • Processor – Apple A13 Bionic 
  • Chipset – Hexa-core (2×2.65 GHz Lightning + 4×1.8 GHz Thunder)

Just going by the paper, iPhone 11 is superior. It is true in real life, as well. But for casual use, both perform the best. I hope you remember iPhone XS and iPhone XS max as a flagship before iPhone 11 Pro was introduced. The chipset on an iPhone XR is the same as the one on iPhone XS and Xs max. That speaks a lot about the performance.

The A 12 chip inside iPhone XR is quite powerful. Sure, not as good as apple’s flagship phone. But, still very good. The advantage of the A13 chipset in an iPhone 11 is it is powerful and frugal in terms of energy needed. But Too much power is not always required.

In my opinion, iPhone XR has more than enough processing power for day-to-day activities. It is easy to say that iPhone XR is worth it for $100 cheaper. But for sheer performance is what you after, you should look at iPhone 11. but for $100 cheaper, iPhone XR is worth buying.

Gaming – Which is the better war machine?

Gaming on an iPhone is a nice thing to do. The touch latency is very less and the screen latency is also very less. This enables you to frame the shot in the game accurately and take more kills. The processor is very powerful on both XR and 11 but iPhone 11 will have an edge with extra horsepower and more RAM.

This means more fun in gaming. Even with normal gaming, the battery in these phones is sufficient. Yet, iPhone 11 has an edge with its battery, efficiency, and power. You cannot go wrong with either of the phones but if you’re already leaning on the iPhone 11, this will add to the list of pros of iPhone 11 compared to iPhone XR. Even for gaming, iPhone XR is worth buying but iPhone 11 has an edge to it.

3D touch

Like iPhone 8, iPhone X, If 3d touch is your Important priority, Don’t consider iPhone 11. iPhone XS and XR are the last devices to have this functionality. 3D touch was introduced back in iPhone 6s days and it was the least used feature of the iPhone. Not many used it. It is discontinued from iPhone 11 and above. Sad thing. I love 3d touch.

Press the screen and it recognizes the pressure and the UI works accordingly. You can open new menus, interact with the device in a unique manner. No, it is not forced touch or long touch. 3D touch is different. It is a hardware thing and tough to emulate via software. if you still love the old iPhone for its 3D touch capability, get an iPhone XR. Hence, iPhone XR is worth buying. if You’re not a fan of 3D touch, you’re better off with an iPhone 11 or later.

Battery life – Yes, the most important one.

A picture showing internals of and iPhone and its battery
Photo by Tyler Lastovich from Pexels

The iPhone XR has a Li-Ion 2942 mAh battery, and the proposed talk time is 16 hours. It also supports 15 W fast charging that charges 50% of the battery in 30 minutes. This actually makes iPhone XR worth buying as far as battery performance goes. However, there is the iPhone 11.

iPhone 11 has a Li-Ion 3110 mAh battery. It supports 18W fast charging. It can do 50% of charging in 30 minutes. It is advertised as it has a talk time of 17 hours under full charge. That’s a great battery life.

There is a difference of 1 hour of talk time. That’s not a lot. In fact, the iPhone XR can get through your day pretty easily. When it was launched, it was the battery king of apple. Both support wireless charging, though.

With a low-resolution screen and a frugal processor, it achieved its feat. So is the iPhone 11. Even at $100 less, it is the iPhone XR worth buying today.

Software and support – Should you buy iPhone XR in 2023?

Both the phones sport iOS 16 at the time of writing this article. They are identical in terms of the software except for the camera. The Face id is fantastic and a bit faster on iPhone 11. The overall performance is faster on iPhone 11 but not by so much. The support apple gives for its iPhones is phenomenal. iPhone 5s was supported for six years after its launch. That’s unimaginable. Along similar lines, iPhone XR will be supported for a long time in the future. iPhone 11 might get even longer software support because of its latest hardware. In either way, you don’t go wrong. Buying either of the two devices ensures long-term support.

Colors available.

iPhone XR is available in various colours.

  • Yellow.
  • White.
  • Coral.
  • Black.
  • Blue.

The iPhone XR looks good in every colors. White and black are regular colors. Blue is a cool addition. iPhone XR yellow is a refreshing color and product red gives charity. If you want a slightly different color, you can go with iPhone 11. The available colors are as follows

  • Purple
  • White
  • Yellow
  • RED
  • Green
  • Black.

The difference here is Purple and Green.

Is 5G supported?

Since the iPhone XR and 11 don’t have a 5G modem or the hardware to support 5G, You will not get 5G on these devices even with ios 16. 5G is supported only on iPhone 12 and above models.

Resale value

The resale value for iPhones is always high. It doesn’t matter what iPhone model you have. It will fetch you more than android counterparts. To get a better resale value, you need to keep your phone in pristine condition. The newer phone has better resale value. The battery health and battery life with fewer charging cycles is also important for good resale value. In this case, the iphone xr resale values are low compared to iPhone 11. Hence, the iPhone 11 is worth buying for its resale value.

Conclusion – Is iPhone XR worth buying in 2023?

iPhone XR is an awesome phone. With carrier deals, it will be even cheaper. For the question, Should you buy iPhone XR in 2023, the answer is both yes and no. If you need better camera performance, you should look at iPhone 11 or 11 pros. If you want the best of the best performance and slightly more battery life? You can buy an iPhone 11. You can still find one in apple store if you’re lucky. Even used iphone models in pristine condition is a good buy.

But for the question is iPhone XR worth buying in 2023, the answer is YES. It is worth it. You will not find yourself unhappy with your iPhone XR at the price range.

FAQs – frequently asked questions

Is the iPhone XR still good in 2023?

Yes, iPhone XR is still good in 2023. But, iPhone 11 is even more value for the money.

How long will an iPhone XR last?

Considering the track records of apple phones, iPhone XR will last for a long period of time.

Will iPhone XR get updates till 2025?

Usually, iPhones are supported for up to 5 or even 6 years once released. With great hardware in place, apple might support it for a longer period of time. Up to 2025? I’m not sure.

Will iPhone XR support 5G in future?

No. iPhone XR doesn’t have a 5G modem, and hence, it will not support 5G

How long will iPhone XR be supported?

It is hard to say. Since iPhone XR has good hardware, it might be supported for a long period.

Thanks for reading.

7 thoughts on “Is iPhone XR worth buying in 2023?”

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  5. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  6. I seriously love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my very own website and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Appreciate it!


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