In addition to today’s launch of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Apple also debuted an expected lower-cost LCD version. Dubbed the iPhone XR, the new model sits in between the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in size, and features a 6.1-inch advanced LCD screen that the company is calling its “Liquid Retina” display. The iPhone XR surprisingly includes many of the same capabilities as the iPhone XS, with the most significant differences being the LCD display and a single-lens camera system. Rather than stainless steel, the iPhone XR is built from the same type of 7000-series aerospace grade aluminum used on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, although it features more durable glass, and an edge-to-edge LCD display that gives it a similar look and form factor to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max and also features the same iPhone X user experience, with Face ID, tap-to-wake, and gestures, although it omits 3D Touch capabilities, relying instead on a new feature called “haptic touch” which will provide a taptic response when holding a finger on the screen.
The iPhone XR also includes the same A12 Bionic SoC as its more expensive siblings, so as with last year’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X models, performance between the XR and XS models should be the same, and the XR will also gain support for most of the advanced features found in the XS, including faster Face ID and image capture and AR improvements. Most surprisingly, despite including only a single wide-angle lens, Apple has managed to bring Portrait Mode to the iPhone XR by using the A12 ISP and Neural Engine to create depth segmentation maps. Features like post-editing Depth Control and Smart HDR will also be supported on the iPhone XR. Further, the rear wide-angle lens, True Tone flash, and True Depth camera on the iPhone XR are identical to those found on the iPhone XS, so the only difference from a photography point of view appears to be the lack of the second telephoto lens. The iPhone XR also promises 1.5 hours more battery life than the iPhone 8 Plus.
The iPhone XR will also be available in a variety of finishes — white, black, blue, coral, yellow, and (Product)Red — and 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB capacities, starting at $749. It’s scheduled to be available for pre-order on Oct. 19, with in-store availability a week later on Oct. 26.