iPhone XR review: For once, cheaper is better

I have always been a picky person. It’s this obsessiveness over details that sometimes makes it hard for my friends and family to tolerate me.

Whenever I get a new phone (and I get a lot them because I review so many in a year) and excitedly show it to my friends, they always ask me what’s so special about it? What’s new that makes it worth upgrading to? Why should they care?

I usually end up waxing poetic about things like slimmer bezels, and thinness, and materials, and cameras. And every time I know I’ve lost them almost immediately after geeking out.

The simple truth is: Most people don’t give a hoot about these things. While I’m crying over the size of a notch, they don’t care. While I’m nitpicking about phones having a “chin” or “forehead” bezel, they only care if the screen is bigger. While I’m like, “oh this phone is a whole millimeter thicker than another phone,” they’re like, “I’m gonna put an Otterbox on it to protect it.”

As a tech reviewer, I’m exposed to all kinds of devices, and the differences between one phone and another jump out at me. In reality, these nuances pass right over most people.

Split apart, the iPhone XR’s features appear insufficient compared to the iPhone XS’s. Weighed together, though, it’s crystal clear the phone is not lacking at all as a premium device packed with some of the best mobile technologies available.

I’ve been using the yellow iPhone XR for a week, and oooh, is it gorgeous. Besides pairing well with my yellow sunglasses(opens in a new tab), the color just makes me happy. Imagine that: In 2018, when phone anxiety is real and tech companies are inventing new ways to make us use our phones less, a gadget’s brightly colored paint job actually puts me at ease.

The five other colors the iPhone XR comes in are just as fun. I have a soft spot for the coral after yellow.

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