Yesterday I received the new iPhone XR and these are my first impressions of it and some photo comparisons against the iPhone 6. Yeah, the iPhone 6 is an older phone but I really like the size and I really really liked the price of a refurbished one, about 1/10th that of what I paid for the XR. And that is pronounced 10R and not exR, though 90% of the time I call it exR.
The number one reason I upgraded to the XR was for the improved camera. I missed the wide angle lens of my Samsung Galaxy S7, which has a superb camera by the way, even if it is a couple years old.
The second reason was for recording videos to upload to YouTube. The iPhone 6 has a very good battery, except when recording videos. The XR is very good at recording video. You can record up to 4K at 60 fps (frames per second). I
The speaker on the XR is also the best I’ve experienced. It has a rich tone with some nice bass. I was a bit shocked when I first heard it actually. Sound recording using the phone’s mic is also very good. It picks up sounds very well which is good since I have a quiet voice but it might pick up sounds a little too well.
I sure didn’t hear all those creaks in my floor in a test video I did when I was walking. But it would be great for picking up nature sounds, like birds. We’ll see how it does with wind. The mic on the iPhone 6 was terrible on windy days while my Galaxy S7 did a much better job.
We’ll see how the video turns out in upcoming tests.
UPDATE: I’ve tested out the video a few times now and the video quality is very good. The image stabilization is one area where it seems to shine. Color reproduction seems about right on the money. It’s not overly saturated or washed out. The results are very true to life. Outdoor videos are gorgeous, especially with blue skies. However, it is able to take video in quite dim conditions indoors and grab a decent amount of detail.
Good lighting is a crucial part to making a quality videos and no camera is going to make up for bad lighting but in a pinch the XR will do a decent job in fairly dark lighting conditions. I still need to test it for night shots outdoors. However, I’m expecting the camera to perform well.
The sound quality is also excellent. I can speak in a normal tone of voice and it picks me up very well. I still have to test it on a windy day but so far, so good!
And what about that screen! Everybody has been talking about the screen quality on the XR and I think it’s fine. It’s not as good as my old Galaxy S7 but Samsung does displays better than anyone else in my opinion.
One thing does kinda bug me about the screen and that is the fact that there is a noticeable yellow tint to it. This can be reduced quite a bit by turning off “True Tone” in the Display & Brightness settings but there’s still a slight yellow tint compared to the display of the iPhone 6.
***Another little update here after having the phone for about a week. The screen is absolutely nothing to worry about. I’ve tested it watching some of the most colorful videos on YouTube and the color reproduction is terrific.
I think most people can stop worrying about the display once they’ve experienced it. It’s fine – more than fine.
A big selling point of the XR is the battery life and it is very good. I might be able to get two days out of it depending upon how heavily I use it. The battery barely went down at all over about an hour’s worth of fiddling around trying out its’ different features.
The size of the phone isn’t that much larger than the iPhone 6. The most notable difference between the two is the weight and not having that home button.
Yeah, there are bezels on the XR but I honestly don’t pay attention to them and I don’t know why some people worry about them so much. Personally, I like the black edge around the screen and think it makes it look classier but maybe that’s just me.
The XR is my first full screen phone. With the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S7 I had the home button and I have to admit I miss it. I’m sure I’ll get to the point where it won’t bother me, although I still haven’t gotten use to not having the back button the S7 has. It’s such a handy feature.
My dream phone would be the one the size and weight of the iPhone 6 but with an awesome camera. If I didn’t need a good handy video recorder in my phone, I probably would have just stayed with the 6 because it’s the perfect size and weight for my hands.
Having said that, the XR isn’t that much larger than the 6 and I’m sure I’ll get used to the weight difference. It fits in my pocket which is important because having a phone that doesn’t fit in a pocket is an absolute pain. I’ve known quite a few people who regretted getting their big smartphones just for this fact.
Anyway, here’s some photos I took this morning comparing the photo quality of the iPhone XR against the iPhone 6. One thing I noticed is that it can be hard to tell how true to life the photos are on the screen of the iPhone XR because of that yellow tint to the screen. The strange thing is the tint doesn’t always appear. This behavior isn’t unique to the display of the XR. The newer OLED iPhone displays have been known to have the same yellowish tint to them.
Most of these are full size photos and all are unedited for color. Overall, I think the XR outperformed the iPhone 6 by quite a margin. That wide camera lens makes such a difference and the other upgraded specs of the camera.
I can’t wait to get out and take some better pics with it and I’ll be sharing a video comparison and post those here when they’re ready.