And while all the headlines may be about the new iOS 13-flavoured blowers – which may well be awesome – for me their launch is a bit of a damp squib.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to like about them: new multi-sensor cameras, an upgraded CPU, XDR Displays etc. But the fact is, none of these improvements are mind-blowing. At best they’re iterative upgrades on last year’s models.
On top of that, although people are praising Apple for not raising the new iPhones’ prices year-on-year, every one of the new phones still carries a hefty £700-plus price tag that puts them firmly out of most regular buyers’ price plans.
Which is why, for me, the standout star of Apple’s current line-up of phones is actually one of last year’s models. I speak, of course, of the iPhone XR.
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The iPhone XR may not be the sexiest iPhone – even when it launched last year alongside the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max it was firmly the third-tier option in Apple’s line-up – but it remains an amazing handset that is more than good enough for 99% of phone owners, especially now, given the wave of discounts it’s getting both from Apple and retailers.
Not convinced? Let’s look at what you get if you pay £729 – an extra £100 on the XR’s official Apple RRP – for the iPhone 11. Cliff notes: a slightly more powerful A13 CPU, rumoured smidgen of extra RAM and a new dual-sensor camera.
I’ll concede that having a secondary ultra-wide sensor does have its benefits but not to the point I’d shell out £100 more. Especially when, although it’s not Huawei P30 level, the iPhone XR’s single-sensor snapper is more than up to scratch for most regular users’ needs. Whether it’s snapping some vacation shots or your kid’s first steps, the XR’s auto-mode is more than good enough to make sure you don’t miss the moment.
Related: iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR
As to the new CPU and RAM, great, but again not needed. The fact is, the iPhone XR is still more than powerful enough to play pretty much every app on the Apple App Store hassle free, and will be for at least another year or two.
This all adds up to mean that, even if you’re upgrading from an older iPhone or looking to jump from Android, for me, the iPhone XR is the better choice.
This is especially true when you consider rumours about Apple’s 2020 and 2021 iPhone plans. According to every analyst and tech soothsayer, Apple’s hoarding its big upgrades for next year and the year after.
Rumblings suggest that over the next two years Apple’s going to make some big changes to the iPhone, adding 5G connectivity and nifty things like variable refresh rate screens, a la OnePlus 7 Pro. I’d wait at least another year before shelling out over £700 for a flagship blower and stick to the XR for now, as a result.