iPhone XR – Battery life
If I was to pick one standout feature with the iPhone XR, it would be the battery life. It’s comfortably the longest-lasting iPhone Apple has released in 2018, and the first to equal the iPhone Plus series phones for endurance.
After taking the phone off charge at 8am, the iPhone XR will easily see me through to midnight without requiring low-power mode and with roughly 30% remaining. That’s with multiple email accounts, photos constantly being backed up, and the usual array of browsing, messaging, gaming and calls.
Standby time is great too, so even with 30% left at night, it’ll only drop a couple of percentage points overnight.
In Trusted Reviews’ more synthetic selection of battery tests, the iPhone XR still impressed. An hour of Netflix ate through 4-5% and 8% after about 30 minutes of Asphalt 9. All these tests were carried out with the display set to automatic, and with the usual array of settings you’d expect to have turned on: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular.
Where I have noticed major improvements over the iPhone XS/XS Max is in tasks that tend to drain battery quickly. Blasting the GPS in Google Maps sips battery life a lot better here and the same goes for downloading large files.
Even though it’s become commonplace for even budget Android phones to ship with a fast charger, the iPhone XR still comes with a disappointing 5W plug. That’s the same plug you’d have got with the iPhone 3G.
If you want to enable fast charging (something the phone does actually support), then you’ll have to splurge on both a higher-wattage plug and a USB-C to Lightning cable. There’s no excuse for not including this on a £749/$749 product.
The lack of fast charging means charging times can be up to three hours to go from zero to 100%. And it’s not the kind of phone that can be plugged in for a couple of minutes and receive a notable battery boost. This is one area where the iPhone XR feels behind the times. Qi wireless charging is here and, while it’s easy to plonk the phone down on a pad to get some juice, it’s again very slow.
Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Why buy the iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR is a fantastic mixture of the best high-end features from the iPhone XS at a price more people will find affordable. It’s not cheap, but I think it proves great value when you consider how fast it is and how good the camera is.
Some might argue the screen lacks a high resolution. While they’re not wrong, the display here is still nice and colourful. And if you do value the screen over everything else, then you can pay the extra £250/$250 to pick up the iPhone XS.
For a similar price, there are plenty of competing Android phones. The OnePlus 6T lacks the camera prowess of the XR, yet it costs just £499/$519 and comes with 128GB storage. There’s also the Pixel 3, which is cheaper than the XR in the UK (£739), but pricier in the US ($799).
But if you’re on the lookout for an iPhone and don’t want to completely break the bank, then this is the one to go for.
The best all-round iPhone you can buy in 2018.
Score in detail
Battery Life 9
Calls & Sound 7
Screen Quality 7