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Apple’s iPhone Xr Features an Upgraded Design, Less-Powerful Specs for $749

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Apple today announced the new iPhone Xr at its event in Cupertino. The device serves as the replacement for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus from last year and aims to give consumers a premium experience for less money.

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If you recall, last year’s iPhone X sported an all-glass design. The Xr is no different: it features glass on both the front and rear. But the sides, this time around, are aluminum instead of stainless steel. It’s all to keep costs down, essentially.

Speaking of which, Apple had to do some work on the front of the iPhone Xr in order to further drive down costs. So for this device, the company includes a 6.1-inch MCLD+ display instead of an OLED panel like on the iPhone X. Apple has a long history of making some of the best LCD displays on the market so I’m not that worried about it, but it still would’ve been nice to see OLED, especially since competitors like OnePlus can use the tech in a $500 phone.

But that’s not the only corner Apple cut in regards to the display. The iPhone Xr also doesn’t support 3D Touch, the company’s pressure-sensing technology that lets you access shortcuts within iOS by pressing harder on the screen. Rumors suggested Apple may have had problems manufacturing it at scale for the Xr or simply couldn’t afford to implement it. Whatever the case, don’t expect to “press deeper” on this panel anytime soon.

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As for specs, Apple says the iPhone Xr comes with an A12 Bionic processor, Face ID, Bluetooth 5.0, eSIM support for dual networks, and an hour and a half more battery life than the iPhone 8 Plus. It’s pretty much the flagship Xs but with cheaper materials.

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On the back of the iPhone Xr, there’s a single 12MP camera with an f/1.8 aperture. It’s the same main camera as on the Xs and Xs Max, but you don’t get lossless zoom due to the lack of a secondary shooter. Still, though, you get Smart HDR support, stereo audio, better bokeh support with a variable aperture effect, and 4K video at 60 frames per second.

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Also on the back, thanks to the glass cover, is wireless charging. The iPhone Xr also has IP67 water and dust resistance which, admittedly, isn’t as good as the Xs’ IP68 protection certification.

Apple says the iPhone Xr will start at $749 and come with 64, 128, or 256GB of storage. It launches on October 26th and preorders start on October 19th. Colors include White, Black, Blue, Yellow, Coral, and PRODUCT(RED).

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