Chances are if you’ve loved one iPhone, you’re going to love them all! An iPhone is more than just a smartphone, it’s a way of life, an institution if you will.

But, how does the iPhone XR fair against models like the SX, and how does it do by today’s standards? Is the iPhone XR still worth buying, and what are the best and worst features of this popular phone?

iphone xr pros and cons

Technical specifications

Before we get too involved with why or why not you should make the iPhone XR your next iPhone, let’s take a look at what makes an iPhone XR what it is.

  • Launched October 2018
  • iOS 13 Operating system
  • A12 Bionic CPU
  • Weight: 6.8 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches
  • 11hr 26min battery life
  • 7MP Front Camera
  • 12 MP Back Camera
  • 6.1 inch LCD display
  • Ram: 3 GB
  • Internal storage options: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Color options: White, Black, Red, Coral, Blue, Yellow

One cannot deny that the iPhone XR was at the forefront of innovation and technology when it was first put onto market. If you remember the time, you will remember clearly the great reviews of its power, efficiency and diversity.

Before the XR, iPhones were often nay-sayed for being too conservative in their designs. Apple changed all that with the funky colors that came with the XR. And, to add to their impressive redesign, Apple did away with the home button, opting instead for a bigger screen and touch sensor.

iPhone XR Pros and Cons at a Glance


  • Fast Performance
  • Great Battery life
  • Supports the current version of iOS, iOS 15
  • 6.1 inch display
  • Great value
  • Impressive single rear camera
  • Fun color options
  • Face ID technology


  • Discontinued model
  • Not great for low-light photos
  • No Dual Lens
  • More expensive than comparable Androids
  • Not waterproof
  • Heat issue with prolonged use
  • No fingerprint sensor
  • A bit outdated
  • Quite large
  • No external storage options

iPhone XR Pros

Fast Performance

The A12 Bionic CPU boasts a six-core fusion set up that gives this phone its signature speed. First up, it has two performance cores. These cores allow the phone to run up to 15% faster than its counterparts.

The XR also features 4 efficiency cores that are up to 50% more efficient and a 4-core GPU that is also 50% faster than older models. To top it off, the XR comes with a powerful Image Signal Processor and video encoder.

Great Battery Life

An 11 and a half hour battery is not something to be easily overlooked. For all of us with low-key anxiety about where the next charging port will be, this feature of the iPhone XR is a very attractive feature.

Supports the Current Version of iOS, iOS 15

While the iPhone XR comes standard with iOS 13, it can be updated to iOS 15. This means that even though you are buying an older phone, it will still function at a very high level.

Related: All the pros and cons of IOS explained

6.1 Inch Display

The big screen displays we have come to love with the iPhone flagships with the XR.

Great value

As the years pass and new iPhone models come into existence, the price of the iPhone XR has dropped considerably. Today, you can get a great iPhone experience for a fraction of the cost that is was when it launched in 2018.

Impressive single rear camera

While the single rear camera might send alarm bells ringing, this is not something that you should worry about at all.

The iPhone XR has the same outstanding wide-angle camera sensor that the new and pricier models have. The XR also has the same Smart HDR functionality, giving you better highlights in shadowy environments..

One point to note though is that the back camera can only shoot people in portrait mode, which is a frustrating feature of the device.

Fun color options

Following the standard white and black options of previous models, the iPhone XR wows with its funky array of colors. Besides variety, these color options allow us to own an iPhone that really feels like us and reminds us of classic Apple products.

Face ID technology

Face ID security technology is a fairly contentious topic, with some people saying that it could do more harm than good. But, you have to admit it sure beats having to type in a passcode every time you want to check the time!

Related: iPhone 12 pros and cons

iPhone XR Cons

Discontinued model

Apple no longer manufactures the iPhone XR. This has a few consequences, most notably in your ability to find a new model XR. Chances are, you are going to have to settle on a second-hand XR if you want to buy one.

This consideration also comes when looking to purchase parts for your iPhone XR. Finding new screens and batteries are going to become more and more challenging as time passes.

Not great for low-light photos

Night photography really falls short with the iPhone XR.

No Dual Lens

As with the previous point, while the single camera of the iPhone XR is good for its time, it struggles to compare to the power of the dual lenses on the newer models.

More expensive than comparable Androids

We all know that Apple products tend to be pricier than their Android counterparts, and for the most part we’re totally ok with that. But, when looking at the potential negatives of owning an older model phone, the price difference between Apple and Android starts to appear less and less viable as an option.

Not waterproof

The iPhone XR is stated to be water-resistant, but not waterproof. This is a challenge when comparing it to newer models because a waterproof phone is such an attractive feature of a new iPhone.

Heat issue with prolonged use

There are reports that the battery of the iPhone XR heats up with extended use, although this is a fairly standard gripe with older phones in general.

No fingerprint sensor

Face ID is one thing, but the efficiency and capability of the fingerprint sensor in the later iPhone models really cannot be underestimated.

Quite large

While not large by iPhone 13 Max standards, the XR is a much larger phone than its similar models, the XS and XS max. It is not easy to fit into your pocket and is a challenge to operate with one hand.

No external storage options

While the three internal storage options (64GB, 128GB, 256GB) is impressive, the inability to upgrade your phone’s storage with external storage is a sore spot.

FAQ Section

Does iPhone XR have 3D touch?

No, the iPhone XR does not have 3D touch. But you will still get a similar 3D effect from tapping and holding the screen. Apple has called this effect the “Haptic Touch.” This touch is considered to be a convenient and straightforward replacement for 3D touch.

Can the iPhone XR show battery percentage? How to show battery percentage on iPhone XR?

Yes, the iPhone XR can definitely show your battery percentage. You can check your battery percentage by swiping from the top-righthand corner from the Liquid Retina display.

If you want the battery percentage to show all the time, you can go to Settings then to the Battery option. Then you can set the “Battery Percentage” button to green. If your device is in “Low Power Mode,” your screen should automatically show the battery percentage. The battery icon will also show as yellow.

Our Conclusion

Owning an iPhone is never a bad idea, and the iPhone XR is no different. If you are willing to exchange high camera quality for battery life, this phone is most certainly the one for you!

Be careful where you buy a second-hand phone from, and never make payment until you have seen the phone with your own eyes!


Filip Poutintsev, the Chief Editor of Honest Pros and Cons, is a long term business writer, who has been featured in various online publications such as Forbes, CoinTelegraph and HackerNoon. Now he writes exclusively for Honest Pros and Cons.