Apple Introduces $749 6.1-inch iPhone Xr

Faith Castro
September 14, 2018

Both feature an upgraded version of the iPhone X's dual lens camera - one of the device's best features - which allows for better portraits and higher-quality videos even in low light.

The tricky part about getting a feel for these new phones is that most of what makes them really important is happening under the hood.

The premium iPhone XS and XS Max come with upgraded 12MP + 12MP camera and 2x optical zoom. The devices are made of surgical grade steel (in case you decide to remove an organ or something?) and the "most durable glass ever in a smartphone", likely Gorilla Glass 6. All three have Apple's new A12 chip and Face ID, but the XS models feature more vivid OLED displays. The beta for iOS 12 has been a bumpy one, so you might want to hold off for a week or so before updating your phone, as per usual with Apple's system updates.

Instead of using the button to unlock your phone, the new models come with Apple's FaceID facial-recognition technology.

This means it can be submerged up to 1 metre for a duration of up to 30 minutes.

Apple is a believer in augmented reality technology, and brought on stage NBA Hall-of-Famer Steve Nash to demonstrate why seeing digital images overlaid on the real world is a big deal.

The cameras are being powered by lots of smart algorithms working under the hood, which also enable a new smart HDR feature as well as the ability to adjust the depth-of-field of a photo after the fact.

More news: Apple quietly discontinues four older versions of iPhone

Apple introduced three updated versions of its iPhone X handset and a watch that detects an irregular heartbeat on Wednesday. It also has a four-core graphics processing unit that is up to 50 percent faster than the GPU on the A11. The 7nm chip has 6.7 billion transistors and an 8-core dedicated machine-learning engine to analyze neural network data to figure out whether to run processes on the CPU, GPU, or neural engine. It can handle 5 trillion operations each second.

The relatively small changes to its lineup, following last year's overhauled iPhone X, were widely expected by investors, who sent the company's shares down 1.5% in early trades. You will also have the option to switch between phone numbers before placing a call or sending a text.

The iPhone XS comes in 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB variants and starts at $999.

Apple said orders for the iPhone Xs and Xs Max will begin September 14, and the devices will ship beginning a week later. Prices for Hong Kong have not been announced, but US pricing has the XS starting at US$999, XS Max US$1,099, and XR at US$749.

The XR is this year's budget version of the iPhone. It's certainly a little bit wider than I'd prefer, but recently I've been using the 3.06-inch-wide OnePlus 6 as my primary phone, and it's fine.

Apple is calling it a Liquid Retina HD display and they say it's the most advanced LCD in the industry. The iPhone Xr will be available in white, black, blue, coral, yellow and red. Overall, its size is halfway between an iPhone 8 and an 8 Plus. Both the models have a 7MP RGB camera sensor in the front with F/2.2 aperture while the iPhone XR has a single 12MP camera at the rear.

The phones are equipped with faster processors and better memory capacities than ever before, relying on Apple's new A12 Bionic chip.

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