First look at the iPhone XR

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Apple unveiled three new iPhones this year, but it’s saved the best till last. The iPhone XR is Apple’s ‘budget’ model – that’s if your budget stretches to £750 for a phone. It’s about the same price as a new iPhone 6 in 2014, but £250 cheaper than the latest top-spec models.

Behind the 6.1in liquid-retina screen is one of Apple’s top-of-the-range A12 Bionic processors and 3GB of RAM, which make the phone feel zippy and lag-free. Most users will struggle to tell the difference between the XR and premium iPhones.

Like the more expensive models, the XR features True Depth FaceID and wireless charging. However, it improves enormously on its predecessors’ battery life. It’s not quite as water resistant as its older siblings, but its IP67 rating means it can handle the odd spot of rain – so it’s ready for the British winter.

Because it’s a so-called budget device, the iPhone XR lacks a fingerprint scanner, 3D Touch and additional antenna bands, which affects download speeds. While these may not be dealbreakers, the phone’s camera specs pose a more serious lack. Unlike the XS and XS Max, the iPhone XR comes without a second, depth-mapping camera. Instead, it forces the 12-megapixel camera and some so-so software trickery to do the heavy lifting without the aid of a rear telephoto lens or ‘intelligent’ portrait mode. As a result, its images are grainier and slightly washed out.

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