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Smarytphone Reviews, iPhone XR 2022

A concept: You want to get into the Apple ecosystem, and look for a smartphone that is, not expensive, but can love a good experience. Or just moved from Android, want to change the operating system, but with hardware that is not much different. The iPhone XR could be the best solution in 2021.

This smartphone has actually been present since 2018, comes as the first "cheap" iPhone that carries a full-screen design (although when compared to the current generation of smartphones, where is the "full" huh?). It appears colorful, large screen, and already supports the latest features of other series such as Memoji through FaceID camera, for example.

I myself am an iPhone XR user from mid-2020 to 2021. Although always using it with some of the latest Android series even flagship, not infrequently I prefer to use this cheap iPhone to access applications and others. Is it still worth buying? Here's the full review.


Smarytphone Reviews, IPhone XR 2022

Want the cheapest old iPhone that has a design similar to the new iPhone? Of course not the iPhone SE (2020), but the iPhone XR is the most suitable choice. Although, indeed, if the selfie in front of the glass, it will be seen that the camera sensor is only one. But for the rest of the part is still exactly the same as the iPhone 11 — even you can use the case of the iPhone 11 with precision.

The build quality also feels like a flagship. Both the windshield and rear are covered in Gorilla Glass, while the frame is not made of plastic, but rather aluminum 7000 series. With a weight of 194 grams, not too heavy, but feels very sturdy. It doesn't seem cheap at all.

Of course, it is also complete with IP67 dust and water resistance to a depth of 1 meter. It's just that, the dimensions of this Apple smartphone are quite large. It may be difficult for those of you who have small hands — although Apple gives help to 'lower' the portion of the upper screen so that it can be touched when using it with one finger.

Without a fingerprint sensor, the iPhone XR utilizes its front camera equipped with a Face ID sensor. The sensor is very instant and accurate in all conditions, even when I am using a mask (to clean the face, yes, if the medical mask will certainly immediately bring up the PIN option).


Smarytphone Reviews, IPhone XR 2022

Don't look at the specifications on paper, but it's better to see them in person. On paper, it sucks — a standard flagship smartphone has a 6.1-inch screen with an IPS panel and a resolution close to HD+. It doesn't have a high refresh rate yet.

All I can say, I prefer to edit photos with the iPhone XR screen than middle-class Android smartphones, including pixel though. Because the screen is more accurate, so it will be more precise when giving additional touches. It could be, one of the best IPS screens (if it overrides resolution, yes).

Regarding resolution, it is also not so visible, really. What may need adjustment is the thickness of the bezel around it. It will look very thick, especially if you are used to the bezel of mid-range Android smartphones today that are increasingly minimalist. At least, the right and lower left bezels are the same thickness.


Smarytphone Reviews, IPhone XR 2022

Again, it can't be seen just from the specifications on paper. The iPhone XR's rear camera sensor is only one, but I still often use it for daily photo shots, compared to the Android camera that I'm holding both the class and the newer and more expensive series.

The sensor is 'only' 12MP f/1.8. Without secondary sensors, portrait photos can only be taken specifically for human objects, and the results are pretty good. In my opinion, the Smart HDR feature in this smartphone can still be considered equivalent to today's flagship. Able to balance the exposure of photos in many conditions.

Because of Apple's HDR and color tones, I use the iPhone XR camera more often to shoot human objects, because the skin tone is neutral and accurate. It also includes photos in outdoor scenarios. Which is less, of course in when there is less light, because it has not been equipped with night mode. It can be slightly tricked by buying third-party apps, such as NeuralCam.

The front camera is also very natural and can provide the most fitting skin color, with fairly high detail with minimal additional effects. Utilizing sensors from FaceID, portrait effects also look very natural, with special additional effects. The point of view is not wide, indeed, but it is still very suitable for the photo itself.

The video recording is also still very quality. The combination of OIS and EIS that also works in 4K resolution is able to provide the best and stable footage, up to 4K 60fps. Stable framerate plus effective HDR, as well as a quality stereo microphone. The alloy is very fitting, even I still use as a top-view camera in all live videos Gizmo Unbox until April.


Launched with iOS 12, of course the iPhone XR still supports the latest iOS series even for the next few years. The feature section is also one of the determining factors why I chose this smartphone, rather than the iPhone SE (2020), for example. One of them is the FaceID sensor.

The sensor provides a lot of capabilities. In addition to unlocking the screen (which is actually a bit useless when using a mask and not using an Apple Watch), the sensor in FaceID can produce a smoother portrait effect, plus features like Memoji. Automatically, iPhone SE (2020) can not make Memoji expressive.

And the larger screen size is also more suitable for putting widgets and utilizing the Picture-in-Picture feature. But it may also be a question of personal taste, yes. Nfc sensor can certainly also be used for top-up e-money cards. The stereo speaker setup also in my opinion includes very quality.


It can still compete with today's Android flagships. The Apple A12 Bionic used in the iPhone XR already uses a 7nm fabrication process, with a 6-core CPU architecture and a 4-core GPU. Ram capacity? Only 3GB. But I guarantee, during usage you do not need to close the application to keep it tight.

The pause open the app close is still relatively instant, the application transfer is also fast and minimal reload. A very long jump, especially when moving away from the iPhone 7, for example. And because it's tight, the iPhone XR is quite rarely hot. Even if you are using a VPN or Zoom access while charging, the temperature is still very awake.

For storage, there is a choice of 64/128/256GB capacity. When using the smallest capacity, I'm used to regularly backing up photos and videos about once every 2-4 weeks. It has to be done, because the quality of the camera and video that is still good makes me quite often capture the moment, which is directly proportional to memory consumption.


Smarytphone Reviews, IPhone XR 2022

The iPhone XR I use is over two years old, and the percentage of battery health has shown an 86%. For that long use, it's pretty impressive in my opinion. Its capacity is 'only' 2,942 mAh, far compared to today's Android. But I can still make this smartphone last up to a full day.

It's a bit of a struggle, indeed, but it's still achievable. If you buy a new unit with a 100% battery, of course it will be very easy and may be able to reach 1.5 days of use. Because despite the 2018 release, the processor is already fast and power efficient.

Charging this smartphone with lightning cables and built-in 5W adapters does feel like hell. But if Gizmo friends buy a new unit, generally already use a lightning to USB-C cable that supports fast charging 15W. with a suitable adapter, charging up to full takes 90 minutes. Not too long ago, the standard was yes.

I think its large battery capacity (for iPhone size) and efficient processor make these devices charged less frequently. Which certainly affects the battery life for many years to come. An important factor for determining the iPhone as an option.


In my opinion, the iPhone XR is suitable to be the 'lower limit' for those of you who want to try to jump into the Apple ecosystem, try the smartphone but do not want to go out too much budget. The physical design, screen and usage experience are the same as the latest series, so do not feel left behind even though the release has been several years earlier.

Then if the question arises between the iPhone XR and iPhone SE (2020), consideration can be reduced to three main consideration points; Is it okay with more wasteful battery life? A small screen without FaceID support? As well as old-school design with thick bezels? If okay, go ahead. The price is cheaper, and the processor is even one level newer.

My consideration, from the previous one using the iPhone 7, is the battery factor. It's a bit lazy if you have to charge often (because the iPhone I use is quite often for video recording and social media access). And a bit pessimistic because the iPhone SE uses old-school screen ratio, while the XR is modern, where I assume that later there is a ui change, it will certainly be more fitting. Just an assumption, yes.

Hopefully this review can help those of you who are planning to buy an iPhone XR, or are beset by confusion choosing between XR and SE (2020). Again, adjust to personal needs.

If you want to dabble into the Apple ecosystem, the iPhone XR could be the best choice right now. The price is already much cheaper, able to offer the same experience as the more expensive iPhone.

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