With the iPhone XR, Apple has finally given me a good reason to upgrade from my iPhone 6S

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Stephen Lam/Reuters

Up until this fall, I had a plan: I would use my iPhone 6S until it died.

That phone and I have been through a lot together. I cracked the screen on it while falling up a set of stairs, I got it repaired by Apple – an effort that ultimately broke it more and in the end, I was given a refurbished version with a screen that wasn’t quite attached properly. Most days I have to wipe away a bit of black adhesive that leaks around the edges.

All of this is to say, it’s not a great phone, but it’s my phone – and it has a headphone jack, something you can’t say for the current batch of iPhone models.

I value a headphone jack more than most features that have come to smartphones in the last few years, like wireless charging or an OLED display. Plus, Apple’s new phones over the last two years haven’t really thrilled me. Sure, they’ve been gorgeous, but they haven’t been that big of an upgrade over previous versions. Even the camera hasn’t been enticing enough to spend the money on a new phone.

But when Apple unveiled the iPhone XR at its annual hardware event last month, everything changed – all of a sudden, I couldn’t wait to own one. It starts at $750; lower than the $999 price of the higher-end iPhone XS.

Now that the iPhone XR is officially available to preorder, here are 4 reasons why I’m ready to give up my trusty iPhone 6S for the iPhone XR.


1. The new colors are finally fun — and way different from anything else you can buy.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

One of the main reasons I wasn’t able to get excited about the iPhone 7, iPhone 8, or iPhone X was the design.

They were beautiful, premium-looking phones, but they just didn’t thrill me. I’ve never needed my phone to be luxurious; I’ve just needed it to be functional.

But the iPhone XR recaptures some of the sense of fun Apple hasn’t exhibited since the iPhone 5C. It comes in six new colors – black, white, red, yellow, blue, and coral – but it still looks high-end, thanks to its glass back and metallic aluminum edges.

No one else order the coral one, though – I’ve got my eye on it.


2. Apple gave the iPhone XR an incredible camera.

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With the iPhone XR, Apple copied one of the best features of the Google Pixel: building an incredible rear camera that only requires one lens.

Google’s smartphone camera is one of the best in the business, yet it doesn’t rely on two lenses, which I’ve never thought looked very good. Instead, Pixel phones use software to take beautiful photos, and even give it a portrait mode.

Apple did the same thing with the iPhone XR. It only has one lens, but it’s just as capable – and maybe even more so – as the higher-end, $999 iPhone XS. I won’t know for sure until I get a chance to test it, but at least on paper, the iPhone XR camera will be a major upgrade from my iPhone 6S.


3. The iPhone XR has many of the same features as a higher-end smartphone.

The iPhone XR isn’t Apple’s top-tier iPhone, but it still has a lot of the most-wanted features most people are looking for these days, including:

  • Wireless charging
  • A large, beautiful display (although it’s not OLED like the iPhone XS)
  • Water resistance
  • Face ID (for unlocking the phone with your face) and Animoji
  • The same A12 chip as Apple’s more expensive phones
  • Better battery life than the iPhone 8 Plus
  • Dual SIM
  • The latest version of Apple’s smartphone operating system, iOS 12

4. At $750, the iPhone XR costs an amount I can justify.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

When the iPhone X came out last year, I swore I would never spend $1,000 on a phone. With the launch of the iPhone XR, I can keep that promise.

The iPhone XR starts at $750. That’s not exactly a deal, but it is a much more rational price point for the average consumer. Plus, monthly payments start at $37.41 per month, which is lower than most of the bills I pay right now.

The $750 starting price is a full $250 less than the iPhone XS, and $350 less than the iPhone XS Max. Out of all of the phones in Apple’s current lineup, the iPhone XR easily the smartest buy.