Apple

iPhone XR

I gave in when the exchange-an-old-iPhone program was offering $200 off a new iPhone by handing in my old iPhone 6S.

a Photo of a new white iPhone XR

That phone served me well for three years but the battery was having problems.

Compared to the old phone, the new phone has the following downsides:

  • $727 after $200 rebate, including tax and case, plus mini headphone adapter since it has no headphone jack (I mostly use wireless headphones so not a problem normally)
  • Slightly heavier and bigger in the hand and pocket, thicker
  • No 3-D touch, which I practiced getting used to by turning off 3-D touch on the old phone before making the leap

But I get the following upsides:

  • Way faster A12 chip vs. A9 of three years ago; more RAM
  • More storage than my 64 GB phone. I paid the extra $50 to go from 64 GB to 128 GB.
  • Way better battery life, the best in an iPhone you can buy, past or present (plus a brand new battery, of course)
  • Beautiful giant screen which fits > 40% more content and is easier to type on (two handed), including True Tone
  • Significantly upgraded camera with optical image stabilization and wider aperture and wider field of view, better dynamic range
  • Face ID, which has its pluses and minuses compared to Touch ID, but is impressively magical (no wet hand failures, just face too close or too far away failures, face too sideways failure)
  • Stereo speaker output which actually sounds really good
  • Waterproof for normal use cases

I transferred my old phone setup by iTunes backup and restore, which is good because I did a full audit of all the apps and data on my previous phone just to make sure everything was backed up manually in the cloud or elsewhere. Normally I set up a new phone from scratch but this was not necessary and the process was fairly painless, aside from spending a lot of time waiting for it to sync down some cached data for certain apps, after waiting a certain amount of time for all of my apps to re-download, after updating the phone to the latest iOS to match my old phone. It even transferred my old camera roll, which I guess is a good thing, even though I have it all backed up on Dropbox. I went from having a full 64 GB phone to having 90 GB free.