iPhone XR 2019 deals, rumours, specs, release date and everything you need to know

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The successor to 2018's best-selling iPhone is due in September. But you can get up to speed with what's in store right now.

September is fast approaching. And once again it’s set to bring with it three new iPhones. Including a fresh take on last year’s best-selling Apple phone, the iPhone XR.

So what’s in store for us? Well, if we can believe the rumours, the iPhone XR 2019 will include a dual-lens camera, up from a single-lens on the current model, as well as fresh colour options, more power and a longer-life battery.

Sold? Read on for everything we know so far…

Looking for iPhone 11 rumours instead? Head to our round-up to get up to speed with the ‘other’ 2019 iPhones.

What will the iPhone XR 2019 edition be called?

iPhone XR 2019 render

Image credit: Onleaks and PriceBaba

We’re not sure right now, is the honest answer. Some of the contenders include ‘iPhone 11R’, ‘iPhone X1 R’ and iPhone XR 2019.

But for the purposes of this article and for consistency, we’ll be running with ‘iPhone XR 2019’.

When’s the iPhone XR 2019 release date?

iPhone XR 2 render

Image credit: EverythingApplePro

In news that won’t surprise many people, the iPhone XR 2019 is due to be announced alongside the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max in September. Most likely on 10th September.

But once again, we expect Apple to stagger the release of its 2019 iPhone range. That’ll mean the XR 2019 will go on sale much later than its pricier stablemates.

If we were betting men, we’d put our stake on the iPhone XR 2019 landing on shop shelves around four to five weeks after its Big Reveal. Pencil in mid-late October and you won’t go too far wrong.

Can’t wait that long? Take a look at our pick of the best iPhone XR deals below:

Best buy deals
  • iPhone XR 128GB White
    iPhone XR
    • 15GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £75.00 device cost
    • Manage your bills with My Vodafone app
    • £34.00 per month
    24 month contract From Mobiles.co.uk
  • iPhone XR 64GB White
    iPhone XR
    • 100GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Priority ticket booking for O2 venues
    • £55.00 per month
    24 month contract From MobilePhonesDirect.co.uk
  • iPhone XR 64GB Black
    iPhone XR
    • 20GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £175.00 device cost
    • Free BT Sport and Apple Music
    • £31.00 per month
    24 month contract From Buymobiles.net
  • iPhone XR 64GB Black
    iPhone XR
    • 15GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £60.00 device cost
    • Priority ticket booking for O2 venues
    • £34.00 per month
    24 month contract From Mobiles.co.uk
  • iPhone XR 64GB White
    iPhone XR
    • 9GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £280.00 device cost
    • Free BT Sport and Apple Music
    • £29.00 per month
    24 month contract From Affordable Mobiles
  • iPhone XR 64GB Black
    iPhone XR
    • 20GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £175.00 device cost
    • Free BT Sport and Apple Music
    • £31.00 per month
    24 month contract From Affordable Mobiles

How much will iPhone XR 2019 cost?


Pricing for the iPhone XR 2019 is set to be broadly in line with the current generation iPhone XR.

However, we’re not entirely ruling out an increase, given usual inflationary pressures on smartphones, and the possibility of a weaker pound as a result of Brexit.

With those caveats, we expect SIM-free prices to look like this:

  • iPhone XR 2019 64GB – £749-£779
  • iPhone XR 2019 128GB – £799-£829
  • iPhone XR 2019 256GB – £899-£929

iPhone XR 2019 contract prices are likely to start at £40-£45 per month, with something to pay upfront, from the get-go. In time prices will drop, of course. But not for a while.

You can get an iPhone much cheaper than that if you’re prepared to go for an older model. For instance, we’ve got the iPhone 7 with a decent amount of data for well under £20 per month.

iPhone XR 2019 design and colours rumours

2018’s iPhone XR is a fine looking phone. And so it doesn’t bother us that Apple is expected to retain a very similar design for this year’s model.

That means, the same, large-ish screen notch. The same glass back for wireless charging. And, of course, no physical home button.

However, it’s not entirely a case of ‘as-you-were’. Word is we’ve got some new colour options to look forward to.

In addition to the current white, black, yellow and red, there’ll be green and lavender versions. The coral and blue colourways, it seems, are being dropped.

If leaks can be believed, the only really notable change – and it is a fairly big one – is the camera module at the rear. Like the iPhone 11 and 11 Max, this will be a rectangular block that protrudes substantially.

Judging by responses to mock-up images of the XR 20219 on social media, it’s not a universally popular move. It’s certainly a lot less neat and tidy than other phones with multiple cameras, that’s for sure.

In the case of the iPhone 11, you say that the larger, more obtrusive module was forced on Apple because it has to incorporate three lenses.

But it’s much harder to justify the move in the case of the iPhone XR 2, which has just two lenses to make room for.

iPhone XR 2 camera rumours


Good news: the iPhone XR 2019 is getting a dual lens camera, which promises to be a major upgrade.

We don’t know what the lenses will be just yet. But it’s probable that Apple will co-opt the standard lens and telephoto lens pairing from the iPhone XS and XS Max.

That’ll mean a much better bokeh mode for depth of field shots. And unlike the iPhone XR, its successor’s Portrait Mode won’t just work on people. You’ll be able to use it for everyday objects too.

In more good news, Apple is expected to equip all its 2019 iPhones with a low-light mode along the lines of Google’s excellent Night Sight feature. That’ll mean much better photos in challenging, low-light conditions.

Finally, the 2019 iPhone XR’s front camera is expected to be upgraded from seven megapixels to 12 megapixels.

Assuming rumours can be believed, this would see all three iPhones for 2019 equipped with the same selfie camera.

iPhone XR 2019: will it have 5G?

5G

Leaks from Apple’s supply chain indicate that the iPhone XR 2019 won’t be compatible with 5G networks. And nor, it would appear, will the iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Max.

Instead, we’ll have to wait until 2020 for a 5G iPhone. And maybe even until 2021.

That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given Apple’s habit of waiting a while for new network technology to become established before jumping on board. But it’s a shame, even so.

Especially so, because 5G Samsung and Huawei phones are on sale right now.

What's 5G got to offer that 4G hasn't? Get up to speed with our 5G guide.

iPhone XR 2019 screen rumours

iPhone XR 2019 render

Image credit: EverythingApplePro

It’s thought that the XR 2019 will keep the same screen dimensions as its predecessor. That means it’ll come with a 6.1-inch screen, with an identical notch at the top.

Alas, rumours that Apple would shrink the notch this time around seem to be utterly without foundation.

But in news that’s likely to be better received, the screen is getting an upgrade from LCD display tech to the brighter, crisper OLED technology featured on the XS and XS Max.

So the XR may no longer be the poor relation in the display stakes, despite coming in much cheaper. What's more, it will deal much better with bright ambient light than the current XR, with the upshot that it’s easier to see your display in blinding sunshine.

OLED screen technology also requires no backlight, which is what makes LCD screens more power-hungry. In turn, that ought to mean that the iPhone XR 2019’s battery lasts even longer. More of which in a bit.

iPhone XR 2019 battery rumours

The XR has the best battery life of any iPhone we’ve ever tested. Reports indicate this year’s XR will feature a five per cent larger battery. That’s not a huge increase. On paper, anyway.

But if Apple does indeed fit the iPhone XR 2019 with a less energy-sapping OLED screen, it’s not out of the question that it’ll combine with the larger battery to result in a significant improvement in power-efficiency.

iPhone XR 2019 software

iOS 13


It’s nailed on that the iPhone XR 2019 will feature Apple’s recently unveiled iOS 13 software out of the box.

Key features that brings to the iPhones include a Dark Mode to prevent eyestrain and help smartphone users get to sleep easier, as well as the option to customise memojis and faster Face ID facial recognition technology.