Friday, October 26, 2018

In-Store First Impression of the iPhone XR

I met up with hubby after work today to check out the iPhone XR. I've been eagerly awaiting this phone's release and the reviews have been overwhelmingly favourable. It seems to be selling like hotcakes at the Toronto Eaton Centre! I mainly wanted to test out the photo and video functions, and this camera--erg phone--does not disappoint. Of course, the image quality is not going to compare to a DSLR (or even my Canon G7X--RIP), but I was quite impressed by the XR's photo and video performance compared to the earlier versions of the iPhone, including hubby's 7 Plus, as well as the 8 Plus and X that we tested out when we were at the Apple store in NYC. I took a bunch of photos, and the resulting images are below. I like my photos pretty bright so I normally bump up the exposure and do some other minor adjustments for this blog; however, for the purposes of this post, I've uploaded the images SOOC (straight out of the "camera"). I also took one short video clip, which will be included in my next vlog.

The XR's colour options (coral, blue, yellow, and red) are definitely fun, but I think my favourite is still black.

I had fun playing with the portrait mode. I thought the smoothing of the skin was nice, but I'm a little older, so a too-sharp selfie is not a good look. The below images were taken using 4 of the 5 available portrait modes. From left to right: natural light, studio light, contour light, and stage light (I didn't take a photo with the stage light mono, which is a black and white option).

The quality is very nice for Instagram or other online sharing, but close up, you can definitely see some haloing and some areas that look like a rush Photoshop job (the below image was taken in the natural light portrait mode).

Here is the image close up so you can see the edges in question a bit better. You can also see some of these weird edges around my hubby's ears in the first photo of this blog post. These anomalies seem to be a result of the bokeh effect in combination with the back lighting, but more testing is clearly required. I played around with the bokeh feature, which is really neat, but again, the quality is not going to be remotely comparable to a DSLR.

There's some funky stuff going on in the stage light mode, but this is more of a fun feature, and I doubt I would use it too often. The photo is quite noisy, and part of someone's face is showing behind hubby's right shoulder.

Despite these minor (and admittedly picky) issues, my overall in-store first impression of this phone is a big thumbs up. It is very fast (especially compared to my water damaged 6S Plus), the gestures are smooth, and the screen is beautiful. I have no issues with not having the dual cameras on the phone--in fact, I like that the phone does not "zoom in" in portrait mode. I also think the XR is the perfect size. It is comfortable to hold and easy to use. Hubby and I were discussing phones a little while ago, specifically about him buying a new phone and me taking his hand-me-down (this is a common occurrence in our relationship); however, now that I've seen the XR in person...


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