Apropos John’s roundup, today I went into a store to try out the XR thinking there was a 70% chance of walking out with one, and was shocked at how large, heavy and unwieldy it actually is compared to my iPhone 6, even with its aluminum and glass body.
Pics don’t do it justice, nor does Apple’s comparison page—I can’t hold it comfortably to take a call single-handed, never mind using it for anything more complex, since it is much larger, thicker and heavier than the 6/8 form factor.
I find it telling that most reviewers (except Nilay Patel, who specifically singled out the size) never mention how big the thing is on absolute terms and only compare it to the other X models–they are clearly out of touch with regular folk, who weren’t exposed to the X series over the past year and will be looking at the XR based on price and the opportunity to buy a new phone after over two years of using a much smaller device.
Maybe everyone in the US just has bigger hands (well, not everyone, but I’m not going to go into political jokes here), but I think many of those upgraders are likely to be disappointed by the lack of a “normal” sized iPhone.
Looking back, I still think the 6 was too big to begin with, and that the 5/SE form factor was Apple’s best design ever. So I am now at a crossroads regarding getting an XS (which actually fits my hand but is insanely expensive), taking a bet on the XR (which feels like a Chicco phone decked out with a fragile glass back) or just sticking to the 6 for a while longer and praying for a comeback of the SE.
The most telling thing, though, is that I carry a Samsung S8 for work (with a folio cover), and the XR handled worse. And I can’t even begin to imagine how bulky it would be with a case…