Apple is finally selling refurbished iPhone XRs—but you really shouldn’t buy one

Even with a $120 discount, you're better off spending your money elsewhere.

Credit: Christopher Hebert/IDG

Apple’s Refurbished iPhone store is a great place to buy older iPhone models and now Apple has added a new model to the list. The iPhone XR is available in a variety of colors and storage options for as much as $120 off the current $599 MSRP. However, while a 16 percent discount on what was recently the world’s most popular phone might sound tempting, there are better ways to spend your money.

The Phone XR isn’t a bad phone, but it’s no longer a great one either. I’ve detailed the reasons to choose the cheaper iPhone SE  in a comparison article, but with the XR, basically you’re getting a slower processor and inferior camera for more money—even if you take this discount into account.  And while the XR’s 6.1-inch display is certainly bigger than the SE’s 4.7-inch one, the tech is basically the same.

So you’re essentially paying a premium for a modern design. If you can’t bring yourself to be seen with a phone straight outta 2016, then you should consider the iPhone 11 or a refurbished iPhone XS instead. Either option will get you a better camera than the XR, with night mode on the iPhone 11 and 2x optical zoom on the XS. Apple is selling refurbished iPhone XS models for as low as $699, the same price that a new iPhone 11 costs.

So we’d recommend either spending $100 less on a new iPhone SE, or $200 more on a new iPhone 11 or a refurbished iPhone XS, than paying $499 for a refurbished iPhone XR. But if you have your heart set on an iPhone XR, you can find the whole selection on Apple’s site.

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Michael Simon

Michael Simon
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