Social Justice in Education and the iPhone X – Next Gen Learning in Action

By Sajan George, Founder & Chief Executive Officer for Matchbook Learning

There are numerous innovative education models that have launched in the past 10 years and likely even more in the next 10 years. These new models are borne from the frustration of our historic and current education system that was designed during the industrial age. The system was designed to address a singular set of outcomes (college entry) by controlling a finite set of inputs (students, seat-time or time spent in the classroom, and curriculum and assessments).  This “standardization” of inputs to create a hopefully standard or uniform outcome came from the factories of the industrial age which did the same with raw materials that were converted to predictable finished goods and services.

New innovation models are introducing new levels of customization and personalization needed to address a much wider subset of inputs (learning styles, learning strengths, learning deficiencies, social and emotional gaps and opportunities, mindsets and habits, poverty, special needs, English language learners, trauma, etc.) and a potentially larger subset of outputs (college entry, college completion, vocational non-college pathways, job skills, etc.).


This wider acceptance of “variable inputs” has a corollary benefit that for many education entrepreneurs may be the most compelling argument of seeking innovative ways to educate students: social justice.  What exactly is social justice in an education context? Justice is defined as the “establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law.” Adding the word “social” in front of justice indicates that rules of law do not necessarily have to be broken in order for something socially unjust or unfair to have happened.  Social justice therefore is defined as justice or fairness with respect to  “the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.”  What if innovative education models better served homeless children, children suffering from the traumatic effects of poverty, minority children, children whose native language is not English, special education children, overage and under-credited students, students in foster care… all children?  If such innovative models did so, they would be more socially just or more effective in distributing future wealth, opportunities, and privileges within our society.  

What does any of this have to do with the new Apple iPhone X, as the title of this blog post suggests?

This weekend I went into the Apple store and bought the new iPhone X.  One of the interesting things I noted besides my heart palpitations over the retail price of this device was that it had no “home” key and in fact had no keys or buttons anywhere on the face of the device.  This was a little disorienting in playing with the device in the store. However, by the time I took the device home, I was obviously committed to its use, and I found myself easily adjusting to this new competency (swipe up from the bottom of the device to go “home,” swipe down from the top to bring up the control center, swipe and pause to see multiple tabs or apps).  The commitment of owning the phone fired up my learning curve (likely in ways that only Apple foreknew) and led to a seamless learning and adoption experience.

At Matchbook Learning we just finished a two week fall break, our first break after launching an innovative and yet challenging restart of a previously low-performing K-8 public school in Indianapolis.  The first couple of months of a school turnaround/charter restart can feel like a roller coaster of emotion that comes with replacing an old culture with a completely new one: a new vision, leadership, staff, structures, routines, habits, and mindset.  There may not be any harder assignment in public education than trying to turn around an entire school at once. Our days have been long and our staff were tired and ready for fall break.

Coming back after fall break, however, rather than bracing ourselves for the emotional headwinds of restoring and renewing children, there seemed to be a noticeable difference in the air, less resistance in the school climate. Not only have we noted a lower number of behavior incidents, but also a marked increase in the quality of individual conversations with individual students who were previously closed off from engaging with our staff.  

I cannot say for sure, but I suspect something happened when our students came back after break.  They saw that we were committed to them, realized we were not going anywhere. Our commitment to students is unlocking our relationships with them which in turn is unlocking what they can and will learn from us.   Once that commitment is both understood and accepted, learning begins to unlock just as my experience in trying to learn how to use the iPhone X in the Apple store as a potential customer paled when compared to how I learned to use it at home as a committed owner.  

Justice, be it social or legal, requires more than good design.  At the heart of justice is fairness, and at the heart of fairness is kindness. Kindness to be sustained over the longer term requires a kind of committed relationship.  When learning is designed within relationships denoted by such commitment, it cannot help but occur.

Photo by Devon Janse van Rensburg on Unsplash

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iOS 12.1 Extends Battery-Related Performance Management Feature to iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X

Apple on Tuesday released iOS 12.1 following six weeks of beta testing. As mentioned in the release notes, the software update extends Apple’s performance management feature to the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

From the release notes:

Adds a performance management feature to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down, including the option to disable this feature if an unexpected shutdown occurs, for iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple has reflected this change on its iPhone Battery and Performance website, noting that performance management “may be less noticeable” on those iPhone models due to their “more advanced hardware and software design.”

The performance management system was first enabled in iOS 10.2.1, but it was limited to the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus until yesterday’s release of iOS 12.1.

Last December, Apple did mention that the design of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X allows for a “different” performance management system that “more precisely” prevents unexpected shutdowns, but prior to iOS 12.1, no performance management feature of this kind had been enabled on the trio of iPhones:

iPhone 8 and later use a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery’s power capability to maximize overall system performance. This allows a different performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown. As a result, the impacts of performance management may be less noticeable on iPhone 8 and later. Over time, the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will diminish in their capacity and peak performance and will eventually need to be replaced.

Why is Apple slowing down some iPhone models?

From our January 2018 article What to Know About Apple Slowing Down iPhones to Prevent Unexpected Shutdowns:

iPhones, like many other consumer electronics, are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited lifespan. As the battery in your iPhone ages, its ability to hold a charge slowly diminishes.

A chemically aging battery can also have increased impedance, reducing its ability to provide a sudden burst of power when demanded by other components in an iPhone, such as the CPU and GPU. A battery’s impedance will also temporarily increase when it has a low charge and/or in cold temperatures.

A battery with a high enough impedance may be unable to provide power quickly enough to the iPhone when needed, and Apple safeguards components against the drop in voltage by shutting down the device.

Apple recognized that iPhones unexpectedly shutting down on users is not a good experience, and starting with iOS 10.2.1, it quietly implemented a power management feature to prevent these shutdowns. The update was released in January 2017, and a month later, Apple said it saw a major reduction in shutdowns.

The performance management feature can be disabled through the Battery Health menu in the Settings app if desired.

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World-class Smartphone for Half Cost of iPhone X

Whether it’s an Android phone or iPhone, if you’re on the market for a premium phone you’ll have to splash out upwards of $1,000. OnePlus, the Oppo-backed Chinese smartphone maker has been making flagship Android phones at a competitive price for years.

The company just released its most recent addition to its hardware lineup, the OnePlus 6T at a press event in New York. What’s is interesting is the phone, which has significant upgrades costs almost the same as its predecessor – just $20 more.

The T version is a refinement of last year model, but this year it doesn’t feel that way since OnePlus added significant changes to the phone. Here’s what the OnePlus 6T has to offer. In terms of performance, the specs sheet is pretty similar to its little brother. Inside, there’s a Snapdragon 845 processor 6 or 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of storage. Not bad, pretty decent specs considering the price point.

The display has been increased to 6.41-inches from the 6.28-inch Amoled. The startup phone maker could squeeze more real estate screen thanks to a much smaller notch than the OnePlus 6, the less obtrusive I’ve seen so far. The teardrop-shaped notch doesn’t house any sophisticated piece of technology like Apple’s TrueDepth camera system introduced in the iPhone X.

However, you have more screen to body ratio thanks to the tiny notch. Now 86 percent of the phone is all screen, up to 82 percent on its predecessor. Google should take note from OnePlus when it comes to putting notch on their phones, the Pixel 3 XL got the ugliest and deepest notch so far.

oneplus 6t release dateOnePlus has moved the fingerprint scanner from the back of the phone to the display. Now the fingerprint sensor lives underneath the screen. A technology that companies have been working on for years, it seems that it’s finally ready for mass production.

2019 will be the year of in-display fingerprint scanners as 2017 was the year of edge-to-edge displays. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close though.

The fingerprint scanner should work in about a third of a second, according to the company. If you find it slower than the OnePlus 6, you can still use a PIN or your face to unlock the phone.

OnePlus has parted ways with the 3.5mm headphone jack. You’ll find a USB Type-C connector and two speakers at the bottom. For those who don’t embrace wireless headphones yet and prefer regular wired headphones, there’s a USB Type-C to 3.5-millimeter headphone port dongle in the box.

Despite, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei asks fans on Twitter whether or not they like headphone jacks for the last three years. As you can see the results (almost 90%) have been pretty favorable to keep the headphone jack. And yet the company found a way to remove it. My take here is those polls are pure marketing strategies, they don’t really care about your opinions.

oneplus 6t release date

2016 Edition

2017 Edition

2018 Edition

The removal of the headphone jack gives us a larger 3,700 mAh battery, which should pack enough juice for heavy users. More and more companies have followed suit since Apple removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. Rumors are suggested that South Korean giant company could also kill the headphone jack on its upcoming Galaxy S10.

In terms of camera, nothing has changed hardware wise speaking. We still got the same double rear cameras system vertically aligned in the upper middle of the phone. The company has made some tweak in the software though for better edge detection in portrait modes, noise reduction and brighter pictures at night with its new “Nightscape” feature. But there’s definitely plenty room for the company to improve if it wants to compete against other premium smartphone cameras.

The OnePlus 6T will be available in just two finish – Midnight Black and Mirror Black and ship with Android’s new software, Android Pie, overlaid with the latest version of OyxgenOS. Pre-orders open November 1, starting at $549 for the 6GB/128GB model. The 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB models cost $579 and $629, respectively.

OnePlus is making its way to the States. For the first time, the OnePlus 6T will be available through a US carrier. The company has made a deal with T-Mobile and will be selling the phone starting November 1 at 6:00 am ET.

If you found this article helpful, please recommend and/or share it, so your friends can benefit from it too.

OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is another attempt of the Oppo-backed Chinese smartphone maker to deliver a flagship handset for those who don’t want to fork over a $1000.



  • Design 90%

  • Feature 80%

  • Camera 70%

  • Performance 85%

  • Battery 90%

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Apple Won 45 Patents Today Covering Apple TV Channel Bar User Interface, 3D Structures for Devices and an iPhone X Design


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 45 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple TV’s Channel Bar expansion, 3D structures for devices that could use liquid metal and a design patent relating to iPhone X. We wrap up this week’s granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.


Granted Patent: Apple TV with Channel Bar


Apple’s newly granted patent 10,116,996 covers their invention relating to the next generation of Apple TV focused on delivering TV channels via a newly expanded  channel bar. As Apple continues to make deals with Canal+ for Apple TV to act as a cable-like box, adding a channel bar is necessary.


2 apple granted apple tv ui patent oct 30  2018

Apple’s patent FIG. 18 presented above depicts one embodiment of a video display and channel bar; FIG. 20 depicts one embodiment of a video display and user interface.


Granted Patent: Methods of Forming 3D Structures


Apple’s newly granted patent 10,117,343 covers their invention relating to methods for forming three-dimensional structures which may be configured to provide desirable characteristics with respect to light, sound, and fluid travel therethrough. Further, the three-dimensional structures may be configured to define desired stiffness, weight, and/or flexibility within a device. The three-dimensional structures may be employed in embodiments including heat sinks, housings, speaker or vent covers, springs, etc.


Buried deep in the patent is a reference to liquid metal. Apple states that “the structures may be formed by molding or casting, in which a mold or cast is employed to form the three-dimensional structure from a fluid substance, such as a liquid metal or plastic.


3 3D structures for devices win patent for apple

Patently Apple covered this invention in a patent application report back in a 2013 titled “Apple Invents Methods of Forming 3D Structure with Liquid Metal.” You could review it here for more patent figures and details.


The Key Apple Design Patents Granted Today


4 design patent wins oct 30  2018 iphone x apple watch magic trackpad 2

The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today


5  Apple's Remaining Granted Patents for oct 30  2018

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Apple sprinkles iPhone X magic on iPad Pro, MacBook Air, but challenges remain



Apple is betting the same design changes that helped the iPhone X captivate fans last year will rejuvenate some of its lower-profile products.

The iPad Pro on Tuesday received a heavy makeover, drawing in iPhone X elements like a slimmer bezel and integration of the FaceID facial recognition system instead of TouchID and the traditional home button. It also includes the “Liquid Retina” display, first seen in the iPhone XR

The new MacBook Air got a few of the same tweaks, mainly the smaller bezels and body, as well as the sharper display. The Mac Mini got a new space gray finish and more horsepower.

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Apple introduces MacBook Air with Retina display


The changes mark long overdue upgrades to product lines that have played important, but diminishing, roles in Apple’s lineup as iPhone sales generate the majority of the revenue. The changes to the iPad Pro mark the first significant design overhaul since the iPad Pro originally launched in 2015. The MacBook Air hasn’t had a major change in years, with only a chip upgrade last year.

Apple doesn’t just want you to own one of its products —the benefits and hooks really sink in when you go all in on its family of devices and services. With PC makers, led by Microsoft‘s Surface line, building sleeker and more attractive devices, Apple needed to step up.

“The new iPad and Macs include some very welcome changes that Apple owners will appreciate,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights. “I don’t think Apple did enough to pull people from their premium Windows PCs to the platform, though.”

iPad Pro’s overhaul

Apple’s iPad Pro gets its biggest makeover yet, with thinner bezels and the addition of Face ID. The smaller iPad Pro gets a larger display at 11 inches in the same body, while the 12.9-inch model gets a smaller body that’s close in size to the standard 8.5 by 11-inch sheet of paper. Apple said the larger iPad Pro has 25 percent less volume. 

The company hopes the changes will get you excited about tablets again. 

“The iPad is a magical piece of glass than transforms into anything you need it to be,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. 

Exciting consumers about tablets is a challenge, which the whole category struggling for the past few years. Consumers have hung on to their older tablets — purchased at a time when they were a hotter item — or spend more time on their larger smartphones.

Since the original launched in 2015, the iPad Pro has been presented less as a media device, and more a tool for you to create and share content. But it hasn’t been a runaway success, partly because of the cost and because it lacked a lot of pro-grade software.

Apple also showed off a new version of Apple Pencil that charges wirelessly and magnetically attaches to the iPad Pro — taking a page out of Microsoft’s Surface Pro line. 

The previous iPad Pro did help reverse 13 quarters of consecutive declines, which ended in mid-2017 with a minor bump. In the last quarter, Apple reported iPad unit sales ticked up 1 percent to 11.5 million, while revenue fell 5 percent to $4.74 billion. The company is scheduled to release its fiscal fourth-quarter results on Thursday.

Apple iPad Pro 2018

The iPad Pro has Xbox One S-level graphic capabilities. 

Sarah Tew / CNET

In March, Apple unveiled a new iPad for the education market, but the cost of the device and Pencil accessory elicited skepticism that cash-strapped schools would invest in these tools.

The iPad Pro isn’t going to address those cost concerns — it starts at $799 for the smaller version and $999 for the larger 12.9-inch model.

MacBook Air returns

A new MacBook Air is finally here.

The new MacBook Air comes with a Retina Display, while the frame around the screen is half the size, making for a laptop that has 17 percent less volume. It also includes a TouchID sensor in its butterfly-design, backlit keyboard. 

Mac fans have long wondered whether Apple would ever release an update to the Air, which has served an entry-level journeyman role despite the lack of changes over the years. It had also received little attention as Apple introduced the slim MacBook and the touchbar-enabled MacBook Pro.


MacBook Air gets a new look. 


At a starting price of $1,199, it’s $200 more than the previous $999 entry-level Air. But the company said it’s the cheapest Retina Display-enabled Mac in its lineup, and will serve as the gateway to Apple’s other Mac products. 

While the upgrades are nice, it’s a long way off from the days when the Air played a leading role in Apple’s product lineup.

When Steve Jobs introduced the Air in 2008, fans fell over themselves praising the sleek and lightweight design. Subsequent generations trimmed down the Air even further, forcing PC makers to respond with the short-lived category, “ultrabooks.”


The Mac Mini gets an update with a new space gray finish and more horsepower inside. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

“The MacBook Air redefined the notion of the modern notebook,” Cook said.  

Ultrabooks are gone, but PC makers have flooded the market with thin, light and powerful PCs, boasting sharper displays and powerful processors.

Apple also introduced a new Mac Mini, with a space gray finish. The new Mini can go up to six cores for five times the performance of the Mac Mini. There’s also the option for 64 gigabytes of memory and up to 2 terabytes of storage. Unlike the more svelte MacBook line, the Mac Mini also keeps the standard USB port. 

Like the MacBook Air, the Mac Mini’s starting price jumped to $799 from the previous model’s price tag of $499. 

New iPad Pros, new MacBooks and more: Everything Apple just announced

The new iPad Pro: Everything we know so far

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Apple Announces iPhone X-Inspired New iPad Pro with Xbox One S Class GPU

At its hardware event today, Apple introduced its all-new iPad Pro. The most anticipated device of the day seems to have matched most expectations, just about. It was only yesterday we discussed the probability of Apple leaning on the design and features of the iPhone X for its new iPad Pro, and that is what has happened for the most part.

It’s true, the new iPad Pro is not a direct lookalike of the iPhone X, but you can certainly see where Apple drew its inspiration. With that in mind, we don’t get quite the all-display aesthetic of the X. Instead, the new iPad has drastically reduced its bezels… but they are still there. The result is a sleeker device.

Is this the most drastic change in the history of iPad? We said yesterday Apple would need to make such a change to reignite tablet sales (declining overall, not just for Apple). The new iPad Pro is probably not that seismic aesthetic shift, but it is the most individual iPad yet.

Not least because Apple has removed the Home button for the first time on its tablet. In its place is FaceID, making the journey from the iPhone, and a reliance on gesture controls.

Under the hood is Apple’s excellent A12x Bionic CPU built on 7nm manufacturing. Cutting to the chase of this processor, it basically ensures the iPad Pro is going to be a blazing performer. If you are unfamiliar with the A12X, it powers the latest iPhone Xs Max and comes with 8 cores and 7-core GPU.

Apple says the result will be 35% faster single core performance and 90% faster multi-core. In other words, if you are a power user coming from an older iPad, you will notice the difference. In a little nod to gamers, Apple said the processor GPU is in the same class as the GPU in the Xbox One S.

More Details

The all-new iPad Pro is now available with up to 1TB storage and interestingly, Apple has ditched its Lightning port in favor of USB-C (take note Microsoft). Through this connection, users can connect the iPad to any display up to 5K. As for the display on the device, it is available in 12.9-inch or 11-inch and the product is just 5.9mm thick.

Apple says pre-orders start today and shipments will begin November 7. The entry price for the 11-inch iPad Pro is $799, which the 12.9-inch model starts at $999. Last year’s 10.5-inch variant is hanging around and will cost at least $649.

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The special iPhone X wallpaper everyone loves is finally available for the iPhone XR – BGR

Apple’s iPhone XR has been available online and in stores since this past Friday, and it already seems like it’s going to be a huge seller for Apple. There weren’t really any long lines to be found at Apple stores over the weekend, but the world’s top Apple insider reported that pre-order demand was very strong. Some plugged-in Wall Street analysts thing the iPhone XR might even end up being Apple’s best-selling iPhone during this product cycle, which sort of makes sense. The iPhone XR isn’t “cheap” by any stretch of the imagination, but it starts at $749 while the least expensive iPhone XS will cost you $1,000. Most impressive, perhaps, is the fact that the iPhone XR delivers the same kind of power and speed as the more expensive iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. It’s powered by the same A12 Bionic chipset and has mostly the same specs, and that’s also why it’s a massive threat to all the Android flagship phones out there right now — it’s much more powerful, much faster, and even less expensive.

If you’re one of the many people who already got your hands on a new iPhone XR, you’re undoubtedly enjoying it right now. You also probably took your time to pick out the perfect color since there are so many options. Well, we have some good news for you this morning: The “notch wallpaper” made specially for iPhones has finally been updated and is now available for the iPhone XR.

Remember when the iPhone X was first announced last year and everyone started freaking out about how much they hated it? Heck, even we hated the look of it when we first saw it. Then when you get the new iPhone in your hands, you realize two things. First, the notch actually looks pretty cool and it’s very nice to have the screen extend all the way to the top corners of the phone. And second, you don’t even notice the notch anymore after using the phone for a little while.

The notch design is still a central part of Apple’s iPhone designs this year, and some people like to show it off. In fact, a whole lot of people like to show it off! Graphic designer Hideaki Nakatani, who goes by @heyeased on Twitter, is known most commonly for the crazy iPhone glitch wallpapers he used to make back in 2016. The most popular one was definitely the crazy black wallpaper that caused the iPhone’s dock and folder backgrounds to disappear. It looked amazing on the Jet Black iPhone 7 and the matte black model, but then Apple fixed the little bugs in iOS that made those wallpapers possible. Luckily, Nakatani decided to turn his attention elsewhere and make other kinds of wallpapers for iPhones.

His most popular wallpaper right now by a wide margin is a special series of wallpapers that were made for the iPhone X last year and then updated last month for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. These awesome wallpapers are mostly black so they show off the deep blacks that OLED panels are loved for, while also saving precious battery life in the process because black doesn’t cause pixels to light up on OLED screens. Second, they really show off the notch perfectly because they have a thin border that wraps around the edges of the screen. Here’s what it looks like on the iPhone XR:

But wait, Nakatani’s notch wallpaper isn’t available for the iPhone XR, you say. Good news: it is now! The graphic designer emailed us to share the news that he now has a collection of notch wallpapers in all different colors that are custom-made to fit the iPhone XR’s display. What’s more, they come in the exact colors Apple offers on the iPhone XR so that you can match it perfectly.

As always, this new collection is completely free and available to download from Nakatani’s website. Just make sure that when you apply them you choose “Still” and not “Perspective,” and also don’t resize it at all. You can also find versions for the iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max right here.

Image Source: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Apple iPhone XR first take review: Coral is not really orange and an iPhone XR is just like any other iPhone X Review

Last year I bought my Apple iPhone X using the T-Mobile Jump On Demand program so upgrading to a new phone this year was a simple option with a small price to pay. I jumped to the iPhone XS Max, but returned it within the two week evaluation period.

Yesterday the new iPhone XR arrived as I decided to try a slightly smaller iPhone with a $10/month lower monthly fee. The iPhone XR may turn out to be the best-selling iPhone in 2018 with compromises made in subtle ways at a price $250 less than the iPhone XS and $350 less than the XS Max.

Also: iPhone XS Max review: The iPhone’s future is big and bright

The Apple iPhone XR is the least expensive iPhone released this fall, but it is not the smallest. The iPhone XS has a 5.8 inch display and the iPhone XS Max has a 6.5 inch display. The iPhone XR falls in between with a 6.1 inch display. Compromises made by Apple to get the iPhone XR to be the lowest priced option include LCD instead of OLED, IP67 instead of IP68, haptic touch vs 3D Touch, aluminum vs stainless steel frame, CAT 12 vs CAT 16 LTE support, one rear camera instead of two rear cameras, and 3GB of RAM instead of 4GB.

The iPhone XR has Face ID, the loud stereo speakers, support for Apple’s advanced camera software enhancements (Smart HDR, portrait mode, etc) even with just a single rear camera, dual SIM support, and an Apple A12 Bionic chipset. The iPhone XR also has longer rated battery life than the iPhone XS and XS Max.


  • Processor: Apple A12 Bionic six-core CPU, rour-core GPU, M12 motion coprocessor
  • Display: 6.1 inch 1792×828 pixels resolution IPS LCD (326 ppi)
  • Operating system: Apple iOS 12
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 64, 128, and 256 GB internal options
  • Cameras: 12 megapixel f/1.8 aperture, OIS, Quad-LED True Tone flash. 7 megapixel front facing camera with f/2.2 aperture.
  • Wireless technology: LTE Advanced, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Dust and water resistance: IP67
  • Battery: 2,942 mAh battery rated at up to 25 hours of talk time, 65 hours of audio playback, and 16 hours of video. Wireless charging and fast charging (with charger sold separately)
  • Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm and 194 grams
  • Colors: Black, White, Blue, Yellow, Coral, and PRODUCT Red

The iPhone XR is the only one of the new generation iPhones with the 128GB storage option and it may be the sweet spot in 2018 with a premium over the 64GB one of just $50. It’s the capacity I bought and given that I made it a year with a 64GB iPhone X, should be plenty to satisfy me.


Top ZDNET Reviews

Given that I ordered the Coral color iPhone XR, the first thing I did was remove the phone from the package and flip it over to see what Coral really meant. Orange is one of my favorite colors and the images online appeared to show this was the closest match to orange.

The back panel is salmon color and more of a pink than orange in most lighting conditions. It appears orange-ish in some environmental conditions and so far I still like Coral. The aluminum edges are a different shade and look more orange or copper in color. It’s different and considering I can add a case or skin I don’t think I’m returning it just for the color.

I also like the color yellow so may have to stop by a T-Mobile or Apple store to check out that color option as well. The good thing this year with the iPhone XR is that you have six color options to choose from and with T-Mobile Jump On Demand I can switch color/storage options in the future too.

When you first hold an iPhone X/XS/XS Max in your hand the first thing that strikes you is the way the display takes up most of everything you see in your hand. The viewable display extends out to the very edge of all four sides, while most Android phones tend to have noticeable top and bottom bezels. The iPhone XR has a similar full display look, but with bezels more reminiscient of the iPhone 8 due to the space requirements for the LCD technology.


The black bezels around the display are noticeable, but they are consistent around all four edges so that the display still extends to the top and bottom further than most Android phones. Holding the iPhone X next to the iPhone XR, we see there are still black edges around the iPhone X so it isn’t as dramatic as you might think on the iPhone XR.

The iPhone XR also uses LCD technology instead of OLED, but in typical fashion that we have seen from Apple for years it still looks fantastic. With my aging eyes, I don’t see any real difference in resolution and so far the brightness, color, and clarity is perfectly fine.

Also: iPhone XS review: Everything Apple has to offer, but in a smaller package

The ringer switch and volume buttons are on the upper lift, the side button is on the upper right, the SIM card slot is on the lower right, and the Lightning port is on the bottom. The single camera lens sits out prominently on the upper left corner of the back with the LED flash below it.

The stereo speakers sound great, the phone is extremely responsive, and so far my experiences mirror what I have seen on the iPhone X and XS Max.


The iPhone XR runs the same iOS 12.0.1 seen on all other modern iPhones. Even though I bought this iPhone XR from T-Mobile there is not a single piece of bloatware installed, as expected from Apple iPhones where Apple controls the experience and doesn’t let carriers contaminate it like we see on Android phones.

Initial impressions

I loved using the iPhone X over the past year and it was a rare thing for me to keep an iPhone for an entire year. However, with the T-Mobile JOD program, I’m jumping to one of the new devices. After finding the XS Max to be too big, I figured I would just get the iPhone XS that comes in the same form factor as my beloved iPhone X.

After a day of using the iPhone XR, it looks like this one may actually be a keeper. It is definitely larger than the iPhone X/XS, but still smaller than most of the Android phones I’ve been using for the past several months.

While I thought I liked the rear fingerprint scanner on most Androids, it sure is wonderful to use Face ID again with its flawless fast performance.

The Coral color is different and I think it will grow on me. The yellow or red are the only other colors I might consider as I try to mix it up a bit this year and skip the bland black phones I usually pick. I might cover the back with a skin eventually and keep the attractive orange edges showing.

We have a lot of testing and trials to carry out with the iPhone XR to confirm whether or not it is a keeper, but it sure helps that it is $250 and $350 less than the flagship XS models.

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iPhone XR Teardown Reveals Hybrid iPhone 8 And iPhone X Internals With Decent Repairability

iPhone XR Open
Fancy yourself a new generation iPhone? From a cost standpoint, the iPhone XR is the most sensible of the new models, though it’s still not exactly cheap—pricing starts at $749 (as opposed to $999 for the iPhone XS and $1,099 for the iPhone XS). As with any high dollar smartphone, the thought of cracking it open for delicate repairs may seem gut wrenching. In this case, however, a teardown analysis of the iPhone XR reveals that some types of DIY repairs are at least feasible.
That depends on your skill level, of course, along with your willingness to take matters into your hands. These things aren’t made of Legos, and so there is quite a bit more involved than just pulling pieces apart and then snapping them back together when you’re done. A lot more, actually. It starts with having to remove those annoying pentalobe screws that Apple seems to love so much. There’s also careful prying involved.
iPhone XR Opened

If you managed to open the iPhone XR, you’ll be greeted by an internal layout that is a hybrid between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, both of which are previous generation devices.

“A peek under the hood revealed design hallmarks reminiscent of both the iPhone 8 and X. Most notably, the iPhone XR returned to a single-decker logic board—a pre-X-series design—although the board is vaguely rectangular like its recent brethren. And after all the L-shaped battery shenanigans, we’re back to an old-school, bar-shaped, single-cell battery. If it ain’t broke…,” the teardown folks at iFixIt noted.

iPhone XR Battery

One reason why you might be tempted to open up an iPhone (or any smartphone) is to replace the battery, especially if you tend to hold onto your mobile gadgets for a long time. Other than actually getting inside the iPhone XR, Apple doesn’t put too many hurdles in the way—the 11.16Wh battery is not glued down and comes out rather easily.

iPhone XR Parts

The iPhone XR garnered praise for its “display-first opening procedure and easy access to the battery.” It also earned points for the fact that a broken display can be replaced with minimal hardware removal, allowing users to preserve the Face ID feature when something goes wrong. There are some annoyances, like the pentalobe screws, though the biggest knock is that having glass on both the front and back doubles the risk of cracking. Furthermore, if you end up breaking the glass on the back, you’ll need to replace the entire chassis.

At the end of the day, the iPhone XR earned a respectable 6 out of 10 repairability score.

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Samsung sues brand ambassador for using an iPhone X

There’s a huge difference between influencers and brand ambassadors. An influencer is usually a personality, online or offline, that gets paid to promote a product one time, or a couple of times. A brand ambassador is under contract with the brand for promoting the brand, its products or services. Ksenia Sobchak is Samsung’s brand ambassador in Russia. She’s basically the face of the company.

She is reportedly obligated by contract to appear in public using a Samsung smartphone. Sobchak, a reality TV host and politician, was spotted using an iPhone X in a TV interview. She was even using a piece of paper to shield and block the cameras from capturing the iPhone, but many have noticed, and then things turned bad.

Apparently, some reports claim that this is not the first time Sobchak is using an iPhone, when she was supposed to display a Samsung. Samsung Russia has allegedly sued her for breach of contract over this, asking for 108 million rubles, or $1.6 million. Samsung Russia has not commented on the matter yet.

Image: CEN/

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