Is Buying A Refurbished iPhone XR The Right Choice In The Long Run? Let’s find out.

Buying a refurbished iPhone XR sounds like the right choice to many. But it can soon turn out to be a significant problem unless you know what you are buying.

This article will help you understand that and help you make the right choice when it comes to purchasing the suitable gadget.  

iPhone XR Overview 

Apple is known for its experimental nature. The brand has innovated and renovated itself countless times in the past. One such experiment was the iPhone XR series. iPhone XR is a forgotten chapter in the history of the brand.  

However, it was a popular phone during its release. iPhone XR was a part of the 12th generation of iPhones that was released back in 2018 alongside the iPhone XS and XS Max.

Pre-orders for the phone began on October 19th, 2018, and were released to the public on October 26th, 2018.  

XR is a more cost-effective variant of XS and XS Max. In fact, XR was the cheapest out of all the phones in the iPhone lineup that year. Therefore, we expect to see some features removed compared to the higher-priced variants of XS and XS Max.  

Considering everything, it is surprising to see that XR was Apple’s best and most prominent product for 2018. In other words, XR was Apple’s best-selling phone in 2018. This was primarily because of the phone’s overall price point and specification list.  


iPhone XR was a phenomenal phone and was the last of its kind. As a result, there are several unique features that riddle the phone.

Therefore, it is crucial to understand these features and see how the phone is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced phones of its time.  

In this section, we will be breaking down the specifications of the phone into five distinct categories: Design, Chipset, Display, Camera Setup, and Software.

Understanding these features would help you make the decision of whether to buy a refurbished iPhone XR or not.  

With that note, let us dive right in.  


iPhone XR does not look like the modern iPhones. In fact, the design choices in the iPhone XR were the last of its kind. Soon after this, the brand drastically shifted from this design choice.  

iPhone XR was released in six distinct colors: coral, red, yellow, blue, white, and black. However, if you are buying a refurbished iPhone XR, you need to understand that you might get only some of the colors. 

The design is reminiscent of older iPhones with round bezels and a single camera set-up at the back. As a result, it looks very different from all the modern-day iPhones. Also, the developers made sure that the phone is resistant to dust and water.  

As a result, the phone comes with an IP67 rating that protects it against elements like water, dust, and grime. In fact, you can keep your underwater submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.  


XR was released alongside higher prices, as were XS and XS Max. However, XR is a more humble variant of the three. The company wanted XR to be affordable. As a result, the brand has removed some features.  

However, this does not mean that XR is weaker than. XR uses the same 12th-generation chipset as the XS and XS max. However, some of its features have been removed to keep the phone affordable.  

XR comes with an A12 chipset that is built on a 7-nanometer process. Therefore, it was a powerful processor by the 2018 standard.  


Unlike the more recent iterations of iPhones, XR comes with an LCD display. The brand named this Liquid Retina and was claimed to be the more cost-effective variant than the most.  

XR’s display comes with a resolution scale of 1792 × 828 pixels at 326 PPI. The figures seem a tad bit underpowered as compared to more recent iterations. This resolution scale ensures more explicit pictures than others.  

The overall screen-to-body ratio of the phone is around 79%. This was one of the highest screen-to-body ratios of that time. All in all, you will be getting a functional screen with your refurbished iPhone XR that can get the job done.  

Camera Setup 

Cameras have always been one of the most significant and most prominent aspects of iPhones. The brand has always delivered when it comes to good camera setup.

Nowadays, the camera setup features more than one back camera and a dedicated front camera. However, XR comes with a dual camera setup: one front camera and one back camera.  

Apple added a primary camera sensor to the XR like its counterparts. The single-camera setup of XR might feel restrictive as it did not feature elements like optical zoom, etc. As a result, you might get a different clarity than you can get from iPhone 15.  

Overall, the camera will get the job done but will not provide you with a cinematic experience.  


iPhone XR hit the market back in 2018. As a result, the phone was initially released with an iOS 12. This was genuinely state-of-the-art back in 2018 and was lauded for its premiumness. However, generations passed, and the OS became obsolete.  

However, the phone received an iOS 17 update on September 18th, 2023. As a result, make sure that your phone comes with the latest OS. If not, boot your phone and install the newest update that is out there.  

General Reception 

This might not be directly related to the buying and selling of refurbished iPhone XR, but it is an essential aspect that needs more attention than it gets. iPhone XR was shipped back in 2018 and soon became a hit. 

iPhone XR was the more cost-effective variant of the three. This played a significant role in the popularity of the phone. As per statistics, iPhone XR was one of the highest-selling phones in the year 2018. 

Apart from that, the phone mostly received positive reviews from critics. As a result, it is easily one of the best phones that came out of Apple’s manufacturing line.

However, most reviewers agreed that the display of the phone had a lower resolution scale and overall PPI than that of its other counterparts.  

All in all, the iPhone XR is a well-built phone that comes with some fantastic features. 

Common Refurbished iPhone XR Problems 

iPhone XR is an excellent phone with some really nice features. However, it would help if you remembered that you are buying a refurbished phone.

As a result, you should expect to see some problems and troubleshooting errors caused due to old age. 

This section is all about those problems that you might face while using a refurbished iPhone. However, old phones can run into several different issues. As a result, it is essential to accept that it is not humanly possible to list all of these errors.  

In this section, we have tried listing all the significant problems you can encounter.  

Battery Issues 

Battery issues are the most common and scary problems that 7 out of 10 iPhone users might face at one point in time. Studies have shown that iPhone batteries lose around 50% of their vitality in the very first year.  

As a result, it is essential to understand that there is a high chance that you will face battery problems like fast draining, not charging, etc., during your usage. It would help if you tried to optimize your background usage in order to make the battery work more efficiently. 

However, if the problem persists, you should take it to a mechanic.  

Screen Issues 

iPhone XR comes with an LCD screen, which the company calls ‘Liquid Retina”. In an attempt to cut costs, Apple decided to release XR with an LCD screen instead of an OLED screen.  

Howevevr, this decision is frowned upon, but it actually does not do the phone any disservice. The phone runs smoothly on this display setup and does not require maintenance.

However, in some cases, users have reported screen problems like a black screen, frozen screen, and unresponsive touchpad.  

These are complex issues and do not have ny simple workaround. In fact, the only way you can deal with such problems is to wait for the phone to fix itself or take it to a mechanic. 

Not Turning On 

One of the biggest nightmares of iPhone users is the phone not turning on. This is a super common problem that most iPhone users deal with, especially if the phone is old or has been refurbished.  

Honestly, there is no workaround to this. The only way you can fix it is by taking it to a mechanic. However, in some cases, it could be that you are facing a black screen error. This can identified if your phone is being recognized by other phones, but the screen is unresponsive.  

Boot Issues 

Failure to switch on is a different thing. However, boot problems are on a different level of annoying. Imagine that you are using your phone, and it randomly restarts. This is one of the most common boot errors that you can encounter. 

Apart from that, there are also random shutdowns and being stuck on Apple Logo. All of these errors are very common and have simple workarounds.

Try to factory reset your phone and see if these problems persist. This is the most prominent and safest fix that is out there.  

However, in extreme cases, you should consult with an expert.  

Button Problems 

Wearing down buttons is one of the most common things for old phones. You keep pressing a button a million times a day for over a year. What do you think will happen?

Button wearing down is a widespread problem and requires professional help to some extent. The only way you can address this issue is by taking your phone to an experienced and letting them replace the faulty button.  


Finally, the most dangerous problem that you can encounter with your iPhone is overheating. This is the most complicated problem out there. It is natural for a device to get heated after an extended period of usage. 

 However, it should not heat up to the extent that things become dangerous. As soon as the message appears, try to leave your phone alone and let it cool down. Try not to use the phone for a while. Let it calm down.  

If this problem persists, the only way you can address it is by taking your phone to a mechanic to identify the problem.  

Checklist Before Checkout 

Buying a refurbished iPhone XR is a great choice. It is cost-effective and offers some fantastic benefits. However, in order to have the desired outcome, you need to make sure that you are buying an authentic product.  

This section will talk about something other than the technicalities of buying a refurbished iPhone. Instead, it will discuss the checklist that you must follow when buying a refurbished iPhone XR. 

Here we go! 

  • Wear & Tear: Look for signs of physical damage. Record all the damages that you notice in order to negotiate the price.  
  • Proof Of Purchase: Ask the dealer for proof of purchase in order to establish that you are not buying a stolen and refurbished iPhone XR.  
  • IMEI Number: Check for the IMEI number of the phone and note it down. This would help you to benefit from Apple’s refurbishing services.  
  • Speaker Test: Faulty speakers are super standard when it comes to water damage. If the sound feels warbly, ask the dealer to change the set. This is indicative of water damage.  
  • Battery Test: This is a crucial test that will free you from extra hassle. Put your battery through a series of tests in order to understand its quality and life essence.  

The Final Thought 

In summation, if you want to use an iPhone and have some spare cash, then a refurbished iPhone XR is the solution. This phone was released at a perfect time in the history of Apple.

As a result, several things were done differently. If you like our take on the iPhone XR, keep following our page for more such content on refurbished gadgets.  

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Samik Ghoshal

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