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5 reasons you should buy an Apple iPhone XR
Make no mistake, the XR is a full iPhone experience for a lower price. Here’s why you need one in your life.
It’s always tempting to go straight for the biggest, flashiest, most expensive model in a new smartphone range. And while we love the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, we have a massive crush on the iPhone XR.
It’s cheaper, puts in a brilliant performance not far off the mark of its bigger siblings, and comes in a rainbow of statement colours. (If you must know, Product Red is our current squeeze.)
Some people might try to convince you that the iPhone XR is the runt of Apple’s latest litter, but not so. In fact, we gave the XR a 5-star review and for stellar reasons, some of which we’ll cover again below.
So if you’re currently sitting on the fence, thinking about maybe buying the iPhone XR or maybe buying the XS or XS Max, or maybe buying a smartphone from a different brand, give us a moment (or five) to outline our case for why the Apple iPhone XR is actually one of the best phones to buy right now.
1. The price: a flagship experience for less
Money talks, and nothing sounds better to our ears than a premium iPhone experience for less. The iPhone XR is £250 cheaper than than XS and £350 cheaper than the XS Max.
This instantly makes the XR more appealing to those of you who want a top-notch Apple smartphone experience, without having to explain to your bank manager why you’ve dropped upwards of a grand on a phone.
That dinkier price doesn’t mean Apple has cut any major corners to drive the cost down, though – the iPhone XR sports many of the same features found on the XS (we’ll come to that in a wee while).
Apple is selling the XR with a starting price of £749 for 64GB, £799 for 128GB, and £899 for 256GB. If your current phone contract is up for renewal, there are some decent deals to be found on the Apple iPhone XR. Each day we check the best prices, which can be viewed below.
2. Battery life: enough for work and play
If there’s one area the XR rules, it’s battery life. From our experience, it’ll easily see you through a day of intense use. With a lower-res screen than its bigger siblings, the XR doesn’t need so much power, which certainly extends the phone’s usage time.
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For the heavier phone users among you, the XR’s battery life is an important reason to invest. Why? It means you can get more done without worrying that your phone will give up the ghost before you’ve finished working/gaming/playing music/trawling Instagram.
To put it into context, the iPhone XR has a battery capacity of 2,942mAh, compared to 2,658mAh in the iPhone XS. That’s not such a huge stretch from the 3,174mAh battery in the XS Max, either. And remember, the XR costs a lot less.
3. Features and performance: get more done, faster
The iPhone XR is powered by Apple’s new lightning-fast A12 Bionic chip, capable of supporting five trillion operations per second. It also includes a next-gen Neural Engine dedicated to machine learning.
That all sounds very fancy, but in essence it means the XR is fast, smart and built to perform exceedingly well, whether it’s helping you nail work on the move or dive into your latest mobile gaming obsession.
The iPhone XR also comes with iOS 12, Apple’s latest operating system, home to that space bar trick, the very telling screen time insight, and a haul of new emojis (New llama! Lacrosse! Smiling face with triple hearts!).
Oh, and do you currently have two phone numbers, one for work and one for personal use? Well, the iPhone XR offers dual-SIM support, so you can have a physical nano-SIM card in the phone, plus an eSIM.
4. The display: ample space for easy viewing
At 6.1 inches, the iPhone XR is the Goldilocks equivalent of displays: not too big, not too small. There’s a decent amount of real estate upon which to watch videos and to game, so content doesn’t feel cramped on screen.
Multi-taskers will also be overjoyed to hear there’s support here for split-pane apps in landscape. And yes, we know some folks are sniggering over how the XR doesn’t have an OLED screen, and is instead rocking an LCD number (326ppi). But hey, Apple uses arguably the best LCD screens available, so it’s by no means a dull affair.
Apple’s True Tone tech is also present, ensuring the white balance on screen is matched to the colour temperature of the light around you. The benefit is less strain on your eyes. Take that, Specsavers.
5. The camera: boost your photography game
Another juicy reason to get your hands on the XR is, of course, Apple’s enviable camera system. It’s one of the best around, and can truly elevate your stills and video skills. This could be especially important if part of your job involves taking product or reportage shots to share on social media.
There’s a whole suite of camera features and modes to support you in capturing high quality images, including enhanced Portrait mode, with advanced Bokeh and Depth Control.
Apple’s Neural Engine steps in again here, maximising the clout of that 7MP front camera, powering Apple’s smart TrueDepth camera system for Face ID, and 12MP wide-angle lens at the back. With features such as optical image stabilisation, Smart HDR, 1080p HD video recording and 3x digital zoom, the iPhone XR camera is a true ally for mobile photographers.
So there you have it: five reasons why you should make the iPhone XR your next phone. Want to see how it compares with the other iPhones? Then check out our official best iPhones guide to get the lowdown on every iPhone Apple currently sells.
Get more from the latest iPhones at our iPhone Upgrade hub, which is brought to you in association with Vodafone.
Latest Rash of Scam Calls Come From ‘Social Security’
Move over, Internal Revenue Service. Criminals now prefer the Social Security Administration as their cover agency when they try to swindle Americans over the phone.
The I.R.S. has long been a popular choice for telephone scammers, who call pretending to be federal tax representatives to extract money, personal information or both from consumers.
But federal authorities say they have seen fraudulent calls from Social Security Administration impostors “skyrocket” over the past year, overtaking the fake I.R.S. calls.
“In the shady world of government impostors,” the Federal Trade Commission said in a report in April, “the S.S.A. scam may be the new I.R.S. scam.”
The I.R.S. scheme is still around. The I.R.S. lists impostor calls as one of its “dirty dozen” fraud risks. Kati Daffan, assistant director of the F.T.C.’s division of marketing practices, said it was not clear why Social Security-based calls were increasing. It may be that criminals are adapting their approach as the public becomes more aware of the fake income-tax calls.
“Scam artists are always changing to the next big thing,” Ms. Daffan said.
People filed over 76,000 reports about Social Security impostors in the 12 months ending in March, with reported losses of $19 million, according to the F.T.C., which investigates consumer fraud. About 36,000 of the complaints and $6.7 million of the losses were reported in February and March.
By comparison, the agency said, consumers reported $17 million in losses to the I.R.S. scam at its peak, during the 12 months that ended in September 2020. The data comes from the F.T.C.’s Consumer Sentinel Network database, a pool of millions of consumer complaints.
A typical loss for those who reveal their loss to the F.T.C. is about $1,500, the agency said.
In some cases, as with the I.R.S. calls, the criminals are quite aggressive and try to scare their targets into action. In one common tactic, the fake callers tell the potential victim that his or her Social Security number has been “suspended” because of suspicious activity or because it has been involved in a crime. The callers may ask their victims to confirm their Social Security numbers. They even say that the victims must withdraw cash from their bank accounts and that the accounts will be frozen if the victims don’t act quickly.
Some people are scared enough that they follow the caller’s orders to withdraw money and put it on a gift card, then give the card’s number to the criminals. Less commonly, the F.T.C. said, people have followed instructions to withdraw cash and convert it into a digital currency, by depositing it into a Bitcoin A.T.M., where it becomes accessible to the thieves.
Here are some questions and answers about fraudulent calls:
How can I tell if a call from a federal agency is legitimate?
In general, if you get an unsolicited phone call asking for detailed financial or personal information, be suspicious and don’t share any information. “The S.S.A. will not contact you out of the blue,” the F.T.C. said.
Don’t automatically trust the phone number on your caller ID screen. Criminals may use “spoofing” technology to make the call appear to be from a government number.
“We cannot trust the caller ID any longer,” said Ms. Daffan of the F.T.C.
Just last month, Gail S. Ennis, the inspector general of Social Security, warned of fake calls that appeared on caller ID to be from the office’s fraud hotline (1-800-269-0271). While employees of both the inspector general’s office and Social Security may contact people “for official purposes,” and may request that citizens confirm personal information over the phone, the calls will not appear on caller ID as the fraud hotline number, the advisory said, and federal employees will never threaten people for information.
“This is a scam; O.I.G. employees do not place outgoing calls from the fraud hotline 800 number,” the advisory said.
The best thing to do is hang up, said Amy Nofziger, director of fraud victim support at AARP Fraud Watch Network, which helps consumers who are worried about such calls.
If you’re unsure whether the call was a fake, call the agency directly — using a phone number you’ve checked independently, not one given to you by the caller. The Social Security Administration’s main number is 1-800-772-1213.
You should also report fraudulent calls. You can report them to the inspector general by calling the hotline number or going online.
You also can report it to the F.T.C. on a complaint website, identitytheft.gov/ssa, dedicated to Social Security scams.
What if I revealed my Social Security number to a caller?
Visit IdentityTheft.gov, which uses a question-and-answer format to help you protect yourself from identity theft. Steps include putting a freeze on your credit reports to prevent someone from opening new bank accounts or credit cards with your information. At a minimum, you should put a fraud alert on your credit reports, and check them regularly to spot any suspicious activity.
How should I advise an older relative who receives fraudulent calls?
People of all ages are receiving Social Security scam calls, the F.T.C. said.
But Patricia Boyle, a neuropsychologist and an associate professor at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, said older adults were particularly attractive targets for fraud schemes, in part because they often have access to accumulated wealth.
Older adults also exhibit behaviors that may put them at risk for phone fraud, she said. In a recent study of 935 older adults that she co-wrote, more than three-fourths of the participants reported answering the telephone whenever it rang, even if the call was from an unfamiliar number. Many also said they listened to telemarketing calls and struggled with ending unsolicited calls.
The study suggested that falling prey to a telephone scam, even in people who appear to be functioning normally, may be an early warning sign of later cognitive problems or Alzheimer’s, Dr. Boyle said. That doesn’t mean that everyone who is duped will develop dementia. But it may be wise, she said, to monitor the person’s behavior for potential problems, or seek professional screening.
AARP Fraud Watch offers a free helpline for people worried about phone scams (1-877-908-3360) as well as online tips, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, offers resources for helping protect older people from financial exploitation.
The rise of phone scams – the menace lurking on your landline
One in four nuisance calls are thought to be scams, up from just 4% in 2020
Scams are now the biggest problem for landline users, with criminals using cheap technology to exploit millions of people. In the worst cases, callers trick their victims into divulging bank details or even downloading software to take control of their computers.
The latest research from Ofcom found that one in four nuisance calls are thought to be scams, up from just 4% in 2020.
Which? members tell us they are deluged with scam calls – eight in 10 said that they’ve received what they believe to be scam calls, and a quarter are contacted by scammers more than once a week.
Here, we expose the tactics used and explain what you can do to fight back.
Cheap tech use to commit scams and fraud
Although call-blocking services and phones offer some respite from unwanted calls, the emergence of voice over internet protocol, or voip (the type of technology used to make calls over the internet) has been a boon for scammers, allowing them to do their dirty work on the cheap and more easily hide from authorities.
- Number spoofing Software that displays false caller-ID information allowing scammers to trick you into thinking that their number belongs to a legitimate business.
- Renting local numbers Legitimate services that allow businesses to rent a number in a selected local area are also exploited by criminals. For example, someone could rent a phone line for the London area and then target individuals who live in London to increase the chance that people will engage.
- Robocalls In July 2020, UK Finance issued a warning about a surge in calls targeting bank customers, with pre-recorded messages asking them to validate or block a request to transfer money before inviting them to ‘press one to speak to a fraud adviser’ – who is actually the scammer. An Amazon Prime renewal scam was also doing the rounds.
- Wangiri A scammer calls your number but immediately hangs up in the hope that you will call back and connect to a number charged at a premium rate.
- Remote-access programs Tech support scammers and fake engineers pretending to be from firms such as BT and TalkTalk trick victims into installing this software to gain control of their devices. More on this below.
Remote-access programs used for scams
Once they have you on the phone, scammers are after something – whether it’s personal data to hack your accounts or to convince you to send them money. And, again, cheap tech is enabling them to do that, increasingly through the use of remote-access programs.
This software allows someone to access your computer over the internet, and is used by legitimate businesses – including the Which? Tech Support team and many IT support firms.
But a criminal, perhaps posing as a BT engineer or a technical adviser from Microsoft, might also request that you download and install these programs, claiming that they will ‘fix’ a spurious problem or ‘check your system’ for non-existent viruses.
Misuse of remote-access products is immediate grounds for account termination.
Remote-access brands TeamViewer and LogMeIn told us they monitor accounts for unlawful use and work with authorities to report any abuse, but are unable to impose limitations such as blocking access to particular sites.
However, another brand we spoke to, Zoho Assist, told us that if it were to receive a request to block specific websites – including online banking sites – it would be technically possible to implement.
In this video, we hear how a fraudster tricked Claire (not her real name) into downloading a remote-access program called TeamViewer, which ultimately led to him stealing £80,000 from her bank accounts.
Crackdown on phone scams and fraud
The priority must be to prevent malicious calls from getting through in the first place.
In collaboration with banks, Ofcom is gathering phone numbers that calls will never originate from – a good example is the number on the back of a bank card. This means that if these numbers are used, they must have been spoofed and can be blocked at network level. The intention is to add telephone numbers from other sectors later on.
Long term, the regulator wants to establish a database that networks can use to check whether calls are coming from where they’re purporting to, under an initiative known as Secure Telephony Identity Revisited.
This won’t be in place until 2022 at the earliest, though, and may be unable to authenticate non-UK phone numbers. Identifying and stopping the culprits may continue to prove beyond the authorities, especially when callers are located overseas.
So are more radical measures long overdue?
While there are sensible reasons for a caller to modify the caller ID (for example, a caller who wants to leave an 0800 number for you to call back), the risks of abuse seem to far outweigh any benefits.
If scammers have unlimited phone numbers at their disposal, whether based on un-allocated area codes or mimicking existing personal and business numbers, then they will keep coming out on top.
7 Reasons Why I Think The iPhone X Is A Total Rip-Off
Today marks the first official day where you can pre-order the iPhone X, at least until they become unavailable because of so many orders. While demand is extremely strong, I personally think the hype and expectations for this phone are completely insane.
I also think the marketing behind the new iPhone X is confusing because although it has the symbol “X,” it is supposed to be called the “iPhone 10” (due to it being a roman numeral), even though the iPhone 9 won’t be released until next year.
With that said, I am a huge Apple fan and I am an iPhone 6 user, who will probably buy the iPhone 8 or iPhone 7 soon. However, people are acting like this “iPhone X” is the invention of sliced bread simply because it has a larger screen and newer camera compared to it’s predecessors.
1. The iPhone X costs hundreds more
The first reason I think the iPhone X is way overpriced is that you can buy the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8-Plus for literally hundreds of dollars cheaper. According to Apple’s website , you can buy the iPhone 8 for $700, or buy the iPhone 8-Plus for $800. The cheapest model of the iPhone X is a whopping $1,000.
I won’t argue that it should be more expensive, but to be hundreds of dollars more for a few additional features is simply ludicrous. Here is a picture which shows the basic difference between designs:
Des guidelines détaillées pour designer une application optimisée pour l’iPhone X et iOS 11 :https://t.co/HNjLqtiELl#iosdev #iphonex pic.twitter.com/rJdF4gUBzD
2. The iPhone 8 is basically the same phone
With the iPhone X, as opposed to the 8 and 8 plus, you get facial recognition, which unlocks your phone by it recognizing your face. On the other hand, the iPhone 8 unlocks your phone with the more traditional Touch ID featured on other iPhone models.
Also, with the iPhone X and iPhone 8-Plus, you get larger screens and a wide-angle camera, which is a little bit better for horizontal picture taking. The iPhone X also has slightly better screen pixelation.
So when comparing the three new models, they are practically all the same. They have the same A11 Bionic Chip, they all have a 12MP camera and they all have the new wireless charging feature, which happens to be pretty cool, I must admit.
3. Older iPhones are cheaper, yet offer same functionality
In further comparison, you can buy earlier models of the iPhone such as the 7 and 6s for hundreds of dollars cheaper than the iPhone X or 8. They can do practically everything the newer iPhones can do, except wireless charging, which isn’t necessary at all.
4. New iPhones don’t even have a headphone jack
Next, the new iPhones, like the iPhone 7, do not have a headphone jack. In other words, if you want to listen with your headphones you will need to buy an adaptor from Apple, which means you can’t charge your phone and listen to music at the same time. This is a serious complication for all users.
5. Planned obsolescence like never before
Apple, Samsung and LG all work together by using a strategy called “planned obsolescence” so that they can maximize profits, and rip the average consumer off. It’s a fact that they have future technology they won’t put on their new phone models so that they can put it on the next iPhone to keep profits up.
6. New software makes phones slower
To further illustrate, I have an iPhone 6 with iOS 8.3, so it is three years outdated. If I want to download new apps or other new features from Apple, I would have to update my software from the company’s website. By doing so, my phone speed and battery life inevitably decrease, and this isn’t a coincidence. All of Apple’s new software operating systems are optimized for their new phones. The fact that the company is allowed to get away with this is just crazy.
7. It’s about marketing, not functionality
Put differently, the way iPhones are now being marketed is not about functionality, it’s completely about marketing now. People are going to look over the technological specifications and look right at the larger more recognizable screen that the X has. I get that people want to be cool and have the new phone, but when you think about it, what’s the point? People want to be trendy and the company realizes this, so their strategy is all about maximizing profits, not giving the people the best possible phone.
With all of this being said, cell phones are a huge part of our lives. We use them to communicate with the ones we love, take pictures from memorable events and so much more. People should be concerned that the companies we buy them from, like Apple, are taking advantage of us.
Others have been talking about the new phone online:
I don’t understand why everyone is complaining that the iPhone X is too expensive, all you need is a mortgage and a spare kidney.
Well the iPhone X is out, that means the iPhone 7 is cheaper, the iPhone 6 is very cheap, and I can finally afford the iPhone 4 #iPhoneX
Folks, I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in the failing #iPhone8 . Essentially same as before, not worth the money. Very sad @Apple!
I recommend steering clear of this new phone from Apple. What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree, or are you hopping on the iPhone X bandwagon? Let me know.
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