“This year’s colorful, cheaper-but-still-more-expensive-than-any-other-entry-level-model iPhone XR is a fascinating phone,” Stephen Hackett writes for 512 Pixels. “It delivers iPhone XS performance in a nice enclosure, with just enough corners rounded cut to be more in line with previous iPhone prices.”

“I spent a couple of weeks with a blue model in January, and fell in love with it. The LCD is great, battery life is incredible and the colors are a lot of fun,” Hackett writes. “At the end of the day, I found myself missing the second camera on the back of the XS, however.”

“Ever since that XR left my hands, I’ve been thinking about it, and wondering how Apple could improve the XR for 2019,” Hackett writes. “With rumors of a three-camera setup coming to the iPhone XS’ successor, there are also reports of the next XR picking up a second camera. I think this will make the new XR a lot more enticing, especially for customers currently using a 7 Plus or 8 Plus. Heck, as an iPhone XS user, this would be tempting.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: An iPhone XR successor at a $699 starting price (64GB) would sell like hotcakes!

As for cameras, back in 2015 it was reported that Apple had 800 people working on iPhone cameras, yet Google still kicked their 800 asses, especially in low-light photography four years later (Night Sight). Granted, it’s not representative of reality, but when snapping a shot at night, we do prefer to see what’s there more than we prefer the “accuracy” of underexposed black soup.

So the question is: Why? 800+ people and four long years weren’t enough to figure out something like Night Sight, Apple? We don’t like to see Apple outclassed in anything, especially after throwing 800+ people at the iPhone camera hardware and software over a period of several years. (And, yes, of course iPhone beats Google in terms of Portrait mode, color accuracy and much more. iPhone just falls laughably, embarrassingly short in terms of low-light imaging. And, further, yes you could shoot it in RAW and try to fix it in post, but we’re talking regular users here taking snapshots at night, not pro or even semi-pro photogs.)

Google is, rightfully, crowing about this whenever and wherever they can:

What other smartphone cameras try to do with expensive hardware, we can deliver with software and AI — including high-end computational photography. — Sabrina Ellis, Google VP of Product Management, May 7, 2019

When the report of 800 people working on iPhone’s camera appeared, we wrote:

It’s either impressive or massively bloated mismanagement, depending on your point of view.

To date, the simple fact is that those responsible for iPhone’s low-light imaging have tarnished Apple’s reputation and they should hate each other for having let each other down.

Faketastic: Your smartphone photos are totally fake — and you love it – November 14, 2018
Apple has 800 people working on improving the iPhone’s camera – December 21, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “TJ” for the heads up.]