System Performance

System performance of the iPhone XR isn’t something that we expect to differ from the higher-end XS models. Here Apple employs the same SoC at the same clocks, and fundamentally there isn’t any technical reason for the phone to perform differently in every-day tasks. It’s to be noted that our iPhone XS review models were of the biggest storage capacities – both at 512GB, while the iPhone XR model tested today is a 64GB variant. I’m still working on getting our mobile NAND testing suite modernized, but I do expect a difference in speeds here as the bigger storage variants allow for better NAND die parallelism on the part of the storage controller.

Our iOS system benchmarking suite is limited to in-browser tests, nevertheless let’s take a look:

Speedometer 2.0 - OS WebViewWebXPRT 3 - OS WebView

As expected, the iPhone XR performs within the margins of error for the iPhone XS. Which means it’s at the very top for mobile performance, currently outperforming every other device, and we’re not expecting this to change anytime soon for 2019 (at least until Apple's A13).

In our review of the iPhone XS, we dedicated a lot of analysis to the A12 and we were just impressed with the performance of the chip as well as Apple’s new CPU microarchitecture.

Since then, we’ve had the opportunity to test the newer generation SoCs from HiSilicon as well as Qualcomm, both employing Arm’s new Cortex A76 CPU cores. While both SoCs have shown fantastic gains, especially in regards to energy efficiency at peak performance, absolute CPU performance and ISO perf/W of the Android vendors are still very much lagging behind Apple’s best. As a result, these latest-generation Android SoCs are having trouble competing with even last year’s A11, never mind the A12. The new Exynos 9820 is the only other important chip for 2019 on which we don’t have data on – and I’m not expecting any miracle on Samsung’s side, which means the A12 and subsequently the iPhone XR will remain very much a top performer for the rest of the year.

Introduction & Design GPU Performance
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  • LeftSide - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    Whenever I see an iPhone X, I gave to ask if it’s and XR or and XS. I can’t tell the difference without seeing the back of the phone. I was actually surprised about how good the LCD looks. I’ve been recommending the XR to everyone I know, the cost increase for the higher end models just isn’t worth it.
  • krazyfrog - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    The lack of a telephoto camera and 3D Touch are the real omissions in my opinion. The display is perfectly fine for most people.
  • jakoh - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    How can you not tell the difference in display?
    Do you use a oled on a daily basis? The oled display on the iPhone is amazing.
  • krazyfrog - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    I was speaking more in terms of pixel density than panel technology.
  • Stuka87 - Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - link

    Just because an OLED is amazing doesn't mean that the TFT isn't fine for most people. The lack of 3d touch, which has been on iPhones for YEARS, is complete BS.
  • mcbhargav - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    I am an XR user, who upgraded from iPhone 7. I found the difference in the first minute. The text is slightly smoother, everything simply is little smooth. But, i am not even a display enthusiast, so i cringed a little and moved on. But, 'perfectly fine' is far from want i think about XR's display. far from!
  • casperes1996 - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    Uhmmm. Your iPhone 7 and the XR had the same pixel densite; @2x. The iPhone 7Plus ran @3x with non-linear scaling.
  • hMunster - Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - link

    Non-integer-factor scaling, it was still linear!
  • casperes1996 - Thursday, February 7, 2019 - link

    Sorry, yes. That's what I meant of course... Now, finally, I get to join all the people who have said "Where's the edit button please?"
  • levizx - Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - link

    So you immediately found "difference" in smoothness of displaying text. Great, now, tell me again how much difference is there between 326ppi and 326ppi?

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