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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  • shabby - Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - link

    Typical iPhone user, you give them an identical phone but in a different color and they'll say it's faster, smoother and lighter.
  • Byte - Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - link

    My friend finally upgraded from his original 6 to an XR after his camera died. He says the 6 feels faster. Go figure.
  • 808Hilo - Thursday, February 7, 2019 - link

    The same new phone now newer. Waiting will cost you.
    Cook really has no new ideas but that's not what the church of apple is all about. Tithe one tenth of your income for the promise of salvation.

    @shabby you summed it up. Its a psychiatrical condition.
  • Azethoth - Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - link

    Typical Android user. Just admit that Apple has the faster CPU and GPU on a smartphone and move on. Just don't lecture us about how superior you are because 5 or 6 hundred of you "customize" your phones.
  • cha0z_ - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    More likely it has to do with the screen itself (the panels are different after all, albeit both designed around the same tech and pixels density).
  • Samus - Saturday, February 9, 2019 - link

    The huge advantage of keeping this phone with an LCD (particularly one lacking 3D Touch) is the repair/replacement cost is a fraction of the OLED screens. There are no decent 3rd party OLED screens from any phone vendors in my experience so your either stuck with new OEM screens (which Apple doesn’t sell to end users) or harvested screens from used phones.

    At last glance Apple charges $300 for an Xs and $350 for an Xs Max screen. That’s double that of the 8 series and nearly double that of the Xr.

    And that’s from Apple. Considering the simplicity in manufacturing and repairing LCD screens, especially those without 3D Touch, you can find quality screens from 3rd parties for under $100 and do it yourself in 30 minutes with a screwdriver and a hair dryer.

    Since 50% of smartphone users have reported breaking their phone screens AT LEAST ONCE at some point, this is a huge boon to the Xr’s long term investment cost.
  • zodiacfml - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    But plenty people like to show off that they have an expensive phone, hence, the value of the iPhone X despite the existence of the new XR.
  • shouterreview - Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - link

    I am XR user too, I love iPhone 7. But I have some display issue. How to solve it?
  • Lolimaster - Thursday, February 7, 2019 - link

    The resolution is just craptastic vs a 5.8" S9 where you can have TRUE 1080p RGB AMOLED when going 1080p in the options down from 1440 pentile mode.
  • star-affinity - Thursday, February 7, 2019 - link

    I have trouble seeing why a ”TRUE 1080p” display is so important on such a small device as an Iphone XR. I think the resolution is just fine. Black levels are more of a concern to me since the backlight of the LCD makes black slightly greyish compared to an OLED display.

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