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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  • Maxpower2727 - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    *you're* commenting on. Damn autocorrect.
  • FreckledTrout - Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - link

    LOL you had to grammar natzi yourself due to no edit. For some reason this made me laugh.
  • AceMcLoud - Thursday, February 7, 2019 - link

    How clueless are you to think resolution is the only determining factor of display quality. Additionally, life is too short for a slow smartphone, hence no Android for me.
  • Icehawk - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    I bought a new iPhone recently, and I went with an 8+. I just don’t see the need to spend $1k on a phone nor replacing it as often as when they were subsidized. I chose the 8 because I wanted the fingerprint scanner and not a face scan and it provided all the extras (screen size, telephoto) in a format that is still excellent IMO. I replaced a 7+ that I would have kept but was shuffling phones around so I could give my parents one so they can FT my kid. Performance was just fine for my usage too so there wasn’t a tech reason for a new one. This is a large part of why sales are down across the board for phones. Just like with PCs.
  • cha0z_ - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    The technology matured and true - nowdays no matter how much you bump the specs - from years enough power is there to run smoothly the OS + open the apps fast and run the games smooth. Cameras are good from a few generations too... really, nothing to ditch your old phone and spend 1000+ euro on a new one that will do basically the same just a little bit better.
  • AdditionalPylons - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    With Apple's limited number of models it's hard for very many people to find an iOS device to suit personal preferences (and wallets!). This round Apple clearly prioritised CPU performance over low cost, better screen technology, dual cameras etc.
    Personally I don't think I would mind the screen, but I would have preferred dual cameras, lower price and smaller size. I think an SE 2 would be perfect for me! Ended up buying a used 6S to replace my 5S.
  • Losttek - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    I switched to the XR from the S9, and like the review said the battery life is just freaking amazing. It's the first smartphone I've had where I never have to worry about my phone dying. I don't know why Apple doesn't push this aspect of the phone more, instead all their stupid ads focus on all the color choices.

    Screen PPI is a bit of a bummer, but I got used to it within a couple of days. But one thing that still kind of bugs me is the weight of this phone. It feels significantly heavier than any phone I've held, and I still haven't gotten used to the weight despite it being months since I've bought it. It's a minor complaint though. But overall, this is the best phone experience I've had in a long, long time. Runs smoother than any Android phone, gesture navigation is great, no mysterious battery drains, and my god upgrades direct from Apple. Don't get me wrong, iPhones still have plenty of issues and limitations, but it's kind of refreshing to see what the other side has to offer.
  • CHJ - Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - link

    The weight is indeed noticable, especially with any case that offers a decent amount of protection. My fingers and wrists ache sometimes from holding it (the width plays a role in that as well).
  • cha0z_ - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    They don't advertise it that much as this will put the *a lot* more expensive iphone xs and xs max in a bad spot light.
  • - Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - link

    umm... battery life isn't improved because of screen technology... its because its displaying at a much lower resolution...

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