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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Amosliu - Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - link

    I don’t think 3dmark slingshot extreme is a good benchmark for iOS platform. First the cpu usage is too high even in the graphics test. Second the gpu vertex usage is nearly the half in the graphic test. However there is no issue in the slingshot OpenGL es 3.0 edition. It is too old and need to update. By the way, there are new GPU benchmark suits building on metal 2 in iOS and Vulkan in android named snow forest benchmark and orbital flight benchmark.
  • darwiniandude - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - link

    Agree. 3Dmark has always been very odd on iOS, especially the physics test, and hasn't matched real world performance comparisons I've seen between Android and iOS games.
  • tuxRoller - Thursday, February 7, 2019 - link

    Is the black value when at the the min brightness correct?
    If so, and assuming the spectrometer is the same a usual, then is this the first time we've seen an LCD that has an imperceptible off pixel while the backlight is still on?
  • samerakhras - Saturday, February 9, 2019 - link

    The better battery life comes from the lower resolution.

    The less pixels you use , the less power you need.
  • Jackdaniel - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    I come from an iphone 8 and now I have iphone xs max 256 gb, I find completely false the duration table with the common use that lasts twice as compared to the iPhone 8 (both have the health of the beater to 100%)
  • hasseb64 - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    No button* = no buy

  • zeeBomb - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - link

    More battery, More life.

    Great to see Andrei taking over for the smartphone reviews, this was a good read man!
  • Jhonson - Friday, May 3, 2019 - link

    I believe that is one of such a lot significant information for me. I’m happy studying your article. I read much about iPhone mobile tablets and batteries. I have read on some other website you should see that is also great information there.
    <a href= iPhone 6 battery Recall </a>
  • mark3785 - Sunday, August 4, 2019 - link

    I’ve had my iPhone XR for quite a while now and still like it very much. I upgraded from a 6S and am amazed by the battery life! I've had iPhones since the first model and no other iPhone has come close to the XR in battery life!

    The LCD vs OLED issue doesn't bother me. The lower resolution is still a retina resolution, and with fewer pixels to push, it makes for more efficient use of the processor and is one of the reasons it gets better battery life.

    I miss 3D Touch but not as much as I expected. I used it mainly for turning the keyboard into a trackpad but a long press on the space bar performs the same function, and does that more accurately.

    The camera may not be nice as the dual unit found on the XS/XS Max but it is an OIS camera which, coming from a 6S, is a nice upgrade.

    Its audio output is in stereo (which was a nice surprise) and is quite a bit louder. I’m not thrilled about the lack of a standard phono jack but as a long time Apple user I’m used (though still not happy with) the way they change ports.

    It may cost less than the XS/XS Max, but it's a serious upgrade for me. To add to the deal, one of the colors the phone comes in is (PRODUCT)RED which is a rich shade of red and a nice break from the black, white and silver I’ve had in the past.

    While it's missing a bell here and a whistle there compared to the XS/XS Max, it works great and is a nice upgrade from the 6S.

    And just in case nobody noticed, Apple made a slightly thicker and heavier iPhone with a bigger battery and Hell didn’t freeze over!

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now