For the first time in a long time we may actually have a compelling smartphone on our hands with what should be a great camera. That being said the price tag is what makes the device just that much more a compelling reason to buy and if not take a serious look into purchasing one. At a release price tag of 399 $/£/€ it firmly places itself undercutting the prices of smartphones from vendors such as Apple, Samsung, LG and even budget smartphone vendors like Huawei, Xiaomi and OnePlus. So let’s take a look at what actually comes in the box with this smartphone from Google.
Benchmarks can never give a true depiction as to a devices performance
Now though benchmarks don't always show the true capabilities of a device, they're very good at showing the differences between these devices when it comes to a set range of activities; these can include running various algorithms to the amount of frames which can be rendered within a specific amount of time. One of the main reasons as to why i like using benchmarks is that you can use them to work out how much of a difference there is between the device you use on a daily basis verses the newest device just released by your favourite company. So here i will show you only a few results between the newest Samsung smartphone the S9 and compare it to their previous the S8.
One of the most common benchmarking applications today seems to be Geekbench, a cross-platform benchmarking collection of tests which are ran on the processor and the graphics unit giving us more of a comprehensive look at the machines ability to handle a variety of tasks; from playing popular games to exporting video in different codecs. Taking a closer look at the charts below you get an idea of how much has changed between the S8 & S9; looking at the single core scores given from geekbench there seems to be an above 40% improvement. While the difference on the multicore side of things isn't as much at above 25%; its still a huge increase and will definitely help out when it comes to opening up 'heavier' applications and handling harder tasks.
Above you also see the scores of the GFXBench Open GL tests and once again comparing it to the previous smartphone the S8 there has been improvements; though the improvements aren't as big as those we have seen such as the single core side of things from geekbench, But nevertheless when it came to the heavier graphically intense tasks there was approximately a 16% increase, with the less intense tasks gaining close to 12% of an increase in performance.
63 megapixel panoramic images
4K video recording
Though the design of the iPhone XR is very similar to that of the iPhone X/XS/XS Max, its also different in many ways; not only do you lose the secondary telephoto camera in favour of a single camera. You also lose the shiny and more durable sheen of the stainless steel band for an anodised aluminium one, which is sandwiched between the display and rear glass panels. Thus like the majority of smartphones released this year allows for wireless charging. Now while apple claims this is ‘the most durable glass in a smartphone’ just remember glass is glass and will shattered when dropped in a particular way.
As I mentioned above the iPhone XR is available in a choice of six different colours, which range from; Black, White, Yellow, Blue, Coral & Product RED. So if you already found it hard enough to pick between Space Grey, Silver & Gold you’ll have a lot of fun picking your iPhone XR. Unlike the iPhone XS the XR is not IP68 certified and instead holds an IP67 rating, like last years iPhone X, now i’m not going to complain about this as some protection from the elements is better then none and its another thing which separates the iPhone XS from the XR. After using the iPhone XS for a while the XR does feel slightly thicker and a little heavier which is surprising as the XS uses stainless steel whereas the XR uses Aluminium, but its not a deal breaker and i’ve never really liked phones which are really light.
So the display, the area where it’s clear compromise has been made to get the iPhone XR at such a price point, with that being said this is coming from someone who has used the iPhone X for almost a year. Now while it’s easier for myself to say its not as good as the displays on the iPhone XS/XS Max, which is true they’re not as good as the OLED displays present in those smartphones you have to remember they cost more then some of the MacBooks which apple sell, so i think it’s a little unfair to compare them directly. So what i would compare them to is the likes of the iPhone 8. The iPhone 8 and the new iPhone XR share many things in-fact i think its easier to list what they didn’t.
First and the most obvious change is the screen size not only is it larger it follows the same design language as last years iPhone X with the notch up top and centre for FaceID, but its also edge to edge, that being said the size of the bezels are slightly thicker then those on the OLED iPhone models. One feature that didn’t make the cut this time round was 3D Touch, there is a software version of this which is on the iPhone XR but it doesn’t require more force on the display itself.
Both phones share an LCD display with IPS technology which allows for those great viewing angles without the colours distorting which sometimes is prevalent on OLED displays. They also share the same 1400:1 contrast ratios along with the same 326 PPI density, which yes when compared to other smartphones isn’t going to break any records. But you are never really going to need more pixels, i mean yes its nice and all but look at the Note 9, it comes with a 1440p display but runs at 1080p out the box, its nice for specs but not for anything else really as its more CPU & GPU intense and requires more battery life. So i think apple have done the right thing here with the XR.
The sound which comes from this smartphone is shocking to say the least, the quality of the audio is very good with little to no distortion, with decent low end. Now while you won’t be watching back full HD movies the audio is the feature with will get you more immersed in the content. Not only is the earpiece speaker louder than the iPhone X it also allows for stereo surround sound, which sounds best when in an empty room with he volume turned to 100%. No complaints from me in terms of audio.