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iPhone XR vs Sony Xperia XZ3: Conflict of the beasts

20 September 2018 5

Since last year it was pretty much expected that the Cupertino giant will release three flagship smartphones this year. With the three new iPhones, Apple targets three niches of buyers. The iPhone X successor iPhone Xs retains the same footprint as the predecessor and it is currently the smallest amongst all.

The iPhone Xs Max is the phablet model which is launched as a successor model of iPhone 8 Plus. The last amongst all is iPhone XR which is cheapest amongst all but it features larger LCD display than the iPhone Xs. Being the premium variants the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will attract those buyers who don't have budget issues whereas the iPhone XR will be an excellent choice for budget conscious iPhone buyers.

This year Sony proactively released a number of new flagships. The company announced flagship Xperia XZ2 lineup smartphones back at MWC 2018, later on, the XZ2 Premium in June and the Xperia XZ3 at the IFA 2018. The iPhone XR and Sony Xperia XZ3 emerge as pretty attractive options for buyers who are looking for a new flagship smartphone. Both the devices are announced in striking eye-catching colors and also both will be available next month. Let's find out how Apple iPhone XR stacks up against the Sony's Xperia XZ3. Starting with the availability.

75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3 mm
6.1 inches - 1792x828 px
73 x 158 x 9.9 mm
6 inches - 2880x1440 px
Go to comparison page
Price and release

The Cupertino giant stated the iPhone XR base variant will cost $749 in the US (£749 in the UK). As reported earlier due to production issues the iPhone XR will be released later. The company confirmed the iPhone XR will be up for pre-orders from October 19th with a release in last week of October. The 128GB variant is $50 expensive whereas the 256GB model will cost $899 in the US.

The Sony's latest flagship Xperia XZ3 was announced in the first week of September and will be available for purchase from Oct 5. For the UK customers, the 64GB model will cost £699. Surprisingly it will be quite expensive in the US at $900.

Design


Following the latest trend, both the devices have glass and metal sandwich design. The iPhone XR is a huge upgrade from the iPhone 8 as far as the front-facing design is a concern. However, the new front design isn't much different from the iPhone X. In simple words, we can claim Apple took the front of iPhone X and rear of iPhone 8 for the iPhone XR design. The new design marks the end of a physical home button AKA Touch ID. Now the front-facing depth-sensing camera is used as Face ID.

Despite being the entry-level iPhone, the company fitted a fairly large display panel with a notch at the top. On the rear side, you will get single rear snapper on the top left corner with LED flashlight. The stereo speakers are on the bottom with a Lightning port. The iPhone XR measurements are 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm and weigh 194 grams.

On the other hand, the Sony Xperia XZ3 comes with stylish glass and metal-clad design. The chassis is made up of aluminum whereas the rear and front have a curved glass panel. The curved rear glass helps to grasp it easily despite being a gigantic device overall. The front curved glass brings new functionalities. Certainly, it is one of the most striking glasses and metal design in the market. However, unlike the iPhone XR, it lacks the notch instead it retains significant bezels on top and bottom.

The company utilizes the top and bottom bezel to fit in the front-facing stereo speakers. Sony claims the new stereo setup on the XZ3 performs 20% better than the predecessor. The rear side has single snapper in the center with LED flashlight above the sensor. The fingerprint is embedded on the rear side in the center, however, it is placed significantly lower than the rear camera.

Both the devices lack the 3.5mm headphone jack instead rely on the USB slot for connectivity and headphone jack. The XZ3 box contains the dongle whereas Apple doesn't ship dongle. The Xperia XZ3 is an IP68 certified device where iPhone XR is IP67 certified. This means the XZ3 will last 0.5 meters deeper than the iPhone XR. The Xperia XZ3 dimensions are 158 x 73 x 9.9 mm and weigh 193 grams.

One of the key aspects of both the design of the device is eye-catching colors. The iPhone XR will be available in coral red, white, blue, black and yellow colors. Apple claims a wide range of colors will satisfy everyone's preference. On the other hand, the Xperia XZ3 will be available in black, white, Bordeaux red and forest green colors.

Display

As far as display is a concern, Sony jumped to P-OLED display whereas Apple sticks to LCD for the iPhone XR. The iPhone XR sports a 6.1-inches IPS LCD display panel with an aspect ratio of 19:9. The company dubbed the new display as Liquid Retina. The display screen resolution is 828 x 1792 pixels and the pixels density is 326 pixels-per-inch.

The Xperia XZ3 features a P-OLED display panel of 6.0-inches. The edges are gently curved and the display aspect ratio is 2:1. The Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels and the pixels density is 537 pixels-per-inch.

In terms of clarity, better contrast ratio, deep black, and better viewing angles the XZ3 is a better choice. Apple is sticking to HD+ panels even when most of the OEMs are adopting Full HD+ for the mid-rangers.

Hardware


Under the hood, both the devices have the latest hardware straight out of the box. However, the Apple's chipset has an advantage of being the latest whereas the Qualcomm's chipset successor is due in five months. Till then it will remain the latest best SoC for Android-running smartphones.

The iPhone XR is powered up by the A12 Bionic chipset. The company claims the new chipset CPU and GPU is 50% more efficient than the predecessor. Although Apple didn't disclose about the RAM most likely it will have 3GB RAM. In terms of storage options, the iPhone XR will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB variants. It lacks support for memory expansion via MicroSD.

The Xperia XZ3 is running on the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset. The Octa-core SoC is accompanied with 4GB RAM and built-in native storage is 64GB. Its native storage is expandable up to 512GB using the MicroSD card.

As a daily driver both the chipsets are equally good and you won't feel lag no matter which smartphone you opt. However the Apple iPhone XR performs much better in benchmarks, definitely, it has the upper hand in performance due to better software and hardware optimization.

Specs Apple iPhone XR Sony Xperia XZ3
Display 6.1-inches 6.0-inches
Display tech LCD P-OLED
Display resolution 828 x 1792 pixels 1080 x 2160 pixels
Chipset A12 Bionic Snapdragon 845
RAM --- 4GB
Storage 64,128, 256GB Non-Expandable 64GB Expandable via MicroSD
Rear camera 12MP with f/1.8 19MP with f/2.0
Front camera 7MP with f/2.2 13MP with f/1.9
Battery -- 3,300mAh
USB Lightning port Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack No No
OS iOS 12 Android Oreo 8.1

Software

The difference in the software could become a deciding factor here. The iPhone XR is pre-installed with the latest flavor of Android OS whereas many buyers just want an iOS running iPhone. The iOS is undoubtedly more easy to use and it is better optimized whereas Android brings more options for customization.

Another advantage of having an iPhone is you can integrate it with other Apple products. The XR will receive new updates from Apple for next three years. The good thing is Sony is amongst those who OEMs who likes to keep thin skin over the stock version and you will be getting the Android Pie straight out of the box. Sony also rolls out monthly security updates regularly. The curved edge has a special menu which pops up if you double press the sides. It allows you to directly open apps which are used frequently.

Camera

The iPhone XR is currently the only latest iPhone with the single rear sensor. The camera sensor on the rear is 12MP with OIS and f/1.8 aperture. This sensor can record 2K videos and slow-motion videos at 60 frames per second. Despite having less wider aperture it is one of the best cameras in low-light scenarios. Up front, the selfie snapper is depth-sensing 7MP with f/2.2 aperture. The selfie snapper provides depth-sensing info using software, 3D facial recognition, and Animoji.

On the other hand, the Xperia XZ3 also has single rear snapper of 19MP with f/2.0 aperture. The rear camera has dual autofocus. The XZ3 can record 4K HDR videos at 30 frames per second and you can also a super-slow-motion video of Full HD quality at 960 frames per second. Up front, the selfie snapper is 13MP with f/1.9 aperture.

Battery

The iPhone XR battery cell is still in the dark. Apple claims the new battery last 1.5 hours more than the last year's iPhone 8 Plus. This means you can expect the device will easily last one day on a single charge. The Xperia XZ3 lights are kept on by a 3,300mAh battery cell. Both the devices support fast charging, however, the iPhone XR shipped with a regular charger. You have to purchase a fast charger separately. Thanks to glass rear both supports wireless charging.

Conclusion:

In the UK both the iPhone XR is 50 pounds expensive than the Xperia XZ3 whereas the Sony's flagship is $150 more expensive in the US. In terms of design, it's up to you whether you like the last year's notch design or the Sony's trimmed bezels design with dual stereo speakers on the front. The display panel on the Xperia XZ3 is certainly better than the iPhone XR not only in resolution but also due dual-curved P-OLED.

Being the latest 7nm chipset, the A12 Bionic chipset outclasses the Snapdragon 845 chipset. The Xperia XZ3 base variant storage is further expandable, however, you can buy top-tier variants of iPhone XR but you have to pay up to $150 for 256GB model. The Xperia XZ3 comes with the Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity, better waterproofing, super-slow-motion videos at 960fps, the latest flavor of Android.

Do share your thoughts with fellow readers in the comments section below regarding the iPhone XR vs Xperia XZ3. Stay tuned for more comparisons in coming days.

(last update 09 December 2018 @ 16:53)

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