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Apple iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: How they differ?

24 September 2018 5

The Cupertino giant Apple unveiled three new iPhones this year. The new iPhones mark the end of physical home button Aka Touch ID and also sets a new path for the upcoming iPhones. All the latest iPhones have a notch design which also puts an end to iPhones below 5-inches display. The smallest amongst the latest iPhones have 5.8-inches display and the largest iPhone Xs Max has a gigantic 6.5-inches display but thanks to new edge-to-edge display and notch design the iPhone Xs Max is still smaller than the last year iPhone 8 Plus in terms of overall measurements.

The new iPhones clearly showcases the Apple intent of producing iPhones with large displays and higher screen-to-body ratio. As expected the new iPhones are powerhouses in terms of performance. However, the company didn't bring significant changes over the last year's iPhone X design instead it keeps the same design for the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max.

Today we will put the latest entry-level model iPhone XR against the predecessors iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 to know in detail what's changed in last years in terms of performance, specs, camera, battery, display and other aspects. This will certainly help you a better understanding of how Apple's entry-level iPhones evolve in the last two years. There are many buyers who own iPhone 7 on two years contract and now the contract is about to be over, they are certainly looking for a new iPhone.

We are hopeful this comparison will help you better understanding whether you should go for the iPhone 8 with traditional design or the latest iPhone XR with bezel-less notch design. Without any further delay, let's start with the design differences of all three iPhones.

75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3 mm
6.1 inches - 1792x828 px
67.3 x 138.4 x 7.3 mm
4.7 inches - 1334x750 px
67.1 x 138.3 x 7.1 mm
4.7 inches - 1334x750 px
Go to comparison page
Design


The iPhone 7 brought a few significant design changes. The iPhone 6s faces bend gate issues due to antenna bands, the company reduces the bands with the iPhone 7 and also uses high-grade aluminum for designing. The company also dropped the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack with the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 has thick bezels design with a physical home button below the display which doubles as TouchID.

The iPhone 8 retains similar front-facing design like the iPhone 7, however, the aluminum rear was replaced with glass panel. The glass rear brings support for wireless charging and also it looks more premium than the unibody metal. Apple introduces glass rear when almost all OEMs were adopting glass and metal clad design for the flagship smartphones. It also lacks the headphone jack but retains the Touch ID.

This year Apple took a huge jump as far as iPhone XR design is a concern. the company brought an edge-to-edge display, notch at the top of the display. The iPhone XR lacks the Touch ID instead you will get Face ID as the primary security option. The reduce bezels help the company to fit a large display, however, the glass rear remains the same as the iPhone 8.

The iPhone XR dimensions are 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm and weigh 194g. The iPhone 8 is significantly smaller at 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm and weighs 148g. The iPhone 7 is smallest and lighter amongst all at 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm and weighs 138g

All three iPhones are IP67 certified which means all can resist under 1-meter deep water for 30 minutes without any damage. In terms of durability, all have glass rear which means none of the devices is as durable as the iPhone 6s.

Display


The display panel on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 remains same. Both the devices have 4.7-inches IPS LCD display panel with HD screen resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels. This year the iPhone XR is a huge jump over the predecessor in terms of display. It features a 6.1-inches display with HD+ screen resolution of 828 x 1792 pixels. Apple dubbed the new display as Liquid Retina display. The LCD display on the iPhone XR is currently the best in the market.

All the three iPhones have the same pixels density of 326 pixels-per-inch. The brightness level and contrast ratio on all the display panels is good but the display isn't as good as most of the latest flagships which have at least Full HD+ panels. You may feel less grunt on these displays. However, if you want a larger display, the iPhone XR is a better choice.

Hardware


With each new iPhone Apple brings new chipset which brings significant improvements over the predecessor in terms of performance. The new SoCs are not only power efficient but also they perform much better. The new SoCs bring smooth UI experience with pretty fast speed. That is why the iPhone 7 was smoother than iPhone 6s, iPhone 8 was speedier than the iPhone 7 and the latest iPhone XR is running on the A12 Bionic chipset. The latest chipset CPU and GPU is 50% more efficient than the predecessor and also it is the first chipset in the market built on the 7nm process.

In terms of performance, all the iPhones are capable enough to handle HIFI games and multi-tasks efficiently. However being the latest the iPhone XR is fastest amongst all and most power efficient. However, if you own the iPhone 7, you will certainly find the iPhone XR a beast.

The iPhone 7 A10 Fusion SoC is accompanied with 2GB RAM. It is available in three memory configurations including 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The iPhone 8 has A11 Bionic under the hood with 2GB RAM. It was available in 64GB and 256GB storage option only. The latest iPhone XR has an A12 Bionic chipset with 3GB RAM. It can be purchased in three memory variants including 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. All the iPhones lack support for memory expansion via MicroSD.

Specs iPhone XR iPhone 8 iPhone 7
Display 6.1-inches 4.7-inches 4.7-inches
Screen resoluiton 828 x 1792 pixels 750 x 1334 pixels 750 x 1334 pixels
Display type Liquid Retina Retina Retina
Chipset A12 Bionic A11 Bionic A10 Fusions
RAM 3GB 2GB 2GB
Storage 64, 128, 256GB Non-Expandable 64, 256GB Non-Expandable 32, 128, 256GB Non-Expandable
Rear camera 12MP with OIS 12MP with OIS 12MP with OIS
Front camera depth-sensing 7MP 7MP 7MP
Battery 2,942mAh 1,821mAh 1,960mAh
USB Lightning port Lightning port Lightning port
3.5mm headphoone jack No No No
IP67 Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0 4.2
Face ID Yes No No
Touch ID No Yes Yes

Battery

The iPhone 7 has a 1,960mAh battery cell. The company fitted a slightly smaller 1,821mAH battery on the iPhone 8. Last but not the least the iPhone XR has a 2,942mAh battery cell. The iPhone 8 and iPhone XR support fast and wireless charging. However, the fast charger and wireless charger are available as an extra accessory. Overall the battery life of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 is almost same. The company claims the iPhone XR battery life is 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone XR has a 2,942mAh battery cell.

Camera

Being the entry-level models all the iPhones have single rear snappers. Apple adopted dual rear cameras a couple of years ago, however, only the premium variant has dual rear snappers. The iPhone 7 was the first device from Apple with optical image stabilization. The front-facing selfie snapper was also updated to 7MP and the same sensor was used for the iPhone 8.

The primary rear sensor on the iPhone XR is 12MP with f/1.8 aperture. On paper the iPhone XR camera is the same as the iPhone 8, however, the company claims the new sensor is more efficient and faster. The best aspect is the new depth control feature which allows the user to add bokeh effects to the image even after capturing it.

This year Apple brought depth-sensing selfie snapper for the iPhone XR. Though the sensor remains 7MP it also features Face ID to unlock the device. Apart from Face ID, you will get new features like Animoji and Memojis. Overall the iPhone XR camera setup is way better than the last two iterations.

Software

Like the new chipset with each new iPhone, Apple brings a new version of iOS with each new iteration. However, the best thing is Apple not only brings new iOS for the latest iPhone but the company also updates older iPhones pretty quickly. The iPhone XR is pre-installed with iOS 12 straight out of the box. The company starts rolling iOS 12 for older iPhones as well.

Apple introduces 3D Touch with the iPhone 6S, so the UI experience on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 won't be different. The latest iPhone XR lacks 3D Touch instead the company uses the gestures UI because of lack of a physical button. The iPhone 5s will be the last iPhone to receive the iOS 12, So you can expect all three iPhones will receive new iOS versions for next two years.

Price

The pricing certainly plays an important role while grabbing a new phone. The older iPhones prices are dropped once the successors are announced. Being two months older the iPhone 7 is now available for as low as $450 whereas the iPhone 8 base variant is available at $600. The iPhone XR is expensive amongst all, it will be available for pre-orders from October 19th October at a price tag of $750 with a release from Oct 26.

Conclusion:

It's not surprising at all the latest iPhone XR features a better display, design, hardware, battery and camera than the predecessors. However, that doesn't mean the iPhone XR is the best option for everyone. Apple recently discounted iPhone SE which means now you have only iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 with display below 5-inches.

The iPhone 8 certainly emerge as a pretty good option for buyers who likes to stick with thick bezels design and Touch ID. The iPhone 7 could become your choice if you are willing to save money, however, you have done some compromises. Last but not the least if you don't have a budget issue the iPhone XR is bringing a lot of goodies which are available on the iPhone XS and iPhone Xs Max. Feel free to share your thoughts regarding the iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7 in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons in coming days.

(last update 19 October 2018 @ 12:03)

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