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Apple’s iPhone XR will humiliate the Pixel 3 in speed tests, just like the iPhone XS

Published Oct 24th, 2018 7:45AM EDT
iPhone XR vs. Pixel 3 XL

Even before Apple and Google launched their 2018 phones, we suspected that the new iPhones would crush the Pixel 3 phones in speed and performance tests. That’s because Apple launches faster and faster chips every year, and the competition struggles to keep up — it doesn’t help Google that it has to rely on Qualcomm chips instead of in-house designs. Now that the iPhone XS and Pixel 3 are finally available to buyers, we know exactly how much faster the A12 Bionic is compared to the Snapdragon 845. There’s no contest, see for yourself. And the iPhone XS will humiliate the Pixel 3 in similar tests just as hard as the iPhone XS did.

The iPhone XR may have an inferior screen and camera than its XS siblings, but all 2018 iPhones deliver the same performance, thanks to that ultrafast A12 Bionic chip. The iPhone XR features just 3GB of RAM, which is just as much memory as the iPhone X has, and 1GB less than the iPhone XS and Pixel 3 models. But that doesn’t mean it won’t outperform all 2018 Android handsets, including the Pixel 3 phones.

Only selected reviewers were able to test the iPhone XR in the week preceding its launch, so we don’t have speed test videos to show you. But Tom’s Guide tested the performance of the iPhone XR in Geekbench 4, where it obtained a score of 11312, which is marginally inferior to the XS and XS Max. In 3DMark’s Slingshot Extreme Unlimited graphics performance test, the iPhone XR scored 4416 compared to 4396 for the Pixel 3 XL and 4639 for the Galaxy Note 9.

Image source: Tom's Guide

The iPhone XR was also tasked with editing a 4K clip to Full HD, an intensive task that needed 40 seconds to complete, or just a second longer than the iPhone XS. The Pixel 3 XL did the same job in 2:42 minutes, while the Galaxy S9+ and OnePlus 6 needed 2:32 and 3:45 minutes, respectively.

When it comes to opening games, the iPhone XR needed 12.3 seconds to open Tekken, while the Pixel 3 XL did it in 21 seconds. iPhone XR loaded Asphalt 9 in 4.98 seconds, and the Pixel 3 XL did it in 6.4 seconds.

The conclusion is pretty simple, per Tom’s Guide:

No surprise here: The A12 Bionic processor in the iPhone XR is just as fast as those in the iPhone XS and XS Max, which means you’re getting a phone that beats the best Android flagships for hundreds of dollars less. I enjoyed silky-smooth performance when playing the augmented reality puzzle game AR Blast, which has you shoot colored blocks in front of you. Plus, other people can join in on the AR action for multiplayer fun, something you can’t do on Android (at least not yet).

Whenever those speed tests pop over on YouTube, expect the iPhone XR to crush all its rivals, including the Pixel 3.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.