iPhone XR Is 25 Percent Faster And 25 Percent Less Expensive Than Android’s Finest

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was smoked by Apple's iPhone XR in early speed tests.

Coral and yellow iPhone XR
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was smoked by Apple's iPhone XR in early speed tests.

Aren’t the mobile platform wars over? Are we not past the petty one-upmanship of synthetic benchmarking to see who smoked who in a meaningless drag race of electrons across a 5.5″ display? Absolutely not! And in the finest tradition of meaningless races, the hours-old iPhone XR from Apple is already soundly beating the pants off of Android’s finest: the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

Should Samsung be embarrassed? Should happy Note 9 users start questioning the life decisions that led them to this point? Probably not. But if the most important thing to them is raw performance, they may wonder why they paid $1,000, a full $250 more for their phone than the more performant iPhone XR. For 25 percent less, they could have enjoyed 25 percent more performance.

Redmond Pie is certainly not above such performance concerns. They clocked the Galaxy Note 9 with Geekbench 4 at 8765 and 2442 for multi-core and single-core. The Galaxy S9 Plus weighed in at 8661 and 3371 respectively. The smaller S9 produced similar scores with a price more comparable to the iPhone XR. None of it matters. The scores from the iPhone XR were in a completely different class.

“However, the iPhone XR outscores all of them with numbers of 10,980 when using multiple cores, and a 4795 score with just a core in use. Not bad, really, and a great example of why Apple gave the phone the A12 Bionic rather than last year’s A11 Bionic. Speed like that can’t be touched, unless you have an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max with its additional RAM.”

Galaxy Note 9
  Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Ouch! The good news for Galaxy fans is that the S9 and above still holds a substantial lead in other metrics. For anyone who cares, those phones will have a lot more RAM. That does not necessarily translate to performance as Android needs a lot more RAM. But if specs matter, RAM is definitely a spec in the Galaxy’s favor.

More meaningful advantages include the quality of the display. Apple is doing wonders with LCD. But Samsung uses more expensive OLED displays which will be superior to the Liquid LCD on the iPhone XR.

Samsung should also have the edge on camera quality. While the iPhone XR camera is outstanding, it definitely has some limitations not found in the latest Galaxy phones. There are definitely some compromises when you choose an iPhone XR. But raw performance is not one of them.