There are a few things about smartphones that will come as a surprise to no one. First, smartphones are a highly competitive market. Second, 2018 was one of the best years for smartphones. There has been a bumper crop for both iPhones and Android phones. Third, every major smartphone company has raised prices on their offerings. But what you might not know is just how close Apple’s iPhone XR phone is to Android’s highest end phones. MacWorld is here to tell you. Let’s skip to the end.
“But if you want the best all-around phone that won’t cost a thousand bucks, that delivers incredible performance and battery life, next-gen biometrics, a strong OS, and an attractive price, the iPhone XR is the way to go. No Android phone has quite the same combination of specs, features, and power, even if the XR falls a little short in the areas where iPhones usually excel. When I looked at the results, the XR’s performance and update guarantee were enough to push it over the edge. But again, it’s very close.”
The starting price of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was $999.99. That’s $250 more than the iPhone XR. The better comparison would have been to the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max. That said, the point was to show how the relatively reasonably priced iPhone compared to the best of what Android had to offer.
While the iPhone barely edged out the Android competitors, it was not a slam dunk by any means. In fact, the iPhone lost in certain categories. The design crown goes to OnePlus 6T. One obvious reason is it had the best notch solution of the bunch. It is small and unobtrusive like the Essential Phone.
That design concession by Apple is offset by the technology it houses – Face ID and AR camera. That is the way of Apple products. They often make compromises that others don’t. But they offer a benefit most of their fans appreciate.
The iPhone is not known for its heroic battery life. But it actually led the pack in real-world tests. Other phones have bigger batteries and do better on synthetic battery benchmarks. The Galaxy Note 9 was right there with it.
Performance is where the iPhone takes an obvious step ahead of the rest. Boiling down all the numbers, the Apple A12 is a monster. Apple made the right decision by including the same chips across the line and not allowing the lower priced model to lag behind.
The iPhone’s Face ID was deemed a better biometric reader than the others. The one on the 6T is a 2D reader that is easily fooled. As for that in-display fingerprint reader, it is slower and less reliable. Google likely made the second best decision to just stay with the traditional fingerprint reader on the back.
In the all-important camera competition, the Pixel 3 was the clear winner. And that is just the thing: They all had something to recommend them. They are all great phones. Android users willing to spend the cash have an embarrassment of riches this year.
This is a year when neither Android users nor iPhone users should be looking to switch. They can get the best of what their platform has to offer and own one of the best phones the industry has ever known. This is the year to shake hands and acknowledge the achievements of the others. They’re all winners.