Google Pixel 3a XL vs Apple iPhone XR: It’s a choice between slick iPhone and versatile Google camera

first_imgThe best of Google is the Pixel 3. The Best of Apple is the iPhone XS. But the best of Google and the best of Apple are also prohibitively expensive. The iPhone Xs, for example, costs close to Rs 1 lakh. So both Apple and Google now also offer more “affordable” variants of their best: these are the iPhone XR and the Pixel 3a.Recently, Google launched the Google Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL at its annual developers conference, Google I/O 2019.The two new Pixel smartphones, which only differ in screen size and battery capacity, were launched in black and white colour variants in India for Rs 39,999 and 44,999 respectively. The good thing about these budget Pixel smartphones – especially for the Pixel lovers – is that they feature the same camera sensor as the one present in their pricier sibling – Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL – making them equally proficient at capturing images if not more.Apple’s so called “affordable” budget iPhone – the Apple iPhone XR – recently has become more economical as its market price has come down. The base variant of the iPhone XR with 64GB memory went from costing Rs 76,900 to Rs 59,900 while the 128GB variant of the device went from costing Rs 81,900 to Rs 64,900. The top variant now sells for Rs 74,900.With this context in mind, lets tackle the big question: If you are looking to get a new “affordable” premium phone, should you go with the iPhone XR or will the Pixel 3a be a better deal for you? Let’s try to find an answer. To keep prices of these in play, I am going to compare the iPhone XR with the Pixel 3a XL, the pricier of the new Pixels with its price of Rs 44,999.advertisementDesign and DisplayThe Google Pixel 3a XL comes with a 6-inch full HD+ OLED display with a pixel density of 402ppi. As far as the overall design is concerned, the Pixel 3a XL looks and feels quite similar to the original Pixel 3 XL smartphone. However, there is one small difference. Unlike the Pixel 3 XL, the Pixel 3a XL comes with a plastic back. To the naked eye, it poses no difference but if you look up closer, you would understand that a glass back is what distinguishes Pixel 3a XL from Pixel 3.The iPhone XR – Apple’s budget phone – on the other hand comes with a 6.1-inch LCD display with a pixel density of 326ppi. In terms of the overall look, it features a glass design that give it a more premium look. Google Pixel 3a XL vs Apple iPhone XRIf you go by specifications, you will believe that the OLED panel, which due to its technology can show blacker blacks and more contrast in colours, will be superior to the LCD screen of the iPhone XR. But that is not the case. The LCD panel used in the iPhone XR is one of the best ever put in a phone, and not only it shows sharp and punchy colours, which match what the Pixel 3a XL display can show, but it is also brighter than the screen in the Google phone.Just to summarise, I believe that the iPhone XR looks more premium. On display part too, I believe the iPhone XR has an edge.Performance and softwareThe Google Pixel 3a XL is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 and it sports 4GB RAM with 64GB storage space. The Pixel 3a XL runs on Android 9.0 Pie. Pixel 3a XL, just like its pricier siblings, comes with some really cool Pixel-y features such as Active Edge, Digital Wellbeing and Now playing among others. The slower processor, as I had mentioned in my review, did water down the overall Pixel experience but it does great in some of the other aspects, which makes up for it.The iPhone XR, on the other hand, is powered by Apple’s very own A12 Bionic chipset and it is available in three memory variants – 64GB, 128GB and 256GB, which is the same as its pricier siblings, iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. In terms of the operating system, it runs on iOS 12. What it does is that it makes Apple’s budget iPhone equally powerful and smooth at handling various as its pricier siblings. Google Pixel 3a XL vs Apple iPhone XRWhile the Pure Android aka Android 9 Pie in the Pixel 3a XL sports clean and white UI and it comes with number of versatile features, I believe that the performance is significantly better on the iPhone XR. This iPhone is fast.advertisementCameraGoogle’s premium budget Pixel phones are known for their camera quality. A simple single rear camera setup at the back, using image processing algorithms powered by Google’s mighty machine learning systems, can turn an ugly duckling into a dark swan in Pixel 3 XL. This is true for Pixel 3a XL as well. The Pixel 3a XL comes with a 12.2MP rear camera with Sony IMX363 sensor and optical and electronic image stabalisation technology. In the front, it sports an 8MP camera.The iPhone XR, on the other hand, comes with a 12MP wide-angle lens at the back with optical image stabalisation technology and a 7MP camera in the front.Now, the difference might seem quite negligible on paper but in practice it is definitely noticeable. Let’s start with the daylight shots. When taken to the sun, both the phones produce images with stunning depth and detail. But there is a fine difference between the two. While Pixel 3a XL produces images with higher colour saturation – which looks a tad bit closer to the actual scene — the iPhone XR produces images that look like they have been fine tuned or colour corrected for social media posts. Google Pixel 3a XL vs Apple iPhone XRHere’s another example. The red in the image captured by Pixel 3a XL looks quite close to the real flowers while the one captured by iPhone XR looks a bit more red and a bit brighter. Google Pixel 3a XL vs Apple iPhone XRNow take a look at the sunrise captured by the two phones. Stunning, isn’t it? But here the tables are turned. Here iPhone XR effectively manages to capture what sunrise looks like from my home. Pixel 3a XL, on the other hand, darkens the low light areas of the images and tones down the entire view. The HDR is better with iPhone XR. In fact, stunning sunset photos are a speciality of all the current gen iPhones — the iPhone XR, the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. Google Pixel 3a XL vs Apple iPhone XRThe case, however, is entirely different when it comes to low night-time photography. Pixel 3a XL is the only smartphone you need if you are out clicking images in the dark. No matter what the light conditions are and no matter what the image you are capturing looks like, Pixel 3a XL, thanks to Google’s software prowess beautifies every image. The iPhone XR does a decent job but can’t match the Google phone. Google Pixel 3a XL vs Apple iPhone XRAnd in case you are curious to see how well these two smartphones fare while clicking objects in indoor lighting. The result is quite the same. Pixel 3a XL captures images closer to how they look in reality while iPhone XR brightens the things up a bit. Google Pixel 3a XL vs Apple iPhone XRBatteryThe Google Pixel 3a XL comes with a 3,700mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging. In practice, Pixel 3a XL’s battery when used under optimum conditions lasts for close to two days.advertisementApple, on the other hand, doesn’t disclose its battery size. But what we do know is that it supports 18W fast charger. We also know that of the three iPhones that Apple launched last year, iPhone XR performs the best when it comes to battery performance. In reality, iPhone XR too provides you close to two days of run time. So, if you were planning to make battery your tie breaker, there ain’t no relief.Pixel 3a XL or iPhone XR – which one should you buy?Picking the right phone from two of the most polished and most proficient budget smartphones in the market is a tough nut to crack. And it’s not just because there is a difference of Rs 15,000 involved but also because we are talking about two different ecosystems – Android and iOS. Both have their pluses and both have their drawbacks. To someone who loves interoperability, iOS might seem like a death trap but to someone who is more bent towards some of the security features that are likely to come to Android universe only with Android Q, iOS is the answer.It all boils down to what you are looking for in a smartphone and how much cash you have at your disposal. If you are looking for a mid-budget phone with premium features (and some compromises) and a great camera, then Pixel 3a XL is the best fit for you. But if you want a premium experience and you are willing to pay for it, iPhone XR is an option to consider.ALSO READ: | Apple iPhone XR India price drops by Rs 17,000 to compete with Galaxy S10e, here are the new pricesALSO READ: | Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL review: A Pixel for everyoneALSO READ: | iPhone XR long-term review: Still the best iPhone for most peoplelast_img

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