Now that the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models have been announced, there is a massive revision in the price of the iPhone XR. It now starts at Rs 49,900 which is still more expensive than the price of the OnePlus 7 Pro by a 1000 bucks. Now, pundits including me at warpcore have said that the OnePlus 7 Pro could be the best Android phone of the year, so you’re quite fair to be aggrieved by the fact that Apple still chooses to price a year-old iPhone XR more than what many consider to be one of the best phones of the year. Has Apple lost the plot (which many believe to be true)? No. Let me explain at the risk of sounding like an Apple apologist.
- Apple’s A12 processor is at least a year ahead of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. The A12 powering the iPhone XR makes it a gaming powerhouse, it gives it tremendous single thread performance which even blitzkriegs the mighty OnePlus 7 Pro. Chances are whatever Qualcomm comes up with this year will merely catch up to the A12 bionic which means that the iPhone XR will be at par with every Android flagship that comes out in the first quarter of 2020. This gives a 2-year cycle as a flagship phone compared to Android phones.
- Qualcomm’s edge over Apple is in the realm of 5G modems which really don’t matter right now as there are no 5G networks to speak of. In India, OnePlus also doesn’t sell the 5G version of the phone as we may not have a 5G network for the next 5 years. The only country where 5G matters is China. At 4G levels, the Intel modem in the iPhone XR is competitive to the Qualcomm modem.
- Apple’s mastery of iOS updates can’t be understated. Apple is supporting 4-year-old iPhone 6S models with the iOS 13 update, which obviously means that you can expect software updates for the iPhone XR for at least 3 more years. The same cannot be said about the OnePlus 7 Pro — maximum we should be expecting updates till Android 11. This also makes the lifecycle of the iPhone XR longer than the OnePlus 7 Pro despite being a year older than it.
- The cameras and biometrics on the iPhone XR are superior to the OnePlus 7 Pro. General daylight and low-light photography, coupled with portrait mode photos and selfies are better on the iPhone XR. The OnePlus only has the advantage of the nightscape feature and the vanity inducing pop up camera that may not be as sturdy as the True Depth camera system embedded in the notch of the iPhone XR. The True Depth camera system is also a more sophisticated and secure form of biometrics as opposed to the in-display scanner and 2D facial recognition on the OnePlus 7 Pro.
- The iPhone XR also has better battery life and a more colour accurate screen than the OnePlus 7 Pro. Sure the OnePlus 7 Pro has a bigger battery and it charges faster while having a vivid and infinitely sharper curved OLED screen, but in real-world use, longer battery life matters and so so a flat colour accurate screen works good enough for most people. And at 6.1-inches, the iPhone XR is also the handier phone to carry around with good enough amount of pixels for the normal user to discern what’s there on the screen. The iPhone XR also supports wireless charging which the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn’t.
- Colourful iPhone XR models are built like tanks featuring even IP67 water and dust resistance which the OnePlus 7 Pro does not. Aesthetics are subjective and some may like either better, but the IP67 certification is a feature that’s now a must on premium smartphones. This again makes a case for the older iPhone XR.
- Last but not least is the Apple brand cache you’re paying for. At the end of the day, you will enjoy the prestige and social capital of owning an iPhone which isn’t there with even a OnePlus. This also ensures the resale value of the iPhone XR is much higher than the OnePlus 7 Pro in-case you’re looking to offload the phone. You will likely lose a lot of value if you decide to offload the OnePlus 7 Pro.
- And there is the fact that these phones will now have access to Apple services like Apple TV+ and will be the only place where one can experience Apple Arcade games. If you buy a new device you get Apple TV+ for free for a year and both are priced at a very very affordable Rs 99/month in India, the cheapest anywhere in the world.
In this day and age of quick gratification, most people forget that a new product isn’t necessarily better. The OnePlus 7 Pro is a great phone but in the light of the price cut to the iPhone XR, it isn’t as good a device. The iPhone XR is just a better phone. Heck, even the iPhone 8 Plus now starts making more sense than the OnePlus 7 Pro because it also costs Rs 49,900 and even its A11 bionic processor is on par with the Snapdragon 855 on the OnePlus 7 Pro.
Apple doesn’t release new products for the heck of it, but when it does, it has a deep pool of superior but older tech to fall back on like the way it uses Touch ID and now the way it has launched the 7th generation iPad which is essentially a 2017 iPad Pro.