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Cam Compare: Apple iPhone XR vs Google Pixel 3 XL – Which solo camera reigns supreme?


Two of the very best single lens rear-facing camera smartphones on the market, which is the best? The Apple iPhone XR takes on the Google Pixel 3 XL.
Arguably, the iPhone line has had some of the most impressive cameras on any smartphone. That stretches all the way back to the release of the iPhone 4 and has continued up to the iPhone XS and now the iPhone XR. DxOMark recently made it their Top-ranked single-lens phone — although the Pixel 3 is yet to be tested by DxO.
I can’t honestly say I am a huge fan of the display on the iPhone XR, but the image quality from the single lens setup is exceptional. Is it better than the Pixel 3 or even the Pixel 2 for that matter, well, I would say no. That said, your opinion may differ and there is nothing wrong with that.
When you consider that both of these smartphones come in at around the same price, offer a similar experience and have similar camera setups, then the camera qualities are begging to be compared. In a night shootout, the iPhone wouldn’t be able to compete. For that reason, it would be unfair to compare both cameras in that evening arena. That means it’s a strictly a daytime shootout.
Hopefully, we’ll see Smart HDR AI tech on the iPhone do some cool things. The Pixel, well, that’s pretty darn cool with any photo situation.
Just to give you an indication of the conditions that I have to deal with throughout this comparison. This was a cool, misty and somewhat dingy morning so lighting is at a premium. I think instantly my eyes are drawn to the image on the right, which has come from the iPhone XR.
The increased brightness smacks you right in the eyeballs, even if it’s actually quite subtle in this instance. The Pixel produces an arguably better shot given the conditions. Like I said, it was a murky, dingy day, the XR seemingly ups the saturation and brightness to compensate.
There’s no denying that it does look good, I would likely choose that as the better on first glance. Take a closer look and you can see that it starts to lose detail in the mist much sooner.
This abandoned classic car provides a great way to see the subtleties of the Pixel 3 and iPhone XR cameras thanks to the way both handle the deep blue color.

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