It’s time for the iPhone XR vs iPhone 7! Right off the bat, the best option out of these two iPhones is simple: it’s the iPhone XR by a country mile. The iPhone XR is not only Apple’s #1 best-selling iPhone of the last couple of years, but it is also a lot newer than the iPhone 7, which is now rather old by phone standards.
The iPhone XR beats the iPhone 7 in the following ways:
- It looks better and is available in a range of colors
- It is 50% more powerful, thanks to its newer chipset
- The camera is around 3X as good as the iPhone 7’s
- The battery life of the XR is significantly better than the iPhone 7’s – around 60% better if you’re wondering.
- The overall design and finish of the iPhone XR is more refined and modern
But this is to be expected; the iPhone 7 is three years older than the XR. Still, if you’re looking at the iPhone 7 from a value for money perspective, I still wouldn’t recommend – not in 2020. The best option if you’re after value for money is to pick up a newer iPhone – like the iPhone XR – refurbished from somewhere like Gazelle, a US-specialist for refurbished iPhones.
You can get newer iPhones, like the iPhone X and iPhone XS, for around 40% less than their normal RRP, and they look and function as good as new. For this reason, buying refurbished is a vastly superior method for buying iPhones if value for money is your #1 concern. Most people aren’t aware of this kind of thing either, but we’re big advocates of refurbished iPhones here at KYM.
You can get newer iPhone models for less (40% less). And what’s not to like about that!?
iPhone XR vs iPhone 7 Specs
|iPhone XR||iPhone 7|
|Display: 6.1in LCD Liquid Retina display with a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi||Display: 4.7in display with 1334×750 resolution at 326ppi|
|Dimensions: 150.9mm x 75.7mm x 8.3mm (194g)||Dimensions: 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1 mm (134g)|
|Storage Options: 64, 128, or 256GB||Storage Options: 32 or 128GB|
|RAM: 3GB||RAM: 2GB|
|Camera: Single lens 12MP wide-angle camera, optical image stabilisation. 4K video.||Camera: 12MP camera, 4K video.|
|Battery Size: 2942 mAh||Battery Size: 1960 mAh|
|CPU: A12 Bionic||CPU: A10 Fusion|
|Wireless Charging: Yes||Wireless Charging: No|
|Water Resistant: Yes - IP68||Water Resistant: Kinda - IP67|
|Price: ||Price: |
The obvious difference is that the iPhone XR lacks a Home button. It jettisons it in favor of a gesture-based Home control. The iPhone 7 still has the Home button we all know and love. This means the iPhone 7 also still has Touch ID. The iPhone XR lacks Touch ID and replaces it with Apple’s Face ID facial recognition system.
- iPhone XR – The iPhone XR has a 6.1in display, features Apple’s biometric authentication system called Face ID. It’s industrial design also comes in a wide range of colors, which looks gorgeous, especially the yellow model. Then, of course, there is that beautiful edge-to-edge display.
- iPhone 7 – The iPhone 7 has a 4.7in display, but from a design perspective, it looks outdated. It’s got a big forehead and chin and sports the old school Touch ID, biometric fingerprint reader. Design-wise, it’s a phone that had its heyday back in 2016, which is where it should have stayed.
Winner? iPhone XR – It’s a work of art compared to the 7.
The iPhone XR features an edge-to-edge display that is 6.1in and has a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi. The iPhone 7 features a 4.7in display with bezels that has a 1334×750-pixel resolution at 326ppi. No question about it, the iPhone XR’s display wins the day here-well, almost.
By many aspects, the XR beats the iPhone 7: it has a larger display with a higher resolution, a higher pixel density, and is edge-to-edge.
But not so fast, the iPhone 7 beats the XR in one display aspect: the XR lacks 3D Touch, which the iPhone 7 has. If you were never a fan of 3D Touch, that won’t matter much. But if you like the feature you’ll be disappointed it’s not in the XR.
- iPhone XR – The iPhone XR features an edge-to-edge display that is 6.1in and has a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi. Without a doubt, the iPhone XR’s display wins the day here-well, almost.
- iPhone 7 – The iPhone 7 features a 4.7in display with bezels that has a 1334×750-pixel resolution at 326ppi, making it inferior to the XR. The iPhone 7 beats the XR in one display aspect, however: the XR lacks 3D Touch, which the iPhone 7 has. If you were never a fan of 3D Touch, that won’t matter much. But if you like the feature you’ll be disappointed it’s not in the XR.
Winner? iPhone XR – Its Display Is Bigger And More Beautiful.
As far s the CPU is concerned, the XR destroys the 7. It features the A12 Bionic chipset versus the iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion. The A12 is a 7nm chip with 6 cores. The CPU is almost twice as fast as the A10.
- iPhone XR – the XR features the A12 Bionic chipset. This A12 is a 7nm chip with 6 cores, which is absolutely INSANE. The CPU is almost twice as fast as the A10. You also have more storage options with the XR: 64, 128, or 256GB. That’s versus the iPhone 7 Plus’ 32 or 128GB storage options.
- iPhone 7 – the iPhone 7 features Apple’s A10 Fusion chipset. The A10, while a beast back in the day, is 50% slower than the A12 in most things. Look, it’s going to be good enough for your media playback and productivity apps, but if you’re a gamer or really into augmented reality, the A10 isn’t the chipset you want.
Winner? iPhone XR – It’s 50% More Powerful Than iPhone 7.
When you get to the camera department, the two phones aren’t THAT different. On the front camera, both phones feature the same 7MP sensor, but the front camera on the iPhone XR is a TrueDepth system that supports Face ID. It also supports advanced photo features like portrait photography.
The rear camera is also almost identical. Both feature a single-lens 12MP wide-angle camera. Both also feature optical image stabilization and 4K video recording. The XR does have some extra software features, however, like Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control and Portrait Lighting.
- iPhone XR – The main camera on the iPhone XR is a single-lens 12MP wide-angle camera. It does feature optical image stabilization and 4K video recording. On the front, you have a 7MP camera for selfies and video calling. It also supports advanced photo features like portrait photography.
- iPhone 7 – The main camera on the iPhone 7 is also a single-lens 12MP wide-angle camera. It too features optical image stabilization and 4K video recording. On the front, you also have the same 7MP camera as the XR.
Winner? Draw – Both phones feature the same front and rear cameras. However, the XR does have a few more software features, which you might not use much.
As for storage, the XS offers three sizes: 64, 256, or 512GB. The iPhone 7 only comes in 32 or 128GB.
- iPhone XR – 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB
- iPhone 7 – 32GB & 128GB
The iPhone XR has a MUCH larger battery than the iPhone 7. You’ll definitely see a difference because of it. Just check out the battery life specs below to see what we mean. Here’s how the battery life compares between the two in Talk Time, Standby Time, Internet Use, Video Playback, and Audio Playback:
- Talk time: iPhone XR – 25 hours. iPhone 7 – 14 hours.
- Internet use: iPhone XR – Up to 15 hours. iPhone 7 – Up to 12 hours.
- Video playback: iPhone XR – Up to 16 hours. iPhone 7 – Up to 13 hours.
- Audio playback: iPhone XR – Up to 65 hours. iPhone 7 – Up to 40 hours.
The XR also features wireless charging where the iPhone 7 does not.
- iPhone XR – The iPhone XR’s battery will get you about 13.5 hours of battery life with mixed usage. It also features wireless charging, which the 7 lacks.
- iPhone 7 – The iPhone 7 uses a slightly smaller battery than the iPhone XR and, thanks to that, it will get you about 90 minutes less of battery life on average than the XR. In this respect, the iPhone XR is definitely superior. However, it still lacks performance compared to larger Android phones.
Winner? iPhone XR – It Has Better Battery Life Than iPhone 7 and it has wireless charging.
Unlocked the 4.7in iPhone 7 will cost £449 (32GB) and £549 (128GB). The 6.1in iPhone XR will cost £749 (64GB) and £799 (128GB) and £899 (256GB). That premium for the iPhone XR does get you a bigger display and a sexy new design. Really, the only reason to go with the iPhone 7 is if you want to save money and just grab the cheapest iPhone you can or if you love the old Touch ID Home button.
- iPhone XR – The 6.1in iPhone XR will cost £749 (64GB) and £799 (128GB) and £899 (256GB).
- iPhone 7 – Unlocked the 4.7in iPhone 7 will cost £449 (32GB) and £549 (128GB).
|iPhone XR||iPhone 7|
|Price: ||Price: |
When it comes to design, display, and processing power, the choice is clear: go with the iPhone XR. It’s the more modern of the two phones and its power as a workhorse can’t be beaten by the iPhone 7. However, do keep in mind that while the iPhone XR has a better display, that display also lacks 3D Touch. If you’re a fan of that, you’ll want to get the iPhone 7.
But besides that 3D touch feature, there’s little the iPhone 7 offers besides a cheaper price point and, well, that’s it. The answer is clear: go with the iPhone XR.
Another option worth considering, however, is picking up a newer
Why The iPhone XR is The #1 iPhone Right Now
In our Guide To The Best iPhones, we called the iPhone XR the best value iPhone you can buy right now. And the reason for this is simple: it offers the best value for money of all Apple’s latest iPhones. You get the best-looking design too; I mean just look at in that picture above! It’s proper good-looking and the color options look totally badass. Comparing it to the iPhone 7 isn’t really fair; that handset is too old. The iPhone XR wipes the floor with it.
But there is a reason why you might want to consider going with an older iPhone…
When Apple introduced the new iPhone XR, the iPhone XS, and the iPhone XS Max, it also kept around some of its older model iPhones, specifically the older iPhone 7, 8 Plus, 7, and 7 Plus. Apple does this so it can continue to offer phones at lower price points for people who don’t need the latest and greatest. So needless to say, buying an iPhone right now can be a bit confusing.
So which should you get? Pretty simple, really: the iPhone XR is a vastly superior handset. It looks better, performs better, and it has one of the best cameras in the business – bar none. In fact, I’d take an iPhone XR over the iPhone XS MAX – it’s really that good. You have the same CPU, the same camera, and the same level of performance. The only thing you’re missing is an OLED display. And that’s hardly a deal-breaker; it’s also not worth paying an additional $400 for either!
Battery life is superb on the iPhone XR, and Apple’s A12 Bionic Chipset is probably more powerful than the CPU in your laptop. For this reason, the iPhone XR is the one to go for. If you want to pick up the iPhone 7 in a bid to save some money, you’re much better off going with a newer, reconditioned iPhone from Gazelle – you can get an iPhone 8 or iPhone X for around 40% less than normal RRP.
iPhone XR vs iPhone 7 Full Comparison (More Details)
Here are the specs for the iPhone XR:
- Display: 6.1in LCD Liquid Retina display with a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi
- Dimensions: 150.9mm x 75.7mm x 8.3mm
- Weight: 194 grams
- Storage: 64, 128, or 256GB
- Processors: A12 Bionic
- Front camera: 7 MP photos and 1080p HD video.
- Rear camera: Single-lens 12MP wide-angle camera, optical image stabilization. 4K video.
- Battery: Up to 13.5 hours battery life mixed usage.
- Other: Face ID, NFC, Wireless charging, IP67 waterproof
And here’s the specs for the iPhone 7:
- Display: 4.7in display with 1334×750 resolution at 326ppi
- Dimensions: 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1 mm
- Weight: 138 grams
- Storage: 32 or 128GB
- Processors: A10 Fusion
- Front camera: 7 MP photos and 1080p HD video
- Rear camera: 12MP camera, 4K video.
- Battery: Up to 12 hours battery life mixed usage
- Other: Touch ID, NFC, 3D Touch, IP67 waterproof
|iPhone XR||iPhone 7|
|Price: ||Price: |
Check out our detailed guide on Buying Refurbished iPhones for more information on this subject.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the iPhone XR bigger than iPhone 7?
Yes. The iPhone XR has a much bigger screen than the iPhone 7. The iPhone XR has a 6.1in display while the iPhone 7 only has a 4.7in display.
Q: What does R stand for in iPhone XR?
Apple has never officially said what the “R” in iPhone XR stands for. Some Apple execs have alluded it stands for…er, “speed.” That’s because some fast race cars, apparently, use the letter “R” to denote they are speedy. But officially, no one knows what the R in iPhone XR stands for.
Q: Is the iPhone 7 a good phone to buy in 2021?
Not really. The iPhone 7 is ancient at this point. Apple stopped selling it years ago. The only reason you should buy an iPhone 7 in 2021 is if you can get it for super-cheap (like below $75). Otherwise, go with a newer low-cost iPhone, like the iPhone SE (2020).
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.