It’s time for the battle between the iPhone XR vs iPhone 7 Plus! Let’s not beat around the bush here: the iPhone XR is a vastly superior iPhone than the iPhone 7 Plus. It’s newer, it looks better, it has a larger and, therefore, better battery, and its camera is vastly improved. For this reason, there really is no comparison here – the iPhone XR is the one to go for.
But if you’re looking at older iPhone models because you want to pick up a cheaper iPhone, then I have news for you – you don’t need to go super-old and get something like the iPhone 7 Plus or the iPhone 6. Instead, pick yourself up a newer,
I’ve bought multiple refurbished iPhones over the years and I have never had a problem with any of them. Going this route has three main benefits: 1) it’s A LOT cheaper than buying a new iPhone; 2) you can get a newer iPhone model; and 3) you can buy the iPhone outright and then shop around for a cheap SIM-only plan, saving you hundreds of dollars over a 12 month period.
If you don’t want a used iPhone, check out our iPhone deals aggregator – it’ll help you find the best deal possible on your next iPhone.
The iPhone XR, thanks to it being a couple of years old, is now available refurbished. You can pick one up unlocked or carrier locked – the choice is yours. You can also get the iPhone X, which has an OLED display (unlike the iPhone 11), and the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, if you want Apple’s flagship models. What you don’t want to do is pick up an old iPhone like the iPhone 7 Plus and then have to replace it a year later when Apple stops supporting it – that would suck.
For this reason, if value for money is your #1 purchase intent, get yourself a newer iPhone refurbished – you’ll save 40% and get a newer iPhone that will be supported by Apple for years to come. It’s a win/win situation whichever way you slice it. And that is what everybody wants, right?
iPhone XR vs iPhone 7 Plus Quick Comparison
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 of battery life mixed usage.
- Other: Face ID, NFC, Wireless charging, IP67 waterproof
And here are the specs for the iPhone 7 Plus:
- Display: 5.5in Retina HD LCD display with 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi
- Dimensions: 158.2mm x 77.9 mm x 7.3 mm
- Weight: 188 grams
- Storage: 32 or 128GB
- Processors: A10 Fusion chip
- Front camera: 7 MP
- Rear camera: 12 MP Dual Lens telephoto and wide-angle, optical image stabilization
- Battery: Up to 12.5 hours of battery life mixed usage.
- Other: Touch ID, NFC, 3D Touch, IP67 waterproof
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 Plus features a 5.5in display with bezels that has a 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi. Without a doubt, the iPhone XR’s display wins the day here-well, almost.
In many aspects, the XR beats the 7 Plus: 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 Plus beats the XR in one display aspect: the XR lacks 3D Touch, which the iPhone 7 Plus 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.
The other 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 Plus still has the Home button we all know and love. This means the iPhone 7 Plus also still has Touch ID. The iPhone XR lacks Touch ID and replaces it with Apple’s new Face ID facial recognition system.
- iPhone XR – The iPhone XR has a 6.1in display, features Apple’s biometric authentication system called Face ID. Its 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 Plus – The iPhone 7 Plus, from a design perspective, 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 Plus.
- 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 Plus –The iPhone 7 Plus features a 5.5in display with bezels that has a 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi. But not so fast, the iPhone 7 Plus beats the XR in one display aspect: the XR lacks 3D Touch, which the iPhone 7 Plus has. If you were never a fan of 3D Touch, that wouldn’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.
- 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 Plus – the iPhone 7 Plus 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 Plus.
When you get to the camera department, the two phones differ wildly. 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.
But things are radically different when it comes to the rear camera. The iPhone 7 Plus features a dual-lens 12MP system with wide-angle and telephoto cameras, optical image stabilization, 2x optical zoom, and 4K video recording.
On the other hand, the rear camera system on the XR is only a single-lens 12MP wide-angle camera. It does feature optical image stabilization and 4K video recording, as with the iPhone 7 Plus, but lacks the 2x optical zoom.
- 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, but again, you’re stuck with one lens. On the front, you have a 7MP camera for selfies and video calling. It also supports advanced photo features like portrait photography.
- iPhone 7 Plus – The front camera is a 7MP setup, just like the iPhone XR has. But where things get really interesting with the phone’s camera technology is on the rare of the iPhone 7 Plus – it features a dual-lens 12MP system with wide-angle and telephoto cameras, optical image stabilization, 2x optical zoom, and 4K video recording.
Winner? iPhone 7 Plus – That Dual-Lens Camera Can’t Be Beat By The Single-Lens Found On The XR.
- iPhone XR – 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB
- iPhone 7 Plus – 32GB & 128GB
The iPhone XR has just a slightly larger battery than the iPhone 7 Plus. Will you see any difference because of it? Not much. Matter of fact, as you can see from the battery life specs below, each device is very similar. 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 Plus – 21 hours.
- Internet use: iPhone XR – Up to 15 hours. iPhone 7 Plus – Up to 13 hours.
- Video playback: iPhone XR – Up to 16 hours. iPhone 7 Plus – Up to 14 hours.
- Audio playback: iPhone XR – Up to 65 hours. iPhone 7 Plus – Up to 60 hours.
But the XR does stand out in one respect: it features wireless charging, where the 7 Plus does not.
As far s the CPU is concerned, the XR destroys the 7 Plus. It features the A12 Bionic chipset versus the iPhone 7 Plus’ A10 Fusion. The A12 is a 7nm chip with 6 cores. 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 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 Plus lacks.
- iPhone 7 Plus – The iPhone 7 Plus uses a slightly smaller battery than the iPhone XR, and, thanks to that, it will get you one hour 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 Plus
- iPhone XR – 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, but you also lose out on the dual-lens camera system of the iPhone 7 Plus.
- iPhone 7 Plus – Unlocked the 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus will cost £569 (32GB) and £669 (128GB).
- Click Here For The Latest Deals For Both iPhones
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 Plus. 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 Plus.
Another reason to get the 7 Plus is if you want a dual-lens rear camera. The iPhone 7 Plus offers this, but the iPhone XR does not (which is a huge oversight on Apple’s part. Bottom line? Out of these two iPhone options, the iPhone XR is 100% the one to go for UNLESS you want a dual-lens camera.
Another option worth considering, however, is picking up a newer
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which is better iPhone 7 plus or iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR is the better phone. It has a faster chipset, Face ID, more storage, and a larger screen. Given all this, the iPhone XR handily outperforms the iPhone 7 Plus.
Q: Should I upgrade iPhone 7 plus to XR?
If you’ve got the money, it’s a worthy upgrade. The iPhone XR features advanced tech like Face ID and a much faster CPU. The only thing the iPhone 7 Plus offers that the iPhone XR does not is the dual-camera system.
Q: Is XR camera better than 7 Plus?
No. This is the only area where the iPhone 7 Plus outperforms the iPhone XR. The iPhone 7 Plus features a dual-camera system, whereas the iPhone XR just has a single-lens camera.
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.