iPhone XR vs Galaxy Note 10 Comparison: Which is Better for You?

Galaxy Note 10+

Samsung is playing the value card this year with the Galaxy Note 10. By making it the smaller brother to the Note 10+, Samsung has cut some corners and removed certain features to launch the Note 10 at a lower price point. This way the handset is able to better compete with Apple’s own budget flagship, the iPhone XR. If you are wondering between the Galaxy Note 10 and iPhone XR, which one is better, read our detailed comparison below.

The Galaxy Note 10 does carry a higher retail price than the iPhone XR. However, knowing Samsung, you will find the phone with some extremely attractive trade-in offers or discounts that will bring its price close to what the iPhone XR is priced at. This makes the duel between these two devices even more interesting.

Below is how the Galaxy Note 10 compares to the iPhone XR.

iPhone XR vs Galaxy Note 10 Comparison

Design

Both phones are made of glass and sandwich an aluminum chassis. While the Note 10 is just a smaller version of the Note 10+, Apple has made a few other changes with the iPhone XR. They both feel premium in-hand, have excellent build quality, and feature wireless charging.

The Note 10 does have a higher IP68 certification while the iPhone XR tops out at IP67. Nonetheless, for daily use, the IP certifications of both devices are more than good enough.

The Note 10 lacks a notch since it has a centered hole-punch selfie camera. The notch on the iPhone XR is not really distracting, though many users might not like it. The Galaxy Note 10 comes with an S-Pen as well which is IP68 certified as well. It now has Air motion which allows you to control many aspects of the phone via simple motion gestures. This has been made possible by including 6-axis gyroscope and accelerometer inside the S Pen.

Display

  • iPhone XR – 6.1-inch True Tone Liquid Retina LCD display, 1792 x 828 pixels (326 ppi), No 3D Touch
  • Galaxy Note 10 – 6.3-inch curved Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED, 2280 x 1080 pixels (401ppi), HDR10, Dynamic AMOLED

The Galaxy Note 10 does not come with the same high-resolution panel as its bigger sibling the Galaxy Note 10+. Yet, the Dynamic AMOLED panel on the Galaxy Note 10 is easily among the best in the market. The iPhone XR’s 6.1-inch Retina LCD simply pales in comparison. It is the best LCD display around but its no match for the Note 10’s OLED panel.

Chipset

  • iPhone XR – 7nm A12 Bionic chipset
  • Galaxy Note 10 – 7nm Snapdragon 855 or 7nm EUV Exynos 9825

Depending on where you live, the Galaxy Note 10 comes with either a 7nm Snapdragon 855 or Samsung’s own Exynos 9825 chipset. The Galaxy S10 was also powered by the Snapdragon 855 and it is currently the best chipset available for Android devices. There’s a newer Snapdragon 855+ that was recently unveiled by Qualcomm but it is just an overclocked version of the regular chip.

As for the Exynos 9825, it is an updated version of Samsung’s Exynos 9820 found on the international variants of the Galaxy S10. It is the first chip to launch on Samsung’s 7nm EUV fabrication process. This should make it more efficient than the 8nm Exynos 9820. Despite this though, the chip is not better than the A12 Bionic in raw performance.

One area where the iPhone XR truly shines is in terms of performance. It might be a watered-down version of the iPhone XS but it packs the same A12 Bionic chip as it. The Galaxy Note 10 is fast but the A12 Bionic inside the iPhone XR is at a different level altogether.

RAM & Storage

  • iPhone XR– 3GB RAM | 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Galaxy Note 10 – 8GB RAM | 128GB, 256GB

The Note 10 is not as packed as its bigger sibling in this regard. Yet, it is miles ahead of the iPhone XR in this regard. The Note 10 comes with almost 2.6x times more RAM than the iPhone XR.

While both phones top out at 256GB storage, the iPhone XR ships with 64GB of base storage. The Note 10 starts with 128GB and tops out at 256GB. Unlike other flagship Samsung smartphones, the Galaxy Note 10 lacks a microSD card slot though which means you cannot increase its storage down the line for cheap.

Camera

  • iPhone XR – Single 12MP camera setup with f/1.8, 1.4um large pixels, OIS, Smart HDR, Focus Pixels, Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth control
  • Galaxy Note 10 – Triple-camera setup, 12MP camera with variable f/1.5 – f/2.4 aperture, 1.4um pitch pixel, OIS; 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle shooter; 12MP f/2.1 telephoto sensor with OIS, 2x optical zoom, Auto HDR, Super Speed Dual Pixel, Live Focus with adjustable bokeh effect

The Note 10 again beats the iPhone XR by miles in this regard. While the latter only ships with a single 12MP shooter at the rear, the Note 10 comes with a triple-camera setup. The image quality of both phones are almost at the same level but the Note 10 offers a greater level of flexibility that is missing on the iPhone. The telephoto lens and the ultra-wide angle lens on the Note 10 offer a greater degree of flexibility that photographers will enjoy.

Biometrics

  • iPhone XR – Face ID
  • Galaxy Note 10+ – In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock

The iPhone XR comes with a specialized TrueDepth camera system at the front for Face ID. While Face ID is generally reliable, its reliability is nowhere as close to Touch ID.

On the Galaxy Note 10, Samsung uses the front 10MP camera for face unlock. This is complemented by the ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner. While Samsung offers more choice, its solutions are not as secure as Face ID. Both face unlock and the under-display fingerprint scanner on the Note 10 can be fooled relatively easily.

Connectivity

  • iPhone XR– Dual SIM/eSIM, LTE-Advanced, Wi-Fi ac with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, VoLTE, NFC with reader mode
  • Galaxy Note 10 – Dual SIM, Cat 20. LTE (2Gbps), Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, VoLTE, NFC

The Galaxy Note absolutely crushes the iPhone XR in terms of connectivity. The iPhone XR does not even ship with a Gigabit LTE modem while the Note 10 is capable of reaching speeds of up to 2Gbps. It also has Wi-Fi 6 support.

Both phones do lack the headphone jack. The Note 10+ does feature a headphone jack so it is a shame to see Samsung killing it on the smaller Note.

Battery

  • iPhone XR – 2942Ah, USB-C fast charging, fast wired charging, 7.5W wireless charging
  • Galaxy Note 10 – 3500mAh, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging

The Galaxy Note 10 comes with a bigger battery when compared to the iPhone XR. That’s not it though. It also comes with faster wired and wireless charging. Adding insult to injury, Samsung also bundles a 25W fast wired charger with the Note 10 while Apple only bundles a 5W charger with the iPhone XR.

In terms of battery life, both phones have enough juice in the tank to easily last through a day of heavy use.


The Galaxy Note 10 might carry a higher price tag ($949) than the iPhone XR ($749). However, it offers more value for money than the latter despite making a number of compromises when compared to the Note 10+. Plus, pre-order bundles from Samsung and carriers will greatly reduce the blow of purchasing the Note 10.

What are your thoughts on the iPhone XR vs Galaxy Note 10 comparison? Which one would you pick between the two?

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