Battle between iPhone XR vs Google Pixel 3a: Which smartphone offers a better camera

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Mumbai:The best of Google is the Pixel 3. The Best of Apple is the iPhone XS. But the best of Google and the best of Apple are also prohibitively expensive. The iPhone Xs, for example, costs close to Rs 1 lakh. So both Apple and Google now also offer more “affordable” variants of their best: these are the iPhone XR and the Pixel 3a.

Recently, Google launched the Google Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL at its annual developers conference, Google I/O 2019.

The two new Pixel smartphones, which only differ in screen size and battery capacity, were launched in black and white colour variants in India for Rs 39,999 and 44,999 respectively. The good thing about these budget Pixel smartphones – especially for the Pixel lovers – is that they feature the same camera sensor as the one present in their pricier sibling – Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL – making them equally proficient at capturing images if not more.

Apple’s so called “affordable” budget iPhone – the Apple iPhone XR – recently has become more economical as its market price has come down. The base variant of the iPhone XR with 64GB memory went from costing Rs 76,900 to Rs 59,900 while the 128GB variant of the device went from costing Rs 81,900 to Rs 64,900. The top variant now sells for Rs 74,900.

The Google Pixel 3a XL comes with a 6-inch full HD+ OLED display with a pixel density of 402ppi. As far as the overall design is concerned, the Pixel 3a XL looks and feels quite similar to the original Pixel 3 XL smartphone. However, there is one small difference. Unlike the Pixel 3 XL, the Pixel 3a XL comes with a plastic back. To the naked eye, it poses no difference but if you look up closer, you would understand that a glass back is what distinguishes Pixel 3a XL from Pixel 3.

The iPhone XR – Apple’s budget phone – on the other hand comes with a 6.1-inch LCD display with a pixel density of 326ppi. In terms of the overall look, it features a glass design that give it a more premium look.

Google’s premium budget Pixel phones are known for their camera quality. A simple single rear camera setup at the back, using image processing algorithms powered by Google’s mighty machine learning systems, can turn an ugly duckling into a dark swan in Pixel 3 XL. This is true for Pixel 3a XL as well. The Pixel 3a XL comes with a 12.2MP rear camera with Sony IMX363 sensor and optical and electronic image stabalisation technology. In the front, it sports an 8MP camera.

The iPhone XR, on the other hand, comes with a 12MP wide-angle lens at the back with optical image stabalisation technology and a 7MP camera in the front.

Now, the difference might seem quite negligible on paper but in practice it is definitely noticeable. Let’s start with the daylight shots. When taken to the sun, both the phones produce images with stunning depth and detail. But there is a fine difference between the two. While Pixel 3a XL produces images with higher colour saturation – which looks a tad bit closer to the actual scene — the iPhone XR produces images that look like they have been fine tuned or colour corrected for social media posts.

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