Whenever any Smartphone OEM releases a mobile device, one of the first thing we all hunt for is the specs, how it compares to what we have now, how it compares to last years/gen, and it’s all gone more than out of control. But, one device that always seems to have almost a laughable spec sheet each time, but still somehow performs, is the iPhone, and that’s certainly no different this year with the iPhone 6/6 Plus!
Apple’s new A8 processor is a mighty 1.4GHz Dual-Core chip powered by a great single 1GB of RAM, so it’s way up to date in the world of things …. wait, hang on? … no it’s not!?!
On paper, the iPhone 6 line are an embarrassment in the specification department and would be destroyed immensely by any Android, Windows Phone or even Blackberry flagship right?
Last year Apple introduced the iPhone 5S, which was twice as fast as the iPhone 5 that followed it, partly thanks to the advancements in the processor, namely the introduction of 64-bit to the mobile world, and, despite the 5S’ 1.2GHz Dual Core, it somehow was faster than a double specced 2.4GHz Quad-Core SnapDragon 800 (device with 2GB RAM) from Qualcomm … but why?!
Breakthrough of the year folks, specs and numbers mean absolutely nothing. We were saying the same about Windows Phone 7.5 a few years back, but this has not become any truer more than with the iPhone.
First of all let’s just stress this isn’t what this post is here for, want spec results skip this section. The Apple A4, all the way up to the A8 are not produced by Qualcomm, so it’s like comparing different numeric values on an Intel to AMD processor, you don’t know what else is going on under the hood.
Secondly, and lastly, greater isn’t always better. Sticking with Apple, Apple’s base line (latest as of Sept ’14) MacBook Air has a 1.4GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, yet it near on doubles the speed of an iMac from a couple of years with a 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo! If we stick to the logic Android fans are going by with the iPhone, this would defy all logic in the world, but technology advances, and as does what gets put inside them, as the following results will show!
The following benchmarks are set by ‘Single-Core’ performance versus other iOS devices, then the entire competition (only vs Android/Blackberry possible in this case), following that will be a ‘Multi-Core’ test in the same fashion. Despite how amazing dual/quad/etc cores are on devices, it’s actually rare in real time use that matters as most, if not, all general apps use the Single core component to power them, as the rest help along with battery and background tests.
Now, the same results versus the Android competition;
As you can see from the above result, the iPhone 6 Plus is the number 1 performer in single-core performance, with the iPhone 6 smidgens away, this is apparently due to the iPhone 6 Plus having slight boast in performance on the chip for the larger display area.
But, let’s not forget, the highest Android result is a phone that’s literally just gone on sale, the second gen Moto X, followed slightly by the Galaxy S5, both powered by the latest Quad-Core processor by Qualcomm, the SnapDragon 805.
But, what about Multi-Core performance, this could be interesting.
More noticeable differences between the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 in this test, which is understandable as we previously mentioned for that larger display ratio. Now, let’s add those Android devices in there;
Finally, we’ve a winner from the other camp! Yep, that Moto X we talked about in the Single-Core performance far but closest to the iPhones, wins in Multi-Core performance, but let’s not forget that the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 are still directly following, and the fact there’s only 13 points between a processor nearly double is astounding!
Now, we know this is just Geekbench 3 results, and there’s a ton more tests you can do yourself against these devices, but we just wanted to iterate just how powerful the Apple A8 is, despite the rather confusing for many numbers on the spec sheet, especially when the A8 wasn’t meant for power, but power efficiency!