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How Android phones will soon have better performance than iPhones

As much as we like to pretend that Android rules all things performance-related in the mobile electronics space, there's no denying that iPhones are silky smooth and have generally good performance. But that could all be about to change with fresh claims stating that both the Exynos 8890 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipsets outperform the Apple A9 chip.

The story comes via benchmarking results out of China that show the Samsung-built Exynos 8890 leading the bunch in Geekbench results. The multi-core results put the Exynos 8890 ahead of the deca-core Helio X20 made by MediaTek, followed by Huawei's octa-core Kirin 950 and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, with the Apple A9 struggling to keep up.

AndroidPIT Geekbench soc performance chart
Geekbench multi-core results show the Apple A9 falling behind. / © Geekbench

But that's only half the story: if we look at other single-core Geekbench results leaked last week, you can see the Apple A9 outperforms all of its Android competition, taking the top spot. 

Looking at these results and the fact that the Apple A9 is a dual-core processor, it's clear that each individual core in the A9 is “better” than each individual core in an octa-core or deca-core chip. Core-for-core, the Apple A9 outperforms its Android counterparts, but when you look at multi-core results the Android chipsets naturally leap ahead due to their additional cores. 

AndroidPIT Geekbench single core soc benchmark chart
Single-core Geekbench results show the Apple A9 pulling ahead. / © Geekbench

While it may be convenient to say that in a single-core test the Apple A9 is running at half strength compared to one-eighth for the Kirin 950 or one-tenth for the Helio X20, it must be admitted that the clock speed alone of these cores is not responsible for the discrepancy. The Apple A9's cores are clocked at 1.85 GHz compared to the 2.0-2.3 GHz of the Android chipsets.

Qualcomm Adreno 530 performance
All things are relative: the Snapdragon 820 is a 40% improvement over the 810. / © Qualcomm

Of course, things are much more complicated than this and process nodes and so on come into play as well, but there are two big takeaways from this story: Apple manages to do a lot with very little but that, at least until the iPhone 7 comes out with the Apple A10 chip, Android phones are going to have better high-end performance than their Apple equivalent.

How important is high-end performance to you? Do you even pay attention to benchmark results?


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  • im definitely not an i-fan but still i have my opinion on it ,these are benchmark result and there is a thing called 'optimization' u should consider .its even impossible for google to write code from scratch for every processors out there in the market where apple has to write code for just one processor which has been always a big advantage for apple .unless google take over more on android and fixed certain processor for android devices ,optimization will be no good and maximum performance is impossible to achieve .

  • 5URV1V0R 10 months ago Link to comment

    This is a really shallow comparison of no critical value whatsoever, just re-phrasing some statements and never saying why android's performance will beat Apple's (though this comparison by itself is shallow because of the different nature of the OSs)

  • The reason why Android will always be better than iOS is the automation that is offered by third party apps for Android which is not available in iOS.

  • I love my note 3, unfortunately I have a long Crack in my screen from top to bottom. It still works perfectly, but I really hate to see it in that condition. Crazy kids!! 😁lol 😁 so needless to say I'm in the market. The note 5 is ok. But in my opinion, Samsung really dropped the ball with what they removed. Expandable storage, non removable battery and the ir blaster! ! I used the ir blaster all the time. And even though the note 5 is a nice looking phone, using that much glass doesn't seem like a good idea for a larger phone. The only reason I would consider the note 5 is for the s pen which I love. That being said the only other phone that seems to catch my eye is the LG v10. It had everything I need with the exception of the s pen. I'm not a android purist so the nexus line is not very appealing to me. What are some other options that may be comparable?

  • Vindictive 11 months ago Link to comment

    Lets just say Androids can do more stuff Than IOS

  • storm 11 months ago Link to comment

    Iphone performance is about tight integration between hardware and software. Most users will never push their phones to reveal the limits. Readers of sites like this are the more extreme users who encounter those limits. The analogy I like to compare iphone and Android with is Headroom from the world of good audio. Most stereo speakers are pretty efficient, around 90 db at 1 watt and 1 meter of distance. Most people's listening is pretty close to that power level as 90 db is plenty of sound. Every 3 db increase doubles the volume and doubles the power needed to speakers. Even at that 1 watt average level, there are very high power transients that weak amplifiers will clip and distort. An amplifier needs extra capacity, headroom, to deal well with transients and to ramp up the volume cleanly when needed. The Apple ecosystem is already running closer to capacity than higher end androids. Iphones show their age faster with iOS updates than Android phones imho, because of their low headroom design. Sure, Android power users may have to root their phone to get the latest updated ROM. But the Android will usually still run well with the latest ROM, even years after original release. Iphones just get slower and slower.

  • Ankur Jain 11 months ago Link to comment

    Better specs does not always comes with better performance. Theoretically my Lenovo K3 Note does have 1.7 GHz Octa Core processor with 2GB of RAM but at times performance is very poor. Occasionally phone is sluggish with regular apps, no games. I guess key to performance lies with optimized OS and Apps.

  • Nice article.. :)
    However in my experience, iPhones generally tend to have lower specifications than their android counterparts but still manages to stay with the competition and in some cases out performs as well.

    Specs is not everything.. :) as in an iPhone 6s Plus comes with 2GB ram but OnePlus 2 comes with 4GB RAM, and the 2 year old Note 3 has 3GB Ram which is more than the current gen iPhone. :P

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