In the run-up to CES, Qualcomm gave the Snapdragon 855 to the first testers, and a reference design was available for benchmark testing. The performance is more than impressive, but even the competition, especially from Apple, doesn't have to hide.
The testers were able to run the Snapdragon 855 through a series of pre-installed benchmarks. The new chip reached a best mark of 360,233 points at Antutu and was thus ahead of the Apple A12 Bionic with 338,575 points and far ahead of the Snapdragon 845 (256,820 points) and the Snapdragon 835 (173,007 points).
But the Snapdragon 855 was not ahead of the A12 Bionic everywhere. Apple clearly wins the single-core rating on Geekbench 4 with 4,813 compared to 3,533 points. In the multi-core test, the two are neck and neck. The Apple chip copes with the graphics-heavy tests of GFX Bench just as quickly as the Jetstream benchmark, which is even particularly clear with 258.68 vs. 115.06 points.
Not unimportant: the Snapdragon 855 was able to keep up its performance even over a longer period of time in the benchmark workshop, even if the clock rate had to be lowered a little again and again. However, the data from Qualcomm's reference system is only comparable to a limited extent here, as each manufacturer has a different approach to heat dissipation and that can, therefore, have a strong influence on the result.
It's a close race, whichever way you spin it
The bottom line is that this is a head-to-head race between the Snapdragon 855 and the Apple A12 Bionic. It seems that Qualcomm has to admit defeat from Cupertino when it comes to graphics performance, though. The A12 Bionic, introduced in autumn 2018, is therefore still at the forefront of the comparison of the fastest smartphone processors in 2019. It will be exciting to see how the Snapdragon 855 can perform in the different smartphones of the manufacturers. Even the AI performance performed on the chip still has to prove itself in comparison, and here the Kirin 980 should also have a say in the race.
At the Mobile World Congress at the end of February, numerous manufacturers will present new devices with the Snapdragon 855. The new Apple and Huawei processors are expected this fall. Samsung's next Exynos processor celebrates its premiere together with the Galaxy S10 before MWC.