iPhone 5 Smokes Top Android Smartphones in Benchmarks

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Some have criticized Apple for letting the iPhone fall behind the competition, and the iPhone 5 is no exception, as Samsung is more than happy to point out. A 4-inch screen? Yeah, several other smartphones have that beat. Fast 4G LTE connectivity? Again, there are plenty of mobile devices that already do that. A new proprietary dock connector? Okay, so Apple 'wins' that round. But is it fair to criticize the iPhone 5 for not reinventing the smartphone?


Perhaps not. It may not be a revolutionary upgrade, but the sum of its parts adds up to a whole lot of phone, one that can certainly run with the big boys. We put the iPhone 5 through its paces and discovered that not only is it a shinier new bauble of a smartphone for Apple, but along with all that design elegance comes rather impressive system-level performance that, in many cases, could place the iPhone 5 at the head of the pack versus competitive Android and Windows Phone devices currently in the market. In various standard cross-platform benchmark metrics, the iPhone 5 surprisingly puts up results that leave most other high-end smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy S III and Razr M, in the dust.

iPhone 5 SunSpider

From simple Javascript performance (as seen above) to web browsing and 3D graphics rendering in OpenGL, Apple’s A6 SoC in the iPhone 5 can offer over twice the performance of competing SoC’s such as the dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4.


No matter which of our standard assortment of mobile benchmarks we threw at the iPhone 5, it was consistently came close to, at a minimum, nearly doubling the performance of competing Android and Windows Phone devices. So yes, while Apple may be playing a game of "catch-up" with the competition in terms of features, the competition clearly has some catching up to do of its own, in terms of performance.

Of course, there's more to a smartphone than just benchmarks. To see what we think of the iPhone 5, be sure to check out our in-depth review.
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Jillxz replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 11:39 AM

I don't care one iota about bench marks. They are meaningless for me and most others. Only tech geeks are interested in bench marks.

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MValente replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 11:46 AM

I am happy that you do not care about benchmarks, but please don't presume to speak for others.

Most others DO care for tech specs as most others are not idiots. Specs matter, and so does engineering.

No offense.

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Johnnyj replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 11:55 AM

A little thin skinned aren't you? He wasn't speaking for others; fix your reading comprehension before you post on the internet. You are letting everyone else know you are an idiot. Javascript benchmarks are not tech specs or engineering. They are subjective to the browser you are running.

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JvMason replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 11:55 AM

these benchmarks are a little silly. Plus all it means is Samsung moto and HTC will release more powerful phones come spring or when ever there is an alternative to current processors. Look at the list of phones that are more powerful than the 4s. There will be an equal amount of droids above the i5 in 7-9 months. Don't deny it; that's just how technology advances

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amocat536 replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 12:02 PM

Granted there are people who care about Benchmarks. And that's great but these specific ones for humans don't make much difference to the eye. I admit I'm bias. You couldn't give me an Apple. If you like Apple, that's fine. More power to you.

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lyanrocke replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 12:16 PM

I'm not a fan of either but have been a hardware engineer for over 25 years and find it humorous that the processing performance of the GSIII is only marginally better than the iPhone 4S. I would find it less entertaining if I wasn't currently being bombarded by Samsung and Apple propaganda every 15 minutes on tv. People just need to accept the fact that both companies are making really great products. Each includes features the other failed implement. It's all about personal preference / opinion and there is no right or wrong choice.

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CDeeter replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 12:27 PM

Actually Jillxz was speaking for others - "They are meaningless for me and most others." Notice the words...and most others? Definitely not just speaking about only one person. So perhaps MValente is right after all huh?

Secondly, Jillxz, "Only tech geeks are interested in bench marks." Um, yeah, that's right. That's why we are here. That's why the site is called HotHardware, and not Home and Garden. And if you're not into benchmarks, you're in the wrong place.

One more thing, let's leave the name calling out on the playground where it belongs. It's not welcome here.

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JeffGrubb replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 12:42 PM

Uh, dude. You benchmarked an iPhone 5 running iOS 6 against a Galaxy Nexus running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and not Jelly Bean (4.1.).

In fact, zero of the Androids you tested were running 4.1. While that's not completely your fault (most Androids don't run on 4.1), but the Galaxy Nexus does and it drastically improves performance.

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Paul4G replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 12:48 PM

CDeeter: Actually Jillxz was speaking for others - "They are meaningless for me and most others." Notice the words...and most others?

And so what if he's speaking for others if he's speaking the truth? Benchmarks bear little to no resemblance on the actual functioning of a device. It would be akin to testing how quickly refrigerator doors can be opened and claiming that one that opens 5 milliseconds faster than another is measurably superior - in actual daily use, it makes no humanly describable difference whatsoever. People can claim that benchmarks make a difference, but they're deluding themselves. And I would be just as dismissive of benchmarks if Samsung was using them to show superiority over Apple - they're meaningless on both sides.

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AndyMcJ replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 12:55 PM

It does not state if the Samsung used was the dual core or quad core version, the korean and european versions are all quad core, the asian version is also quad core and LTE, but the US market only has the dual core part at the moment, once Samsung rolls out the quad core version to the USA then re-test that...

Also these benchmarks can be biased, as they can work better on certain CPU types or OS types, so there is no real benchmark that is accurate, unless you compare real world tests like how long it takes to open apps, download and upload to Facebook, and take photo's/video.. These are real world usage tests..

In a test just completed by CNet about LTE speeds the i5 won the download speed by 1Mb/sec but lost on upload speed by 6Mb/sec.. So a small win for Apple on download speed but a big win for Samsung on upload speed..

Most of today's use involves a lot of uploading to Facebook (Video / Photo's), Dropbox (Files & Photo's) and other G+ Social sites. so a phone that can upload almost twice as fast, must improve your life if your a Facebook fan..

But as it was said before, Apple/Samsung war is stupid, The best phone is the one that fits your life, just make sure you buy for the right reason and don't just follow the crowds, otherwise you may get something that does not fit your life.

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aldel replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 12:58 PM

SunSpider JS on Galaxy Nexus (Android 4.1): 1492

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JeffGrubb replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 1:06 PM

@aldel And that hardware is more than a generation old now. So, devices like the HTC One X and GS3 on 4.1 will likely be much closer to the iPhone 5's benchmarks.

Edit: Not that that dismisses these results entirely. Those handsets do not run 4.1 currently, so these results are still mostly accurate.

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AndyMcJ replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 1:13 PM

If that is the case, then that means it has lowered the score by 24%, which would lower the HTC One X down to 1226, which still does not beat the i5 but makes it closer.. I still want to see what a quad core version of the Samsung S III does in this benchmark running 4.1.

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geekless replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 1:32 PM

Here's what I and 'some' others want to know:

1. Can I make a phone call?

2. Will it stop switching to 'ringer off' without me knowing it?

3. Can my granddaughter still enter new contact numbers for me when I need them?

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 4:39 PM

That's a reasonable expectation but it doesn't mean the iPhone 5 isn't possibly the fastest smartphone on the market currently, and in some cases by a wide margin. That's still a pretty impressive achievement.

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AndyMcJ replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 4:54 PM

I agree, the iPhone 5 is possibly the fastest dual core based phone on the market, which is what Apple does well, make an OS or App run fast on less powerful hardware.

With other OS's like Android, they require more hardware horsepower due to the more fragmented development process, whereas Apple control everything,m Hardware, OS and Apps so they can make sure that it is optimized.

But put the latest version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on a Quad Core Samsung or HTC/Motorola handset and the iPhone will have to play catchup until the next Hardware update (iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S) next year.

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SMonty replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 5:32 PM

Would be interesting to see, how rooted android phones stack up with rooted Iphone !!.. since most of the android devices suffer from custom layouts built on top of them. Root them both and compare the raw hardware performance then. What do you guys think ?

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sevags replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 5:39 PM

How can anyone not care about benchmarks unless you don't care about performance????

Yes benchmarks aren't 100% accurate when it comes tithe results versus real life use but try are close and give you an approximate idea of the performance of your device. If you said the benchmarks are completely off then they would be off or every device, you may not know the performance of each device but you could see compare different devices.

If a benchmark says Xxx device performs 4x faster than device Yyy, yet both cost the same, why would you MOT buy the faster device????? Other factors do come into play like design, features, etc but these days nearly all devices are the same! Every smartphone has a back and from camera, touch screen, surf the web, listen to music... Not all phones have NFC or wireless charging but would any of buy a cellphone strictly for on of those features? If amazon was selling a Pentium 4 computer that features NFC and a core i7 computer with no NFC both or the same price which would you buy?! The P4 with more features? Or the core i7 with farrrr better benchmarks?!

We may not all care about JavaScript benchmarks etc individually but all benchmarks and reviews as a whole does paint a picture of a device that holding and physically using can't always give you especially if you don't have competing devices in your other hand to compare to.

In the end the facts speak for themselves, read the HH review, and I suggest reading iphone5 review on anandtech.com. Love or hate the new phone but it is clearly the best performing smartphone in the world by a good margin, for now. With the GS4 not out until next year the ip5 will probably enjoy many months of being on top...

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RiCoFrost replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 7:06 PM

Well that is impressive, a much better upgrade than the 4 to the 4S.

 

Are there any benchmarks on the WP?  I've played around with a Nokia Lumia 900 and it seems very fast. If the 920 is faster i will be very happy.

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rapid1 replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 10:52 PM

I do often look at benchmarks but you have to base them as well and value them accordingly in general. I remember when chose to get my Sensation there were several others around with similar features several with a little better the GII and the 4S to begin with but I chose the Sensation and have not had an issue with it at all. It still operates fast but it is also Android and therefore open source. I don't run the stock OS I run a tweaked ICS and have since before it was official. It has generally beaten any of my friends who wanted to see if it does better even my brothers 4S when we tested it after his second update. Another thing I found out when we had a Windows phone for a weekend (Sarah wanted one but it ended up not working with wifi calling so we sent it back) and although we sent it back because of the wifi issues performance wise it did better than my Android on my tweaked OS with general apps, and therefore better than all those others I compared. One fault with my Sensation is it died on a Google maps update, then of course to the positive side of my carrier Tmous they replaced it for 3 bucks. I know it is a refurb I also know the US government is generally harder on refurbs being used in the open market than they are on brand new items in most cases as well so I got no issue with that. I remember the last proprietary computer I had it was my second personal computer and it was an HP top of the line. That was back when HP and IBM still had there own proprietary versions of DOS as well. So that was in the stone ages in the PC even if it was near to the end of said stone age. I will never own a proprietary computer and APPLE is the only proprietary OEM I know of in that way. You pay more for every piece of hardware period for no other reason than it has been APPLE certified which means absolutely nothing other than APPLE gets paid for everyone bought. There phones and there songs are the same. As my prerogative I choose not to support and aggressive means of trademark enforcement which is all it is. As far as it goes Samsung makes more of the internal hardware in any piece of there hardware than they do and they just won a billion dollar settlement against them for infringement. If that makes sense to you ok but it does not to me and I will not support it with my dollar!

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rapid1 replied on Sun, Sep 23 2012 11:01 PM

Oh and also one of the big points made in Samsung's commercials is that they will have top of the line in there next one every time. That difference is substantial because generally in hardware and software everyone else has it many many months before that next generation of APPLE ever gets around. Just as a point I imagine all Android phones dropped after say November and most definitely following February will be quad cores with better cameras, sound, GPU, memory specs, internal transfer speeds, coverage methods (such as the new wifi spec) etc etc at the least 6 months before APPLE phones ever have it and most likely 9. If you look at it that way it also means the market has lapped APPLE and they're therefore copying rather than innovating now, and design wise there just copying themselves, rather than introducing anything new this phone is stretched top to bottom and otherwise a direct copy. Remember the guy holding a place in line for his parents, and the older guy in line saying "we should have that next release though right", well exactly as all you have now is some frills which mean or will mean little to nothing by the end of the quarter.

 

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sevags replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 12:57 AM

Rapid1, I'm not saying I am an apple fan at all so don't take my words as defense towards them far from it! But the info you have a incorrect and you are just babbling based on what you think is going on in h market...

You are correct that all apple "certified" memory and video cards etc etc cost way more for no reason. However this is not the case with the iPhone. At the same upgrade cost of $200 the hardware is more advanced than its competition. We likely won't see another mobile phone with comparable performance until march when the galaxy S 4 comes out... Is that the 6 month lead time you claim apples competitors have? And then how long will the s4 be the fastest? Probably only 1-2 months before HTC or Motorolla come out with something equal or better before the iPhone probably gets some sort of 5s upgrade let's see march-September oops that looks like 6 months as well. Looks to be like any 1 company can only stay on top of the performance curve for 6 months unless they released a replacement product every 3 months but that will never happen why would apple release iPhones 6-9 in 2013 alone just to say its the fastest? They wouldn't and neither would Samsung or Nokia AND even if they did you or I could never afford to buy 2-4 premium smart phones a year especially with only getting 1 upgrade price every 2 years.

Apple has adopted a slightly different upgrade mentality than its android rivals who release over a dozen phones a year ranging from low end to high end different features sizes etc in order to stay competitive and "cover all bases" while apple has 1 new model a year along with the previous model being sold but comes packing greater performance increases which helps them leapfrog further than their competitors who then slowly catch up and pass apple until apple leaps again.

I myself wanted a redesigned iPhone 5 like everyone else but that's because I never liked the feel of the 4 though I admit the 5 is so much more comfortable to hold. If you think about it though would you expect of all apple products or anyone's?? Imagine if apple had to redesign their MacBook line EVERY year... How many years do you think it would take before they ran out of "innovative" form factors? Pretty fast. Imagine if an auto company like Toyota designed the Camry every year???? They can't and it wouldn't make sense, all companies do subtle changes to lights and bumpers every couple of years before designing a refresh, we don't get mad at them? I didn't walk in to the dealership to lease a 2011 BMW oh to complain that it's the same model as the 2010. Remember that the iPhone4's design has only been out 2 years 2 months? Not exactly an aging product design wise especially since its design is of of a higher quality build and I'm someone who wanted a new design! Yet the phone feels different enough from a 4 that I'm CONTENT with the changes.

Lastly you can't fault apple for not including features that YOU AND I HEARD ABOUT THROUGH VARIOUS WEBSITES!!!!!!!!!! Did apple ever say that any of their phones were being designed with a laser projected keyboard, a pico projector, an apple logo that doubles as the flash, etc etc etc etc!!?!?! NO! Yet rumor mills knock them down for it and patronize us with the talks of " oh next time".. Why is anyone even expecting these features?? Samsung actually has an underpowered over priced android phone with a built in pico projector, why isn't this a feature found on the S3?!?!? Last I checked the s3 doesn't have a laser keyboard?? Oh but it has NFC so lets use that feature to attack apple. What other tech is the 5 missing that the S3 has? Especially that you would use at least a couple of times a week....

Remember that these are companies trying to make money, you may like their products more if they included at least everything their competitors did but that's not how business works.

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No keyboard, no SDCard slot, and a proprietary connector/charger instead of micro-usb. Way too small. No buy.

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 10:12 AM

Sevags March to late September/Early October is 6 months yes the "more advanced" is only correct for the US only devices which is nowhere near the largest market for the GIII. The rest of the world generally has quad core processors and faster memory bus standards than the US, why I do not know but it is generally or largely true as all phones or the larger quantity outside the US are Quad core and also a higher memory bus structure. Not to mention there also global GSM/LTE in general as well from what I understand. "YOU AND I HEARD ABOUT THROUGH VARIOUS WEBSITES!!!!!!!!!!" I generally only talk about real design elements generally from developer level information and never rumored devices, standards, or features either even though you may assume so. I know some of what I posted is spewing because APPLE upsets me and I think in the end there largest innovation is in a (visible) design style more than anything else.

I also think there suing of companies for design infringement of the cornering method in a smart phone body is not only pointless as it really accomplishes nothing, but it is restrictive because they worry about that rather than selling (the patent) it which to me makes poor corporate sense in the end, and is basically nothing but a johnny stole my candy at the playground whining fit.

In the end where I am sure Samsung will miss that billion dollars, I also know it is only relative as everyone who actually buys an APPLE device is the one paying for it because SAMSUNG makes many components in both iPhone's and in there general devices.

So did you like paying an elevated price so Samsung could pay APPLE who could in turn pay SAMSUNG back for there own lawsuit?

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The test results are awesome ... but what did they meant for 4s?

4s also had great results in benchmarks.

But you wouldn't say it is faster then an sII or a lumia 800 or other evil Android monster. I haven't seen in a while a phone freezing when scrolling a 500 contacts address book. 4s did.

So it remains to be seen. But thinking at the product itself , it does play catch-up. Maybe they should grow out of the one -button design too...

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sevags replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 2:15 PM

Rapid how did I pay an elevated price? I paid $200. Is the gs3 not the same price? How much with the lumia 920 be? Probably the same. I don't see how I paid more? And in the end I am actually MAKING more money because the one thin you can't take away from apple is that ALL their products have a vey high resale value compared to anyone else. Th sale of my hardware always pays for my new hardware. I sold my iPhone 4 32gb the day before ip 5 launch for $275 which more than covered the upgrade goat of the 5 and that's 2 generations old. I sold my 3G to buy a 3GS plus cash in my pocket, 3GS for the 4, skipped the 4s, and now th 5. If a 5s comes out next year I can sell my 5 and still afford the 5s with only the early upgrade price. I don't see where I am losing. I am waiting for the Lumia 920 to come out still I am very interested and the reason I can do that is because ill be able to sell my ip5 for more than the 920 will cost out of contract lol, I can't say th same if I bought an gs3 or 920 first and tried outright buying the 5.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Sep 27 2012 8:28 AM

LOL a woman yesterday posted on my Facebook that she could not connect to Pandora because her phone was saying she was in New Zealand whenever she tried to connect and I said you must have an iPhone. She replied that yes she was a early recipient on a pre-order. So it looks like Apple's brilliant work in of there own mapping application is already earning them recognition. She asked me why I told her it was because APPLE iOS6 uses APPLE's own mapping for the GPS rather than Google maps at which point she got very confused and came back with a I thought APPLE did everything right (not word for word but basic) reply, so I replied yup you see what that got you right. I told her basically anything that uses mapping she has a 50% chance of being affected probably.

She was very happy about that as she was at SAN waiting for a plane to Europe where she thought (in fact she was relieing on it) she was going to be able to use her GPS for travel purposes I told her good luck with that one. Seems like basically this is going to ruin her European vacation which sucks. I told her to stop when she got there and purchase an Android phone or a stand alone GPS!

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Everyone needs to read this article called "The Dirty Little Secret About Mobile Benchmarks"

http://mostly-tech.com/2012/09/29/the-dirty-little-secret-about-mobile-benchmarks/

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JGolden replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 11:27 PM

Wow your totally off base. If we were testing how good a refrigerator door was then yes how quick the springs allow the door to open and shut would be significant. The speed the door opens in relation to the whole refrigerator is NOT equal to the speed a cell phone opens apps in relation to the overall cell phone. Because the MAIN purpose of a cell phone is opening up and running apps (including dialer). The main purpose of a fridge is cooling contents. Not an adequate comparison.

Now will you notice the difference in speed? If you just browse the web on your phone and talk and text then probably not. If you're using the most cutting edge graphic intensive apps then it's nice to have hardware that allows you to process the info faster.

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