Earlier this week, Apple announced its new range of iPhone 13 phones wielding Apple’s own A15 Bionic SoC. Apple has claimed that its new SoC is faster than all of its competitors in the market. Primarily this means Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 or 888+ chip.
Now, an objective way to analyze this claim is to do the standard benchmark tests. This would reflect the CPU and GPU scores. Well, the same is out and the A15 outpaces the competition fair and square.
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It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Apple’s new iPhones are way faster than their predecessors, since the previous gen A14 Bionic was in itself ahead of Snapdragon scores.
To quote Geekbench 5 metric, high-end Android devices with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (the most popular flagship processor) have achieved a score of about 1100 in single-core speeds and 3500 for multi-core performance. For example, here’s how much Oneplus 9 Pro clocked in Geekbench 5:
The thing to be noted here is that Snapdragon 888 was already lagging behind Apple’s A14 Bionic CPU which was a part of the iPhone 12 Pro (which scored 1600 in the single-core score and 4100 in multi-core score respectively). And this was when iPhone 12 was launched even before Snapdragon 888 was officially announced.
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And now the data rolling in for iPhone 13 and A15 Bionic combination is even more lethal for its competitors.
If we compare Snapdragon 888 and A15, then the latter has a 13% higher clock speed which is 3200x2840MHz. A15 has a better instruction set architecture too. Look at the difference between the single and multi-core score of the CPU performance for both-
single-core score 1109 multi-core score 3687
single-core score 1735 multi-core score 4806
Talking about GPU, Apple has given an improvement of about 20% to A15 whereas despite giving Snapdragon 888 a 35% improvement last year, it is still behind Apple in performance.
In addition, one of the most important components of the A15 in the iPhone 13 series is using its neural engine. This is used in iPhone’s Cinematic mode to identify faces in a video scene to detect where the subjects are facing. A15 also claims to allow one to record in low-compression Pro-Res video format for its pro models.
Now even though there were hopes that Google’s Tensor processor might bring about a change in this area, the early benchmark results of it aren’t very promising. According to leaked Geekbench scores, Tensor has got 2200 which was even less than the Snapdragon 888. This makes it clear that Apple will continue to dominate in this area for now.
All that said, these benchmarks aren’t everything especially when it comes to use cases in everyday life. Thus for most of the users, SoC performance is not the prime parameter to buy their device.
There are some very specific applications where this added performance of processor becomes useful, but for the usual social media apps, browsing, texting, and video calling, you don’t need that much of power and it isn’t the only thing that matters. So, it all boils down to whether you are a power user or not, and among iOS and Android, what do you prefer?