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  •  paul
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2012-09-23T11:03:53Z
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
2012-09-23T11:39:18Z

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.

MValente
2012-09-23T11:46:46Z

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.

Johnnyj
2012-09-23T11:55:41Z

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.

JvMason
2012-09-23T11:55:48Z

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

amocat536
2012-09-23T12:02:20Z

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.

lyanrocke
2012-09-23T12:16:24Z

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.

CDeeter
2012-09-23T12:27:42Z

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.

JeffGrubb
2012-09-23T12:42:18Z

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.

Paul4G
2012-09-23T12:48:06Z

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.

AndyMcJ
2012-09-23T12:55:09Z

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.

aldel
2012-09-23T12:58:54Z

SunSpider JS on Galaxy Nexus (Android 4.1): 1492

JeffGrubb
2012-09-23T13:06:31Z

@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.

AndyMcJ
2012-09-23T13:13:23Z

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.

geekless
2012-09-23T13:32:32Z

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?