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PC Magazine: iPhone 5 is world's fastest smartphone

updated 10:11 pm EDT, Fri September 21, 2012

Outruns Samsung Galaxy S III, Droid Razr M, more

Benchmarks that rate RAM, processor speed, browser speed, JavaScript and graphics capabilities of various smartphone published by PC Magazine let the publication to declare the iPhone 5 "the fastest smartphone in the land" and able to substantially surpass rivals like Samsung's Galaxy S III and Motorola's Droid Razr M, the latter of which was just released last week (the S III came out in June). The iPhone 5 was more than twice as fast as any previous iPhone model, even when they were updated to iOS 6.

Graphics and JavaScript appear to be the strong suits of the new iPhone, with its GPU (said in recent examinations of the A6 to be a triple-core setup) in some cases doubling the score achieved by the Razr M and the S III and offering substantial improvements in every area tested. The iPhone 5 had previously broken a record for smartphones in the JavaScript-testing SunSpider benchmark. Even more impressive was the improvement in the iPhone 5 when compared to earlier models of iPhone.

In both Browsermark (browser testing) and Sunspider, Apple's claim of "twice as fast" as the iPhone 4S was seen as no exaggeration. In the Geekbench suite, scores were generally more than double, and in one instance (the streaming memory test) results showed a full tripling over the iPhone 4S. As mentioned, graphics testing showed the iPhone 5 easily doubling scores achieved by the 4S, and the gap grows further when older models such as the iPhone 3GS are tested.

Compared to an original iPhone running iOS 3.1.3, the iPhone five is more than 20 times faster in browsing almost 20 times faster in graphics, and five times faster in JavaScript. Tests with Geekbench focusing on RAM, along with GLBenchmark (which measures graphics) could only be compared as far back as the iPhone 3G running iOS 4.2.1, but still showed the iPhone 5 as generally 10-15 times faster in RAM and between five and 10 times faster in graphics.

Though the award for "world's fastest smartphone" won't last long -- rivals are already planning next year's competitors -- the fact that the iPhone 5 exceeds by a substantive margin its top rivals in almost all measures of "speed" may be a crucial selling point heading into the holiday buying season. In addition to the advantages that come to the iPhone naturally from the company's "cool" factor and the improvements in iOS 6 down to the improved build quality of the hardware, being "the fastest" on the market -- and likely to keep that crown for a little while -- is (for some) the most important factor apart from price in making a buying decision amongst a rapidly-growing field of quality smartphones. It provides at least as much of an edge as does being the only new model with access to the world's largest App Store for a certain segment of the market. [via PCMag]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Foxypaco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-26-10

    But... but... but... Droooooiiiid??

  1. UmarOMC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-09-01

    Wow. I wish Apple could do that on the desktop front. They haven't been able to do that since, what, they broke the 100MHz speed with the Power Mac 8100? Either way, Steve would be happy, I think, with the iPhone 5.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-21-10

    2013: A6X with higher clock speed, maybe an extra GPU, bigger performance lead over vanilla ARM implementations.
    2014: 64-bit A7 with quad cores, massive insurmountable lead over vanilla ARM implementations.

    With better battery life than any other high-performance ARM implementation.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    umaromc: Sorry, I haven't seen any reports of Apple's most recent Macs being significantly slower than comparable PCs in a long time -- mostly because they're using the exact same Intel chips as those PCs. All computers have kind of hit a wall on raw speed (which happened quite some years ago) using present technologies, and instead increasingly rely on processing and software code efficiencies, more RAM, faster SSDs and outgoing connections (USB3, eSATA, TB) and more offloading of some tasks to the GPU (all good things) to improve performance.

    By all accounts, current Macs are screaming fast. It's possible that PCs, with their emphasis on gaming and spreadsheets, have made efficiency strides in those areas that Apple hasn't -- but overall, today's computers (particularly with a healthy amount of RAM) are huge improvements over computers from just a few years ago. We're all -- Mac and PC owner alike -- going to have to wait for quantum computing to go mainstream before we're going to see the next big breakthrough in "speed" -- but don't worry, it's coming! :)

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