iPhone 3GS Beats Nexus One on 3D Frame-rate Test


Even though it's almost 6 months newer, Google's Android Nexus One isn't producing the same frame-rate as Apple's iPhone 3GS according to a Distinctive Developments test. In fact, it's lagging behind. The reason? iPhone 3GS is using Neon floating-point optimization and the Nexus One isn't.

Add this to the capacitive screen performance, multitouch keyboard, and It's interesting to see what Apple got right months or years ago, that others haven't finished or polished even today.

They may seem small or minor, but when taken as a whole those details create the user experience iPhone owners enjoy.

Video after the break!

[Distinctive Development via Engadget]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 27 comments. Add yours.

iDavey says:

You could not wait to post this one huh? LOL.
But yeah, it's just a simple thing that they can fix within the NDK.
But lets be honest, looking at both of those screens. Does it really matter? If your ordinary joe was using either one of these phones, they would not be able to even tell a difference from what was shown.
It's getting kind of old that one minute specs and other phones beating this phone don't matter. Then when that phone beats another phone specs and such matter. I mean...can we stick to one way of thinking, enough with the flopping back and forth.

Joe McG says:

As I keep saying, the 3gs is a really fast piece of hardware. It handles everything you throw at it plus some, including multitasking. Too bad it is held down by the powers that be at Apple. Thank God for jailbreaking... (I say while listening to Pandora and answering a text message using quick reply in Bitesms)

ungibbed says:

Wouldn't the advantage be rather easy to attain mainly due to the iPhone only having to display nearly half of the pixels due to a lower resolution screen?
Just thinking from a PC point of view here, say one user has WoW running blazing fast on his Mac with full detail sliders etc but is only running at 800x600 display resolution while another user has his PC set up very similar to the Mac and using the same graphic setting but running at a higher resolution. That alone would cause frame loss by itself having the system refresh a greater number of pixels per second as opposed to the first user.

Rene Ritchie says:

I take it as just another sign of the attention Apple pays to user experience. One phone a year gets a lot of fit and finish from them. Google seems to prioritize pushing technology and seeing what's next. Both approaches have their strength.
Updated post.

Joe McG says:

Great point. I would think that even if the native resolution of the video is 480 x 320, the N1 would have to work to upscale it as well...

Ron says:

I like this titanium-lead blog, but everything seems to be about the iPhone.

Moombe says:

Those articles are kind of funny... It's like iPhone owners keep on having the need to reassure themselves they haven't wasted too much money on their overpriced smartphones :-)
When you read the original article and listen to the video carefully, you will anyway recognize that we are here comparing apples to peers.
I noted however that has the number of characters increased in the scene, the iphone fps would continuously drop while Nexus stays quite stable. I'd liked to have seen this test executed on a Nexus One with the latest Cyanogen's mod, since it includes a few NEON optimizations...

iDavey says:

But I do agree, I'm an Android user myself of course, so I can't help but to. But as I always say, Apple controls both aspects of the phone, would you expect anything less?
Now. When are you going to get to Windows Phone 7 Series. That was a shocker! Not a big one, but shocker nonetheless.

Tansen says:

winmo7 looks promising, but I guess we won't know for sure till it comes out. Iphone is all about software optimization rather than hardware. They have weaker hardware than the snap dragon phones and somehow perform better at the user-end experience table.

TumnusMr says:

@Ungibbed: the article comes via Engadget (typically anti-Apple) and quotes a developer as stating the reason being software optimisation. I would like the think the developer took resolution into account so no, this isn't a fanboi article in the same way that the videos showing Mobile Safari rendering pages faster than any other Smartphone aren't Apple biased.
Apple has simply done a good job of getting the most out of the hardware.

Robbb says:

One thing the guy forgot to mention is how much the iPhone dropped in FPS compared to the Nexus One when 8 characters are on the screen. The nexus one goes from around 35fps to 22fps which is about a 37% drop in frame rate. The iPhone goes from 61fps to 31fps. A drop of 49% in frame rate. So to me it seems that the nexus one can handle heavier loads than the iPhone which is more than likely due to the snapdragon.

jimmy t says:

haha MORE nexus one comparisons?!?! this only proves how jealous iphone users are getting. the normal consumer isnt going to notice the higher fps from this video. the only thing that is noticeable from this video is the bigger, better screen.
constantly nitpicking the specs is not exactly making the iphone look better...

TK says:

I really can't see the difference, but to actually see frame rate lag, something has to be running slower than 24 frames per second to see the frames jumping from one to the next. I'm from animation school, anything above 24 frames per second is gonna be running smooth.

ChocolatePacman says:

Does anyone else even notice a drop in performance on either phones other than the numbers on the screen? I couldn't. Both ran pretty smoothly, but the Nexus looks BEAUTIFUL!!!

Gwydion says:

Let's see framerates:
2 model
iPhone: 480x320x60fps=9,216 Mpixel/second
Nexus: 800x480x30-35fps=11,52-13,44 Mpixel/second
8 model
iPhone: 480x320x29fps=4,4544 Mpixel/second
Nexus: 800x480x21fps=8,064 Mpixel/second
Yes, I can see a clear winner


I'm gonna let you finish, but Windows Mobile 7 is the best phone OS of all time.

Landon Ascheman says:

I'm surprised you didn't mention the head to head at CNET.
Oh, wait... the iPhone lost in that head to head.

Bayxsonic says:

Oh come on, now, it's like comparing a PS3's full HD's framerate with the Wii's. Oh, yes, the Wii looks definitely smoother. Maybe that's because the resolution is much lower?

Rob says:

Well I for one look forward to using the superior hardware of the Nexus one with all those lovely apps & games available on the app store... Oh... wait.

lars says:

have u also considered the nexus one is almost twice the resolution of the iphone aswell?

Bob says:

I hate how Rene is so stuck up about the iphone. Wanna talk about things phones got right years ago that the iPhone couldn't accomplish until OS 3.0 - Cut and Paste.

Bob says:

Let me just say this, Rene could definitely take a lesson in humility about his phone from Kevin and Dieter.

Rene Ritchie says:

Bob - a) this is an iPhone enthusiasts site. b) you've obviously never read Crackberry.com :p
(I like the Nexus One quite a bit and have posted so several times.)

Greyscale says:

Both are running at the same resolution. Just because the Nexus has a higher native resolution, doesn't necessarily mean that it's displaying this program at this resolution (if it was then presumably the picture would be more detailed than on the iPhone?).
It's like if you run an older game on your computer. It can only run at a maximum resolution of 1024x768 (for arguments sake), yet your monitor may be able to display resolutions up to 1600x1200.

maximuscle cyclone bars says:

The President of Pepsi UK (owner of Walkers Crisps) says in 2 years time Walkers will be making crisp packets made out of potato peelings.

Monster Muscle says:

I wonder how the iphone 4 compares now!

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