iPhone 5 performance tests

Ally's already given you a comprehensive accounting of how the new iPhone 5 and its Apple A6 processor score on Geekbench, HTML5, and Sunspider, so check that out before watching the video.

Devices are more than just numbers, however. How fast something is also represents how long it takes. We all only have a finite amount of time in our day and in our lives, and every second we spend waiting for our phone to boot or reboot, for an app or game to launch, or for a webpage to load, is time we can't spend on getting things done, or taking a much needed break.

So, in the video above Rene and I pit the 2012 iPhone 5 against the 2012 iPad 3, the 2011 iPhone 4S, and the 2010 iPhone 4 so you can not only read about but see the differences.

Spoilers: Overall, the iPhone 5 is a monster. It obliterates everything else in our tests. The iPad 3 actually did worse than we expected, but so much of its power, including its quad-core graphics enabled Apple A5X chipset is spent pushing pixels on that huge Retina display, it shouldn't really come as a surprise. The iPhone 4S held up extremely well. It can't beat with the iPhone 5, obviously, but it remains incredibly competitive. The iPhone 4 didn't do nearly as well. Like the iPad 3, it was the first Retina device in its class and again, a lot of its processor seems to go towards that, not leaving as much available for everything else.

Check out the video above, go over Ally's iPhone 5 benchmark results, and then let me know, how important is raw speed to your daily device usage? Do you always want the latest and the fastest, or are you happy when your tech stays competitive year after year?


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector and Isometric podcasts, follow her on Twitter @Georgia_Dow and check out her series at anxiety-videos.com.

  • Its odd that the new iPad have such a slow boot-up, my iPad 2 boots up in 20-22 sec.
  • I'd guess that having to load and cache visuals with 4x the pixels that is causing the slow boot up.
  • Yes, that must be it :)
  • Pre-ordered iPhone 5 arriving this week, looks like it will be waayyyy faster than my 2yr old+ iPhone 4, nice. One thing that doesn't seem to get much attention is the quality of the iPhone 5 screen. It may have just been the camera taking the video, but the iPhone 5 had much darker blacks, while still having bright whites.
  • I was in the same boat as you, moving from the iPhone 4. I cannot, CANNOT tell you how big the difference is. Words can't describe it, everything is instant. They have outdone themselves in every. Single. Way. While 2 years on the 4 was a stretch after a year, I truly and honestly believe that the 5 will have ZERO problems being my phone for at LEAST 2 years. I know it always looks this way at the start, but I truly, honestly believe this will still be substantially fast in 2 years. I wish they'd have compared the 3GS here as well, the reason being is the difference between the 3GS and the 4 is nominal at best. 3GS - 270
    4 - 375
    4s - 632
    5 - OVER 9000!!! (Sorry, 1600+) There's a massive difference from 375 to 632 and 632 to 1600, I think. I don't ever remember my iPhone 4 being blazing fast. It was fast, faster than my ipad 1, but NEVER, EVER like this. Who knows, maybe I can hold out until the 6s.... hahahahahaha, who am I kidding. No way can I wait that long! I will be lucky if I can suck it up and skip next year ;). I just hope my wife can survive with her 4 until I upgrade in 2 years. Seeing as she lasted with her Blackberry Pearl for eons, and still greatl enjoys her iPad 1, I think all will be good.
  • Doubt it... The iPhone 5s will actually optimize everything they did for the iPhone 5. Every "mid" iteration is what really makes Apple great. Sure it's nice having the new "line" of a product, but as you can see above, just look at how good the 4s is compared to the 4. Now think about how Apple will upgrade it's new A6 chip and GPU for next year. But I find it odd tat you can you can't survive without having the latest and greatest... It's not as if you phone spontaneously combusts when a new version is out. You'll still be able to call, text, browse the web, etc. flawlessly
  • Where I notice a huge, "real world" difference in speed between the iPhone5 and iPhone 4S is with Siri and voice transcribing. Siri is much faster and transcribing voice to text is super fast. This is a big productivity booster for me.
  • Is it just me or would this test have been more accurate if all devices had a fresh install of iOS 6 with no restore from backup? I find my devices are always faster after a fresh install.
  • I dont want my iPad anymore, I am ready for the 2013 version. LOL..
  • :O can you imagine a quad core version of the A6 in the next iPad? Hope Apple does this as the iPad has the battery to drive such hardware.
  • A porn website is not the way Octomom. Think of your kids!
  • Have just tested my iPad 3 and got a score of 1045
  • Great video! I upgraded from a 4 to a 5 and the 5 is faster in every way. Especially with LTE.
  • Makes me excited to get my iP5! I'm still rocking the 3GS so I can't even imagine the difference it's going to be in daily usage. Pre-ordered 9/14, it shipped 9/21 and my brand-spanking new 32GB white iP5 (according to UPS tracking) is "out for delivery." Woohoo! I'll be comparing speed differences tonight! And they won't just be incremental, but astronomical, I'm sensing. If the iP4 scored a 386, the 3GS must be under 300- so my speed will not just be doubled like an upgrade from 4S to 5, but something more like a boost of 5 times the speed.
  • nice but honestly most of these tech things don't matter to me. I pretty much care how fast a page loads and that's about it. and that's more an issue of my crap cell service not the processor. Like the last time i booted up was when i reinstalled ios6, before that rarely.
  • Some like the iPhone 5, some don't. I personally don't see the point of upgrading to this. But just in case, this is just an FYI: the iZettle card reader won't fit the iPhone 5. You will have to use an adapter which will be released in October. The mPowa card reader (www.mpowa.com) and others so far I have not known to have any issues with it.
  • If you have anything 4 or less, an upgrade could be for you. You'd notice the speed difference, the difference in browsing, apps, productivity etc. If you have a 4s, I'd advise you to wait until next years iteration when apple will tweak it's new A6 chip they developed, and perhaps fine tune everything introduced.
  • My 4S booted 3 seconds after the 5 in the video..