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Which Samsung Galaxy S8 chipset is faster? Neither, compared to iPhone 7!

Florence Ion, writing for Android Central:

Adding to the pile of Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors that are stacking up as high as the Leaning Tower of Pisa is this GeekBench discovery. Uploaded earlier this week, the GeekBench score shows Samsung taking the cake. It has the top two spots on the chart, with its Exynos 8895 processor leading the pack, and the Galaxy S8+ with the Snapdragon 835 ranking in at a close second.

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If you stand real close, squint, and tilt your head just so, you can see Samsung's ARM IP win the Galaxy S8 speeds and feeds race by a hair. If you're all the way across town, even if you blink, you can see Apple's ARM IP is far ahead of both.

That's for single core, of course, and some may argue Samsung throws so many multi-cores at the problem that everything evens out in the end. But they'd be wrong.

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Jerry Hildenbrand, responding in the comments:

Because the iPhone IS twice as fast. Both in benchmarks and while using it in the real world. And it will always be.An OS running Android is not a fast OS. It was never designed to be a fast OS, They all use a single thread for the GUI so single core performance is what really matters, regardless what people in these comments want to believe.Apple's CPU is miles ahead of anything Qualcomm or Samsung are doing. That's partly because Qualcomm and Samsung only care about running Android on their products and Apple wants to expand ARM to their laptops. They are developing in different directions.Finally, fast doesn't mean better. It's just fun to stir up the fanboy nest once in a while and watch the Samsung justice league go to work.

Apple's A10 fusion, currently found in both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, makes beasts feel bad about themselves. Yet features like Portrait Mode still manage to peg it. As cameras and camera-based technologies become increasingly important in mobile devices for everything up to and including AR, having the best cameras is going to require having the best silicon.

And, sadly for those of us who love competition, no one else is coming close right now.

So, if the best chipset is what you're really after, it's not Qualcomm or Samsung you should be looking at. It's Apple.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

39 Comments
  • And why are we talking about Samsung again ?
  • Why not
  • Well it's an Apple related site and Android is covered in the Android central. I know it's a competition but they both run different OS so it's not exactly head to head.
  • It's still a head-to-head in terms of hardware specs
  • so you mean if an android device comes with a 6 gb ram its better ?
  • It depends what you use the device for, and also the other specs of the phone. 6GB RAM isn't that great if the rest of the specs are lower.
  • Exactly ! its like Porsche Vs Ferrari, Porsche can go faster on race track than any Ferrari at respective price range but people who like Ferrari will buy Ferrari no matter what. Im not saying Samsung is Ferrari in this case I just used the metaphor..
  • Apple's prowress in developing ARM CPUs is without argument at the forefront of mobile processor tech, but I'm puzzled as to why Rene hasn't included the multi core results. Many tasks and processes on both iOS and Android make use of them and they make a significant difference to the performance of a handset or tablet. At least the original Android Central article gives a balanced commentary on this, not the myopic version that imore has expunged.
  • Jerry from Android Central answered that question: '@ScottTheAmazing @xandriks How is multicore a "strength" to an OS that uses a single thread for the UI? Single core performance is what matters for the GS8.'
  • Yeah, it does come down to that. A lot of operating systems still do stuff on a single thread. Windows still does it. It was only until Windows 10 and WDM 2.0 did graphics suddenly start getting multi-core/multithread support.
  • I saw this tweet by Jerry. I do not understand what he is complaining about: if your single core is enough to handle the UI, isn't it great that you have plenty of other cores that handle all the other thing? A core for music, one for UI, another one for keyboard prediction, another for background services, and the result is a snappy phone, no? Unless he is replying to people saying that they would choose weaker CPU as long as it has more cores.. have a look at this article: http://www.androidauthority.com/fact-or-fiction-android-apps-only-use-on...
  • Yes because keeping outdated technology for the sole purpose of trying to make Apple look bad is such a great thing… /s
  • Apple aren't the only company removing the 3.5mm jack, Motorola beat them to it by several months and many have since. The difference is that other companies aren't limiting consumer choice to a dongle or proprietary connector.
  • It's always worth noting that I am not a fan of Apple using a proprietary connector for replacing what was a standard before. The removal of the headphone jack should've been done at the same time as replacing Lightning with USB-C, let's hope the next iPhone does that
  • Ok, I’ll bite. To say that “they all use a single thread for the GUI so single core performance is what matters” is a big simplification. It is much more complicated than that and is very dependent upon the app. Single core performance is very important for most simple apps, but most simple apps don’t need a mega-fast processor anyway. Any decent app that is concerned about performance will delegate as much processing as possible to background threads, and will therefore be able to make the most of multiple cores. Having said that there is a law of diminishing returns in terms of the number of cores. I would argue that 2 cores is not quite enough and 8 cores is excessive. Apple have dabbled with triple and quad core on the iPad, but iPhones have never had more than 2 cores (or 4 cores of which it only uses 2 at a time). It all depends on whether the app’s work can be split into several tasks that can be run at the same time. Rene mentions Portrait Mode as something that utilises the A10 to its fullest, but I suspect that is something that would be faster on the Samsung processors because the workload is probably (I don’t know for sure) relatively easy to spread across cores. I am not knocking Apple. They are leagues ahead with their SoCs. I am just saying that single core performance is not the only thing that matters, which is what this article seems to imply.
  • "Any decent app that is concerned about performance will delegate as much processing as possible to background threads, and will therefore be able to make the most of multiple cores."
    That is if the developer is smart enough to be taking advantage of multiple threads, a lot of developers sadly do not know how to do this. Or if they do they still don't know how to do it properly. Writing multithreaded code is still a bit of a new thing in the industry, we've only had multi-core chips in the consumer space for a couple of years. "I would argue that 2 cores is not quite enough and 8 cores is excessive."
    Correct. We're not running a desktop OS here in which you may have as many 158 processes and 2600 threads all running in the background like a heavily loaded desktop would have. It all comes down to what is known as IPC or Instructions Per Clock cycle, that's where it really counts and that's primarily why AMD's Ryzen chip has taken the AMD world by storm. For the first time in almost ten years AMD has a chip that can go toe-to-toe with Intel because of their IPC gains.
  • Multi-core chips in the consumer space have only been around for a couple of years? They have been in the iPad for over 6 years and in consumer-grade PCs for over 10 years. And multi-processor machines have been mainstream for even longer and the coding issues are the same. Mainstream Windows apps have been multi-threaded for over 15 years (since XP), and many of us were writing multi-threaded code for Windows NT over 20 years ago. I think you are underestimating developers. You can bet that the people writing the first party apps and the major third party ones will know what they are doing. And such apps probably cover the vast majority of smartphone usage.
  • Then tell me why major games have just recently become multi-core aware. A lot of games produced on the PC side are still largely single-threaded beasts.
  • I can’t speak about games programming but I would be amazed if iOS / Android and the most used apps (Facebook, Google Maps etc) are not skillfully multi-threaded. A device doesn’t even need to have multiple cores to benefit from it because the use of background threads (even on the same core) usually makes the main thread more responsive. Apple have made multi-threaded coding so much simpler over the last few years, by incorporating high level threading features into their coding languages. They have also pushed it extensively in their developer videos and sample code. As an iOS developer I can’t speak for Android but I would guess that they have been doing the same, especially as their top-end devices have more cores. Multi-threaded coding is no longer such an arcane art (which is a little disappointing when you have been doing it for over 30 years!)
  • Under the hood of Windows is still largely single-core, namely the background system services. Up until Windows Vista all system services ran on CPU 0 (zero) which resulted in horrible system performance if CPU 0 got bogged down. Windows 10 has finally introduced multi-core/multi-threaded graphics support along with proper dual-GPU support with WDM v2.0 which unfortunately won't be backported to Windows 7 since it would require far too much code refactoring to do it.
  • "All the CPU and GPU benchmarks in the world can’t compare to real world performance when it comes to mobile gaming. And in the real world Apple stomps its Android competitors." - When It Comes to Gaming, the iPhone Will Always Stomp the Competition (http://gizmodo.com/when-it-comes-to-gaming-the-iphone-will-always-stomp-...)
  • When it comes to wireless charging,sd card support,better camera, more storage, better screen, better VR ..ETC ETC then android stomps the competition.
  • You forgot to add notifications to your list. iOS is horrible at handling notifications compared to Android or even Windows.
  • What's horrible about how iOS handles notifications? I've had little to no problems with it
  • iOS notifications aren't horrible, it's just that Android ones are much better.
  • Given that I've used an Android device fairly recently (albeit maybe not with the latest Android software), I don't remember them being dramatically that different, unless there's more customization (I never delved into this). I do like that on Android notifications appear as icons in the top bar, as sometimes you can forget about them on iOS. Edit:
    Just been looking at this article here as a reference to remind myself: http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/ios-10-vs-android-7-0-nougat
    It does seem Android can sometimes display extra information, like a picture for contacts next to the message which iOS doesn't do. I guess at the moment I do prefer the Android ones, though I'm not sure I'd go as far to say they are far better
  • A lot of those things are arguable, depending on the phone, so I wouldn't say Android stomps the competition, not to mention Android has a lot of downsides of its own
  • I own both iPhone 7 & Samsung Galaxy S7, both are very fast. Both have their preferences. Throw Nova Launcher on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and shut Off the animations you have the fastest phone on earth. Sick fast and fun to use. I'm typing this from my new iPhone SE, love this little beast. My iPhone 7 with 256gb of internal-storage sits idol along with my Samsung Galaxy S7. This iPhone SE with the Google keyboard set up works fantastic. Fun to use. I have big hands & find it fun & easy to use with one hand. Sorry for rambling. I enjoy all quality tech.
  • Curious why you are using iPhone SE when you have the 7?
  • Stirring up the pot again with SAMSUNG?, people get ****** when iMore does this, SAMSUNG makes a great product, I am upgrading later this year to a 70 inch 4K LED with HDR TV and a 4K BluRay player all made by SAMSUNG, so this bickering back and forth between APPLE and SAMSUNG is ludicrous, they both make great products, I like both but I feel less violated when I buy from SAMSUNG over APPLE.
  • I'm curious as to why you feel less violated, I would've said they're about equal in terms of feeling "violated" (depending on what your definition of that is)
  • I use an s7 edge and iPad Air 2. I can't tell a difference performance wise on either. They are both quick enough for what I need.
  • heh, it's like clockwork... Samsung is about to launch a new flagship, so the anti-Samsung/Android articles begin on iMore. I'm looking forward to know if the holes on the GS8 line up. XD Personally, I fully agree with what Jerry Hildenbrand said on his article (which I encourage everyone to read for a very unbiased opinion): "Numbers can be crunched a little faster with newer hardware. The way the CPU cores crunch numbers hasn't been the bottleneck for a long time, so these small differences and increases won't be noticed when you're not running a benchmark application." My iPhone 7+ is not much faster in day to day use than my Nexus 6P. In fact it sometimes FEELS a lit slower because of some iOS' transition animations. As for cameras, this an area that all OEMs and SOC designers put a huge emphasis on, with ever improving ISP's. The next big thing in mobile cameras will probably 3D photography, modeling and AR, and Google as already proved, with Tango, that this can bell well implemented on even current middle-range devices like the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, which has a Snapdragon 652.. Link to Jerry'e article:
    http://www.androidcentral.com/its-2017-so-why-do-we-still-care-about-ben...
  • I believe you can either disable or speed up the iOS animations in the accessibility settings
  • I wonder if Samsung is going to fix the ram management on this one, not even the Note 7 could keep one app open in the background
  • +1
  • This is cool/expected. The only problem is that now I have to listen to this be Rene's talking point over 3 podcasts for probably the next 2 weeks.
    ANDY: Cupertino doesn't have much, but there is this one amazing donut shop...
    RENE: That's because just being around Apple leads to best in class performance. For instance, the A10 Fusion SOC...
    ;-)
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