The iPhone 5s has a bigger, better processor but can it beat the speed of the outstanding Samsung Galaxy S4? We sent it to our lab and put it to the test.
The iPhone 5 won plenty of plaudits when it launched back in September 2012. After we put it through its paces at our lab we described it as “the best phone we’ve ever seen” and praised its speedy A6 processor.
But times change fast in the competitive world of mobile phones. In June of this year we found the iPhone 5 had been eclipsed and that the Samsung Galaxy S4 had seized the number one spot for processor speed. In fact the iPhone 5 languished back in 7th place.
But Apple is back. New Which? lab tests have revealed that the recently released iPhone 5s has broken all records in our processor benchmarking tests, proving almost twice as fast as the old version and around 50% faster than the Samsung Galaxy S4.
For the full results, cast your eyes below.
iPhone 5s review – find out what else our lab tests revealed about Apple’s new phone.
Which phone is the fastest?
The results from our benchmarking tests make the iPhone 5s the fastest phone we have ever tested. It may only have a dual-core 1.3GHz processor, rather than the quad core processors found on many rival smartphones, but as our tests show, more cores do not necessarily mean better performance.
What do the scores mean?
We use the industry-recognised Geekbench software to accurately assess a phone’s speed. Geekbench is designed to replicate real-world tasks and calculates both single core and multi core performance.
The phone is run through a number of performance tests each of which are given a score. The scores are then combined and weighted and then calculated into a final numeric score. This score is measured against a Mac mini computer with an Intel Core i5 processor, which has a baseline score of 2,500 points. Higher scores are better, with double the score indicating double the performance.
See our league table below for the raw Geekbench scores:
- Apple iPhone 5s: 1410 (single core score), 2561 (multi core score)
- LG G2: 882 (single core score), 2355 (multi core score)
- Samsung Galaxy S4: 687 (single core score), 1939 (multi core score)
- HTC One: 643 (single core score), 1805 (multi core score)
- Apple iPhone 5c: 711 (single core score), 1281 (multi core score)
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini: 649 (single core score), 1135 (multi core score)
- HTC One Mini: 477 (single core score), 880 (multi core score)
Mobile phone reviews – read our verdict on all the latest handsets.
What does the iPhone 5s Geekbench score mean in real life?
These benchmarks are useful as they let us compare phones against one another but they aren’t the be all and end all. In truth most of the top phones feel fantastically smooth in everyday use.
The iPhone 5s will feel a little snappier when swiping through menus and opening apps– and that fraction of a second when you launch a programme is not to be underestimated when you consider how often we use our phones. But premium handsets, like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, also feel lightning fast.
The iPhone 5s is, however, built for the future. The power of the processor really comes into its own when you’re running power-hungry apps, editing videos, or playing advanced games. Developers will continue to build better but more demanding apps and the iPhone 5s is built to handle them.
High speed equals high prices
The cheaper iPhone, the 5c, is in 5th place in our table, while the affordable Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and HTC One Mini (both from £17 per month) came in 6th and 7th. None of these can match the raw power of the iPhone 5s though they’re still relatively speedy when compared to most other phones.
If you need a super-fast processor then the iPhone 5s is certainly the phone for you. However it’s incredible power isn’t necessary for everyone and the processors in the other phones featured here will usually be fast enough.
Would you buy the iPhone 5s because of its speed? Let us know in the comments section below.
- Is speed top of your smartphone buying priorities? – our Which? Conversation
- Mobile phone reviews – our verdict on all the latest handsets
- iPhone 5s full review – an-depth look at Apple’s latest smartphone