Apple has long made the fastest smartphones on the market, thanks in no small part to the powerful A-series chips powering them. In fact, Apple-produced CPUs are often said to be about one to two years ahead of their closest competitors. But this year, a couple of key developments may have hinted at a change in the tide.
As Android Authority points out, Qualcomm has made a massive stride in upgrading its flagship Snapdragon CPU.
The latest Snapdragon 865, released earlier this month, represents a 20 percent jump in performance over the past model.
Apple’s A13 Bionic chip, while still the most powerful smartphone CPU on the market, saw a much more modest speed increase over the A12 Bionic of last year.
As a result, it now appears that the latest Snapdragon processor has, at least, “caught up” to Apple’s silicon in terms of performance.
Using a Qualcomm Reference Device (QRD) equipped with the Snapdragon 865, Android Authority put Qualcomm’s latest chip through its paces and pitted it against several popular iPhone and Android smartphones.
While the Galaxy Note 10 Plus completed a CPU test five seconds behind the iPhone, the Snapdragon 865 actually beat the Apple handset by about 3.4 seconds.
Android Authority notes that the A13 still has the “upper hand” when it comes to graphics performance, but concludes that the playing field for iPhone and Android devices is now much more level.
When it come to more traditional benchmarks like AnTuTu or Geekbench, the Snapdragon 865 is still impressive.
For single-core Geekbench 5 score, the Snapdragon 865 yielded a 935 score. That’s still pretty sluggish compared to the A13 Bionic’s 1,330 single-core score.
When it’s using all of its cores, the Snapdragon fared better. It achieved a multi-core Geekbench 5 score of 3,450 — just a hair below the iPhone’s 3,480 in the same testing.
Interestingly, the Snapdragon 865 QRD fared even better than the iPhone 11 Pro Max in AnTuTu 8 testing. Although Android Authority notes that they’ve seen higher scores than what they achieved with the iPhone 11, so it’s still a toss-up.
In any case, it looks like Qualcomm has made some impressive gains. And while the Snapdragon 865 doesn’t blow the A13 out of the water or anything, it’s now neck-in-neck with Apple’s first-party chip.