As smartphone vendors like Samsung, Apple and LG wrap-up their annual product launches, we’re beginning to see their sleek and powerful new devices be pitted against one another in a range of head-to-head speed, performance, and benchmark tests — as YouTubers and bloggers around the web seek to answer the question on everyone’s mind: which of the new fall 2018 smartphones truly outperforms the rest?
We’ve got a wide-open field of suitable contenders to choose from this year, like the Galaxy Note 9, LG V40 ThinQ, Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Apple’s proven powerhouse, the iPhone XS Max.
And while earlier testing — such as benchmarks collected by our good friends at Apple Insider, who compared the super-sized iPhone against Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 — revealed that Apple has an all-around winner on its hands this year, some vendors are just now arriving on the scene with their latest offerings.
Namely, that would be Google with its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL devices — the latter (and most premium) of which officially hit store shelves last Thursday, October 18th, in the U.S.
And while it’s noticeably tardy to party as far as 2018 flagships are concerned, the Pixel 3 XL was run through the typical field of benchmark tests over the weekend, which unfortunately didn’t do much to bolster its case.
Why Is the Google Pixel 3 XL Slower Than the iPhone XS Max?
Sadly, Google not only made the crucial mistake of releasing its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL at the tail end of the annual “smartphone season” (which usually kicks off with Samsung’s Galaxy Note announcement at the end of August), but the search-giant also stuffed its “next-generation” devices with technology that’s quite literally on the cusp of retirement.
The Pixel 3 XL is equipped with Qualcomm’s aging Snapdragon 845 CPU — the same exact chip powering Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9/S9+ and essentially every other high-end Android flagship released in the U.S. this year.
It’s an octa-core chip built on the aging 10 nm fabrication process and features four cores clocked at 2.5 GHz, and four clocked at 1.6 GHz, coupled with 4 GB of RAM.
In comparison, the A12 Bionic powering Apple’s iPhone XS Max is a custom-designed piece of silicon built on the newer and much more efficient 7 nm FiNFET fabrication process, boasting a hexa-core CPU cluster with each of the six cores clocked at 2.35 GHz and coupled with 4 GB of RAM.
And while the Snapdragon 845 may appear to have the clear advantage on paper, as we’ve seen before in real-world testing, Apple’s silicon actually swims circles around it.
iPhone XS Max vs Google Pixel 3 XL Speed Tests
In the first round of new benchmark tests, YouTube tech sensation EverythingApplePro compares Google’s Pixel 3 XL against Apple’s iPhone XS Max in a range of head-to-head speed tests.
Both devices are put through two tests — one measuring raw speed, wherein the same series of apps are opened in the same order, and a second measuring how the devices perform with memory management.
As you’ll see in the YouTuber’s testing, while Google’s Pixel 3 XL appears to boot-up faster than the iPhone XS Max and some apps actually seem to load faster, although from a strictly temporal standpoint, Apple’s iPhone emerges the ultimate winner.
And that fate was even further solidified by Apple Insider over the weekend, who put iPhone XS Max and Pixel 3 XL through the same rigorous spate of tests it recently sent the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 through.
- Geekbench 4 revealed Apple’s XS Max more than doubling the Pixel 3 XL in single-core performance testing, with the former garnering 4,816 points in comparison to the latter’s 2,393.
- Multi-core performance was still (but slightly less) magnificent, with iPhone XS Max beating the Pixel 3 XL 11,584 points to 8,312.
- Most embarrassingly for the Pixel 3, however, was to see iPhone XS Max utterly obliterate it in Geekbench GPU performance testing, where the iPhone clocked 22,278 points in comparison to Pixel 3 XL’s 13,845.
It’s becoming clear that Apple’s custom A12 Bionic was built to perform and outperform well into the future. Apple’s chip will likely even continue outperforming once Qualcomm officially “catches up” next year with its own chip (the Snapdragon 855) built on that newer, more efficient 7 nm fabrication process..