Apple's ability to control the entire information chain, down to the point of limiting leaks, appears to be gradually slipping as it grows as a company. Case in point are the numerous hardware and performance leaks surrounding the newly launched iPhone 4S. Little did we know that several weeks ago we were staring at photos of the 4S' PCB, and more recently we've seen the first performance results from Apple's first A5 based smartphone thanks to a few eager users around the web. We've compiled these results here from various sources (all linked below) and compared them to our existing database of tests.

The results are pretty much as expected. Javascript performance finally catches up to Tegra 2 based Honeycomb devices, while general CPU performance is significantly higher than the iPhone 4. I suspect Ice Cream Sandwich will bridge the Android smartphone gap (the Honeycomb equipped Gtab 8.9 is here to give you an idea of where a more modern Android browser ends up).

Keep in mind that all of these tests measure performance of the software stack in addition to the hardware. In particular the web browser tests depend largely on browser optimizations, which is why we see differences between similar hardware running different browser versions. Also note that all results were run at stock, with the stock browser. Finally, although these browser tests were captured on video we'll still be running our official tests once our 4Ses arrive and will update accordingly.

Update: We made a mistake in our original presentation of the SunSpider numbers and compared the iPhone 4S' 0.9.1 results to our existing database of 0.9.0 scores. We have since updated the graph to compare directly to our 0.9.1 numbers. The rest of the results are unaffected. I apologize for the confusion.
The distribution is a lot tighter than before, however the relative standings don't really change. I still fully expect ICS to narrow a lot of this gap between iOS and Android devices - if we look at the lone Honeycomb result you get an indication of that.
Note that we always run our benchmarks on a stock OS/browser configuration. 

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser

Rightware BrowserMark

Using some of the integer and fp tests of published Geekbench scores we can already conclude that Apple is shipping a lower clocked A5 in the iPhone 4S than it does in the iPad 2. This naturally makes sense as the iPhone 4S has a much smaller 5.25 Whr battery. Based on the Geekbench results it looks like the iPad 2 is clocked around 25% higher than the iPhone 4S, pegging the latter's clock speed at 800MHz.

Geekbench - Overall Results

Geekbench - Processor integer performance

A lower clock not only means higher yields from the factory, but likely a lower operating voltage as well. Dropping a CPU's core voltage, yields a greater-than-linear decrease in power consumption, making the marginal loss in clock speed a good choice. At a lower operating frequency than its Android competitors, Apple does have to exploit its strengths in software to avoid any tangible performance penalties. Apple has traditionally done this very well in the past, so I don't expect the loss of frequency to be a huge deal to the few who do cross-shop iOS and Android.

Unsurprisingly, memory bandwidth doesn't appear to have gone up either compared to the iPad 2's A5 (taking into account scaling due to CPU clock increases). The Samsung part number on the iPad 2's A5 indicates two LPDDR2-800 die on package, it's safe to assume that whatever Apple clocked the memory interface at in the iPad 2 remains unchanged in the iPhone 4S.

The GPU results tell a similar story courtesy of some early GLBenchmark 2.1 results. The 960 x 640 results are useless as they are bound by vsync at ~60 fps. Luckly GLBenchmark 2.1 added an off-screen render mode at 1280 x 720 where we can really see the differences between the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S A5 implementations:

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt - Offscreen

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro - Offscreen

Here the iPad 2 holds a ~21% performance advantage, which once again I assume to be all related to clock speed. Also note the huge advantage over the existing iPhone 4. The GPU power in the 4S should be more than enough to run any well written, current generation title at well north of 30 fps on its display.

We'll be reviewing the iPhone 4S in the coming weeks, stay tuned!

Source: GLBenchmark Database, Geekbench Database, Macrumors



View All Comments

  • edsib1 - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    Using Firefox and Android 2.3.3 in Sunspider 0.9.1

    Samsung GS2 scores 1467
    HTC Desire scores 3197

    The SG2 blows away the Iphone 4S, and the Desire beats the IPhone 4.

    All you can say is that the stock browsers on the various androids seem slow.
  • Silkwood - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    Apologies if this has been asked/answered before, but when are we gonna see the full review of the 4S? (can't check the rest of the comments because this computer is slooow... OK, I'm really just lazy) Reply
  • kylewat - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    I read a post from Brian, I believe, last week saying we would get the iPhone review last weekend. I'm dying to know what's taking so long. I suspect it is battery life tests. It is absurd how bad the battery life is! 200 hours standby!? No way! Reply
  • JesusR - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    Regarding the stock/custom browser/ROM stuff to compare, we all just want to know what the best device is. But Apple fans here seem more interested in finding merit, culprits and heroes. Android phones may be better than 4S with different browser or ROM. Buaaaa, that's not fair, that's not Android! So what? Call it whatever you want, people just want to know what the best option is, and for that purpose, comparing non-stock is not just fair but necessary. Some people here speak as if using a different web browser was some kind of high-level hacking... Come on, guys... Reply
  • gel nail polish - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I love gadget. Although I'm not a tech savvy but I think this mobile is great!

    <a href="">gel nail polish</a>
  • arafat_mw - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    just visited the Rightware BrowserMark website reading this post..

    My cell is : Google Nexus One
    Custom Rom: Medroid 6.1 CM 7.2
    SetCPU : ONDEMAND @ 1.13GHz

    if my cell gives a score like 64694... I have no comments to make on the benchmark they have released.. I mean are they kidding me ? what ever clock speed is set on my Nexus One.. is it really better than - Optimus 2x, Motorola Atrix or Even iPhone 4(iOS5) ? I can't rely on their benchmarks ..I'm sorry.. on Quadrant my Nexus one leads the stock 2.2+ only by a few percentage like 5%... ..Haven't tried the other benchmarks.. but I'll try soon :)

    Screenshot :
  • Rizi - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Messaging on this <a href=" phone</a> has been given something of a boost by the inclusion of the iMessage, which is a BBM-a-like service for iOS devices. It can be used on any device running iOS 5, which means conversations can be easily carried across on loads of Apple products without an issue. While many will expect iMessage to be a separate app in the same manner as BBM, it simply jumps in when a relevant phone is on the other end of the conversation, meaning essentially free text messaging and cool features like read receipts and being able to see when the other person is typing. However, this will be more useful for iPhone 3GS and 4 models, as it's surely only good to replace text messaging for those that need to save money and haven't got a price plan that offers thousands of messages for free each month. iPhones have always been looked at as decent messaging devices, and that's certainly true when it comes to email. There's a unified inbox for all your accounts, with multiple email addresses supported on the phone. Setting these up is as simple as you'd imagine, with only an address and password needed in most situations. As we mentioned earlier, it's so easy to keep track of your emails thanks to the new notifications system, but it's hardly anything new, so not really a unique selling point. The keyboard is another great selling point from Apple for its iPhone - some people have complained that it's a bit hit and miss in the past, but most people should have become trained in the art of tapping out a message on a touchscreen, so most will quickly be up to speed with the well-known keyboard. There's a new addition to the keyboard, and that's an option to speak out the message reply using Siri. It's almost unerring in its accuracy compared to other voice recognition systems, although you do need to say things like 'comma' or 'exclamation mark' to add in the punctuation. We sent 100 messages using Siri to see the accuracy, and found that the accuracy was around 45%, although shorter messages were obviously better. However, we were relieved to be able to head back to tapping out our messages on the keyboard, as you could make sure what you wrote was correct first go. If you're going to speak your messages, why not just call the person? Reply
  • Halo9x - Thursday, October 25, 2012 - link

    Benchmarks are fine, but let's get real. All this talk about speed is beginning to sound like the speed wars of the Desktop days. I purposely decided to save $100 and get a 64GB 4s while I could. Is the iPhone 5 faster, maybe. It really depends on what you are doing. I compared my 4s to the 5 and found the differences to be negligible.
    Everyone needs to take a deep breath and remember what they have. Whether it's an iPhone or Android, it doesn't matter. They mainly have to make phone calls, they do that. A secondary use is taking pictures, they all do it with the iPhones taking the lead. None of them are going to completely replace a dedicated camera. They all record video with the 4s/5 doing 1080p. As for the rest of the functions they are all about equal and yes, I know there are some minor improvements. Okay, the 5 did some things a full second faster. What will one do with all that time saved???
    Everybody acts like it's a matter of bragging rights but in reality, it's just plain dumb! It's like a bunch of school kids arguing about whose device is faster! Who cares? The more important question is whether or not one's chosen device does the job in a manner that works. The 4s is no slug and neither are the other phones.
    So, what did I like about the 4s? Stainless steel! Much more durable than Aluminum. The weak point is having not just one glass element, it has two. Advantage...5! However, I shopped around for replacement backs for the the 4s. Result, I found a stainless steel back and so now, the glass back is no longer an issue. Furthermore, the back is identical to the glass back I swapped out. There are a whole range of backs for the 4/4s. Can't do that with the 5, advantage...4/4s.
    The bottom line is the 4s is fast enough and I like the styling and size. It therefore remains a winner in my book. I do understand the desire to have the latest and greatest but it is a race most pocketbooks will not win. I do think Jobs was right, the 4/4s do fit the hand just right.
    Same goes for the NEW New iPad. Is it really THAT much better than the 9 month old new iPad???
    I doubt it. Certainly not in day to day functions.

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