System Performance

One of the more popular and pervasive beliefs in this industry is that specs increasingly don’t matter. In a lot of ways, this review isn’t really the right place to address whether or not this matters, but the short answer is that things like SoC performance matter quite a bit. Outside of the display, the SoC and RF subsystems are one of the biggest power consumers in a phone today and unlike the display or RF systems the CPU and GPU can cause short spikes of enormous power consumption. At this point, we’ve seen SoCs this year that consume anywhere between 6 to over 12 watts when faced with a full load situation. The important part here is that when an SoC uses that much power, it needs to be delivering enough performance to justify the power consumption. In order to test aspects of the phone like the SoC we use our standard suite of benchmarks, which are designed to test various real-world scenarios to get an idea of what peak performance looks like.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2013 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2015 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

In the standard web browser benchmarks, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are clearly in the lead. The difference in some cases is significant, but given that the benchmarks that we’re running here are all enormous optimization targets it's still a reasonable comparison point. In the interest of trying to avoid optimization targets I decided to look at some new JavaScript benchmarks that aren’t regularly used right now. One interesting benchmark is Ember Performance, which is a JavaScript app framework that is used in a number of popular websites and applications. This isn’t as popular as AngularJS at the moment, but in the absence of a good mobile benchmark EmberJS should be a reasonably good proxy.

EmberJS (Chrome/Safari/IE)

In this benchmark, we can see that there’s a pretty enormous performance uplift that results when you compare the iPhone 6s' to anything else out there on the market. Weirdly enough, on average it looks like Samsung’s S-Browser ends up slower here than Chrome, but it’s likely that this is just because S-Browser is using an older build of Chromium which negates the advantages of platform-specific optimizations that Samsung is integrating into S-Browser.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Overall

Basemark OS II 2.0 - System

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Memory

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Graphics

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Web

Looking at Basemark OS II, once again Apple is basically taking the lead across the board. The differences aren’t necessarily as enormous as they are in single-threaded browser benchmarks, but the iPhone 6s’ retain a significant overall performance lead over the next best mobile devices.

Overall, in benchmarks where CPU performance is a significant influence the iPhone 6s is pretty much at the very top of the stack. Of course, Apple has also had about 6-8 months of time since the launch of SoCs like the Snapdragon 810 and Exynos 7420 so this is at least partially to be expected. The real surprise and/or disappointment would be if future Exynos and Snapdragon SoCs continue to lag behind the A9 in CPU performance.

A9's GPU: Imagination PowerVR GT7600 System Performance Cont'd and NAND Performance


View All Comments

  • vFunct - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    It's probably because they're the best. Reply
  • dysonlu - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    Just like Lance Armstrong was too. Reply
  • vFunct - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    I'm sure a lot of things are best in their category/field.

    The iPhone just happens to be one of them.
  • r3loaded - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    If you now read the rest of the review, you'll find the evidence that supports their claim of being "the best". Reply
  • djsvetljo - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    After reading the summary, I can't read the rest. Reply
  • ToastyFlake - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    A leading symptom of fanboyitus. Reply
  • djsvetljo - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    I am a complete opposite of fan boy. I use daily 2 phones, a BlackBerry10 and Android, equipped my business with ThinkPads and HPs, drive American and Japanese car. Never been a fan boy of anything but strive to get the best FOR MY NEEDS product available at the current time. And everybody has different needs. However, Anandtech (the Apple reviewers at least) doesn't know that. That's is what really bothers me right there. They are trying to tell me - if you want the best phone - get the 6s. Well guess what - you are wrong cause for my needs, it wouldn't last one business week for me.

    I have been reading their Apple articles for years - they do not compare equally (why they don't try to compare functions that are not present on Apple platforms - [standard] NFC, File Manager, File Sharing, Expansion ports, IR and so on). They have been doing the same thing for years. Same goes for MACs.
  • Chaser - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Maybe Anandtech should write special review just for you that revolves around "YOUR NEEDS". You admit you didn't read the review except the last paragraph but then you have all the time in the world to babble with your baseless tripe. Nice business I'm sure. Reply
  • djsvetljo - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Nobody gets it. All they have to do is add "one of" infront of every "the best" and point out the negatives of this phone like a man, not hide them like a mice who's "mother" works for the worship. Reply
  • solipsism - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    1) They do point out negatives, but as you repeatedly stated, you refuse to read the article (or even use an Apple product).

    2) Putting "one of" doesn't alter anything in your "FOR MY NEEDS" argument as you made it clear no Apple product will ever last a week for you, so it would still be wrong, based on that. How about this, instead of trying to get the author to write specifically for you, why not try to look at it from the author's PoV or the mass-market PoV?

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