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

  • rangerdavid - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    A reviewer may either consider a device "one of the best," or "the best." Those statements are not interchangeable. Reply
  • rangerdavid - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    Well said. My thoughts exactly. Reply
  • adonishong - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Seems like iPhone could not fit your requirement completely, but why you still stick here and "reading their Apple articles for years"? Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    No, you are a fanboy (apparently in denial, but certainly have the symptoms).
    I don't own (and will not) a single apple device, but, objectively, they are producing the best phones THIS year.
  • Caliko - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Why buy knockoffs? What a waste of money. Reply
  • Caliko - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    You don't use Apple products for your business? *facepalm*

    Apple is leading by a humongous margin in the enterprise for a reason. Your business must be doing bad if you supply knockoffs instead.
  • redvodka - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    I never understand you guys. Anandtech has reviewed and heaped nothing but praises for the Samsung Galaxy 6 another android phone yet you only read this review and claim Anandtech are biased. Way to be hypocritical. Reply
  • zeeBomb - Sunday, November 8, 2015 - link

    Wow man. Perhaps the best tech review on the iPhone 6s/6s Plus and this is how you repay them? Reply
  • IanHagen - Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - link

    You're the opposite of a fanboy? You're taking offence at the iPhone receiving a very favourable review and justifies your position with "I can't read past the summary" for goodness sake! Reply
  • nathanddrews - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Perhaps you should just look at all the graphs without reading anything. Shield your sensitive brain from anything other than cold, hard, objective facts.

    I have no desire to own an iphone (or any Apple product), but at least I can see clearly that its performance is a head and shoulders above other devices.

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