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iPhone 5 deemed 'slowest smartphone' in Geekbench comparison, but results might not be comparable

Posted: , by Victor H.

iPhone 5 deemed 'slowest smartphone' in Geekbench comparison, but results might not be comparable

The Apple iPhone 5, the fastest selling smartphone on the planet, is now deemed to be the slowest one in a comparison with top-tier Android handsets. British publication Which? UK ran the processor and memory-intensive Geekbench test on the Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and other flagship devices.

The score that supposedly shows which of the devices perfomrs the fastest, revealed a unanimous win for the Samsung Galaxy S4. What’s more interesting, though, is that the Apple iPhone 5 actually scored last, dropping even below the BlackBerry Z10.

Should we trust those results? Truth is, the Apple iPhone 5 is the oldest of the bunch having launched in September 2012. Also, the test does not touch on graphical performance, an area of particular interest and strength in Apple devices and the iPhone 5 in particular.

Yet the difference is astounding. The Galaxy S4 scored nearly double the iPhone 5. We strongly advise you against taking those results at their face value. The Geekbench score gives a great base for comparing Android devices against each other. You could also have a valid comparison when you run the test to compare iDevices against each other. However using the Geekbench score to compare different platforms seems to yield weird results.

For that reason, we recommend a critical approach to that score. We have reached out to Geekbench for an official comment and will update you with their technical explanation as soon as we have it.

Update: We have received a response from PrimateLabs, the Geekbench app developers, and they shed all doubt confirming that the results are perfectly comparable. Here is their official response:

Geekbench runs the same workloads on Android, BlackBerry, and iOS, so the scores are comparable across both platforms.The unexpected difference comes from the fact that most of the devices on the list are quad-core devices, while both the iPhone 5 and the Z10 are dual-core devices. Geekbench is multi-core aware, so in general quad-core devices will score higher than dual-core devices.


Right below, are the Geekbench scores of the devices Which? UK tested for processor and memory performance:

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 – 3188
  • HTC One – 2798
  • Sony Xperia Z – 2173
  • Google Nexus 4 – 2134
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – 1950
  • BlackBerry Z10 – 1698
  • Apple iPhone 5 16GB – 1664

source: Which? UK

111 Comments
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posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:02 30

1. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3515; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Naturally because it's the oldest. What is the point of this article again?

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:06 24

2. Tsoliades (Posts: 185; Member since: 22 Dec 2012)


Ikr? iOS is more lightweight, but less powerful than Android. It doesn't need as strong of a CPU. If you're a tech nerd viewing this site, you know that already...
This is just an article inciting fanboy rage comments.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:58 7

21. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3515; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Exactly.

It seems PhoneArena.com is slow today, so the authurs here pull a nerd Fanboy rage comment inducing article just to spice things up.

+1 to you my good sir or madam! lol :-)

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 15:08

84. BackHandLegend (Posts: 80; Member since: 15 Dec 2012)


You guys horribly misunderstand Android. In fact, the LG Optimus V (A crappy phone with an ARMv6 processor) can handle Android 4.0 which already has true multitasking. iOS isn't more lightweight, you can't get more lightweight than stock android, the whole OS takes about 150 megs.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 10:09 4

27. jaytai0106 (Posts: 825; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Totally agree with you. iOS isn't a heavy machine comparing to Android. iOS runs very smooth even its hardware isn't up to par with current Android. The other hand, Android requires heavy spec to run smooth but the same time it has the multitasking ability which iOS currently lacks. It's very hard to use benchmark test to compare them. It would be like comparing a motorcycle to a car. Motorcycle has less hp but has no problem to go faster than a car. In the other hand, a car has more hp and has the ability to haul more stuff, but yet it can still go fast enough for most people.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 10:29 7

34. joeyhalls (Posts: 5; Member since: 25 Jun 2013)


Nice comparison! Now imagine for a moment IOS running on an S4, I think it would open apps before you had a chance to select them.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 11:53 1

61. Taters (Posts: 2374; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


I would love to see that. It would last like a week on the 2600mah battery too.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 12:52

65. Atrixboyyy (Posts: 227; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


no but two days and a couple ours is good enough. i imagine the iphone lasting a bit longer (maybe) but a week? you need a RAZR MAXX with light usage.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 10:31 3

36. InspiredSkye (Posts: 10; Member since: 25 Jun 2013)


The "iOS don't need it" sounds a lot like an excuse to justify that, but then, when major updates come, the previous models get half the features because of lack of hardware :\
If I have to spend such a high price for a smartphone, I expect an outstanding hardware as well, not just a very well optimized software.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 11:36 3

58. jaytai0106 (Posts: 825; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


For the same price, I would have go with a higher end spec as well. At this point, iPhone 5 and all newer Android phones are basically on par on end user experience. All the new phones out there are well exceed an average user's need and I think from this point on it's up to what an individual want to get. It's almost like car market now, everyone can shop around and see what they like and no more the so called the got to get "iPhone" or "Galaxy" anymore. Everyone just get whatever phone you like and no more HA HA my phone is better than yours... so sick of the pointless comparison like this article...

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 02:34

101. Pedro0x (Posts: 270; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)


Iphone 5 has a very good HW, excellent GPU, decent CPU( their dual-core swift clocked at 1.3 GHz is half of the quad-core S600 at 1.9GHz). Also Iphone 5 is one of the best camera-phone, excellent screen. IOS is GPU accelerated so it does not need a quad-core clocked at 2.0 GHz :).
And to those people that say that Iphone needs better HW, or that it has low-end HW, look up WP phones and compare those to Iphone. Iphone has way better HW than WP phones.
By the way, why isn´t WP phones in this benchmark? Because it would make WP phones look bad :).

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 10:48 5

45. Nikolas.Oliver (Posts: 1340; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


I beg to differ, iOS is smoother than android due to the fact that iOS uses C++ coding as opposed to java on android, Java needs virtual machine in order to run, C++ on the other hands does not

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 12:54 1

66. Zero0 (Posts: 561; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Some apps use Java. Android now allows for native/compiled apps to be built.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 14:49 1

83. temuchka1996 (Posts: 19; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)


and the funny thing is that games run as smoothly(if not better) on iphone 5 as on those quad and octa core phones,becouze they are optimized very well

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 15:38 1

85. E.N. (Posts: 2218; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


Exactly. And why does the Samsung S4 score higher than the HTC One when the S4 is much laggier than the HTC One? Once again, benchmarks prove nothing

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:07

3. HASHTAG (unregistered)


.....

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:13

6. scriptwriter (Posts: 396; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


Totally agree. They should run this exact test again when the next i-thingy comes out.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 13:53

76. Dorothy69 (banned) (Posts: 498; Member since: 21 May 2013)


iDemand aRecount!!

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 11:26

54. almostdone (Posts: 93; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


Doesn't explain why it's slower than the Note 2 which was released around the same time.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:08

4. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


PA's excuse: it's in last place because it was released in September 2012 lol.

Don't get me wrong, the iPhone 5 is one the the fastest smartphones in the market as of now, but the Exynos Octa is simply a powerhouse.

S4 > iPhone 5 > HTC One

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:24 4

8. Ninetysix (Posts: 1072; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Exynos Octa is nowhere to be seen....How many Galaxy S4s did they ship with that processor again?

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:32 3

10. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Not seen in the US, but is shipped to other parts of the world, so your statement is invalid.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:36 4

13. Ninetysix (Posts: 1072; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Which version did they ship the most? 9505 or 9500? Shouldn't you compare the one that is being used the MOST? That's what I thought.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:57 2

20. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Or you can compare both models since the S600 isn't a slouch in performance either. Either way, the 9500 or 9505 is still "faster" than the iPhone 5 according to GeekBench scores.

That's what I thought.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 18:51

91. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3656; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


I'm pretty sure they said only 30% of GS4s will have the E5O.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:52 7

15. jellmoo (Posts: 447; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


And yet the S4 lags and stutters whilst the One is smooth as a baby's buttocks all the way through. Benchmarks are no substitute for real world use.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:58 8

22. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


The S4 doesn't stutter after the update.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:59 4

24. jellmoo (Posts: 447; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Except that it still does, so yes it is.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 10:01 7

26. Ninetysix (Posts: 1072; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


That's weird because my S4 lags even with the animations turned off. You must have the super duper Galaxy S4 version 3.0 rev 5

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 10:27 4

33. therealestmc (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


Yes, the S4 still lags but the lag is negligible. After the update I found the UI to be smooth 95% of the time.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 10:34

40. Nikolas.Oliver (Posts: 1340; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


try opening the settings and scroll through, not as smooth as the iPhone

(Don't misunderstand me as an Apple Fanboy, I Have no Apple Devices, Not a single one)

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 11:28 4

55. SleepingOz (Posts: 2475; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)


Oh, so now you have a GSIV? Don't mind me asking because if I remember correctly, you were an ifan not so long ago.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 11:31 2

56. Ninetysix (Posts: 1072; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Yep :) Switched to Android 2 weeks ago and I'm stuck with this GS4 for 2 years. Loving it though.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 17:44

90. joey_sfb (Posts: 1973; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


weird.. its like having captain kirk co-star in a new star war movie.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 13:05

69. Nikolas.Oliver (Posts: 1340; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


Sorry did you just say that i was once an ifan? Maybe you meant wendy? I've never been an ifan and never will be, besidea i dont have any apple devices and and have no interest to buy them anytime soon..

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 11:35 3

57. SleepingOz (Posts: 2475; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)


I had the chance to compare the GSIV(Octa version) with the HTC One before the update. Idk about the S600 version but the GSIV lags only on touchwiz. When it comes to browsing, video playback and heavy gaming like NFS Most Wanted, the GSIV is a lil bit faster than the HTC One.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:56 2

17. LionStone (Posts: 434; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


My Droid DNA whips the i5 and it came out only 2 mos after it, so your statement is invalid :-)

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 10:00 3

25. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3515; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Yeah the the HTC One kills the iPhone 5 also.

I really don't get the statement at all.

+1 to you also, GREAT point.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 10:31 2

37. Nikolas.Oliver (Posts: 1340; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


yet it is much more smoother than the gs4

one thing that i really do hate about android is LAGS LAGS LAGS no matter how powerful the specs are, they're still laggy. even with project butter

My old gnex sometimes gets really laggy to the point where i can't use it (Not surprising though)

the 4-years-old iphone 3gs on the other hand has no lag at all, even when running the latest ios 6

The GS45 lags upon scrolling, Doesnt feel as smooth as the iPhone

Don't get me wrong, I aint an apple fanboy, in fact ive no idevices whatsoever

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 12:56 1

67. Zero0 (Posts: 561; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


My Nexus 4 is smooth 99% of the time, if not more. That's a 7 month old device.

Android doesn't lag; OEM skins lag.

As for the iPhone 3GS, sure. It runs "iOS 6," sans Siri and navigation and such. The Galaxy Nexus is pushing 2 years, isn't 100% smooth (though I'm sure CyanogenMod and a custom kernel could solve that), but at least it has all of the features of Jelly Bean.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 13:57

78. VZWuser76 (Posts: 986; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


I would think quite a bit of the difference in lag is due to how many operations are put on the cpu/gpu at any one time. As I understand it, iOS freezes applications in the background except for a few apps like music playback and gps. Whereas with android all applications can run in the background. Now if that's true, the closest analogy I can come up with is 2 people sitting in cubicles. One is completely isolated, by sight and sound, and all he must do is clap his hands. The other person is not isolated at all from distractions, must also clap is hands, hop on one foot, sing back in black, while a party is going on in their view. Obvioulsy person number 2 is going to have some difficulty staying on task more so than person one. Even if you pump person 2 with stimulants (cpu & ram) there will be occasional slow downs. But person number 2 will also be doing more at the same time.

The only way to really compare iOS and Android would be to give them each the same tasks, and see who finishes first. If iOS truly cannot do true multitasking then that's the only way to compare them, with the time it takes to accomplish the tasks, not how much effort is exerted to complete them. Because that's what's most important, how much time it takes out of your life. Sound valid?

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 18:56 1

92. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3656; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


The Galaxy Nexus has been given 2 years worth of updates and still maintains all the features of Android 4.2. The iPhone 3GS (which actually lags like hell by the way, I've seen it), gets stripped down versions of iOS updates.

Manufacturer skins lag. Touchwiz on the GS4 is so bloated it lags even when unlocking it. The Nexus 4 however is the smoothest Android device out there, easily having iPhone 5 smoothness.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 11:09 1

51. abdane (Posts: 471; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


iPhone 5 > HTC One ? LOL

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 13:21 2

71. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I for one can say I don't care for the big hype over the HTC One. My friend got it for AT&T a month ago and regrets getting it. The camera is okay and it lagged. I'd rather get an iPhone 5 than a HTC One.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 15:58

88. MistB (Posts: 543; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Totally agree with you, good that i'm not the only one that dislikes the HTC One or anything HTC for that matter.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 13:31

73. MistB (Posts: 543; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


I'd actually have to agree with that, most overhyped phone of the year and I ain't being sarcastic.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:09 6

5. boosook (Posts: 771; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Accept the truth.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:13

7. Samsomesh (Posts: 180; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


Jelly bean..!!!

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 09:24

9. techspace (Posts: 394; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


everyone said that iphone 5 was the fastest phone in land when it was new....now s4 is new so it is the fastest, then all the phones like the new s4,the xperia phablet etc (maybe even the nexus 5) with snapdragon 800 will beat the s4...
then the iphone 5s will be released and it will be called as the fastest phone in land...
you should look at the experience, not the specs and benchmarks...
nexus 4 is still the smoothest android phone....
iphone is still better than the rest when it comes to speed both the ui and the apps/games are faster and smoother than the others...
forget about the specs, experience is more important...
i love the ipad and i knew that iphone 5 was faster but i got the nexus 4 because i already have an ios device(ipad) and i wanted to have an android phone and the nexus 4 is optimized for android and it will enjoy better support in the future...
so everyone should forget these benchmarks....they should look at the experience...luckily, google is selling the latest flagships with stock android.
i would just wait for the nexus 5 though...

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 10:41

42. Nikolas.Oliver (Posts: 1340; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


Nexus 4 Does lag once in a while despite the quadcore processor and 2gb ram, As an android user i can honestly say that iDevices are surprisingly smooth, Even when there's a lot of things going on in the background. I still can't fathom how do apple enginers accomplish that

I've never seen a single idevice that lags.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 11:05

48. Tsoliades (Posts: 185; Member since: 22 Dec 2012)


>there's a lot of things going on in the background

iOS multitasking doesn't work like that. :P

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 11:13

52. Nikolas.Oliver (Posts: 1340; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


On ios 7, it does,

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 18:58

93. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3656; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


But we haven't seen any device officially running iOS 7, so how could you know it'll be smooth?

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 11:41

59. iushnt (Posts: 463; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


I dunno what you are saying.. My 3gs and ipod 4 hangs and lags much often.. My android also lags but I can do much more than ios

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 14:09

79. techspace (Posts: 394; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


But the swiping scrolling etc is smoother on 3GS...it's smoother than any android phone....and we are talking about a 4 year old phone in this case....there is no doubt that apple iOS is very good we can jailbreak it for getting whatever we want...so the iPad is a great choice but for a phone, nexus 4 is the best in the world until the nexus 5 is released.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 18:59 2

94. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3656; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


That's laughable. The 3GS is barely usable because of how much it lags.

posted on 25 Jun 2013, 19:51

97. Tsoliades (Posts: 185; Member since: 22 Dec 2012)


It's not usable. My friend was forced to get a new iPhone 5 earlier because his 3GS was not usable at all.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 02:44

102. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


You're full of s**t. The 3GS lags like hell now because Apple doesn't bother optimizing iOS updates. We had them lagging and stuttering brand new out of the box when we sold them up through when the iPhone 5 came out. Even the iPhone 4 is starting to get that way. Thankfully the 4S has a much beefier processor, so it'll hopefully last longer before the inevitable lag sets in.

posted on 28 Jun 2013, 07:37

107. techspace (Posts: 394; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


and did you see what happened to the android devices that were released even a year after the 3gs?
iphone 3gs is a billion times better than those phones....
and please, if you want to say that 3gs is slow, just say it...but don't go personal...i don't want to hear words like "your'e full of s**t"...
maybe you are habituated to talk and listen to such s**t, i am not...

posted on 29 Jun 2013, 00:54

109. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Let's see, that would be 2010. In that year we had phones like the Evo, Droid X, and others which had gigahertz single core processors.

I'm not going to say that Android phones of that time period have aged well (the Evo being the most egregious example) but others did quite well. My Droid X still does the job quite well for my dad.

So, a billion times better? Nah. Depending on which model you're talking about and what its app load is, the 3GS maybe breaks even. When my Droid X was factory reset prior to me sending the phone to him, it was pretty damn smooth. It ran Gingerbread by the time I sent it off, which brings up another point: my Droid X got BETTER with the updates it got, NOT WORSE. You cannot take a 3GS out of the box and have it perform smoothly.

So yes, you continue to be full of it. Your blind claim that the 3GS performs so incredibly well today is silly and completely without merit.

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