Apple iPhone 6 (Apple A8) performance review: CPU and GPU compared to the best Android phones out there

Now, it’s time to look at benchmarks and how exactly does Apple achieve those additional 17% of CPU improvement, on top of the 8% granted with the clock speed boost to arrive at the advertized 25% number. 

We don’t currently have the tools to run low-level tests closer to the metal, but good work on instruction parallelism optimizations is the likely culprit to this.

We start our tests with GeekBench 3.2, a cross-platform benchmark that gives a nice detailed breakdown of integer, floating point and memory performance, segmented in a single-core and multi-core view. GeekBench also gives a grand total score that makes it easy to compare devices, if you don't want to look at that in excruciating detail. 

It's important to note that the benchmark scores very a little between runs (a very insignificant margin), so results may vary, but the difference should be no bigger than say 2-3%. GeekBench version 3.1 added support for 64-bit chips, and introduced some changes to the memory testing, while version 3.2 of the benchmark has been released just recently adding 32-bit ARMv8 processor support.

Higher is better
Google Nexus 5
HTC One (M8)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy S5
Apple iPhone 5s
Apple iPhone 6

Higher is better
Google Nexus 5
HTC One (M8)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy S5
Apple iPhone 5s
Apple iPhone 6

Note that Geekbench 3 total scores are calibrated against a baseline score of 2500 (which is the score of an Intel Core i5-2520M @ 2.50 GHz). Higher scores are better, with double the score indicating double the performance.

Overall, after a huge boost in encryption with the A7, here we're seeing more balanced gains. Still, the improvements in image processing is particularly large, as testified by image compression and the Sobel test. Lua, a simple lightweight scripting language often used by game programmers, scores are also improved, and Dijkstra used for AI game path calculations also sees a huge improvement. Integer and floating point performance have each grown by more than 20%.

We have not been able to measure the power footprint of the Apple A8, but some reports claim that average power consumption has increased by some 15% form 4.3W for the A7 to around 5.0W for the A8.

What all of these results show is that Apple is still far ahead the Android pack when it comes to single-core performance.

Further investigation CPU performance, we turn to the Sunspider benchmark. Sunspider is one of the most popular browser-based cross-platform benchmarks and as such many vendors optimize their design to accomodate for it.

Lower is better
Apple iPhone 5
Samsung Galaxy S4
Google Nexus 5
HTC One (M8)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy S5
Apple iPhone 5s
Apple iPhone 6

For a second reference point, a similarly stressful CPU test is Mozilla's Kraken. The A8 with Cyclone has a significant lead here as well.

Lower is better
Apple iPhone 5
Samsung Galaxy S4
Google Nexus 5
HTC One (M8)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy S5
Apple iPhone 5s
Apple iPhone 6


The iPhone 5s was the first iPhone to switch to using LPDDR3 type of RAM, and the iPhone 6 continues on that tradition. All models come with 1GB of RAM, an amount that Apple has considered sufficient.

We would have preferred to see 2GB in order for the phone to be more future proof, but given the way iOS handles multi-tasking, it seems that having 1GB of RAM on the iPhone 6 does not really slow down performance.

Related phones

iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1810 mAh(14h 3G talk time)



1. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

3x Bigger resolution and Samsung phones still keep up , awesome job !

2. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Moral victory FTW!

10. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Can they keep up over time though? I rest my case

12. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

In case you aren't aware some iPhones cannot keep up with times too. Ask anyone with iPhone 4S/5 on ios 7 and you will hear lag issues

20. Switch00

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

Apple basicaly destroyed my Ipad1 with IOS5 update. I'm still able to use my ZXSpectrum from the 80's in exactly the same way as on the first day, while on the other hand, the 'revolutionary' Ipad device is only good for cutting baloney on it on a hangover morning. I will be glad to show the difference between both devices to my grandkids.

32. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

With 1gb of ram and still uses dual core.

36. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Didn't heard any issues from 5 but 4s lags a little bit sometimes. Any way apple CPU's are great for running idevices(give credits guys they deserves it) but I think they should have increased the amount of ram.

146. Dr.Hye

Posts: 95; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

I agree with you here bud. But they should have I creased ram I don't care what their excuse is to not increase ram. More room always is better than tying to cram everything in one small room.

160. TheRabidUnicorn

Posts: 7; Member since: May 19, 2015

But they can't multitask android devices need high powered CPUs and more ram to run multiple operations at the same time. However iOS cannot multitask therefore it doesn't need good prossesors but for some reason they deside to price their phones between $750 and $950 Where as the moto g which has the same specs is $180

22. Zomer

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2013

Lol, Apple makes Samsung looks like a old car.

74. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1774; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Please elaborate how "Apple makes Samsung looks like a old car" Pretty sure cars and phones have very different yet distinct looks.

118. icrappy

Posts: 42; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

but speed between the s5 and the iphone 6 is barely noticeable despite that the s5 is running on a 32 bit instruction set

161. TheRabidUnicorn

Posts: 7; Member since: May 19, 2015

Why does apple need 64bit if they aren't putting more than 4gb of ram in their phones that's the only reason to have 64bit

42. alias3800

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

...... Define "keep up."


Posts: 106; Member since: May 04, 2012

I am a proud owner of galaxy s4 but i will say honestly that iphones 6, 2012 specs are still batter than any 2014 smartphones

53. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

batter sure (whatever that is), better? nope.


Posts: 106; Member since: May 04, 2012

Better* typing mistake :/

105. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

That is because the screen resolution is lower and iOS does a lot less multitasking.

162. TheRabidUnicorn

Posts: 7; Member since: May 19, 2015

In fact no multitasking at all

143. icrappy

Posts: 42; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

i wonder what will happen to apple if samsung gets pissed off and stop supplying parts for apple?

147. Dr.Hye

Posts: 95; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Then you must still be in 2012.

60. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

Why dont they add z3 compact in the list as standard? It gets almost the same scores as the iPhones with its 720p.. stupid PA

113. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also why use browser benchmarks (Sunspider & Kraken) to compare CPU performance They mainly test Safari Vs Chrome Vs OEM's browser Unless if they are using the same browser They should have used Geekbench (a CPU benchmark) for the comparisons (though ARM v8 has an advantage) ~4200 - Note 4 (Exynos 8433 ARM v8) ~3200 - NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet (K1 ARM v7) ~3200 - Samsung Galaxy Alpha (Exynos 8430 ARM v7) ~3200 - Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A (Snapdragon 805 ARM v7) ~2900 - Moto X (2014) (Snapdragon 801 ARM v7)

138. vgroc

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Absolutely correct. They should have used Geekbench (CPU) and Antutu (overall benchmark) for CPU comparisons. Whoever made this article tried to make A8 look better. All in all, the new iPhones have a better GPU but Android flagships with SD 801 and newer SoC have a better CPU. So choose what you prefer, personally I don't play games on my phone so I prefer a faster CPU.

155. SteveS

Posts: 51; Member since: Oct 15, 2013

@vincelongman Why stop there... 4477 - iPad Air 2 (Apple A8X)

61. UglyFrank

Posts: 2193; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

It is official S805 is on the same level as the G6450

71. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

3x the resolution? You don't know what you're talking about. That would mean Samsung phones have 4,000x2,250 if 3x iPhone 6, and 5760x3240p. None of which are reality. As a matter of fact, the S5 has the same resolution as the 6+. The Note 4, which has yet to be released, has less than 2x the resolution of the 6. 1334x750 vs 2560x1440.. double would be 2668x1500. Compared to the 6+, the Note 4 has only 25% more pixels, at 2560x1440 vs 1920x1080. Apple beat the S5 (similar resolution) in all the tests done, both CPU and GPU. To think at 2560x1440, let alone *3* times the resolution, Samsung would be keeping up, when at the same resolution it's behind, is pure ignorance. Let's not even bring up the fact that a device with 2GB ram and Quad core (2.5ghz per core) processor, got it's behind whooped by a Dual core (1.39ghz per core) 1GB ram device.

77. leotrim

Posts: 27; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

2560x1440 it mean 3.686.400 pixel 1920x1080 have just 2.073.600 pixel if u can see note have more around 1.500.000 pixel

85. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

read again. What was stated was "3x bigger resolution", not "3x more pixels", and my response was targeted toward this comment. Nevertheless, we shouldn't overlook the fact that the S5 has the same amount of pixels as the 6+, and as can be seen, was demolished by the iPhone in comparisons.

79. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

2560x1440 is 25% more pixels than 1920x1080? More like 77% more pixels. Let's not bring up the fact that an Armv8 64bit cpu is faster than an Armv7 32bit cpu. It has better instruction sets, with double the amount of instructions it can perform simultaneous.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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