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:

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



1. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

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

2. Tsoliades

Posts: 228; Member since: Dec 22, 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.

21. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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 :-)

84. BackHandLegend

Posts: 80; Member since: Dec 15, 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.

27. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 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.

34. joeyhalls

Posts: 11; Member since: Jun 25, 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.

61. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

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

65. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 595; Member since: Nov 03, 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.

36. InspiredSkye

Posts: 10; Member since: Jun 25, 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.

58. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 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...

101. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 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 :).

45. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 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

66. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

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

83. temuchka1996

Posts: 19; Member since: Jan 23, 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

85. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 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

3. HASHTAG unregistered


6. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

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

76. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

iDemand aRecount!!

54. almostdone

Posts: 441; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

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

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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

8. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

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

10. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

13. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 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.

20. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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.

91. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

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

15. jellmoo

Posts: 2562; Member since: Oct 31, 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.

22. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

The S4 doesn't stutter after the update.

24. jellmoo

Posts: 2562; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Except that it still does, so yes it is.

26. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 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

33. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 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.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.