iPhone 4S and iOS 5 Bring Big Speed Increases

Anandtech.com got their hands on an iPhone 4S and benchmarked it against other iPhones and Android devices and found the iPhone 4S to be fastest smartphone available (until next week when some other superphone comes along).

What is interesting is that this is a combination of new hardware and improved software.

iPhone 4S has a serious GPU

The speed of the iPhone 4S hardware is very good, as expected. It contains the same dual core A5 processor found in the iPad 2 but clocked at 800MHz instead of 1GHz. I presume the slower speed is to preserve battery life on the smaller device.

The A5’s graphics processing unit’s (GPU) performance is especially impressive. It really does bring a 7x increase in graphics processing from iPhone 4 and blows every other device away. Gamers should be lining up for this phone!

Below are the results of two Open GL tests on an iPhone 4S and a Samsung Galaxy S II, currently the fastest Android phone. Both of the GLBenchmark tests score a rate of frames per second (FPS). A higher number is better. In both tests, the iPhone 4S is almost twice as fast as the Galaxy S II.

Phone “Egypt” Test “Pro” Test
iPhone 4S 73 122
Galaxy S II 42 67

When comparing hardware, you have to be careful when comparing specs on different phones. The iPhone 4S may have a ‘disappointing’ 800MHz CPU compared to the 1.2GHz CPU on a Galaxy S II but those numbers don’t mean that much except on a spec sheet. Real world performance is what counts and these benchmarks help give you an idea of what that will be.

iOS 5 Speed Increases

What I found most interesting is that the increased performance in browsing because of iOS 5 is substantial.

Below are two browsing benchmarks using the same hardware and different versions of iOS. Note the dramatic improvement in performance using iOS 5.

Sunspider Javascript test (smaller is better)
iPhone 4 iOS 5 3921
iPhone 4 iOS 4.3 4608
Rightware Browsermark (higher is better)
iPhone 4 iOS 5 51701
iPhone 4 iOS 4.3 36675
iPhone 3GS iOS 5 37957

Note that in the Rightware benchmark a slower iPhone 3GS running iOS 5 edges out an iPhone 4 with iOS 4.3.

What does this all mean?

It means the iPhone 4S is a speedy phone, on par or faster than anything else available today. It will run today’s software without a problem and enable developers to write tomorrow’s apps that can take advantage of the extra horsepower.

It also means that current iPhone owners updating to iOS 5 can expect to see faster browsing performance and get some more life out of their phones.

See the full story and complete benchmarks at Anandtech.com.  Also see redmondpie.com and intoMobile.com for more on this topic.

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About Lee J.

Mobile Guy!
This entry was posted in Analysis and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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