Every year, smartphone chips become more powerful as new technologies allow engineers to squeeze out more performance from the tiny mobile processors. And for the past few years, Apple has been the leader in mobile performance despite its iPhone chips having 6 cores to the competitors’ 8. This year, the leap forward is even bigger than usual as the new 5nm process allows for even more transistors to be crammed into the tiny package.
Before we get to the benchmark results, let’s check what each of these chips has to work with.
Apple A14 vs A13 vs Snapdragon 865 specs comparison
The only difference between the Snapdragon 865 and 865+ is that the latter is higher clocked. Apart from the main CPU core, the GPU also runs at slightly higher speeds. The differences between Apple’s and Qualcomm’s chips go way deeper than the different core count and clock speeds. While both processors originate from Arm’s initial core designs, they’re highly customized in ways that both companies prefer to keep a secret.
As representatives for each chip, we’ve chosen the following phones:
Of course, the phone in which the chip is operating in slightly influences the results of the benchmarks, but since there’s no way for us to test the chips outside of their phones, we’ll have to use this sub-optimal solution.
Apple A14 vs A13 vs Snapdragon 865 benchmark results comparison
Time to take a look at the benchmark results from our four contenders. It’s worth noting that not all benchmarks can be made absolutely identical on both iOS and Android due to some core design differences, but again, that’s the best we have to work with.
Let’s begin with the AnTuTu results.
AnTuTu benchmark results
Now off to the next popular benchmark, Geekbench 5!
Geekbench 5 Single-core benchmark results
These scores give a good idea of how Apple manages to stay ahead in performance with chips that have two cores fewer than the competition. The single-core performance of the Apple A13 and A14 is unmatched. The new big core of the A14 and its higher clock speed give it almost a 20% gain over the A13. And if we compare the A14 to the Snapdragon 865+, the advantage is more than 60% despite both chips running their big cores at 3.1GHz.
Geekbench 5 Multi-core benchmark results
Naturally, in the multi-score race, the results are more even as the Snapdragons make up some of the difference with their extra cores. Still, the iPhones remain on top. The A14 Bionic edges out the A13 by only 5%, however, not nearly as impressive as the previous results. The difference between the Snapdragon 865 and 865+ is similar with the latter scoring 6% higher. Overall, when all cores are in use, all members of this pack are performing fairly similarly.
GFXBench Car chase scene benchmark results
GFXBench Manhattan scene benchmark results
Jetstream 2 benchmark results
Apple has achieved great gains in performance with its new A14 Bionic. And that’s without taking into account the improved capabilities of the Neural Engine of the A14, something Apple highlighted during its presentation as a big leap forward as well. The question remains how much of those performance gains the average user can actually benefit from in daily use. We doubt many users notice if their apps open a few milliseconds faster. Still, if not today, then in a few years you’ll be happy to have the extra power for whatever new uses Apple and other developers have come up with.