In comparing the iPhone 7‘s Geekbench scores to a variety of flagship Android handsets, John Gruber noted that it tops the rankings in multi-core performance and leaves everything else for dust when it comes to single-core. The iPhone’s single-core score of 3,450 is almost twice as fast as the second-ranked phone, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 (see below).
He also made a couple of other interesting comparisons, comparing the iPhone 7 against MacBook Air models and the 2013 MacBook Pro …
The iPhone 7 scores better on both single- and multi-core than any MacBook Air ever made, and performs comparably to a 2013 MacBook Pro.
This would once have been a completely meaningless comparison: it used to be the case that there was no direct comparison between Geekbench scores for desktop and mobile devices. Geekbench has been working hard of late, though, to bring the two more in line, so this is now a reasonable comparison to make – at least in theory.
There are, though, a few different reasons to take any benchmarks with a pinch of salt.
First, benchmark tests tell you how good a device is at … running benchmark tests. These can differ significantly from real-life usage, and manufacturers can also ‘optimize’ for them.
Second, Geekbench only measures CPU and GPU performance. In real-life use on a MacBook, SSD performance and the amount of RAM will play a significant part in true speeds.
Finally, usability plays a massive role in real-life use. Sure, the A10 chip will encode video with remarkable speed. Our own Jeff Benjamin even compared iMovie export speeds of his iPad Pro versus MacBook Pro and found they were within seconds of each other, so it’s easy to believe the iPhone 7 could outpace any MacBook Air. But when it comes to editing that video in the first place, the usability factor of a larger-screen device will of course be more significant than any processing speed.
Update: One more disclaimer has emerged – the claim isn’t quite true:
But while we can quibble over disclaimers, there’s no doubt at all that the A10 chip in the iPhone 7 is a very impressive beast.
Top image: gottabemobile.com