Speed Test: iOS 5 vs iOS 4.3.3

By , Jun 8, 2011

So I’ve been playing with iOS 5 beta 1 on my iPhone 3GS for a couple of days now and my first impression is that it looks really good. Good enough to make me consider giving up my jailbreak and unlock to install iOS 5 on my iPhone 4 – don’t worry, I won’t.

One thing I’ve noticed about Apple’s latest beta is that it is a little sluggish. I know an iPhone 3GS isn’t the ideal device to test a new OS on, so I thought I’d put it to the test against the same device, but on the current iOS 4.3.3…

Now before you start watching this, you have to be warned that the video is terrible, so please, restrain yourself from commenting on that.

Note: I had Zero 7 playing in the background of this video but YouTube removed it for copyright reasons.

I compared both iPhone 3GS with all the stock applications – although we’re showing only a few in this video – and in every case, my iPhone 3GS running iOS 5 was performing worse. Now don’t jump to the conclusion… I am not saying iOS 5 is slow. What I’m saying is that not surprisingly, this beta version is a bit slower than its official predecessor.

Besides, it’s a beta. It’s supposed to be slow and sluggish.

I don’t doubt performance will improve with the upcoming beta releases, but just like iOS 4 was too much for the iPhone 3G, iOS 5 might be too much for the iPhone 3GS to handle.

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  • William

    Cant see the vid

    • Sorry, it should be working now

      • IPhoneuser16

        How may iPhones do you have Sebastien?

  • my iphone 4 seems to be faster. sluggish in a couple things, buy fairly quick in other things.. sluggish most in the settings app.

  • Binary-Stalker

    Sorry that this is off-topic, but I’m currently on 4.2.1. I want to upgrade to 4.3.3, and I’m not jailbroken.

    When I update, will I lose any data on my iPod? I can’t sync it to get the data, due to the sheer size of everything I have on there.

    So, my question is, if I update through iTunes, will the data on my device be erased, or will it still be there?

    • Rob

      It should still be there if you do a back up first.

      • Binary-Stalker

        Yes, but if it actually saves all my data, that doesn’t work. I have a 32GB iPod Touch, and the computer I’ll be updating with has much less. And not all my music is from iTunes.

        Or do I just do a backup, and it doesn’t have to save my other data?

        I’m sorry, but it’s been quite a bit since I’ve even seen iTunes.

      • zakk

        Binary-Stalker: If you just do an upgrade, all your content should remain exactly where it was. Do not restore.

    • simo

      im not really sure what your getting at weather but try this as it might help.In iTunes on the devices tab right click transfer purchases, then sync when it has completed update to iOs 4.3.3

    • Yasha

      If you click UPDATE in iTunes then you don’t have to backup anything. If you click RESTORE then you will lose all your data.

  • Aleksander Azizi

    allmost none of these counts! He clicked on the 4.3.3 first allmost ALL THE TIME + some apps on 4.3.3 was allready running…

  • Joe

    Well it’s the first beta so it should be. Also the 3GS isn’t at the gap right now when it comes to processing power.

  • c0edx

    When it come to typing its kinds slow especially on safari. Sometimes it’s lags for no reason. I hope this does not turn into the iPhone 3G situation.

    iPhone 4 iOS 5

  • Chris

    Some app were obviously already running in the background…

  • Chris

    Some apps were obviously already running in the background…

  • j_breez

    Is there any type of performance boost if you were to turn off the spotlight like on the 3g? I believe apple has been slipping lately because my 3gs was super slow with the 4.3.2 update. It’s good now but for 2 updates it was beyond sluggish.

  • Cody Robertson

    Apple removes code at the GM version. They have more code running in the beta for developer things and such. It will speed up, it is way faster than iOS4 was at first.

  • Endareth

    Need to redo that test properly, with both devices starting from a powered off state, and all screen taps done concurrently on both devices. Oh, and it’s a beta, so speed comparisons are kind of pointless anyway…

  • johnny

    Use the latest redsnow it doesnt require itunes just a copy of your ipsw and it wont delete your info just make sure to run it 2ce the first time to install cydia and rhe second to boot tethered (actually makes the cydia icon from going white it wont actually be a tethered jailbreak)

  • johnny

    I had ios 5 on mine but had no wifi 😛

  • Mes

    It will be very amazing if 5.x is not a bit slower…. that’s the nature of ‘adding’ anything new. Let’s just hope the change is minimal.

  • aavmm

    Its an iPhone against an iPod Touch
    Not a fair battle
    Lame video

    • Ken

      This is iPhone Vs iPhone aavmm.
      iPod touch never have speaker for ear at top.

  • CrysisFaction

    I’ll bet it’ll be better on the i4 and whatever the new device will be. 3GS = NT

  • Ken

    It looks slow iOS 5 on 3GS.
    But it’s not as slow as iOS 4 on 3G.

  • Mr.popo

    Still waiting for the official iOS 5 to upgrade my 3GS.

  • North

    Buy an external hd and get your pc back to 3/ gb free or more

  • oo7plasma

    I almost wonder if Apple does that on purpose to force you to buy a newer device. Sluggish sucks

  • Macyourdaddy

    Got my ip4 & ipad2 on ios5 and they both got quicker on a few things like notifications. I use my ip4 eveyday for everything and so far once apple realses the FaceTime on 3G I’ll def. Say goodbye to the jailbreak scene :/ funny I don’t have tether plan but the ios5 beta lets me anyways lol 😀

  • Alaskafrog

    What about customizable text message tones?

  • alOS

    the worst test i ever seen

  • Chris

    Love zero 7

    • XepptizZ


  • ATMB

    What about the Lock Screen Camera?

    Can you tell us how quick is it to launch when compared to iOS 4.3.3 Camera.app?

  • mahony

    Please make a comparison of what iOS 5 can that jailbroken iOS 4 can’t.

  • josh

    On the iPhone 4 iOS 5 is faster. Apple even said the 3Gs couldnt handle iOS 5 that well.

  • Cameron MacGregor

    on the comment about iOS5 being sluggish on 3Gs Handsets i think Apple should get a firmware downgade program preped just incase people start developing serious problems with it. I dont know what its going to be like but i guess we’ll just have to wait and see! TAKE THE HINT APPLE!

  • Ron

    Well, iOS 5 has been considerably (to the extent of it being noticeable when just using it in general) faster on my 3GS than 4.3.3 was.

    No idea why that is not the case for you.

    Did you restore both to stock 4.3.3 / 5.0 before testing?

  • James M. Shih M.D.

    I’ve seen the comparison between the iOS. So what’s new? Don’t even give me a tickle. I think iOS 5 will be only worth for people that needed to be jailbroken. I’m on my 4.3.3 and everything extra that comes with iOS 5 don’t interest me except for the iCloud which I don’t need. I don’t mind plugging in for a sync,.

  • iOS 5 is very sluggish on the 3GS. Also a bit sluggish on the iPad 2. The front button on my pad and phone plus my partners phone refuses to work half the time. Anyone else had this?

  • Wayne G

    Upgraded my 3GS to IOS 5 and it’s dog slow. Turned off the iCloud crap and tweaked all the location apps to make things a little better… but still very slow response and the battery life is half what it was before…. HALF
    They have a lot of work to do on the 3GS before I would suggest anyone upgrade. The new features are mostly junk in my eyes anyway.