Video: iPhone 7 running circles around Note 7 in terms of switching apps

By , Sep 19, 2016


Apple makes the fastest smartphone chips on the planet and the iPhone 7’s in-house designed A10 Fusion chip has given top Android handset makers who buy off-the-shelf processors plenty to worry about. Tight interplay between Apple-designed silicon, operating system, apps and services gives the iPhone a distinct advantage over competitors when it comes to smooth app switching and multitasking.

A non-scientific video put together by YouTuber PhoneBuff, which compares app loading and switching times on the iPhone 7 and Samsung’s latest Note 7, highlights the benefits of designing the hardware and software under one roof as Apple’s new phone with half the Note 7’s RAM runs circles around Samsung’s exploding flagship in terms of loading and switching apps.

The speed test pits the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 with Apple’s new A10 Fusion chip and 2GB of RAM against the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip with 4 GB of RAM.

After all of the fourteen apps were launched on both handsets, PhoneBuff went on to reopen the same apps, which is what the user would typically do in everyday multitasking. The iPhone 7 completed the task in one minute and forty seconds versus three minutes and fourteen seconds for the Note.

Android fans could argue that iOS lacks true multitasking where apps are permitted to run in the background the whole time, but that’s beyond the point. What’s important is that the Note 7 with twice the RAM was forced to reload apps into memory, highlighting Android inefficiencies.

To me, this video clearly proves that Apple’s mobile operating system is significantly more efficient, even with half the Note 7’s RAM and that, in hindsight, Apple was right to acquire Israeli flash memory firm Anobit and use the talent from that acquisition to vastly increased the efficiency of flash chips in its iOS devices.

By the way, PhoneBuff previously found the almost-a-year-older iPhone 6s with just two CPU cores and 2GB of RAM beating the Note 7 in terms of loading apps and games.

Source: PhoneBuff

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  • George

    It doesn’t matter if the iPhone is faster at opening apps when those apps are on a cartoon OS.

    • Diego Milano

      What does it really matter then?

      • Alex Wilson

        It means his feelings are hurt, ignore the troll.

      • Diego Milano

        I didn’t even realize he was trolling, haha. My question was serious though.

    • Kzboi

      What’s a cartoon OS?

      • Diego Milano

        I’m wondering the same, ha.

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        I think he meant to say that Android is a “Cartoon OS” which I agree.

      • malhal

        An OS that runs Java byte code on a virtual machine instead of native executables?

    • Change your Disqus bio pic, bro.

      • ClaudieX X

        He already throw his phone out of the window and bought an iPhone 7…. hahaha….

      • Chris Wagers

        Either that or his phone caught on fire and they recalled it. Or that’s my guess.

    • ClaudieX X

      If a cartoon OS did what it did in this video… My Gosh… what a real OS could do to this poor Note 7 thing

  • burge

    The fact the Note didn’t catch fire is a miracle in itself.

    • Riley Freeman


    • it wasn’t charging during the video..

      • burge

        Ok, the fact they got to charge it to make the video with out it catching fire is a miracle.

  • stylesbeyond

    once again the iPhone destroys the shame sung who would use that clown os anyway android is a joke cartoon os

  • Martynet

    I could see a smoke coming 🙂

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    Samsung can have all the CPU cores and multiple GBs of RAM that it can pack in their phones, the fact remains that Apple software has always better integrated with its hardware giving users the best possible experience. Albeit Apple’s software quality has declined in recent years though it’s nothing compared to the failures of Samsung even in their golden years.

    If this test was pitted against the superior iPhone 7 Plus with its 3GB of RAM, the 7 Plus would’ve probably started its 3rd lap when Samsuk was still starting its 2nd lap.

    • That would be an interesting test, but I wonder if it really would change anything. They both have the same processor and seeing as how the iPhone 7 reopened apps 3.6x faster than the Edge saving over a full minute of time I can’t imagine that more memory would help much as all the apps already seemed to be in memory.

      Now if this test were done with a lot more apps I could see that 3rd GB of memory coming into play so perhaps a rematch with 30 apps instead of 14?

      • Yes a rematch with larger apps as well! Pleasantly suprised by the authors use of in-app processes. But judging the performance based on opening as small an app as the app for Amazon is a little ridiculous I think. Maybe some tougher ones like Sky Safari 3/4 or perhaps one of the EA games? I can’t think of a truly difficult app to load.

      • Well that’s why I think it’s great that he loads some simple apps, some games that require quite a bit to load up, a webpage and renders video out (which I think is the big thing Samsung looses to). All in all, it appears to be a very thoughtful test. It would be interesting to see it pushed further though for sure! And with animations turned off just so that the Android fans won’t have that excuse anymore 😛

      • I really enjoyed and hated your discussion over the animations. I just stayed out of it. But personally I prefer the feel of animations to the jerky behavior of any phone without them. At the same time I (2 years ago) loved not having to wait on animations.

        The issue though after years of living with both animations on and off us that it tales the same amount of time to load apps. With all the research I’ve done on iOS 7+ is that Apple loves having a “seamless” experience and as such uses their animations to mask load times with pleasant behaviors. Anyways I need to post this safari and chrome on iOS 10 have crashed on me 20-30 times now. I think it may be an iOS 10 or discus issue. 🙁

      • LOL, don’t blame you for that. Trying to reason with someone who believes his faster animations resulted in 1/3rd of the performance while ignoring the time difference in video rendering, multitasking, and app resource loading isn’t exactly going to end in a well thought out or intellectual discussion 😛

        Personally I have to agree with you, masking that initial load with an animation is just such a smoother experience. I know lots of people prefer it the other way, but I figure I can spare the time to make it look a little better.

        Hope you can get an update to fix the Chrome app soon.

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        I’d like to see that performance test take place. I agree, doubling the amount of apps being in the test could make more apparent the need for that 3rd GB of RAM.

  • Doe it run around it fast enough to put the fire out?

    • Agneev Mukherjee

      Pretty much. LOL 🙂 🙂

    • Chris Wagers


  • They have so much processor speed and ram why are they so slow? Android fan please answer..

    • Rowan09

      I’ve asked the same question. Since IOS does do “true multitasking” why is it that on the second round the Note 7 doesn’t load right away?

    • s0me

      Because the apps on the iphone are optimised for the iphone.

      • You’re saying the apps on Android aren’t optimized for Android. Or not optimized for the Note 7?

      • Well it comes down to this. Android is software first, iOS is hardware first. Those two fundamental differences mean that iOS will always be highly limited to the hardware it runs on, and Android will never be as resource efficient as iOS.

        Apple can achieve high levels of performance by controlling the environment from top to bottom. The downside is that they control the entire experience. Don’t like the colors or look of the iPhone or want a headphone jack? You’re out of luck.

        On the flip side, designing your OS to be usable on virtually everything comes with a steep performance cost in almost every aspect of the OS. On the plus side you can find an Android to suit your design tastes and even have a ROM customized to look the way you want. But you pay for that in performance.

        Customizability always comes at a price (performance, security or stability). And layering the bloated TouchWiz framework on top of all that isn’t helping anything for sure.

      • Yet they still love them some Android.. wild!!

      • Just depends on what’s important. You’ll notice that almost every android fan wants to talk about customization. If that’s what’s important and you’re willing to pay the price then great. If you’re like me and really just want your technology to work for you without ever having to think about it then I’m more than happy to give up control of customization as I honestly would probably never bother with it anyways.

        To each their own.

      • smtp25

        Fun response too Android fanboys whose sole argument is around the closed apple eco system and how you can customize android. “Yeah that is the cool thing about Android, so what have you customised on yours?” most will have the stock wallpaper and ringtone but still talk smack about how its so customizable.

      • Heh, sounds like some of my friends 🙂

        I guess it’s like the pocket knife mentality. Most people that own them probably will either never use them at all or never use ALL the tools. But hey! They ARE cool, and you never know… They might come in handy some day.

        If you’re getting your phone as a toy to play with, why not get something customizable with all the bells and whistles? If you’re getting a tool you want to depend on to make life easier without having to worry about fiddling with settings and what not then great! At least both camps have a product for them.

      • I love customizing my iPhone while being jailbroken, but even then it always ends as a broken experience. There is no perfect human there will not be a perfect OS.

        I honestly wish that Apple would make the interface less jerky from a contrasts stand point and the interactivity less “janky.” They had a great run with iOS 7. Now they keep trying to add new features in every hole and it’s getting to be too much.

        I knew once they overdid the “flat” design that they would add more boxes and shadows. Just wish that it wasn’t so bright to check notifications.

        Simply put: I feel jerked around with my screens brightness and I wish they would make a less contrasting experience.

      • Here’s to hoping we get that oft rumored dark mode.

  • Funny how last time the comments section was filled with Android apologists saying that the only reason that the year old iPhone was able to beat the latest Samsung phone was because of how long the Note’s animations were.

    Wonder what happened to them all this time around?

    • cynical1nsk

      The app and screen animations actually do make a huge difference. I turned them off on my Note 7 and I’ve noticed a dramatic improvement in speed. I’d like to see the test run again with the animations off.

      • Furrnace

        Right, but the iPhone also has the animation when opening apps. In fact, at the beginning of his video, he even says the iPhone was behind when trying to load Asphalt 8 because of the animation. So they both have them. iPhone 6s and 7 are just a lot faster than the Note 7.

      • ClaudieX X


      • cynical1nsk

        Then the animations should be disabled on both devices before the test is run. The amount, type and duration of animations should not be allowed to have any impact on a pure test of their speed and efficiency of opening and transitioning between apps. I turned off three separate types of animations on my Note 7. Who is to say that the iPhone has as many or that they have the same resource demand or duration. I really find it very hard to believe that the iPhone 7 is that much faster or that the 6 is faster at all.

      • cynical1nsk

        When I open an app it opens instantly regardless of how many other apps I have run or wether the app was open previously. Like I said there is no reasoning with the iSheep.

      • Hey uh, before you go too far down this animation rabbit trail you might want to look at my last post to you. I kind of tried to point out how ridiculous that is and at then praised the Android fans for not making the same dumb claim this time around and… well I’d hate to see you say something dumb 😉

      • cynical1nsk

        Prove me wrong then. Don’t just give me some simple math and claim it as proof…disable the animations on both devices and rerun the test.

      • I’m not sure I follow. That math IS the proof…

        Animations to open and close apps are relatively short (all around a half second or less). And we’re talking about fractions of seconds spread out over only 14 apps. If the videos were close (within seconds of each other then animations being disabled would be a very good test).

        But there is NO WAY the default animations account for 72 seconds worth of lost time from reopening 14 apps…

        That’s preposterous.

      • Furthermore, since the iPhone 6S beat it as well, what is your claim there (since Apple’s animations are still the same speed)?

        Did Samsung push out a series of updates to further slow down their animations just in time for this next comparison? (were they afraid their battery situation was making them look too good and wanted to tone the awesome back a bit?)

        You claim that the only reason it took 72 seconds longer is because of slow animations on the latest edge phone. But why on my two year old iPhone (with animations turned on) can I open and reopen an app 41 times in that same period?

        The simple facts are that Android and Touchwiz are NOT as optimized when it comes to handling resources or multitasking as Apple is and blaming it on something as trivial as an animation is out of touch with reality.

      • cynical1nsk

        Oh no…you’re right! Animations designed to play when you open and transition between apps can’t possibly have any effect on how long it takes to open and transition between apps. What on Earth was I thinking?

        Yes…Apple is extremely good at optimizing the software with the hardware on their devices…it is one of their only advantages over Android. I will admit that. But for you to claim the animations can’t possibly have anything to do with it is also out of touch with reality.

        As I have said already, I noticed an extremely dramatic improvement in performance on my Note 7 when I disabled the animations. Anyway…I’m done arguing with you. There is just no reasoning with an iSheep and the only way I will be convinced is if someone runs the test again with the animations off on both devices so they are not a factor and I doubt that will happen.

      • Never said it had no effect good sir. Only that if we assume that half second transitions in and out of apps, each app would add roughly 1 second of wasted time or about 22 seconds of total wasted time. So where does that additional almost 2 minutes of wasted time come from?!

        Animations do slow the Android down. And they slow the iPhone down. But I honestly can’t fathom how you expect anyone to believe that the animations only consume about 22 seconds of wasted time on an iPhone but manage to waste almost 120 seconds on a Samsung, ESPECIALLY when the iPhone animations are slower! Watch the video he even comments that Samsung has the advantage in the beginning due to its faster animations.

        Oh and being out of touch with reality would be looking at those animations side by side and seeing that the Samsung animations ARE FASTER than the iPhone’s giving it the edge early on and then blaming the animations for slowing it down to 1/3rd of the speed of the competition.

        Anyways, thanks for the laugh. Hadn’t expected to have this conversation again 😀 Thanks for indulging me.


      • Mike

        Look at the end of the day when you open up any app you have to stare at a 1080p screen while I stare at a 2k Super AMOLED screen. Even if it takes android phones an extra second to open an app I wouldn’t mind because I have so much freedom with the OS that it pays off.

      • I can’t argue with personal preference I can only tell you what mine are. Personally I hate the idea of a 2k screen in my phone. My thought is that if I can’t see the pixels beyond what I have now why go further? More of what I can’t see seems to be an odd bragging right when it costs me processor performance, battery life, and literally costs more.

        But, others love having a screen they can use a magnifying glass with and you know what? That’s awesome! Everyone can get what they want. I just personally want enough technology to aid me but not enough to distract me and I’ve found over the years that Apple offers the best combination of the two. But again that’s personal opinion.

    • cynical1nsk

      Probably the only reason the Android supporters aren’t bothering this time around is because there is no arguing with you iSheep. Apple rules and no one will ever convince you otherwise despite all the evidence to the contrary. Why else are you all so willing to blindly pay the huge markups on the iPhone. Apple sells like around %15 of the world’s smartphones and yet makes nearly %100 of the profit. Why do you suppose that is? The truth is that Apple has been playing catch up with Android for years and they still can’t match it. But it’s ok though…they have all you loyal mindless Apple drones to keep them rolling in cash.

      • ClaudieX X

        Apple could be making more profit… but by doing a more powerfull phone. Tests are all over the Internet.

      • Haha, while there certainly have been Apple products that I would readily join you in bashing and there are even some small gripes I have with the new phone that really has no bearing on this point. Last time I did the math breakdown and pointed out how insane the claims were that the speed difference was all in the animations. But it’s a new video so I’ll be happy to do it again.

        The iPhone opened the apps and ran it’s required task (when appropriate) and closed them in 74 seconds. It took the Samsung 98 seconds to complete. Which means that if the difference comes down to animation speeds (and there are only 14 apps in question here then it literally takes apps almost 2 full seconds to open on average. That’s NOT an animation!

        Round two (in which the Samsung should shine due to it’s massive advantage in memory and processor specs) it took the iPhone 26 seconds to re-open all the apps while the Samsung came in at 96 seconds. Which means that all the animations must have… magically slowed down to 5 seconds to launch each app?

        The point isn’t which phone is better, has better features, is playing catchup or anything else, the point is when this test was done last time Android apologists came out of no where to give the most ridiculous of excuses for the performance scandal and this time it would appear that the results are so obvious that no one can blame it on animations this time.

      • Furrnace

        I think cynical1nsk is just butt hurt over this and that’s ok. It was kind of humiliating to watch the 6s beat it, but now the 7 obliterating the competition like this. Pshh, he just has no other excuse than this weak “animations are slowing it down” argument.
        @cynical1nsk, if we were to run this test again, or that same guy who does them were to, do you TRULY, HONESTLY think the Note 7 would win? I really want to know. You actually think it stands a chance?
        We all have our preference man. Yours is clearly Samsung. But you’re trolling Apple fanboys on an Apple fanboy blog. There are fAndroid blogs to follow bro. But insulting “iSheeps” and constantly stating that “you can’t reason with them” is getting really old buddy.

  • anonymous

    Nice I want that speed but since 6s still beats note 7 I will just wait for the next iPhone lol

  • Furrnace

    Wait, the note 7 didn’t explode during this test?

  • ClaudieX X

    Another one byte the dust…. AGAIN.

  • James G

    iPhone 6s v 7?

  • Watching those videos made me appreciate three things about this guys tests. First he recorded them separately and edited the videos to put them side by side allowing him to focus on each phone immediately and run tests back to back to see performance over time. The problem with some of these is that you really can’t tell what sort of speed gain or loss you have as they stop every single time between apps.

    Second I really appreciated the fact that he preps all his apps ahead of time. I started laughing when the one reviewer launched an app clearly for the first time on the iPhone and Game Center went to instal and set up his new profile while the game he had played on his samsung immediately loaded his saved session. Not exactly a clean test.

    Finally I appreciated the fact that he does things like scrolling and browsing web pages and actually renders out video files as part of his test. He chose his apps well instead of trying to see which weather app launched first.

    Interesting videos though. I was fairly impressed by the performance scores for the iPhone vs the Samsung (that’s a HUGE increase) and as for the review on the iPhones I think the guy did an excellent job, but I think I’d disagree with two of his points. First having the iPhone 7 look like the 6S is actually a good thing. (well… unless you hate the look of the iPhone 6S) This one never makes sense to me. We don’t typically expect the next MacBook Pro to be completely redesigned do we? If the design works why change it? Apple has kept the same look as the original iPhone (from the front) only making small tweaks to proportions over time and updating the home button.

    The second thing I’d disagree with him on is the philosophy behind Apple’s change to the headphone jack. I don’t believe that Apple wants people using lightning based headphones. I think that’s a temporary measure while we all get ourselves to a wireless future. So if he’s right and we start to see a bunch of people making lightning headphones than Apple will have completely missed the boat and failed in removing the port.

    Anyways, thanks for the videos however I’ll probably not watch any more. It takes too much time and is harder to respond to. But it does give me an appreciation for the thoughtful way that this article’s tests were done. (not sure if that was your point?) You didn’t really say much…

  • askep3

    Riiiiiip Samsung

  • askep3

    Wait, about that true multitasking part that android has, what is the functional use of that?

  • Kim Olsson

    Id like to see a broswer-loading test as well, since that is closer to my normal usage. Anyone seen one around?