A pair of videos have surfaced this week offering a good look at real-world multitasking performance of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus relative to competition, while demonstrating the speedy 802.11ac wireless networking Apple’s implemented on both devices.
The results suggest that the new iPhones offer nearly three times faster Wi-Fi performance than the iPhone 5s while beating out Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and HTC’s One M8 handsets in app loading times and task switching.
App loading times and multitasking
Created by YouTuber PhoneBuff, the following video focuses on real-life performance of the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8). The non-scientific benchmark simply measures the time it takes each device to load a bunch of apps and popular games, and then switch between them.
The iPhone 6 came in first at one minute and fifty-five seconds. The M8 was second and took one minute and forty-five seconds to finish loading and multitask between the 30 apps. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 was the slowest at nearly three minutes, which can be partially blamed on Samsung’s slow TouchWiz user interface skin on top of Android.
To me, the clip really highlights the value of Apple’s tight vertical integration.
The fact that Apple designs its own chips, batteries, display, LCD drivers, the operating system, the apps and online services lets it optimize its mobile products for buttery-smooth performance the iPhone is known for.
In short, we now have a proof that the iPhone 6 with just 1GB of RAM outperforms flagship smartphones like the HTC device which has three times more RAM, allowing it to load more apps that the iPhone before purging others from RAM.
Chart via AnandTech.
For the sake of completeness, the video really highlights the architectural differences between Android and iOS, as apps for Google’s platform rely on Java, not the fastest of virtual machines around.
Using a custom app to measure Wi-Fi throughput of the iPhone 6 Plus to the iPhone 5s when connected to a 2013 AirPort Extreme base station, iClarified was able to highlight the speed gains offered by the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
The iPhone 6 Plus recorded Wi-Fi throughput of 278.5 Mbps versus the iPhone 5s which topped out at 101.1 Mbps. Of course, real-life data rates will be lower due to a number of factors that affect Wi-Fi performance, including the distance to the base station, the frequencies used, network congestion and so forth.
Wi-Fi speed improvements offered by the iPhone 5 are substantial, as evidenced by iClarified’s video embedded below.
Also known as Gigabit Wi-Fi, 802.11ac Wi-Fi delivers three times the throughput of the previous 802.11n standard featured on the iPhone 5s. iClarified said both devices were freshly restored to iOS 8.0 and connected to a 2013 Apple AirPort Extreme placed 1.5 meters away.
Each phone used a 5GHz-only network and no other devices were connected to the wireless network at the time of the test.
In addition to faster Wi-Fi, the new iPhones support more LTE bands than any other smartphone and offer other perks such as 150MBps LTE-Advanced via carrier aggregation, an industry term denoting the bonding of two 4G networks together in the area for a big boost in performance.
Let’s not forget that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus include Wi-Fi Calling for making phone calls over Wi-Fi networks and Voice over LTE for crisper phone calls with simultaneous web surfing while on the call.
Apple was able to deliver these nice connectivity features by replacing Qualcomm’s MDM9615 chip used in prior iPhones with a MDM9625 part. That chip is fabricated on the sophisticated 28-nanometer production process, making it not only more power-friendly, but also smaller and faster than its predecessor.
The MDM9625 supports multiple mobile broadband technologies, including carrier aggregation and true LTE Category 4 with data rates of up to 150Mbps.
On the downside, it lacks support for Category 6 LTE that some high-end Android handsets have, including the Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A and the LG G3 Cat. 6.
Other benchmarks worth checking out
- iPhone 6 drop-test videos
- iPhone 6 cameras: OIS, Focus Pixels and Exposure Control
- Side-by-side comparisons of all ten iPhone models
- Photo comparison: how the iPhone’s camera has evolved over the years
- iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smoke competition in GPU benchmarks
- DisplayMate: iPhone 6 Plus has “top performing smartphone LCD”
- New iPhones beat all smartphones in reputable camera benchmark
- Consumer Reports: new iPhones “not as bendy” as believed
- Apple offers peek at iPhone stress testing process
- New iPhones have two accelerometers for better power management
Bottom line: your iPhone 6 is the snappiest iPhone yet and the fastest smartphone on the market overall, 1GB of RAM be damned.
So what do you guys think of the videos?
I was stunned that the iPhone 6 beat out HTC’s One in multitasking performance.