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Iphone 4S beats Android smartphones in early benchmarks

Lower clock speed belies optimisations
Tue Oct 11 2011, 14:33

SELLER OF SHINY TOYS Apple has made significant performance gains with its IOS 5 operating system and an A5 chip clocked at 800MHz in the Iphone 4S.

Apple might have disappointed some with the Iphone 4S, with complaints that it looks almost identical on the outside to the previous Iphone 4, but Anandtech's benchmarks show that through a combination of the dual-core A5 chip and a tweaked IOS 5, performance figures across the board are significantly better than those of the Iphone 4. It also highlights how much optimisation Google needs to do with the upcoming Android Ice Cream Sandwich release if it is to beat Apple again in terms of performance.

Apple's decision to run the A5 chip at a lower frequency most likely means it is also undervolted. Given that Android smartphones regularly feature 1GHz+ dual-core processors, Apple has had to work on tweaking IOS 5 in order make up for the clock speed difference, and in just about every benchmark, the Iphone 4S seems to not only blow Android smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Sensation out of the water, it also gives most Android tablets a run for their money.

Iphone 4 owners will be happy to hear that there is a considerable performance increase to be had simply by upgrading from IOS 4 to IOS 5. According to Anandtech's Sunspider benchmark there is a 15 per cent performance increase from IOS 4 to IOS 5, while the Rightware benchmark reports an increase of over 40 per cent.

While Apple's Iphone 4S clearly isn't a large step change in aesthetics from the previous version, the fact that it looks the same belies its considerable hardware upgrade. Not only does the dual-core A5 chip seem to be powerful, the tight coupling of hardware to software definitely seems to be starting to pay dividends.

Google's Android Ice Cream Sandwich that is expected to launch in the next few weeks will need to show significant optimisations to make the latest crop of Android smartphones compete in terms of performance against Apple's Iphone 4S device running IOS 5. µ


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