iPhone SE Beats Samsung S20 Ultra and Pixel 4 in CPU and GPU Performance

Imran Hussain
iPhone SE Pre-Order

As per new benchmarks from an iPhone SE review, the smartphone beats every Android flagship phone in various CPU and GPU performance comparisons. Because of its smaller display which requires has a lower resolution compared to every other flagship iPhone 11 models, iPhone SE even outperforms them in GPU intensive benchmarks.

Powered by an A13 Bionic processor, iPhone SE in a powerhouse in a small package. Despite a smaller size and lower price tag, it has exactly the same processor as iPhone 11, with the same clock speeds and core count. As per AnandTech's review, the A13 Bionic SoC has the following specifications:

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  • 2 × Lightning Performance @ 2.66GHz 8MB L2
  • 4 × Thunder Efficiency @ 1.73GHz 4MB L2

The iPhone SE is also powered by an Apple GPU with 4 Cores, however, the RAM used in the device is 3GB, which is 1GB less than iPhone 11. iOS devices don't need 12GB of RAM to function well like Android flagships, so iPhone SE has more than enough RAM to outperform Android offerings.

AnandTech put the phone through the paces against other iPhone models, and flagships smartphones by Samsung, Huawei, ASUS, Sony, LG, Google, and OnePlus. iPhone SE came out on top in almost all benchmarks against Android phones, and even beat iPhone 11 in one.

The first benchmarks involved Javascript performance, and iPhone SE was just behind iPhone 11 smartphones in Speedometer 2.0, however, it beat iPhone 11 in JetStream 2. Compared to the next Android competitor in these benchmarks, iPhone SE was twice as fast as Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, which is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865.

In WebXPRT 3, which is another browser based web-performance benchmark, iPhone SE was outperformed by iPhone 11. This can be attributed to the smartphones have larger batteries which can help with power-efficiency, compared to SE's smaller battery.

iPhone SE benchmarks
iPhone SE benchmarks 2

In Basemark GPU 1.2, Samsung S20 Galaxy Ultra, a $1,400 smartphone, was toe to toe with iPhone SE in sustained performance, however, the latter comfortably outperformed it in peak performance. In other GFXBench benchmarks, iPhone SE was way ahead of Android offerings, even beating iPhone 11 in Vulkan/Metal off-screen numbers, in sustained performance. Check out the detailed GPU benchmarks here.

iPhone SE GPU performance 1
iPhone SE GPU performance 2
iPhone SE GPU performance 3

These benchmarks did not include Geekbench numbers, which is often wrongly criticized to be favorable to iOS devices in terms of performance measuring. Of course, benchmarks only tell one side of the story. However, these performance numbers show that Android smartphone performance numbers are not all they are made out to be by their manufacturers, if a $400 phone can outperform their $1400 smartphone. If anything, this should compel Android customers to ask for better performance on low to mid-range Android smartphones from OEMs.

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