Speed – can you tell the difference?
Apple’s iPhones have always been speedy thanks to the company’s tight integration of
hardware and software. Rival phone makers may tout impressive-sounding internal specs and enough RAM to fill a desktop computer, but they consistently fail to keep up with iPhones in real-world tests.
It’s Apple’s chip that contributes to this. The iPhone SE, 6s and 6s Plus come equipped with the A9 chip, while the 7 and 7 Plus sport the A10 Fusion chip. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X were upgraded to the brand-new A11 Bionic chip, so named for its impressive artificial intelligence capabilities.
Chip off the old block
When it first introduced the A9 chip, Apple claimed it was 70% faster than its A8 predecessor. Then came the A10 Fusion, which Apple announced was 40% speedier than the A9. Now, the A11 Bionic, says Apple, is 70% faster than the A10 Fusion.
The A11 Bionic manages its power cleverly, distributing power between its two performance cores and four efficiency cores depending on what tasks you’re doing. That has an interesting side effect: despite having a more powerful chip than the iPhone 7, the iPhone X’s battery lasts two hours longer thanks to that efficient use of power.
Do you need a more powerful chip? The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X are all capable of doing more powerful things than the iPhone SE, for example, so the A11 Bionic needs to be faster. For what you’ll do with an SE, the A9 will be brilliant. Want to do more with your smartphone? The A11 Bionic will serve you well.