Don’t expect your iPhone 7 to be much faster than iPhone 6s

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Gaming on iPhone won't change much over the next 12 months.
Photo: Apple

This year’s iPhone upgrade won’t bring a new design, a sharper OLED display, or wireless charging. It probably won’t bring any significant improvement in performance over the iPhone 6s, either, according to these early A10 processor benchmarks.

Some of Apple’s chip upgrades have delivered sizable improvements in performance. The A6 was more than twice as powerful as the A5; the A7 brought a massive boost just a year later; and last year’s A9 chip was a big upgrade over the A8 that powered the iPhone 6 series.

Don’t expect a similar step up with the iPhone 7 this fall. According to early Geekbench 3 results spotted by TechTastic, this year’s A10 chip will be only slightly faster than last year’s A9, and almost identical to the A9X that powers the iPad Pro.

In single-core tests, the A10 achieves a score of 3,010. That’s only 491 points more than the A9, which scores 2,519, and only 10 points more than the A9X.

Apple A10 benchmarks
A10 vs. its predecessors.
Photo: TechTastic

It’s not all bad news, though. The iPhone 6s series is already incredibly powerful, and manages to outpace rival devices like the Galaxy S7, despite fewer processing cores and less RAM. The iPhone 7 certainly won’t be a slouch without big performance improvements, then.

And without adding power we don’t need yet, Apple ensures the iPhone is as efficient as possible. Faster processors and extra cores require more power, and if they’re not being used up, they’re burning through battery life unnecessarily.

It’s worth remembering, however, that these are early benchmarks, and they could be based on a prototype device that doesn’t necessarily reflect the final iPhone 7 design. They could also be completely fake; it’s not too difficult to create bogus benchmark results.