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


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.

  • Darren McCoy

    If all of this comes true (no design change, little processor increase) this may be the first year I don’t upgrade.

  • Darren McCoy

    Oh who am i kidding? All I need is a dual lens camera!

  • Richard Hallas

    The article says that the A10 is “only 10 points more than the A9X” in its Geekbench 3 results. And that’s wrong; the writer has misread the graph. Look at the labels at the bottom of the A9X and A10 columns; the A10 is 10 points SLOWER than the A9X. Hardly significant, but let’s get it right…

    • Undivided

      Looks to me that the chart is mislabled. Why chart the processors in succession until the A9?

  • DCJ001

    “the A10 achieves a score of 3,010. That’s only 491 points more than the A9, which scores 2,519,”

    If this is the actual score of the A10, it is about 20% faster than the A9.

  • iWiki

    What an UTTER BORE! Apple needs to WAKE THE HELL UP! What the hell are they thinking?! Are they that arrogant that they think loyal Apple fans will put up with the same sh!t for three years in a row?!?

    • What “same shit” are you talking about? My iPhone 6 is a great phone, fast, capable and delivers everything I need. You make it sound like There’s something wrong with what Apple is doing and that the iPhone is crappy, when actual real-world processing shows that the iPhone womps the hell out of even the latest Android phones for speed and efficiency in benchmarks. Your rant is misplaced. Just what specifically are you expecting out of your phone: the ability to fly?

  • Hold it… The A9 processor in the iPhone 6s is rated at 2519 on the chart. The A10 that will power the iPhone 7 is rated at 3000. That’s a significant increase in speed and power. Who cares how it compares to the A9X CPU of the iPad Pro? The A9X has never been used in an iPhone, therefore the iPhone 7 will be significantly faster than the iPhone 6s! Killian: What kind of dumb comparison are you trying to foist off on us? Am I the only one who sees this?