iPhone 12 Pro blows away Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in real-world speed test

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An iPhone 12 Pro speed test against Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was no contest.
There’s no doubt which handset is faster, iPhone 12 Pro or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
Photo: PhoneBuff

The new iPhone 12 Pro takes the crown as the fastest smartphone. It significantly beat the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in a speed test designed to evaluate real-world use.

Apple’s new processor and additional RAM helped push its handset over the top.

Speed test shows iPhone 12 beats Galaxy Note

Benchmark tests already show that the Apple A14 Bionic processor makes the iPhone 12 faster than its rival. The iOS device pulls in 3882 on the Geekbench 5 multicore test. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra scored a 2770 on this same test, in which higher scores are better. But not everyone trusts benchmarks.

So a head-to-head test done by YouTube channel PhoneBuff goes beyond benchmarks to test everyday use. Lap 1 requires the two devices to open a series of applications and perform tasks. Then, in Lap 2, the same apps are opened again to see how quickly they reload.

iPhone 12 won Lap 1 of the speed test by more than 14 seconds. This demonstrates the power of the A14 Bionic processor, which has four “performance” cores running at 3 GHz plus two “efficiency” cores to save battery life. It’s the first commercially available chip made with a 5 nanometer process.

Additional RAM for the win

Next, the latest iOS device beat the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in Lap 2 of the speed test by three seconds. Reopening previously opened applications is a task earlier iPhones were weaker in because of Apple’s habit of putting a minimal amount of RAM in even its high-end models. But the iPhone 12 packs 50% more RAM than its predecessor.

Samsung includes 12 MB of RAM in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, while the iPhone 12 Pro comes with 6 GB. The fact that Apple’s handset won Lap 2 indicates that iOS manages RAM better than its rival.

All four iPhone 12 series models use the same A14 Bionic processor, but only the two Pro models come with 6 GB of RAM. The “standard” iPhone 12 versions come with just 4 GB.

In the full speed test, Samsung’s handset performed 12% slower than Apple’s. Watch the PhoneBuff video to see the complete test.

“We conducted multiple trials on each phone and found these results to be consistent,” said David from PhoneBuff. “The iPhone 12 Pro brings a significant jump in performance over last year’s model, thanks to both the new A14 Bionic chip and having 50% more RAM.”