Apple’s main rivals have unveiled their next-gen chips a few weeks before Apple’s annual September iPhone press conference. Both Qualcomm and Huawei made their 7nm processors official — the Snapdragon 855 and Kirin 980 — just before Apple is set to tell the world how fast its 7nm A12 chips are. And from the looks of it, Apple’s mobile processors will have no rivals for at least one more year. Of course, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering how much better Apple’s A series chips are than comparable rivals each and every year.
Qualcomm was first to tell the world the Snapdragon 855 samples will be soon available to partners, with the 855 being the successor of the 845 chip that powers this year’s most exciting Android phones like the Galaxy S9 and Note 9, the OnePlus 6, the Pixel 3, and many others. Huawei followed a few days later, unveiling the Kirin 980 at IFA 2018, which it labeled the world’s first 7nm chip.
But the world’s first 7nm chip that will actually ship to consumers will be the A12 inside this year’s three new iPhones. A while ago, we saw the first benchmarks for the new A12 that revealed the chip will offer significant performance gains compared to the A11 Bionic.
Now, a seasoned mobile leaker posted the first Snapdragon 855 benchmark, as follows:
Snapdragon 855，Geekben 4.0.4，Semi-custom architecture based on Cortex-A76. pic.twitter.com/Wmb8bwVI51
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) September 4, 2018
This chip that will power the Galaxy S10 next year hit nearly 3700 in single-core and 10469 in multi-core tests. The Galaxy S10 may get chips built on the same process technology as Apple’s A12, but from the looks of it, the Snapdragon 855 won’t be able to outscore the 2017 iPhones when it comes to single-core performance. Here’s what the iPhone X scores on iOS 12 beta:
That said, the Snapdragon 855’s scores are significantly higher than what you get from this year’s flagship Qualcomm chip. The 845 hits around 2400 and up to 8900 in the same test. With that in mind, it’s also worth looking at Huawei’s presentation slides from IFA, as the Chinese vendor compared the Kirin 980 platform to this year’s Snapdragon 845. Here’s another shot from Ice Universe:
Kirin 980（PPT） pic.twitter.com/EVvuIugC33
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) August 31, 2018
The first slide suggests the Kirin 980 will be about as fast in benchmarks as the Snapdragon 855, but that’s still slower than the A12 processor.