There has been a somewhat sad irony in the smartphone market over the past few years. Android device vendors initially had some trouble competing with Apple’s iPhone, so one tactic they tried was to focus on specs and perceived power. Apple’s iPhone lineup has always appeared to be behind the times on paper, so it was an easy target in this regard; even now, the iPhone doesn’t pack an octa-core processor or eye-popping processor clock speeds like many Android phones.

Of course, Apple is all about efficiency and savvy smartphone users all know that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the fastest and most powerful smartphones in the world despite appearing somewhat modest on paper. Interestingly, however, that title could be stripped from Apple’s new iPhones sooner than anyone expected.

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Real-world performance tests and benchmark performance tests are both important pieces of the puzzle that combine to give users an idea of how powerful a smartphone is. And in both cases, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have no equal.

Where real-world performance is concerned, Apple’s latest iPhones have no equal. Here’s a video of the iPhone 7 embarrassing Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, which is now discontinued but was briefly the most powerful Android phone in the world.

Benchmark test results paint a similar picture — not even Google’s brand new Pixel phones can touch the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. In tests performed using popular benchmark software from AnTuTu, Google’s Pixels score a 1580 on the single-core test and around 4100 on the multi-core test, while Apple’s iPhone 7 handsets score 3430 and 5600 on the same tests.

2016’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus remained two of the fastest phones on the planet even a full year after they released. In fact, the iPhone 6s is still faster than leading Android flagship phones in real-world speed tests. But the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus might not enjoy the same impressive run, because an Android vendor is claiming that its next-generation smartphone chip is already faster than Apple’s latest and greatest devices.

As noted by Android Central, Huawei held a press conference in Shanghai, China to unveil its new Kirin 960 processor. The 16nm chipset uses four latest-generation high-performance ARM Cortex-A73 cores as well as four low-power A53 cores to provide power or energy efficiency depending on the needs of the users at any given time.

During the announcement, Huawei ran a demo of a real-world speed test that showed an unreleased Huawei phone powered by the new Kirin chipset opening 13 of the 14 most popular apps in China faster than Apple’s iPhone 7. Huawei’s tests also showed that while the Apple A10 powered iPhone 7 still manages to better numbers in single-core performance tests, the new Kirin 960 tops Apple in multi-core performance.

We won’t know anything for certain until Huawei releases a smartphone powered by the Kirin 960, but it certainly appears as though the company has done an impressive job on its new chipset.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.