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iPhone 8 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 8 speed test: The upset of the year

iPhone 8 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 8

The iPhone has what’s arguably the best mobile processor in town. The A11 Bionic is as fast as in benchmark tests as some of the most recent Intel chips that power Apple’s MacBook Pro, and well above what’s possible on Android devices. We’ve now witnessed various real-life speed tests starring the new iPhone which showed how much faster the handset can be when it comes to day-to-day tasks. But a brand new showdown with the Galaxy Note 8 reveals that Apple may have a problem on its hands.

To recap, the iPhone 8 Plus crushed the Galaxy Note 8 in 4K video processing tests. But it also lost a similar battle to last year’s iPhone 7 Plus, and showed weakness in the most recent comparison with the Galaxy Note 8 in one critical department: RAM management.

You’ll see the same thing happen in the following video. The “standard” speed test is performed in PhoneBuff’s clip, where both the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 have to open a series of apps twice. Whatever phone is the fastest overall, wins. The first lap measures how fast each phone opens apps, including basic ones and resource heavy apps. The iPhone is slower when it comes to tiny apps, but wins big when it comes to games and other apps that require more processing power.

The second lap looks at RAM management, which is where Samsung’s 6GB of RAM shines, as all the apps opened on the first lap remain available. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 Plus keeps some games open but has to reload others. This is what helps the Galaxy Note 8 finish both rounds before the iPhone 8 Plus.

What that means for users is that the more apps you have open on an iPhone right now, the less likely for you to pick up where you left off in all of them. For Apple, it means it has to further optimize app management and transitions, and fix RAM management if it needs fixing. If there’s one other thing the iPhone is well-known for is being able to quickly bring apps back from memory. The fact that iPhone 7 Plus was faster in a similar test than the iPhone 8 Plus seems to indicate the newest iPhone still needs some work. Also, iOS 11 is anything but polished right now, so there will be plenty of improvements to come.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.