A mobile phone is for most peoples their most frequently use piece of technology and thus the faster it is able to perform the tasks you want it to do for you the more productive you will be. While menial tasks you can do on your phone such as sending a tweet or even making a call can easily be done on low spec phones if you want the best graphics in your games or you are doing video editing or other processor demanding task you need a smart phone with a fast CPU. We have therefore compiled the charts of the fastest CPUs available in phones at this moment.
- Apples A10 Fusion processor. This quad core 64bit SOC (system on a chip) combines a 4 core 2.35GHz CPU, GPU, RAM, Data cache and motion controller into one complete chip. This is the first quad core chip that from Apple and offers a 40% performance boost of the dual core A9 chip as found in the iPhone 6S. The A10 uses ARM’s big.LITTLE technology where only some of the cores are high performance and the others are low power and used for less demanding tasks such as handing calls and text messages. This means it should show and improvement in battery life when your not needing the speed of the faster cores. The A10 Fusion scores a massive 178,399 on AnTuTu benchmark which puts it way out in front of the processors from the competition. As you would expect for a product developed by Apple the A10 CPU is only available in Apples iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821. Another 64bit quad core CPU with integrated Data and instruction cache. Unlike the Apple A10 fusion the Snapdragon 821 is manufactured on a 14nm processes meaning more components can be squeezed onto the chip compared to the 16mn process used to make the A10. It also utilises ARM big.LITTLE tech so that 2 of the cores are high performance and 2 low power cores but unlike Apple the 821 can use all 4 cores simultaneously. The CPU runs at 2.4GHz and although this is a higher clock speed than the A10 it’s highest AnTuTu score is 160856 which for the LeEco Pro 3 smartphone. This is still an impressive score though with the top 5 fastest phones having the Qualcomm snapdragon 821 CPU powering them. Google Pixel, LeEgo Le Pro 3, Oneplus 3, Xiaomi Mi 5S, Smartisan M1L
- Hi Silicon Kirin 960. This is Huawei high end SOC is aimed at taking on Qualcomm and Samsung. It is a 8 core big.LITTLE design based on the ARM Cortex A73 at clocked at 2.4GHz. 4 of the cores are based on low-power consumption A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz. Along side all that is the latest Mali-G71 GPU. The Kirin 960 is able to support the latest LPDDR4 memory running at 1.8GHz giving an performance boost over DDR3 memory. The Mali-G71 GPU also helps the Kirin 960 boost graphics performance and has an 180% improvement over the GPU found in the Kirin 950 SOC. The Mali-G71 also supports a 120Hz refresh rate for displays making it ideal for VR headsets. It scored 146942 on Antutu benchmarks. Currently the only phone running on this chip is the Huawei Mate 9
- Samsung Exynos 8890. Another Octa core processor using ARMs big.LITTLE design with 4 powerful Mongoose 64bit ARMv8 cores and 4 low power A53 Cortex cores for low end tasks. Its coupled with a Mali T880MP12 GPU at 650MHz and supports LPDDR4 memory at 1.8GHz. On the AntuTu benchmark it scored 103,692.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and the recently discontinued Galaxy Note 7 both have this CPU
- MediaTek Helio x20 MT6797T. This processor is different from the other smartphone CPUs in that it is a deca core (10 core) chip. Media tech also have enhanced the big.LITTLE high core and low core tech in that they can have an intermediate medium setting for when you need a big more grunt but not all 10 cores. It is high spec cores are based on ARM Cortex A72 design clocked up to 2.5GHz. It then has 4 ARM Corex A53 at 1.8GHz and then 4 at 1.4GHz. It is manufactured using 20nm technology though so dispite having more cores and faster clock speeds only achieves an AnTuTU score of 85,465. Perhaps if in the future Mediatek switch to 16 or 14nm fabrication then they will get better performance. Some of the phones using this SOC are Vernee Apollo Lite, Xiaomi Redmi Pro, Elephone S7, Meizu Pro 6
One factor which can affect the results of these CPU performance tests is the operating system that the phone runs on. With Android being customised by each manufacturer to their specific requirements some handsets may perform better on the benchmark than other and tweaking the OS may give some of these benchmarks an improvement.
One company you may notice that is absent from this chart is Intel, they may dominate in the computing world but in the arena of the mobile phone they were struggling to get market share and cancelled the replacement for the current series of Atom chips back in March 2016, effectively ending their push of Intel chips in the smartphone.