One of the boons of upgrading to the new iPhone every year is that the new one always feels so much faster. For most of us, it’s a nice feeling, and we leave it at that. The phone feels fast, then we get used to that speed, then the next one comes along and ... ooooh, that’s fast!
If you’re interested in learning more about how fast the newest phones are, tech blog AnandTech released its review of the iPhone 11 and iPhone Pro, which includes a detailed analysis of Apple’s A13 processor, the CPU that’s inside the new iPhones. Anandtech produces some of the most detailed reviews in tech, and their iPhone review includes a lot of analysis you might be interested in if you’d like to get to know your pocket computer a little better.
So how fast are the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro relative to last year’s model? According to the review, Anandtech found that the iPhone 11’s processor is 20 per cent faster than the one in the iPhone XS and XR. The review also says it’s double the speed of the best non-iPhone mobile processor, and “matches” top of the line desktop CPUs from AMD and Intel. (As someone who just paid a significant chunk of change on a new CPU for my gaming PC, I found this ... disheartening.)
That said, despite all the bluster, some tests have suggested the A13 can be beaten. Multiple sites including 9to5Mac and BGR have released speed tests comparing the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Samsung Note 10+, and have all found that the Note 10 performs better than the iPhone when given many tasks at once. As 9to5Mac notes, this may be related to the fact that the Note 10+ has much, much more RAM than the iPhone, but speed is speed.
In addition to discussing speed, the review also reveals some drawback that might not be apparent just from daily use. As 9to5Mac pointed out, Anandtech found that the A13 is slightly less power-efficient than the A12. As the review points out, this doesn’t lead to worse battery life. (In fact, the review confirms that both of the 11 and 11 Pro last longer than their predecessors). It does, however, mean that the iPhone 11 is slightly more likely throttle performance or even shut down when exposed to high temperatures.
This is all a long-winded way of saying that, no, you aren’t imagining it when you pick up the new iPhone and it feels much faster—it actually is.