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Comparison video shows speeds of five iPhones running iOS 7
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MacNN Staff
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Dec 22, 2013, 09:10 AM
A new comparison video that hit the Internet last week shows off the degree to which the iPhone 5s is faster than its predecessors. TheUnlockr took each of the iPhones that is capable of running iOS 7 and put them against each other in a speed test. Apple's newest smartphone, the most powerful to date with a 64-bit processor of course bested all of the previous models. The video, though, demonstrates the progress Apple has made with its handhelds, as the difference in speed between the older devices and the newer models is more than apparent.

The tests begin with a boot-up run, which the iPhone 5s wins handily, followed by the iPhone 5 and then its older siblings in descending order. As seen in the video, the iPhone 5s has been sitting on the lock screen for some time by the time the iPhone 4 – with just an 800MHz A4 processor and 500MB of RAM – catches up. The 5c regularly appears to be just slightly ahead of the iPhone 5, though this may be due to impreciseness in the timing of the tests.
Throughout the rest of the tests – video gaming, web surfing, and so forth – the iPhone 5s outperforms the other iPhones. With its 64-bit A7 processor and a full gigabyte of RAM, Apple's device has consistently outperformed not only its predecessors, but also other high-end phones.
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Dec 22, 2013, 10:22 AM
Many thanks. With a writer's budget, my iPhones are always second-hand. You've convinced me that when I need to replace my 3gs, nothing less than a 4s makes sense. It's also interesting that for day-to-day use, there's not a lot of difference beyond the 4s. Unfortunately, that's not likely to last. Power always seems to begat apps that need that power.
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Dec 22, 2013, 10:58 AM
I'm sure 90% of the consumers out there would be perfectly happy with a 4s or 5 yet the tech pundits go crazy if they can't have the latest smartphone and then they think every older smartphone is obsolete. It's going to take a long time for the majority of Android smartphones to get even close to the speed of the 64-bit A7 iPhone, but so what. Consumers buy most Android smartphones because they're cheap and they're either low- or midrange models. I doubt even the next model Galaxy S5 will have a 64-bit processor because as far as I know, Android OS doesn't yet support 64-bit processors. Samsung is going to have to crank up its quad-core chip to the melting point to outrun Apple's A7.
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Dec 22, 2013, 01:22 PM
To be fair, tech pundits' job is to write stuff we haven't read yet. So writing about the phone that's been available for a year or two isn't news.

If you look at actual sales data (at least for iPhones), customers seem perfectly aware that their needs are well-served by the older models.
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Dec 22, 2013, 07:00 PM
I can vouch for the fact that the 4S is probably the minimum.

I have a 4, and it's hard to call iOS 7's performance "acceptable." It gets the job done, but it's painful sometimes. Some things that were responsive before (unlocking the lock screen, swiping screens, etc.) are now sluggish and/or less responsive, requiring you to slow your fingers down a tad in order to make successful input actions.

Typing in some applications is downright atrocious. I can touch out two or three 5-letter words before the keyboard even catches up.

I think it all boils down to iOS 7 performing much better on (and potentially being optimized for) a dual-core processor. That makes all the difference in the world.

If anyone were wondering the absolute minimum iPhone to run iOS 7 on, I couldn't recommend the 4 and would have to recommend the 4S.
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