System Performance

Performance-wise, the inclusion of the new A13 chip should essentially blow the iPhone 8 out of the water given it’s two generations newer than the A11. For more details about the A13, please read our in-depth coverage of the chip in our review of the iPhone 11 series.

Speedometer 2.0 - OS WebView JetStream 2 - OS Webview

In the steady-state Javascript web benchmarks, the iPhone SE unsurprisingly matches the newer iPhone 11. In JetStream, the phone even gets a boost here, which might be due to the newer iOS version. I haven’t had the chance to re-test the older iPhones, but I’m certain the scores will level out across the A13 generation devices.

WebXPRT 3 - OS WebView

On WebXPRT 3, the iPhone SE did score quite a bit worse than the iPhone 11 phones. This test is more interactive in its workloads and more impacted by DVFS responsiveness, rather than just being a continuous stead-state load. It’s very much possible that Apple has tuned down the DVFS of the chip in order to remain at the more power efficient frequency states for more workloads. I haven’t had the time to update Xcode to run our workload ramp test yet – but it’s something that can be easily verified in a follow-up update on the topic.

Update April 29th: 

I was also able to verify the CPU frequencies of the A13 in the iPhone SE, and the phone tracks identical peak frequencies as on the iPhone 11. This means that we're seeing 2.66GHz peak clocks on the Lightning cores when a single core is on, and up to around 2.59GHz when both cores are enabled. The Thunder cores clock in at up to 1.73GHz as well, just as on the iPhone 11’s.

The DVFS of the two phones is also identical – with the same ramp-up times between the SE and the iPhone 11. In general, any performance differences between the new SE and the flagship phones should simply be due to thermal characteristics of the smaller phone, possibly throttling things faster when under more strenuous workloads.

Overall Performance

Whilst I haven’t had too much time on the SE, the first impressions of the device are very much that this is just an as good experience as the iPhone 11 series. Much like on the iPhone 11 series, I actually feel that the raw performance of the hardware is actually hampered by the software, for example animations could be much shorter or even disabled in order to improve the user’s experience of speed and responsiveness. In either case, the iPhone SE’s performance is fantastic, and that’s due to the A13 chipset’s raw power.

Introduction & Design GPU Performance


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  • cha0z_ - Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - link

    My secondary iphone 6s is as fast and smoother on ios 14 beta 3 vs my exynos note 9. So I guess what happened with 4s will stay there and you all can stop using that argument without knowing nothing how things works nowdays. Same for ios "limiting" roflmao, there are literally tons of settings that you can change and tweak without jailbreak and jailbreak is insanely customizable with high quality stuff. Not to mention that the last few things missing are added in ios14 - app drawer, widgets on the screen, caller notification while you are using the phone, picture in picture for videos.

    Apple not only FULLY supports for 6+ years with day one major/minor/beta the same way as their most expensive current iphone, but they also still release security updates for iphones as old as 4s from 2011. Now let's take a look at my note 9 - they wanted to abandon the phone at ONE YEAR AND A HALF MARK! Only backslash make them reconsider and release oneui 2.1 for that phone. What GREAT support by samsung for my 1k euro phone! Android manufacturers was quick to bump prices to apple's and beyond apple's level, but don't want to provide the same benefits. Noo, they provide 2 vs 6 years support that is "region based" and on top of that the biggest android representative - samsung - sells 2 years behind exynos cr*p in Europe and most of the world for profits! Enough is enough.
  • blackcrayon - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    "best performance when you just look at benchmarks"
    Or, you know, actually running software which these benchmarks represent, year after year. "Optimised benchmark OS" is also pretty hilarious, considering what Apple's competitors have been proven to be guilty of, but not them for some reason...
  • michael2k - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    You do realize that Apple has something like 45% market share here in the US, right? Calling half the target audience 'dummies' doesn't win you friends.

    In any case, I don't see why you're so angry about a phone you won't use? It sounds like all this is irrelevant to you.
  • Retycint - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    To be fair, about 46% of people voted for Trump in 2016, so I'd wager there are at least 46% of the US population who are idiots Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Saturday, April 25, 2020 - link

    note that some had reasonable reasons to vote for him:
    - think he would become reasonable once in office and as long time republican bought into all the conspiracy nonsense about hilary
    - believed he was a successful business man, would not be corrupt as he didn't need money and might run the country differently from politicians (yes he was a bad business man and a con man just looking to earn but most ppl figured that out after the elections)
    - don't care for anyone else but themselves and betting he would lower taxes (he did so win for them)

    That's about it but covers a lot of people in a country where collaborating
    and caring for others is discouraged (individualism ftw), where CEO's and the rich are worshipped, government feared and education is bad while fake news and election interference (mostly through making it harder to vote) is rampant.
  • Deicidium369 - Sunday, April 26, 2020 - link

    - He was always a jackass
    - He was never successful in business - he amassed a small fortune by starting with a large one
    - Every president since Reagan has give me and my kind a massive tax cut after massive taxcut. I have never abd will never vote for a republican.

    I am sure I am not worshipped by my over 1000 employees - 900 or so have been idled since 3rd week in March - and are and will continue to draw full pay (based on 40 hours, some were getting 50+ while working - pay 25% above national average for those positions at $22/hr) and don't need the federal bailout - since I am a Liberal, and actually understand what so many so called "job creators" don't - how to run a business, and understanding that having at least a year worth of full Opex in the bank. Also have spent $3-4M this year to make sure the kids who only got 1 meal a day - while they were in school are getting something to eat. Also funding various foodbanks in my area.

    So don't lump us all together - I doubt you are doing 1% of what this 1%er is doing.
  • sonny73n - Saturday, April 25, 2020 - link

    I don’t need dummies for friends. I’m using an iPhone too. Not because I want to but my wife likes to use FaceTime. It’s a 4 years old 6s and it would be the last iPhone I ever bought. Reply
  • Deicidium369 - Sunday, April 26, 2020 - link

    Don't need friends - and I could do without 55% of the population - starting with the people who live in the Red welfare states (ALL red states are welfare states) Reply
  • Sharma_Ji - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    1/3rd price of android flagships, so your market is limited to USA only, i see.
    Cause where i live, people with average hands can easily buy and use a flagship android for the price this SE2 sells here.
  • euskalzabe - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    Well, yeah, AT is based on the USA, so of course they're more focused on that market. I wish we could buy Xiaomi or Huawei devices like my friends do in Europe: great phones for bargain prices. Then you look at the LTE bands they support, and bam, they don't work in the USA. So this SE is an incredible deal in a $400 territory where we don't have a lot of options. Reply

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