GameBench shows iPhone 6 beats Galaxy S6 in game performance & better looking graphics

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2015
Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus from last fall beat this year's top Android flagship phones in a series of raw performance benchmarks. However, despite often having a pixel resolution advantage, Android phones also typically deliver worse looking graphics on top of being slower, as revealed by GameBench.



Back in April, AppleInsider detailed graphics performance of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus against Samsung's Galaxy S5, S6 and Note 4 (detailed above).

Shortly afterward, gaming-oriented benchmarks firm GameBench performed its own video games evaluation of iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6, as well as Google's Nexus 6 and the HTC One M9, evaluating median frame per second performance while playing a variety of different types of games from various developers.

Overall, those tests showed that Apple's iPhone 6 performed best in terms of median FPS as well as in the minimum FPS achieved during testing. iPhone 6 also scored best in "FPS stability," a measurement of how well the device could sustain high performance gameplay.


Source: GameBench


The firm's full report also detailed that "iPhone games use around a quarter of the RAM of the Android games we tested," highlighting the fallacy of comparing hardware numbers alone, or raw benchmarks without any context or sanity checks. "iPhone games use around a quarter of the RAM of the Android games we tested" - GameBench

In our own testing, we have consistently found that iOS devices not only outperform their Android counterparts, but do so using less RAM and lower CPU clock rates.

Being faster while using less hardware indicates that Apple's iOS software (along with the platform's third party apps) is better optimized, which also helps iOS devices to claim better battery life on smaller, thinner devices.

What about screen resolution?

Android fans are often quick to blame poor graphics performance on the higher resolution screens that many Android phones use. This is partly correct: as we have frequently noted before, Samsung's use of extremely high resolution screens -- paired with relatively anemic processors -- is a primary reason why its high end devices perform more like basic gear, despite Galaxy S6 having a retail price higher than iPhone 6.

However, to get around the engineering flaw of too many pixels and not enough GPU horsepower, many game developers scale down Android graphics to the point where games look no better or sometimes even worse, in addition to being slower overall, as GameBench notes in its latest report on iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy S6.To get around the engineering flaw of too many pixels and not enough GPU horsepower, many game developers scale down Android graphics to the point where games look no better or sometimes even worse

As the site observed, "does the Galaxy S6 even offer a perceptibly higher resolution during gameplay? From what we can tell, it usually does not: it appears to upscale games from 1080p or, in some instances even 720p, to the point where our testers really couldn't tell much difference."

GameBench testing revealed that the same games can perform differently on iOS and Android, depending on how well optimized their code is, whether the developer chooses to set a maximum frame rate (which limits quality but enhances the frame rate stability of the game), and what resolution and rendering quality level the developer sets for the title.

For example, in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, GameBench found that while game frame rate and resolution appeared similar across iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Android devices, it wasn't a matter of Samsung being 'faster but held back by its higher screen resolution.'

Instead, to achieve compatible performance with iOS, the quality of graphics was scaled back on Android, something that isn't apparent when looking at benchmarks but is visible when looking at GameBench's comparative screenshots.




Despite a higher resolution, Galaxy S6 graphics lack detail. Source: GameBench

Android struggles in real world gameplay

The site also found that the first of two driving games, Asphalt 8 and Real Racing, appears to fix the maximum frame rate of both iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 at 30 FPS, which allows the HTC One M9 to achieve a higher frame rate in the first game, albeit with less consistent stability. Google brought up the rear, with the report noting that "Nexus 6 offered the least smooth experience, with very frequent and serious frame rate drops."

The second driving title fixes the top resolution of iPhone 6 at 30 FPS, but allows all three Android phones to achieve unlimited frame rates. This results in the title playing back smoothly and consistently on iPhone 6, while other phones occasionally max out frame rates but do so at the expense of smooth gameplay.

"Specifically," GameBench notes, "the Galaxy S6 doesn't appear to cope well with having multiple cars in view at the same time, which means that races often start at a low frame rate and only become smoother when the player's car separates from the rest of the pack. The M9 and Nexus 6 are also quite shaky."Galaxy S6 doesn't appear to cope well with having multiple cars in view at the same time, which means that races often start at a low frame rate and only become smoother when the player's car separates from the rest of the pack

In Dead Trigger 2, GameBench reports that the developer didn't set a maximum frame rate for iOS, with the result that "iPhone 6 delivers extremely smooth, almost console-like graphics that are a sight to behold," while the Galaxy S6 was capped at 30 FPS. The HTC One and Nexus 6 performed even worse despite a similar frame rate cap, with the report noting, "these phones struggled during outdoor levels, when the device had to render multiple zombies at the same time as relatively large chunks of open environment."

Another shooter game, Kill Shot imposes a frame cap on iPhone 6 but not Android, enabling Android devices to reach higher max frame rates but with lower frame rate stability (inconsistently). Conversely, Modern Combat 5 imposes a frame rate cap on Android devices but not on iOS, so that "iPhone 6 is able to get to 60fps, creating a very smooth and console-like experience. The graphics in this game are quite incredible and the iPhone 6 does them justice."

Despite having a 30 FPS frame rate cap that should help it achieve better frame rate stability, however, the Galaxy S6 came in at "second place partly because it suffers more severe frame rate drops on a couple of occasions."


Modern Combat 5


GameBench noted that XCOM: Enemy Within is "a mobile port of a full sized PC game," and notes that iPhone 6 "plays the game at a very steady 30fps with only occasional drops down as far as 18fps," but conversely, Samsung's Galaxy S6 "struggled when the player's soldiers and aliens were onscreen at the same time, and especially during the zoomed-in animations that show each side taking shots at each other."Samsung's Galaxy S6 "struggled when the player's soldiers and aliens were onscreen at the same time, and especially during the zoomed-in animations that show each side taking shots at each other"

These titles show off software differences on iOS and Android where games play better on iPhones often because developers spend more time bringing the title to iOS, where apps tend to make more money. GameBench also profiled Boom Beach, a highly optimized game that plays back at high frame rates across the board. This indicates that part of the problem with Android games is that fewer games are actually optimized for Android.

Overall, GameBench concluded, "our test puts the iPhone 6 in the lead, because it shows that the iPhone 6 delivers roughly a 10 percent smoother experience than the Galaxy S6 across our basket of ten real-world, high-end games."

Samsung's stumbles are further weakening Android gaming prospects

While Apple's iPhone 6 turns in better performance than the fastest Android phone from Samsung, its also worth noting that Apple's less expensive iPhone 5s from 2013 also packs 64-bit high performance with its lower screen resolution, allowing it to run top games smoothly as well. That can't be said for second tier Android phones, including Nexus 6, a device that is still relatively expensive within the huge range of Android devices.

In fact, the collapse of HTC and poor showing of LG, combined with the disappointing sales of this year's Galaxy S6 flagships (which Samsung predicts to drive even lower revenues than last year) mean that the higher end of Android is losing market share faster than Android overall. That means developers hoping to bring their games to both iOS and Android will have to target an even larger proportion of low end Android products, leaving even less optimization for the small fragment of expensive Android devices that can claim some support for 64-bit CPUs and advanced GPUs.

Google itself is fixated on bringing Android to the "next billion" users, few of whom will be buying Samsung's most expensive products. That holds little hope for Android ever becoming the leading gaming platform many expected it to become. A series of Android video game system flops, including Google's own Android TV, are failing to attract serious game development to Android as well.

Samsung's poor showing over last year's iPhone 6, despite being newer and packing ostensibly improved hardware (including faster and more RAM), may help to explain why the company is rushing to launch its next Note 5 model in advance of Apple's revamped iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

Last year, its Note 4 did not stack up well against iPhone 6 Plus in graphics performance, despite being similarly rushed to market.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 85
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,310member
    This has been going on since the original iPhone days. Fandroids of course will find some way to spin this story and continue to be in denial that Android OS software (and the games) is garbage. Period. It's the low-expectation that they all accept, yet don't want to admit to.
  • Reply 2 of 85
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 699member
    Daniel Eran Dilger - You go gurl! Great article.
  • Reply 3 of 85
    troehltroehl Posts: 31member
    I'm curious whether any of these benchmarks take Metal into consideration....
  • Reply 4 of 85
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    Android and games just doesn't mix well.

     

    I'd been playing this multiplayer game that was first out for iOS for quite a while called WOT Blitz, and eventually, it was released for Android.

     

    Almost as soon as that happened, I noticed that the skill level of players decreased, due to the influx of Android players with their crappy devices. It's a team game, with 7 VS 7 matches, so unfortunately players are dependent upon their teammates to win matches, and I can definitely notice that the overall skill level of players in that game has suffered.

     

    iOS players and Android players should not mix. I fully support segregation of tech devices. Android just brings the quality down and provides a worse experience for everybody. Their devices are worse, their players are worse and games have to cater to the lowest common denominator when you add Android into the mix.

     

    Just say no to Android.

  • Reply 5 of 85
    apple ][ wrote: »
    Android and games just doesn't mix well.
    Android and ANYTHING don't mix well
  • Reply 6 of 85

    Does Samsung still overclock their CPU when it detects a benchmark running?

  • Reply 7 of 85
    staticx57staticx57 Posts: 395member
    troehl wrote: »
    I'm curious whether any of these benchmarks take Metal into consideration....

    In a sense non of these are benchmarks. It is a test of how a shipping game handles the hardware. If the game itself uses metal then the score reflects it.
  • Reply 8 of 85
    thttht Posts: 2,986member
    staticx57 wrote: »
    In a sense non of these are benchmarks. It is a test of how a shipping game handles the hardware. If the game itself uses metal then the score reflects it.

    That's exactly what a benchmark should do: measure the performance of hardware running the software that you use.

    The synthetic benchmarks used in a lot of reviews today like Geekbench or whatever GPU benchmark is a level of abstraction removed and really needs careful interpretation.
  • Reply 9 of 85
    prolineproline Posts: 184member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    Android and games just doesn't mix well.

     

    I'd been playing this multiplayer game that was first out for iOS for quite a while called WOT Blitz, and eventually, it was released for Android.

     

    Almost as soon as that happened, I noticed that the skill level of players decreased, due to the influx of Android players with their crappy devices. It's a team game, with 7 VS 7 matches, so unfortunately players are dependent upon their teammates to win matches, and I can definitely notice that the overall skill level of players in that game has suffered.

     

    iOS players and Android players should not mix. I fully support segregation of tech devices. Android just brings the quality down and provides a worse experience for everybody. Their devices are worse, their players are worse and games have to cater to the lowest common denominator when you add Android into the mix.


    Your post is off topic, illogical, and incoherent. How exactly does playing the exact same game on a different platform make you a worse player? It doesn't, aside from the completely temporary effects of bringing in inexperienced players. You should be glad that your favorite developer has expanded the number of people you can play with / against.

     

    I hate Android as much as the next guy, but not at the expense of reason.

  • Reply 10 of 85
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by proline View Post

     

    Your post is off topic, illogical, and incoherent. How exactly does playing the exact same game on a different platform make you a worse player? It doesn't, aside from the completely temporary effects of bringing in inexperienced players. You should be glad that your favorite developer has expanded the number of people you can play with / against.

     

    I hate Android as much as the next guy, but not at the expense of reason.




    It's totally on topic and even Spock would approve of the logic behind it. 

     

    Playing the same game on vastly inferior devices makes somebody a worse player, because of decreased game performance. And no, I'm not glad at all that Android players were added. The game already had many thousands of players before, and there was never any problem joining matches and they all began quickly without any waiting for players. I have definitely noticed a decrease in player skill level since the Android people were allowed to join the game.

     

    It's not like only 5 people in the world use iOS. iOS games do not need any additional Android players.

  • Reply 11 of 85
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    Android and games just doesn't mix well.

     

    I'd been playing this multiplayer game that was first out for iOS for quite a while called WOT Blitz, and eventually, it was released for Android.

     

    Almost as soon as that happened, I noticed that the skill level of players decreased, due to the influx of Android players with their crappy devices. It's a team game, with 7 VS 7 matches, so unfortunately players are dependent upon their teammates to win matches, and I can definitely notice that the overall skill level of players in that game has suffered.

     

    iOS players and Android players should not mix. I fully support segregation of tech devices. Android just brings the quality down and provides a worse experience for everybody. Their devices are worse, their players are worse and games have to cater to the lowest common denominator when you add Android into the mix.

     

    Just say no to Android.




    Yep, I play Word of Tanks Blitz too. You can definitely spot the Android players as they laggily jump across the map, you can't hit them and they just suddenly appear somewhere else. Constant complaints from them about performance and laggyness and why they haven't been able to join in the game. I don't mind Android users playing the game but keep them on their own server or something, it's frustrating when you're playing a team game and you're constantly let down by players who don't have the devices that can keep up with the demands of the game.

  • Reply 12 of 85
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    I have no love for Samsung or their phones but these benchmarks are absolutely meaningless. There isn't a game that's currently in the Google PlayStore that the Samsung couldn't run and run extremely well. Heck, the same thing could be said about the Nexus 5. Also if you look at the 1080p numbers there higher than the iPhone 6, so the only reason why the S6 is slower is because of it's higher resolution, if the S6 had the same resolution as the iPhone 6 is would be slightly faster but again that doesn't matter as there isn't a game that could possibly slow down the phone.

    I can care less about this but I always find it silly that you guys get so excited about nothing.
  • Reply 13 of 85
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member

    Yep, I play Word of Tanks Blitz too. You can definitely spot the Android players as they laggily jump across the map, you can't hit them and they just suddenly appear somewhere else. Constant complaints from them about performance and laggyness and why they haven't been able to join in the game. I don't mind Android users playing the game but keep them on their own server or something, it's frustrating when you're playing a team game and you're constantly let down by players who don't have the devices that can keep up with the demands of the game.

    It has very little to do with the hardware as most Android phones today are more than powerful enough to play most games, it's the the connection at which they connect with that is the problem. You forget that a lot of these people connect to these games via their 4G wireless. You would be surprised to find out that a lot of those slow players your talking about are using iPhone's with just a slow connections. I guess it's fun to point fingers at Android though.

    I've played Blitz using my Asus SL101, which is a 3 year old tablet and it works flawlessly, not a single frame drop, albeit my connection is fast.
  • Reply 14 of 85
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Relic View Post





    It has nothing to do with hardware but the connection at which their connected with. You forget that a lot of these people connect to these games via their 4G wireless. You would be surprised to find out that most of those slow players your talking about are using iPhone's with just a slow connections. I guess it's fun to point fingers at Android though.



    You sound like your name Relic.Apple sucks!

  • Reply 15 of 85
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    marvfox wrote: »

    You sound like your name Relic.Apple sucks!

    No, I just find it silly to call foul on something that has little to do with hardware. I mean if I can play Modern Combat 5 on a Samsung S2 online with out it lagging than the S6 definitely won't have any issues either. I no longer use a Android phone but I still do have a Nexus 9, a Nvidia Shield Tablet and the new Nvidia Shield TV, I'm playing games like Doom 3, Half Life 2, Portal and soon even Crysis 3 without a single issue or frame drop. Granted these aren't console games but their no slouch either. I think people here are just a little to biased, if you don't like Android than just don't use it. Why are articles like this even posted, if your happy with the hardware you have, great, no need to tell others how much better it is than another thing, especially when most of what is said here is simply not correct. I only mentioned the iPhone because Blitz was offered on iOS way before Android, it's only logical that there would be more iPhone users than Android, you cannot presume that a laggy tank is an Android user, it's most likely someone with just a poor connection. I guess I am a relic.
  • Reply 16 of 85
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,097member
    apple ][ wrote: »
    Android and games just doesn't mix well.

    I'd been playing this multiplayer game that was first out for iOS for quite a while called WOT Blitz, and eventually, it was released for Android.

    Almost as soon as that happened, I noticed that the skill level of players decreased, due to the influx of Android players with their crappy devices. It's a team game, with 7 VS 7 matches, so unfortunately players are dependent upon their teammates to win matches, and I can definitely notice that the overall skill level of players in that game has suffered.

    iOS players and Android players should not mix. I fully support segregation of tech devices. Android just brings the quality down and provides a worse experience for everybody. Their devices are worse, their players are worse and games have to cater to the lowest common denominator when you add Android into the mix.

    Just say no to Android.

    apple ][ wrote: »

    It's totally on topic and even Spock would approve of the logic behind it. 

    Playing the same game on vastly inferior devices makes somebody a worse player, because of decreased game performance. And no, I'm not glad at all that Android players were added. The game already had many thousands of players before, and there was never any problem joining matches and they all began quickly without any waiting for players. I have definitely noticed a decrease in player skill level since the Android people were allowed to join the game.

    It's not like only 5 people in the world use iOS. iOS games do not need any additional Android players.

    You could not be more wrong. Android players are worse!? You are about as elitist in the worst possible way. I pretty much can bet that if I play on my iPhone 6 Plus or Note 4 my skills are just as good and I still dominant most of the time. Playing on Android does not lessen you skill level at all. This game still has to pander to the cheap iPhone people that still are on a 4S. That phone can't compare to a iPhone 6 Plus or Note 4 in any way.

    You talk about how much you hate Android and how anyone with an Android is always below you. What do you say to some of your family members when they use a Android? I don't believe for one minute that your entire family including aunts, uncles, cousins and the like. Do you spit in thier face like you talk like you do here?
  • Reply 17 of 85
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,081member
    All these benchmarks and stats are great and the iPhone has always been a leader. In the end, I just want a phone that doesn't have a lag or delay for basic tasks. Buttery smooth and I'm happy.
  • Reply 18 of 85
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,248member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Relic View Post



    I have no love for Samsung or their phones but these benchmarks are absolutely meaningless. There isn't a game that's currently in the Google PlayStore that the Samsung couldn't run and run extremely well. Heck, the same thing could be said about the Nexus 5. Also if you look at the 1080p numbers there higher than the iPhone 6, so the only reason why the S6 is slower is because of it's higher resolution, if the S6 had the same resolution as the iPhone 6 is would be slightly faster but again that doesn't matter as there isn't a game that could possibly slow down the phone.



    I can care less about this but I always find it silly that you guys get so excited about nothing.

    Evidently, you missed the intent of the article; in the real world, iOS is decidedly superior to Android OS for mobile gaming.

     

    Part of this is the weak development workflow that Android OS suffers against iOS; part is an attempt by OEM's to trump their competition with marketing (screen resolution); part is Apple's ability to create the most efficient and powerful hardware and software, and part is the lack of the same level of developer compensation for quality games. In only two devices, the S6 and Edge, does Samsung have a slight SoC performance advantage. In September, I imagine that Apple will take the SoC performance crown again, and should Apple build the iPad Pro, we will certainly witness a leap in ARM computing performance for mobile.

     

    I recall your waxing poetic about the Tegra K1 Denver; it's essentially dead in mobile, and so is Nvidia. Nvidia couldn't compete in the power envelope that Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm are driving. Nvidia is finding a new life in Chromebooks and Automotive, but even as a dedicated gaming device in the Shield, it barely registers sales against those of mobile devices.

  • Reply 19 of 85
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,968member
    apple ][ wrote: »
    Android and games just doesn't mix well.

    I'd been playing this multiplayer game that was first out for iOS for quite a while called WOT Blitz, and eventually, it was released for Android.

    Almost as soon as that happened, I noticed that the skill level of players decreased, due to the influx of Android players with their crappy devices. It's a team game, with 7 VS 7 matches, so unfortunately players are dependent upon their teammates to win matches, and I can definitely notice that the overall skill level of players in that game has suffered.

    iOS players and Android players should not mix. I fully support segregation of tech devices. Android just brings the quality down and provides a worse experience for everybody. Their devices are worse, their players are worse and games have to cater to the lowest common denominator when you add Android into the mix.

    Just say no to Android.

    Maybe, just maybe the skill level dropped because the players were new to the game.
  • Reply 20 of 85
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,248member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Relic View Post





    No, I just find it silly to call foul on something that has little to do with hardware. I mean if I can play Modern Combat 5 on a Samsung S2 online with out it lagging than the S6 definitely won't have any issues either. I no longer use a Android phone but I still do have a Nexus 9, a Nvidia Shield Tablet and the new Nvidia Shield TV, I'm playing games like Doom 3, Half Life 2, Portal and soon even Crysis 3 without a single issue or frame drop. Granted these aren't console games but their no slouch either. I think people here are just a little to biased, if you don't like Android than just don't use it. Why are articles like this even posted, if your happy with the hardware you have, great, no need to tell others how much better it is than another thing, especially when most of what is said here is simply not correct. I only mentioned the iPhone because Blitz was offered on iOS way before Android, it's only logical that there would be more iPhone users than Android, you cannot presume that a laggy tank is an Android user, it's most likely someone with just a poor connection. I guess I am a relic.

    Articles like this are posted so that people know what the state of the mobile gaming industry is. You throw in the Shield Tablet and the Shield TV as if these are even relevant to the discussion of mobile gaming; they are not. The fact that Apple could at any time, turn on console gaming with the next Apple TV, fully compatible with its iOS gaming, probably escapes you. This is why discussions as these matter.

     

    Facts are biased in Apple's favor. 

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