An iPhone or an android smartphone? —a tough choice, isn’t it! While iPhones are indeed an apple of the eye, Qualcomm’s latest flagship mobile processor features the first 5G ready mobile chipset. Besides, Snapdragon 855 has an upgrade with an X24 LTE modem, new Kyro CPU cores along with a 7nm power-efficient fabrication process. With its eye-catching specifications, Snapdragon 855 has earned a reputation in the market. So, let’s see if Snapdrag 855 can beat the Apple A12 Bionic in the league!
The A12 Bionic chipset is a slightly older version found in most of the 2018 iPhones includes iPhone XS and iPhone XR. The first mobile processor was to have a 7nm fabrication process that delivered enhanced neural engine with faster graphics and performance. Let’s find out more about their similarities and differences!
The Key differentiations
|Mobile Processor Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855||Apple A12 Bionic|
|CPU||8 x Kryo 485 CPUs clocked up to 2.84 GHz||6-core processor (4x Efficiency cores + 2x Performance cores)|
|GPU||Adreno 640||Apple-designed 4-core GPU|
|Camera||Dual 14-bit CV-ISPs, Spectra 380 ISP||Apple’s ISP|
|Charging||Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+||Wireless charging, Normal Charging via USB|
Manufactured through a 7nm fabrication process and featuring 64-bit microarchitecture, both Snapdragon 855 and A12 Bionic have similarities in only one aspect. With a smaller process node, both these processors boost power efficiency and overall performance of the chipset.
With a 6-core CPU configuration, A12 Bionic has 4 efficiency cores and two performance cores. When matched to the A11 Bionic, there is a slight boost in performance in A12 Bionic. Hence with A12 Bionic, users can experience faster app launches due to the smart compute system. Besides, A12 Bionic is a power-efficient processor that lasts your chipset a longer battery life.
On the contrary to the 6-core CPU processor of A12 Bionic, the Snapdragon 855 features an 8-core CPU configuration. With this processor, Qualcomm has opted for a tri-cluster arrangement instead of the standardized two cluster arrangements. Featuring 8 Kyro 845 cores on a single Prime Cortex A76 core clocked at 2.84 GHz, Snapdragon 855 has four Efficiency Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.80 GHz and three Performance Cortex-A76 clocked at 2.42 GHz. These latest specification clusters are designed for lowering the latency rates, boost high efficiency, performance, and improve task-sharing capacities.
Additionally, Snapdragon 855’s Prime Core features 512Kb L2 cache and entwines with the 256Kb L2 cache of the Performance Core and 128Kb L2 cache of the efficiency core. The collaboration of these caches will act as a bridge between the memory and the processor and push information without hindrance. As for the GPU front, Snapdragon 855 collaborates with Adreno 640 GPU to boost gaming graphics by 20% and aims to handle 4K HRD10+ playback seamlessly.
For today’s chipsets, Artificial Intelligence plays a pivotal part. Snapdragon 855 features the 4th generation multi-core AI engine to perform AI-related functionalities. It is indeed worth acclaiming that this AI engine powered with Hexagon 690 processor, Adreno GPU, and Kyro CPU can handle nearly 7 trillion AI functions per second. The Hexagon 690 DSP of Snapdragon 855, combined with a dedicated tensor accelerator, can handle complete AI functions and leverage machine learning performance.
Amongst the various advantages of this AI engine, some eye-catching features are text recognition, face authentication, scene detection, dual and single camera bokeh effect, and super-resolution in snapshots. This new chipset from Qualcomm furthermore supports AI frameworks such as the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX), Facebook’s Caffe 2, and Google’s TensorFlow.
In contrast to the Snapdragon 855 4-core AI engine, A12 Bionic features an 8-core neural engine which has a performance capacity of 5 trillion AI tasks per second. Apart from predictive analysis and face detection, this processor allows resource allocation. Hence A12 Bionic can direct additional power processing and smartly compute to run algorithms in the neural engine, processor, or the GPU. A12 Bionic claims to run core ML 9 times faster besides learning user habits and enhancing real-time machine learning capabilities.
Artificial Intelligence and cameras go hand-in-hand as today’s smartphones feature a camera that powers the AI engine for clicking images that are crisp and detailed. A12 Bionic processor’s neural engine analyzes shots in real-time, and its enhanced ISP adds in more detail to the images. Besides, the smart HDR further adds in a quality dynamic range.
Contrary to the A12 Bionic, Snapdragon 855 has an in-house Spectra 380 Image Signal Processor—the world’s first AI integrated ISP. This heavily benefits the chipset in gaining object segmentation, hardware depth sensing, and real-time object classification. Hence amongst the other things, your smartphone leverages the feature to change the photo or video background in real-time.
Although benchmark tests are not the accurate translation of the potentiality of the chipsets in real-time, it aids in analyzing the real prowess of the processors. According to the Geekbench 4 benchmark tests, Snapdragon 855 had scored 11196 (multi-core) points and 3552 (single-core) points, while A12 Bionic gained 11420 (multi-core) points and 4701 (single-core) points. Nonetheless, there is a significant line of differentiation in the single-core points, while there is a slim margin of difference for the multi-core points.
The battle gets tougher
Apart from all the key differences with A12Bionic, Snapdragon 855 gains a competitive advantage with its in-built 5G that will enhance the speed and performance level. With its Snapdragon X24 LTE, Snapdragon 855 allows 2Gbs download speed and 316Mbps upload speed. Besides, its elite gaming mode aids in improving the overall gaming experience for the users.
As for the performance, both A12 Bionic and Snapdragon 855 are on par with each other.
But in the context of becoming a future-ready chipset, it is undoubtedly the Snapdragon 855 that bags the award. It is speculated that the next generation Apple chipsets will upgrade its specification, even more, to give a formidable challenge to the Snapdragon 855. But for now, it seems the Snapdragon 855 is the savviest choice for the users.