The iPhone 5s beat out the LG G2 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 in Which? magazine's latest independent speed test of top-performing smartphones. Using a phone simulation program called Geekbench, the test found that the iPhone outperformed the competition in both single-core and multi-core performance benchmarks. Notably, the S4 slipped to third place after having scored top honors in June of this year.
All phones tested were multi-core, with some running on two cores and some running on four. The 5s runs on just the two cores, but core count doesn't necessarily equate to faster performance. A higher core count means there is less of a performance difference when running multiple apps simultaneously. The key to the 5s's speed is the A7 chip, the first 64-bit processor on the smartphone market.
The LG G2, released in September of this year, came up a distant second behind the 5s in single-core simulations but was nearly as fast in dual-core simulations. The Galaxy S4 took third place as mentioned, with the HTC One, iPhone 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, and HTC One Mini taking fourth through seventh places, respectively.
All of these phones are lightning-fast for most users' needs. They'll all flip open and run an app in a firefly's wink, but if you're doing a lot of video editing, gaming, or other graphics-heavy activities, the pricey 5s is your best bet. In all cases, higher prices were correlated with faster performance.
The official Which? scores:
Apple iPhone 5s: 1410 (single core score), 2561 (multi core score)
LG G2: 882 (single core score), 2355 (multi core score)
Samsung Galaxy S4: 687 (single core score), 1939 (multi core score)
HTC One: 643 (single core score), 1805 (multi core score)
Apple iPhone 5c: 711 (single core score), 1281 (multi core score)
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini: 649 (single core score), 1135 (multi core score)
HTC One Mini: 477 (single core score), 880 (multi core score)