There’s little you can do to improve the performance of an iPhone, a device that was never designed to be upgraded or tampered with. That said, there are still a few reasons you might want to run a benchmark.
Why Bother Benchmarking Your iPhone?
Synthetic benchmarks place your device under an easy to repeat load and provide you with a score afterward. Unlike real-world usage, benchmarking tools conduct the exact same tests every time so you can monitor for any changes without having to account for other variables.
Benchmarking has been traditionally reserved for PC enthusiasts looking for a simple way to test and improve performance. This is useful when testing any overclocks that have been applied, but can also be used to gauge smaller adjustments like case airflow or thermal paste application.
These benchmarks test everything from raw performance to thresholds for thermal throttling. You can use them to find bottlenecks in systems which may be holding back performance artificially, which gives you some idea of where you spend your money on a future upgrade.
Smartphones aren’t like computers in that way. There’s very little you can do to an iPhone to improve your benchmark scores beyond maybe replacing the battery or taking it out of its case to improve thermals.
Benchmarks have only a few use cases when it comes to smartphones. The first is to check performance to see if the device is running as you’d expect. If you are experiencing performance issues you can use benchmarks to see if this issue is reflected in the numbers. You can then try and further diagnose your slow iPhone and hopefully fix the issue.
And then there are less important use cases like curiosity and bragging rights. If you’ve upgraded your device you might be interested in running a benchmark on your old and new models just to see the performance difference quantified in number form. You can also use benchmark tools to compare your device performance to other devices.
Remember that numbers aren’t always reflective of real-world performance, especially in Apple’s ecosystem where software is closely tied to hardware design.
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Benchmarking Tools You Can Use
There are a lot of benchmarking tools designed to test different aspects of system performance, but ultimately they all measure the same things.
Geekbench is one of the most popular benchmarking tools on the market, regardless of platform. You can download Geekbench 5 from the App Store for free and run tests that put your CPU and GPU through some pacing. You can then take a look at the Geekbench Browser to see how your device stacks up.
AnTuTu is another popular benchmarking tool and one that is commonly used to measure smartphone performance, especially on Android. 3DMark is another big name in the benchmarking world focusing primarily on games and GPU performance. You can download 3DMark Wild Life to test the latest devices and 3D Mark Sling Shot for older models.
You can also benchmark Safari by running benchmarks like speedometer (for testing web app responsiveness), JetStream (for testing WebAssembly performance), and MotionMark (for testing motion graphic animation capability). Not only does this rely on the underlying hardware in your device but also the current state of Safari.
Slow iPhone? Your Battery May Be to Blame
If your device is slow you can try restarting it for a quick fix, but if you have persistent performance issues then you should check your iPhone’s battery health. If your battery is in a bad state, it may not be able to sustain a high level of performance and the iPhone will slow itself down to help extend battery life.