The 10 fastest smartphones in the world

Many people who decide to buy a new top smartphone want one thing above all – a lot of performance. But which smartphones actually offer the best performance and which device leads the top 10 fastest models? That is exactly what the benchmark developers from AnTuTu have now determined.

In the meantime, almost all major smartphone manufacturers have presented their flagships for 2021. In the battle for the buyers’ favor, they praise the latest camera technology and particularly good performance. The team from AnTuTu took a closer look at the latter. Based on their benchmark test, they have determined the top 10 fastest smartphones worldwide.

This is how AnTuTu tested

The performance of a smartphone is usually determined via a benchmark test. There are differently designed tests for different areas. For example, the benchmark from 3D Mark gives an indication of a smartphone’s graphics performance. In contrast, AnTuTu’s test is more general and measures the hardware performance of the respective models in a standardized way. The focus is on the SoC (system on chip), the heart of a smartphone, which combines the processor, the mobile module, the graphics chip, and other important components on a tiny circuit board.

AnTuTu’s benchmark test (v. 9) tests how well the individual components work together and how powerful they are. The higher the value measured at the end, the better the performance.

The list of the fastest Android smartphones results from the results measured in AnTuTu’s benchmark in August. However, in order to achieve a result that is as representative as possible, not the highest test results of a device in each case were used for comparison, but the average values determined from more than 1000 test runs.

The Android smartphones with the best performance

Models that are probably less familiar to many users made it to the top 10 of the fastest Android smartphones. Names like nubia, realme and IQOO are among them. But smartphones from OnePlus, Xiaomi and Sony are also included.

List of the most powerful Android smartphones in 2021
The list of the most powerful Android smartphones in 2021. Photo: AnTuTu

The three best gaming smartphones in comparison

It is striking that all models in the list of the fastest Android smartphones run with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. This is Qualcomm’s current high-end chip. It was introduced at the end of 2020 and relies on a three-part architecture: An ARM Cortex-X1 with up to 2.84 GHz provides an enormous performance boost as the “Prime Core”. In addition, there are three equally fast cores with up to 2.42 GHz in the Cortex-A78, which are responsible for the performance in everyday use. For the regulated and energy-saving mode, the Snapdragon 888 also has four Cortex-A55 cores with up to 1.8 GHz. The chip also brings the 5G modem X6, an integrated AI engine called Hexagon 780, and an Adreno 660 GPU.

The list of the fastest smartphones features two models that are specifically designed for gaming in 1st and 2nd place. The ZTE nubia Red Magic 6 Pro in 1st place has a built-in active fan. It keeps the smartphone cool even during long-lasting high load. Together with 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage, the device thus manages 837,506 points in the AnTuTu test. The Asus ROG Phone 5 in second place does not have such a fan ex-factory, but it can be retrofitted. The smartphone also has the same memory configuration as the first-place winner. Overall, it scored 817,404 points.

The remaining places are all quite close from the benchmark score. In the list of the fastest smartphones, just 59,000 points distinguish the first from the tenth place.

Also interesting: Samsung sells Galaxy smartphones with less performance in Europe.

What about Apple’s iPhones?

AnTuTu has recorded Apple’s iPhones in a separate list. The main reason for this is that iOS, unlike Android, relies on a different graphics interface – namely Apple’s Metal API. In contrast, Android devices use the open-source APIs OpenGL ES or Vulkan. Thus, the benchmark results cannot really be compared with each other.

In addition, Apple’s iPads also appear in the top 10 of the most powerful iOS devices. These even occupy the top 3 of the list with scores above one million. With around 615,000 points, Apple’s first smartphone, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, comes in a bit behind in eighth place. The A12X Bionic chip from 2018 that works in the iPads and especially the new M1 chip thus show significantly better performance than the A14 Bionic that is used in the current iPhones.

The most powerful iOS devices from July 2021
The most powerful iOS devices from July 2021 Photo: AnTuTu

Also interesting: The smartphones with the best camera

Android or iOS? Which is faster

As already mentioned, a comparison between the Android winners and the iPhones is not really possible due to different graphics tests. Nevertheless, if you want to compare the pure results in the AnTuTu benchmark, it becomes apparent that the current iPhones would not make it into the top 10 list of fastest smartphones in comparison with the Androids. Namely, the last-placed Android smartphone has a score of 778,716 in the AnTuTu test. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, on the other hand, only scores 615,842.

The pitfalls of benchmark tests

However, benchmark tests are not free of criticism. Because all too often, manufacturers have optimized their smartphones for the big tests in the background to achieve better results. They achieve this by, for example, briefly increasing the base clock of the processor cores or even overheating the smartphone for a short time. Thus, the measured values do not always reflect the actual performance of a smartphone.