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Pixel 4, S20 & latest iPhone: Which one is fastest?

August 25, 2020

In 2020 we have a plethora of high-end phones. Today’s market is overflowed with amazing technological gadgets and it is very difficult to choose the best one. For those top-quality phones, people usually have to part with a lot of cash, so doing some research before shopping won't hurt.

Some people choose their phones based on camera quality, some go for more gaming phones, some go for looks, but most people simply want a sharp and reliable phone.

When it comes to phone speed, the most important factors to consider are phone's CPU (Central Processing Unit, or processor) and RAM (Random Access Memory), with CPU being of much more importance. Of course, other factors, such as OS (operating system) and sometimes even storage, can contribute to this equation. But, here we will pay most of the attention to CPU and some to RAM.

Google's Pixel 4, Samsung's S20, and Apple's iPhone SE are currently the most interesting phones to look at. Hence, we present to you a brief processing quality differences between the three.

Google Pixel 4 processing quality

When it comes to Pixel 4’s specs, it contains a powerful (but not the most powerful) Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU. This processor is good enough to be in one of the high-end mobile phones, and it does its job wonderfully.

The Octa-core processors are now a standard option for Android phones (and personal computers as well), and Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is exactly that. Its Kryo cores are divided into 1x2.84GHz Kryo485, 3x2.42GHz Kryo485, and 4x1.78GHz Kryo485. This means that Pixel 4 has opted for a powerful 2.84GHz main core with three almost as powerful secondary cores, and four backup cores for processing information. No matter how much pressure you put on your phone, this CPU will do its job perfectly. And even save some battery when not on the pressure as well! A very good deal.

It was stated earlier that this is not the most powerful CPU today, and the reason is simple – it’s not the newest. Some well-known phones that use this same CPU are Samsung Galaxy and S10 and Note 10 series, OnePlus 7, Sony Xperia 1, Xiaomi mi 9, Samsung Galaxy A90, and many more. Obviously, all of these are high-quality phones, and a great part of what makes them good, reliable, and popular is this processor. But there are newer models.

Another point to discuss is RAM. Pixel 4 has "only" 6GB RAM (not upgradable), which is more than enough for normal use but may be insufficient for today's standards if you want to do some serious processing with your phone.

Samsung S20 processing quality

You may have noticed that Google Pixel 4 shares the same CPU as Samsung S10, but not with Samsung’s newer model - S20. Has Samsung S20 upgraded its CPU and put a newer one?

The answer is – yes!

With Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, S20 stands at the top alongside a few other phones in processing quality. As mentioned, now standard Octa-core powers this phone, with 1x2.84GHz Kryo585, 3x2.42GHz Kryo585, and 4x1.8GHz Kryo585 cores. Looking at the numbers, this may seem the same. But it’s not.

The time difference between Snapdragon 855 and 865 releases is not that big and consequently, the quality gap between the two should seem diminishingly low. Be that as it may, improvements have been made, and according to tests, 865 is approximately 20% better in overall performance than 855.

But with great power comes great responsibility. Even though it can get the job done 20% better, the “strain” this CPU suffers in comparison to 855 is much higher. This means more heat and more battery consumption.

On the other hand, S20 has added more firepower to its speed by stocking 8GB of RAM. Even good Microsoft PCs find this amount enough for everyday purposes. The other memory (storage memory) stands with fantastic 128GB – in other words, you don’t have to worry about filling it up completely and slowing down your phone. The combination of the three makes this phone incredibly fast and one of the best in the market.

Apple iPhone SE processing quality

While it is easy to compare Snapdragon 865 (Samsung S20 CPU) with his predecessor 855 (Google Pixel 4 CPU) with both being made by Qualcomm and being used with Android phones, it will be tricky to further compare these two with iPhone SE’s Apple A13 Bionic CPU.

Why? Because Apple does things differently.

When you look at the numbers, such as RAM capacity or CPU core numbers, Apple products always have less than Android, but the performance seems to be better. How? Because Apple products (such as Mac PCs and iPhones) have slightly different processing styles than Microsoft and Android-based products.

So, let’s compare iPhone SE’s A13 Bionic chipset with Snapdragon 865 in the most reliable way possible. According to various tests, a single A13 Bionic core is approximately 25% better than Snapdragon 865’s. This would be fantastic if A13 Bionic CPUs had 8 cores like Snapdragon processors. But they don’t.

A13 Bionic comes with Hexa-core (6 cores) – two 2.65GHz Lightning (cutting-edge processing cores) and four 1.8GHz Thunder cores. That's two less than Snapdragon. So, if one A13 Bionic core is 25% better than Snapdragon 865, but the latter has 2 cores more, all in all, they seem pretty much the same. 

Be that as it may, Apple's processing capabilities are slightly different, and seem to utilize more performance with less power. Even though these two CPUs go hand-in-hand performance-wise, A13 Bionic is much more power-efficient and has way fewer difficulties in doing the same job.


When it comes to processing speed, today’s CPUs are quite similar, and people would opt for some phone solely based on their budget. But if you are a real tech aficionado and have money to spend on cutting-edge gadgets, then we would recommend iPhone SE. This phone is incredibly fast and accurate, currently a masterpiece.

Secondly, if you don’t like Apple products or simply have more advantages with buying Android phones, Samsung S20 will be your choice. S20 is basically iPhone SE for Android users, at least performance-wise.

Finally, Pixel 4 seems like a cheaper option of the two. Not as fast, but still fast enough to be at the top.