iPhone 12 performance will blow away Galaxy Note 20 — here's why

iPhone 12 render by PhoneArena
(Image credit: Phone Arena)

The iPhone 12 is reportedly on track for a big unveiling at a September 8 event, and now the pieces of Apple’s flagship phone are literally coming together.

The latest leak reveals the first clear photos of RAM for the 5nm A14 Bionic processor, which should run circles around Android phones in terms of performance   — including the Samsung Galaxy Note 20.

The photos come courtesy of Mr. White on Twitter, who has a pretty good track record as far as leaks go. The leaker also predicted in June that the iPhone 12 would support a 20W power adapter, which has been backed up by other sources.

As reported by MacRumors, the 2016 numbering on the RAM indicates that it was manufactured during the 16th week of 2020, which means that it was produced in April.

iPhone 12 RAM: How much is enough?

Based on previous leaks, the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max should be equipped with 4GB of RAM, while the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will have 6GB of RAM.

On paper, this would seem to put the iPhone 12 at a disadvantage against the Samsung Galaxy Note 20. The Note 20 is expected to feature 8GB of RAM, while the Galaxy Note 20 will pack a whopping 12GB of RAM.

However, the iPhone 12 should have the superior processor to the Galaxy Note 20. The A14 Bionic chip, said to be manufactured by TSMC, will reportedly offer 15% faster performance while being 30% more efficient. This is due to the chip being manufactured via a 5nm process, compared to 7nm for the A13 Bionic.

iPhone 12 vs Galaxy Note 20: Why Apple should win

Back in March, a Geekbench listing for the A14 Bionic allegedly leaked online. The chip achieved a multicore score of 4,612 points which, as AppleInsider noted, is even better than the 4,568-point result from the A12X processor in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

For context, the Galaxy S20 Ultra with the Snapdragon 965 scored 3,076 on the multi-core portion of Geekbench. We have not seen leaked benchmarks for the Galaxy Note 20 yet, but it will likely feature Qualcomm’s slightly upgraded Snapdragon 865 Plus chip.

This new processor boosts the core clock speed on the chipset's Kryo 585 Prime CPU by 10% to 3.1GHz. And the Adreno 650 GPU featured on the system-on-chip can render graphics 10% faster than the Snapdragon 865 could.

However, the Snapdragon 865 Plus is made using the same 7nm process as the regular Snapdragon 865, and it doesn’t look like the performance gains will be nearly enough to overtake the A14 Bionic in the iPhone 12. 

We’ll have to see whether the additional RAM in the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can make up for what should be a weaker CPU, but right now it looks like the iPhone 12 should have an edge. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.