Comparing Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 vs Apple A12 Bionic

Snapdragon 855 vs Apple A12 Bionic

The Snapdragon 855 represents the latest flagship mobile processor of Qualcomm and is the first 5G-enabled chipset of the maker. The processor also houses new Kryo CPU cores, an upgraded X24 LTE modem as well as a power-efficient 7nm design process. As it has already been featured in the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S10, we wouldn’t have to anticipate its actual capabilities and performance for long.

How do the features and capabilities of the Snapdragon 855 fare in comparison with those of the slightly older Apple A12 Bionic chipset in the iPhones? We will soon find out.

The A12 Bionic processor is the one powering the majority of the iPhones released in 2018, such as iPhone XR, the iPhone XS. It is among the first mobile processors, manufactured with the aid of the 7nm design process. The A12 Bionic processor provides a quicker graphics performance as well as an improved Neural Engine.

Let’s now outline the differences between Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 vs Apple A12 Bionic.

Snapdragon 855 vs Appld A12 Bionic — Key Specs


Apple A12 Bionic

Snapdragon 855

Fabrication Process



CPU Architecture




6-core processor (2x Performance cores + 4x Efficiency cores)

8 x Kryo 485 CPUs clocked up to 2.84GHz


Apple’s own 4-core GPU

Adreno 640


Apple’s ISP

Dual 14-bit CV-ISPs, Spectra 380 ISP


Normal Charging via USB; Wireless charging

Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+

Snapdragon 855 vs Apple A12 Bionic — Improvements in Performance

Both chipsets are based on the 64-bit microarchitecture and are designed using the 7nm manufacturing process. Another similarity they share is a smaller process node, boosting their overall performance and their power efficiency. That’s all as regards the features the 2 processors have in common.

The Apple A12 Bionic opts for a 6-core CPU configuration, comprising 4 Efficiency cores and 2 Performance cores. It only offers a comparative bump in performance as it only brings merely a slight improvement in performance in comparison with the A11 Bionic’s performance. For this reason, it will be observed the app launches are slightly faster as a result of the smart compute system.

Apart from this, the A12 has greater power efficiency as it consumes less power.

A12 Bionic
Apple 12 Bionic performance

Instead of the 6-core CPU configuration of the A12 Bionic, the Snapdragon 855 adopts 8-core implementation. Qualcomm chose a tri-cluster arrangement, not the typical 2-cluster arrangement.

The 855 features 8 Kryo 845 cores that are clustered across 1 Prime Cortex A76 core, which is clocked at 2.84 gigahertz (GHz); 3 Performance Cortex-A76 cores, which are clocked at 2.42 gigahertz; and 4 Efficiency Cortex-A55 cores, which are clocked at 1.80 gigahertz. The clusters are implemented in a bid to engender high efficiency, high performance, low latency rates, and enhanced task-sharing capacities.

Additionally, the Prime core of this chipset comes with a 512KB L2 cache, along with 256KB L2 caches of the performance core as well as the 128KB L2 cache of the efficiency core. The L2 Caches are integrated for pushing the information more quickly and smoothly by functioning as a bridge between the mobile processor as well as the memory.

Talking about GPU, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset bundles the Adreno 640 GPU with a 20% boost in gaming graphics and has the ability to handle 4K HDR10+ playback, as claimed by its manufacturer.

Snapdragon 855 vs A12 Bionic — The Shutters

The Snapdragon 855 has the in-house Spectra 380 Image Signal Processor, which Qualcomm has claimed to be the first AI-integrated ISP in the world.

This capability offers the chip an edge as regards hardware depth sensing, object classification, and object segmentation in real-time. For example, your smartphone can easily change photo or video backgrounds in real time and carry out some things.

As for the A12 Bionic, its neural engine comes handy in analyzing shots in real-time and effect any changes accordingly. Also, it features enhanced ISP, which produces minute details in photos. Apart from this, the Smart HDR offers quality dynamic range.

Final Verdict — Which Processor Edges out the Other?

Other than the major differences highlighted above, the key advantage the Snapdragon 855 has over its opponent is, it’s 5G ready, and one of the most striking improvements will be the bump in speed. The processor equally features the Snapdragon X24 LTE to achieve download speed that is as much as 2Gb/s and upload speed that is as much as 316 Mb/s. Also, the 855 chipset comes with the new Elite gaming mode for boosting your overall gaming experience.

Concerning the performance, the 2 mobile processors are almost at par, with the Apple A12 Bionic being the better candidate as regards single core performance. However, on the basis of a future-ready chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 competes intensely for the top spot.

Posted by Deji

Deji is a freelance writer and Physics graduate from the University of Ibadan. Passionate and meticulous, he is a keen follower of developments around the world on a number of issues ranging from science, tech, history, politics, among others. Deji loves playing football and meeting people. Please, follow on Twitter and Facebook

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