Don't believe the bad iPhone 12 benchmark scores just yet

iPhone 12
iPhone 12 (Image credit: Apple)

The current tech news story doing the rounds is that someone got hold of the recently-launched iPhone 12, and put it through a benchmarking test to see how powerful it is.

The test returned a disappointing result, hinting that the new iPhone might not be the performance demon some were expecting - but there's a reason we shouldn't listen to this benchmark test.

This benchmark test was carried out on the AnTuTu platform, as spotted by MySmartPrice, where the iPhone 12 got a score of 564,899 - the iPhone 12 Pro was also tested, and it hit 572,133. Those scores are pretty surprising given iPhones usually outstrip their Android rivals in the 'processing power' department.

For some context, in AnTuTu's rankings the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra sits at 594,890, the OnePlus 8 Pro gets 598,891, the Oppo Find X2 Pro has 610,961, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra has 640, 296, and the Asus ROG Phone 3 is the top-scoring device with 642,671.

So the iPhone 12 scores aren't hugely far off the top scores, but they're not as impressive as we were expecting. The iPhone 12 scores are above what the majority of Samsung's 2020 phones get, but below plenty of premium phones from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi, OnePlus and Vivo.

Don't believe the (lack of) hype

But there's a reason not to believe these benchmarking scores just yet - they might not be totally accurate.

@UniverseIce, a respected tech leaker, has seemingly got their hands on an iPhone 12 and also put it through some benchmarking tests. They didn't put it through AnTuTu but Geekbench, a different benchmark test platform, and it returned a range of scores that were wildly different from one another.

There are a few reasons this may be the case - it could be a bug either in the iPhone software or in Geekbench itself, or an overheating issue (when phones get too hot their performance drops). In any case, a score difference of this size suggests something fishy is going on here.

Because of that, we're not ready to take the iPhone 12 AnTuTu scores as gospel - it's possible the same issue was present in those tests as with the Geekbench ones, and if the handset was tested again, it would return a faster speed.

It's totally possible the iPhone 12 just isn't as fast as we'd expected, which will be a disappointment for Apple fans, but since benchmarking tests for the phone have proven unreliable it's too early to say for sure.

When we get our hands on each member of the iPhone 12 family we'll test their performance, to see how well they really run.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.