Here's how the best phones of 2021 will compare to the iPhone 12 in terms of power

Snapdragon 888
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, launched in early December 2020, is a premium processor likely to show up in many of the top phones of 2021, including the Samsung Galaxy S21, OnePlus 9, Oppo Find X3, Xiaomi Mi 11 and more.

Though the chipset isn't available in any phones just yet, Qualcomm has released benchmark tests for the thing so we can see how powerful it is - and now we've got a very easy way to compare the power it provides to the Apple iPhone 12, our current performance heavyweight.

Qualcomm provided benchmark tests from a few different benchmark tools, but we're going to look just at the Geekbench 5 test, because that's the software TechRadar uses for all its phone reviews.

Getting testy

In the Geekbench 5 test, the Snapdragon 888 returned a multi-core score of 3794, which is pretty high compared to Android phones we've tested in the past. For context the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra got 3286, the Motorola Edge Plus got 3344 and the OnePlus 8 got 3401, the latter of which is our highest-scoring Android phone at the time of writing.

So how does the Snapdragon 888 compare to Apple's phones? Well it beats the iPhone 12 Pro at 3669, but doesn't quite outpace the 'standard' iPhone 12 and its score of 3859.

On its own, then, the Snapdragon 888 possibly doesn't quite have the raw performance power of the iPhone 12. However at that top end of the power spectrum you're only going to notice the difference for really intensive tasks like video editing or playing certain games.

It's also worth pointing out that this Snapdragon 888 benchmark test might not be totally indicative of the power of the phones it shows up in - when manufacturers use it in phones, the devices will also use software optimizations which might affect the performance scores somewhat.

With a score of 3424, the iPhone 11 Pro Max barely squeaked ahead of its Android rivals we listed above, and it seems the same could happen in 2021, with the iPhone 12 just edging ahead of 2021's Android handsets. Only time will tell for sure though, and we'll test each Snapdragon 888 phone as it comes to see if any can trump Apple.

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.