iOS 12 Speed Tests – Should you UPGRADE? iPhone 6 vs. 6s vs. 7 vs. 8 vs. X

So iOS 12 is out. Did you download it yet? The question that I always have when it comes to new iOS updates is: How much slower will my old devices become? Now I’ve been keeping at least one phone from each generation to answer this question and I’ll be honest with you, it’s getting harder to answer the question of: will new OS’s slow things down.

Now with iOS 12, Apple has made some pretty bold claims which include 70% faster swipe for camera, 50% for keyboard display and 2x faster app launch. These numbers all look impressive until you realize there’s a footnote for every one of those claims. If you scroll all the way down and read the note, you’ll see that does claims are for an iPhone 6 Plus.

For this video I did the speed tests between an iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPHone 8 Plus and iPhone X. Every iPhone I used had a decent battery with the worst device having an 89% battery life which was the iPhone 6s. It still registered as having peak performance capability.

00:03:09 – Boot Times

With the boot times, every device running iOS 12 booted faster than iOS 11 which is a good thing. Oddly enough, the boot time for the iPhone 6 Plus was 26 seconds in iOS10 which was two seconds faster than the same device running iOS 11.

Nothing surprising here as this was expected in my opinion.

00:03:33 – Camera

Now this was the hardest thing to test for, the most confusing one and definitely the most eye straining. I basically went through all my recorded footage and measured the time it took for the lock screen to disappear to the time the image appeared in focus as the load time.

With this part, Apple claims that there might be an improvement of 70% when it come to camera swiping. If you’re running an iPhone 6 Plus. So it would make sense that you would have less of an improvement if you were using a newer device.

Now with the iPhone 6 Plus, the device recorded a 1/3 second improvement going from iOS 11 and iOS 12. Which is about a 50% improvement which isn’t too bad.

00:05:00 – Keyboard Load Time

To get the results in the video, I basically recorded the times when my finger pressed something in Safari to activate the keyboard to when the keyboard stopped moving.

And like the Camera, my results were inconclusive. My really old devices seemed bring the keyboard up quicker in iOS 12 then iOS 11 and the newer devices were the complete opposite.

00:07:02 – App Load Times

For these tests, I used 4 apps. The first was Flipboard, my goto news reader, next was FilMic Pro which is my goto filming app for these videos, next was Escapists, a game I think I’ve paid money for but have never played and Plague Inc, which is a great game to play while doing #2.

Now the general trend is that apps in iOS 12 opened faster than iOS 11 with newer devices being faster. That’s the general trend.

Regardless, the biggest jump in performance between all the iPhone for the apps was the iPhone 6 Plus, my oldest iPhone. Which is a great thing for people who want to keep their old device around a little longer.

Multiple App Load Times or Multi-tasking.

Now the point of doing all the individual app timings wasn’t to see if iOS 12 was going to be faster, that was a nice side outcome. What I was hoping to do was to see if I could see the “2x faster app launch which occurs under a load”. So I measure the time it took to open Flipboard, FilmicPro and Plague Inc.

When strung together, my iPhone 6 Plus saw a tiny improvement, my iPhone 7 saw the biggest improvement for some odd reason and my iPhone X was a tad slower when looking at the times between iOS 11 and iOS12.

Now the neatest thing shows up when I compare the same chart with the iOS 11 data. The gap between successive app openings and the summed individual times is much larger in iOS11. Now is it 2x as fast? I can’t say but it is faster. Regardless, the overall performance in iOS12 is going to be better across all devices.

And I think this graph is going to be the most indicative of how much better iOS 12 is over iOS 11. Will apps launch 2x faster? Probably not but you’ll be saving around 2 seconds every time you’re doing some heavy multi-tasking which could add up over a long, long, long time.

What device is going to get the most Mileage with iOS 12?

Check out the end of the video to find out@
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27 Replies to “iOS 12 Speed Tests – Should you UPGRADE? iPhone 6 vs. 6s vs. 7 vs. 8 vs. X”

  1. MobileReviewsEh

    Thanks for watching guys! Here's a couple of footnotes that I think are important but I couldn't fit into the video.

    – For app timing tests, I would start the app, quit the app and start it again in an attempt to start the app from scratch
    – For the keyboard tests, I ran two sets of tests, one through recorded footage and the other using screen recordings on the device. I didn't notice any difference in the timings (which is crazy)
    – I don't mention it but I did two sets of tests, one set on the day of release and then another round of test right before making the graphs. There were a couple of anomalies from the first day that disappeared the next day. The app timings were quite different on the iPhone 6s between the first and second day.

    What I could have done differently:
    – Wiped all the iPhones to a blank state. Hard when I actually use all the iPhone's in one manner or another
    – More time to do more tests (double-edge sword since YouTube only rewards urgency)
    – Battery tests came to mind but that would have added additional days of testing to the video. Maybe next year.

  2. Sirf Razi



  3. Mr. Spock

    Thanks … your video (and reviews on various sites) convinced to finally upgrade my iPhone 6 from iOS 10 to iOS 12.

    Like many others, I had skipped iOS 11 due to concerns about reported slowdowns (and Apple's planned obsolescence) … happy to report that iOS 12 works very well as you indicated.

  4. steve lam

    been using my iphone 6s ever since launch and have had no reason to upgrade! its fast enough for all of my needs, especially with ios 12. apple needs to reclaim top camera performance again as thats the only reason i'd really upgrade. they're really lagging behind google on this front.

  5. Michael Gavin

    I need iOS 11 minimum too download amazon flex, should I do it on my IPhone 6. Havnt updated my phone in over a year because I know it's basically a scam

  6. Kat Haynes

    I’m a little confused, maybe I just misunderstood your review, but looking at simply how much longer it will take to be able to use my camera with ios12 (which seemed ridiculously long in your charts) why would it be considered to gain the most from this new iOS?

  7. AleJandroLeal3

    I have an iphone 6plus thats been turned OFF since 2-3 years now but i have to updated to ios 12.1 i wonder if apple would slow down my phone the phone is basically new never used

  8. Radius Lee

    wow i can’t believe it you did all that extremely detailed measurement! I was just expecting of reviews like side by side comparison but you compared them using more quantitative approach. you even use a chart to show those results. wow. good job!

  9. gugagomes7

    Thanks for the investigation…I’ve been afraid to upgrade to avoid planned obsolescence on my iPhone 6 but I fell better about it now. Also appreciate you rethinking about your testing methodology yourself and thinking critically about it. Subbed 🙂

  10. DubkStyle X2

    MobileReviewsEh thank you for your video. I’m starting a new company and phones will be a big part of it. I’m running an older 6s+ on the original iOS from when I purchased it out right a few years ago. While I’m getting ready to upgrade to the max plus my staff they’ve all got 6s+ company phones. While I continue to search for the bulk purchase of new iPhones, they unfortunately have to deal with the 6s+’s for now. And they’ve all been waiting to update. They’ll have at the least 8’s soon but for now your video was very helpful

  11. R Leung

    Thanks for testing
    I owed an iPhone X, iPad Air and iPhone 6S.
    I have upgraded my iPhone X and iPad Air to iOS12.01 and definitely felt the difference on my iPad Air(it got terribly slower from iOS 10->11)
    I was still thinking whether I should upgrade iPhone 6S. Thanks for the video and I will probably upgrade it as well

  12. GalaxyShard

    When people say iOS 12 is faster i say stupid
    I updated this and my phone (6S) is slower
    Such as games freezing (Especially when sound starts.) or just plain lag. Its not too bad but its annoying and easy to tell that iOS 11 was much better

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