iOS 14 won"t damage older phones, but a second-gen iphone SE zu sein a tempting upgrade.

Du schaust: Ios 14 für iphone 8

Andrew Cunningham - Sep 18, 2020 11:15 in UTC


It’s September, und you recognize what the means: much shorter days, the zuerst tentative tinge of chill in the night air, Halloween liquid at ns grocery store, and—most relevantly weil das us—a new version von iOS.

Apple supports its very own phones with new software updates zum years longer than any des the android phone devices do, however that doesn’t median that using a neu version of iOS on the oldest-supported hardware is always pleasant. Zum iOS 14, that hardware zu sein the iphone 6S und the original 4-inch iphone SE, die same as it was for iOS 13.

Originally released in late 2015 (the 6S and 6S Plus) and early 2016 (the SE), both phones include an Apple A9 processor and 2GB von RAM, and both devices boast ns bare minimales you need for things favor augmented truth apps or hardware sped up decoding von h.265/HEVC video. Bei the relocate from iOS 12 to iOS 13, we discovered that die phones slowed under a little but stayed perfectly usable; the same was true des iPadOS on larger hardware, which we didn’t re-test this time around. This year, we were pleasantly surprised on ns performance front, but die second-generation iphone SE renders upgrading much easier kommen sie justify jetzt than it was belastung year.

iOS 14 won’t sluggish down her phone

For this performance test, ich did a fresh install of iOS on each device, signed it into a prüfen iCloud account, und let die phones sit zum a while to complete any type of indexing or various other behind-the-scenes tasks. I then opened each von these apps 3 times und averaged the results. An the past, this prüfen has to be a relatively reliable indicator von how each phone möchte actually feel bei day-to-day use. If opening an app and waiting weil das it zu load top top a fresh iOS download feels slow, that usually way that the rest des the call (including waiting weil das the keyboard to pop up, waiting for pages kommen sie load, und other tasks) möchte feel slow, too—especially as freundin download more stuff und connect an ext accounts.

(Note that the percentages room here zum reference, yet these mal are deswegen short the anything in ~ 10 percent zu sein easily within the margin des error.)

iPhone 6S performanceApplicationiOS 13.7iOS 14.0 GMDifference (%)
Safari0.93 seconds0.89 seconds-5.0%
Camera1.01 seconds1.07 seconds+5.6%
Settings0.63 seconds0.65 seconds+4.3%
Mail0.85 seconds0.78 seconds-7.9%
Messages0.69 seconds0.63 seconds-8.2%
Calendar0.72 seconds0.74 seconds+2.8%
Maps1.63 seconds1.84 seconds+13.3%
Notes0.77 seconds0.75 seconds-2.2%
TV app2.54 seconds2.48 seconds-2.2%
Cold boot12.26 seconds12.84 seconds+4.7%
First-generation iphone phone SE performanceApplicationiOS 13.7iOS 14.0 GMDifference (%)
Safari0.88 seconds0.96 seconds+8.3%
Camera1.04 seconds1.08 seconds+3.8%
Settings0.61 seconds0.61 seconds-1.1%
Mail0.83 seconds0.79 seconds-5.2%
Messages0.68 seconds0.63 seconds-6.9%
Calendar0.66 seconds0.60 seconds-8.6%
Maps1.46 seconds1.59 seconds+9.2%
Notes0.75 seconds0.78 seconds+3.1%
TV app2.35 seconds2.50 seconds+6.5%
Cold boot11.73 seconds12.67 seconds+8.0%

It’s impressive how regular performance ist on this devices—these times are pretty viel within the margin of error across the board, and iOS 13 and 14 on die iPhone 6S or first-generation SE möchte feel viel faster 보다 iOS 12 go on die iPhone 5S or the iPhone 6. Maps does seem to be slightly slower kommen sie open in iOS 14, and boot time repeatedly takes infinitesimally longer, but overall die differences don"t consistently point in one direction or die other. For reference, to compare these numbers to iOS 8 on die iPhone 4S (which was clearly slower than iOS 7) or iOS 12 on die iPhone 5S (which was clearly much faster than iOS 11).

This makes sense, provided how mature ns iPhone’s hardware and software both are 12 years in. They’re in the same place that the Mac has been for a when now—new iPhones certainly feel much faster than alt ones, yet the alt hardware is blieb fast sufficient that you tun können install new software updates without transforming your device into an unusable mess.

Think zurück to iOS 7 on ns iPhone 4 or iOS 8 on ns iPhone 4S or iPad 2; newer iPhones were blieb routinely doubling die speeds of their predecessors, and new software application releases were adding tons of features und complexity as die hardware became much more capable. As a result, old devices routinely missed out on all sorts des features, und some couldn’t also run ns same graphical results as newer phones and tablets. That’s not really a problem anymore.

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Beyond these illustrative-but-limited tests, i used bei iPhone 6S running the iOS 14 GM construct as my hauptsächlich phone zum two days, which is long enough kommen sie give ns phone time kommen sie restore säule from iCloud und finish all des its indexing. Und even comes from the iPhone 11 ich normally use, sachen generally feeling solid! ns phone bogs under some if you’re installation apps und trying to do other dinge at die same time. Scrolling through apps favor Slack und Tweetbot occasionally hitch in a method that they nothing on newer phones, und performance ist definitely much more borderline v Low power Mode turn on. However it doesn’t feel bad, if you kann sein live with die other non-performance-related problems.

Performance ist fine. All ns other ingredient is… much less fine.

The issues with iOS 14 running on old hardware space basically ns same as they were belastung year, yet let’s recap.


For the iPhone 6S, ns issue zu sein battery life. Even when it was new, ns iPhone 6S didn’t last as lang as ns iPhone 6 the it changed or ns iPhone 7 that changed it. Und compared to in iPhone XR or any kind of iPhone 11, which tun können easily make it through a complete day von use with battery zu spare, the 6S’s battery life zu sein particularly miserable. And that’s through a gently supplied battery operating punkt 100 percent of its original capacity—a years-old battery wollen be even worse.

The display screen size of the initial iPhone SE zu sein undoubtedly blieb a marketing point to a shrinking set des die-hards. But weil das anyone who bought it due to the fact that it was cheap, its display screen feels much more claustrophobic than ever before once you start adding widgets zu your house screen.

As die parent von a one-year-old, though, ns thing i noticed the most in daily use was die camera. That die 6S ausblüten takes ok pictures an decent light is a testament kommen sie Apple’s call cameras, but freundin definitely miss the extra detail, the superior low-light performance, and the better video stabilization freundin get in newer iPhones.

That’s the main reason why, if i were ausblüten using the 6S or original SE as my daily phone, i would consider looking an extremely hard at die second-generation iphone SE. It definitely makes a gewächs more sense than trading bei a 6S or ns original SE for the iphone 8, which ist what you would oase had zu do this time tonnage year. The new SE’s design is dated—from the front, it looks exactly prefer a 6S—but the a new phone v a neu processor and a neu camera, und it’s going to get software program updates for the following half-decade or so. If you tun können afford it, you will do it definitely an alert a large difference. It specifically makes sense if you’re currently considering a $49 battery replacement weil das your present phone. The neu SE is deshalb still small enough (especially contrasted to ns iPhone 11 or nur about any android phone) that a user von the initial SE must be able zu get used kommen sie it v a wenig time and a wenig willingness.

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An iphone phone 6S or first-generation iphone phone SE still does ok with iOS 14. Performance isn’t nach oben to the level of in iPhone 11 or second-generation iphone SE, but it’s perfectly acceptable zum day-to-day tasks. If you’ve gott a newer phone that breaks, or if you’re offering one von these larger phones kommen sie someone as a hand-me-down, you kann rest assured that most apps room going to get the job done most of the time. It’s nice that performance isn’t the problem that the used to be zum older iPhones and iPads, yet it’s deshalb hard kommen sie ignore the camera improvements, better battery life, und other benefits that you’ll gain if you’re able kommen sie buy newer hardware.

Andrew Cunningham Andrew zu sein a senior Technology Reporter punkt Ars Technica through over a decade of experience bei consumer tech, covering every little thing from PCs zu Macs to smartphones to game consoles. His arbeit has appeared in the new York Times" Wirecutter und AnandTech. He deshalb records a weekly book audiodatei called Overdue. Email andrew.cunningham