Apple’s killer chipsets and tightly integrated software has long led to iPhones being a bit faster than many Android phones over the years, but in a new speed test, Samsung’s new Galaxy S23 Ultra pulls off a rare victory.

YouTube channel PhoneBuff recently published the latest in a long series of speed tests. The channel has, for years now, been running side-by-side speed tests of the latest Android smartphones and iPhones to see which device is faster. The test runs through opening a series of apps, fully loading them, then going back to the homescreen to open the next app on the list. Once that’s done, a second round re-opens those apps as a test for how apps stay in memory.

In this latest test, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is pitted against the iPhone 14 Pro Max. In these tests, Apple has been undefeated for a few years at this point, with most Android phones falling behind by at least a few seconds in the first round, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra finally breaks that streak.

In the first round, the Galaxy S23 Ultra speeds through opening the full list of apps and games in 1:54 and some change. The iPhone 14 Pro Max then finishes closely behind at just shy of 1:56. In the second round, the iPhone wins by a couple of seconds, but only because of differences in how navigation works. On Android, two swipes are required to leave a fullscreen app, such as a game, where iOS allows users to go home with just one swipe.

Even with the time needed for that extra swipe, though, the Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max ended up at a tie in this test. Finishing both rounds within a second of each other.

The speed boost we’re seeing here is a result of a few major upgrades Samsung has made this year. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset under the hood is Qualcomm’s fastest and most efficient to date, and it’s paired with UFS 4.0 storage which is drastically faster than what came before it. Samsung’s phone also has twice the amount of RAM. Of course, a mere second or two isn’t exactly a huge victory, but it’s impressive nonetheless that Samsung was able to keep up with, and actually slightly surpass the iPhone. Even though Apple still wins on benchmarks, it’s clear Android is finally keeping up where it counts.

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Ben Schoon

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