There is something religious or cult-like about the Apple devotees who wait patiently outside stores for the opportunity to buy the company’s latest doodad. But every religion needs its share of skeptics and fact checkers; that’s where the popular YouTube channel EverythingApplePro comes in. In its videos, the channel puts iPhones through a gauntlet of experiments (bend tests, scratch tests, water tests, drop tests, etc.) to see how they hold up.
EverythingApplePro’s most elaborate video yet is its recent “Every iPhone Speed Test Comparison 2016 PART 2!” The host lines up 15 different iPhone models, representing every model since the beginning, and tests them in numerous categories: startup time, overall speed, decibel output, heat distribution, touch ID, and camera quality. The overall result? Sorry, haters, but the iPhone really has improved over the last nine years. In some cases, dramatically so.
It’s a tossup as to what is more interesting here, the gleaming iPhones themselves or the ambitious nature of this YouTube experiment. To keep the test as fair as possible, the host plugs all 15 phones into a single, 16-port USB hub. For most of the video, the phones are placed side by side in chronological order on a wooden floor with the camera filming them from overhead, so that they’re all in the frame simultaneously. Gratifyingly, the iPhone 7 performs best in most categories, but its bigger brother, the iPhone 7 Plus, is a little sluggish to get started. The video reveals a gradual improvement overall, albeit with “diminishing returns” in terms of speed. The most dramatic difference is in the quality of the iPhone’s camera. The video includes numerous comparisons between early models and the current model, and the host declares it “night and day.” Just look at the detail on that Red Bull can.
The narrator is remarkably calm, even-handed, and rational through all of this. Only at the end does he admit what a strain this video was. “I literally almost pulled my hair out making this video. It was so difficult. But here it is, guys.”