Future iPhone Wish: Improved Cooling and Sustained Performance
One of the best things about the last few iPhone generations is just how much sheer processing power Apple is able to cram in them with the A-series SoCs. The current A11 Bionic is an absolute beast that can chew through pretty much anything while still delivering exceptional efficiency.
For day to day usage it’s phenomenal, able to deliver tons of power in quick bursts when needed to keep everything fluid and responsive. The problems only come up when you want to make full use of that high power for more than just a burst, like playing an intensive game. As soon as you ask it to keep pushing for a sustained period, the heat quickly builds up in the body and within a normal operating environment the device is unable to dissipate that heat fast enough. As soon as that start happening the throttling begins to keep things at a safe temperature. This can quickly lead to noticeable slowdowns in certain games.
Currently the only real options are to let the device rest and cool down frequently, or employ some kind of active cooling (even just holding the device close to a decent desk fan) to help pull the heat away quick enough for sustained performance.
I’ve got my fingers crossed that since we’re now seeing an assortment of Android devices advertising better internal cooling assemblies and even some gaming focused devices with active cooling attachments, maybe Apple will have something up their sleeves for the 2018 or 2019 iPhones. The A11 and future Apple SoCs should continue stomping on Qualcomm and Samsung in terms of raw peak power, but versus say the Snapdragon 845 they tend to fall slightly behind in longer tests simply because the devices can’t cope with the heat.