Huawei's self-declared "world's first 7nm process mobile phone SoC chipset" HiSilicon Kirin 980 which was actually released after Apple's A12 Bionic is also far behind the A12 when it comes to performance.
Both Huawei's Kirin 980 and Apple's A12 Bionic are manufactured by TSMC using the same fab process, but Apple's SoC completely blows the Kirin out of the water when it comes to benchmark scores.
Moreover, as reported by phoneArena's Victor Hristov, according to Geekbench single-core benchmark results, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 980 gets a score of 3333, while the iPhone XS Max featuring Apple's A12 Bionic reached the 4821 mark.
Furthermore, to make things even worse for Huawei's Kirin 980, the iPhone X running on the 10 nm A11 Bionic also scored higher with a single core benchmark score of 4244, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC reached a 3612 rating.
Although single-core benchmark scores don't show the real-life performance of a smartphone, they can provide quite an accurate picture of the difference in the amount of work one or more devices can do per clock cycle.
Huawei's Mate 20 Pro achieved a single-core benchmark score of 3333, while the iPhone XS Max scored 4821
The GeekBench multi-core scores were closer, with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro scoring 9807, the iPhone XS Max scoring 11299, and the iPhone X reaching 10401.
Hristov also used the GPU-based GFXBench benchmark to see the difference in graphics power, and the Huawei was again left behind by both iPhone XS Max and X, as well as by Samsung's Galaxy Note 9.
According to Apple, A12 Bionic's "Two performance cores tackle heavy computational tasks. And four efficiency cores take on everyday tasks. Our newest performance controller dynamically divides work across these cores, harnessing all six when a power boost is needed."
Huawei says that "The Kirin 980 combines multiple technological innovations and leads the AI trend to provide users with impressive mobile performance and to create a more convenient and intelligent life."
The iPhone XS Max also leads the pack in multi-core and GPU benchmarks
The benchmark results aren't that surprising as they look at first sight, seeing that Anandtech's SPEC2006 benchmarking concluded that Apple's A12 Bionic not only blew all other mobile SoCs available on the market at the time of its release but it actually was closer to desktop processors' performance.
"Apple’s CPU have gotten so performant now, that we’re just margins off the best desktop CPUs; it will be interesting to see how the coming years evolve, and what this means for Apple’s non-mobile products," said Anantech's A12 analysis.
To conclude, although Huawei's HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC is quite a leap in performance when compared to other Android processors, it barely keeps up to Apple's last year's A11 Bionic chipset.
Furthermore, Apple's A12 Bionic would probably leave the Kirin 980 a couple of circuit laps behind if they would take part in a virtual SoC race event.