- Mar 11, 2000
If I were taking those benchmarks as legitimate, differences in the memory configuration would be my first guess. Memory can have a big impact on multicore scores and I don't think we have any information on what kinds of memory our new iDevices use.
FWIW, my wife's iPhone XR scores the same as the iPad Air 3. Both have A12.The Macrumors article suggests multicore often runs slower when the phone is first set up as it's dedicated processes to lots of background stuff. Presumably that would be it, otherwise the A14 is slower in multicore than the A13, which seems unlikely.
However, not surprisingly, it's easier to get iPhones to throttle. One way to get throttling is to plug in the phone so it charges the battery, and making everything warm.
But yeah, if the phone was just recently set up, it could have more background processes running. That would suggest the score with the mediocre multi-core score is from a third party reviewer, and not an intentional leak by Apple.