GPU Performance

3D and GPU performance of the Pixel 4, much like all other devices this year with the same Snapdragon 855 chipset, will only be able to differentiate itself from the pack if it has any kind of special heat dissipation or extremely lax thermal throttling designs. We’re not expecting any big surprises here, and do hope the Pixel 4 XL is able to fare competitively.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Physics

Starting off with the 3DMark Physics test, which is actually a CPU benchmark within a temperature constrained test scenario, we see the Pixel 4 XL fall in line with the middle of the pack of Snapdragon 855 devices in terms of the sustained performance scores. It’s interesting to see the peak performance standing out and being ahead by a measurable margin against other S855 devices. I’m not too sure why this would be other than maybe Google having extra optimisations in the scheduling of the workload, or maybe even DVFS behaviour of the CPUs, as the actual workload performance shouldn’t change based on any other external factors such as drivers or software.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Graphics

In the graphics workload, things are GPU bound and that’s the main limiting factor for the performance scores. Here the Pixel 4 XL again falls around the middle of the pack amongst other S855 devices.

GFXBench Aztec Ruins - Normal - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen GFXBench Aztec Ruins - High - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

This ranking is continued on over all the GFXBench tests as the Pixel 4 XL does adequately but still remains below medium amongst our Snapdragon 855 devices. A peculiarity we’re seeing in the benchmarks is that the peak performance of the Pixel 4 XL is a few percentages lower than that on other S855 phones. Again, I have no proper explanation for this other that it may be some regression in Qualcomm’s GPU drivers, or that maybe Google is being more relaxed on other DVFS behaviour such as on the memory controllers.

Again, whilst this performance isn’t outright bad, we have to keep in mind the pricing of the phone and its very late release date in the year. The contrast to Apple’s iPhone 11s here in the charts is pretty absurd, as it’s able to showcase scores essentially twice as fast as what the Pixel 4 XL can achieve.

System Performance Display Measurement
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  • brucethemoose - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    The cost difference between 64GB and 128GB of smartphone flash has to be trivial these days. Its hard to believe anyone is still doing it, much less that Google and Apple are doing it in $800 flagships.
  • crimson117 - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    It's because the 64GB is priced lower to get you in the door, so they can upsell the 128GB to you for ~$50 more of mostly profit.
  • Jcaro14 - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Yeah this phone is not for you, if you are looking for the latest hardware design you should stick with Samsung, Huawei, or Xiaomi. The Pixel is design for the best Android Software experience. I'm if you had one you would understand but since you just go by what the tech snobs say, sadly you won't be able to experience this awesome software experience that the Pixel provides.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    The Pixels are not the best "Android" experience, they're outright a Google experience.

    Most of the Pixel only features are geographically or language limited. If you're not using any of those features then the Pixel lineup is no any better at Android than say a Samsung device.
  • Pooppoot - Saturday, November 9, 2019 - link

    I disagree as someone who has used both and most Android devices! To me the Pixel line offers the "best" Android experience! It's a subjective matter though.
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, November 11, 2019 - link

    Wrong. I've also used Pixel 3a and it's nothing vs a custom skin or even a barebone Lineage OS.

    AOSP is being degraded with every Pixel revision. Pixel uses proprietary System UI and they offloaded a lot of Android's AOSP apps to their own - Messaging, Phone, Browser all are EOLed in AOSP. Pixel System UI has the worst customization features ever. And even their latest Recorder app is using Scoped Storage, thus once you record you do not see it in your Filemanager/filesystem which is BULLSHIT and can be shared from app (WTF?) plus no icon pack support too or the garbage launcher. Nova decimates that to oblivion.

    Best is subjective, I like LG because of no bloat (Smartworld and one more app that's all) vs others like Samsung because it has all the things you need from time location, notification dots numbering on status bar customization to even notification transparency on lockscreen, Plus AOD watch faces and all. OnePlus offers faster Android UX. Mind you all these are proprietary and beat Pixel user experience a.k.a Google Experience ( dumbed down experience )

    So yeah there's no Best, old times Nexus used to have the best Android experience with it's pure Stock AOSP skin. Then there was Cyanogen Mod with insane customizations and free themes, halcyon days of Android. Lineage OS and it's derivatives like Resurrection Remix have tons of features in built and there are lot of ROMs which massively improve on UX and speed / customization like Potato ROM.
  • s.yu - Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - link

    I had to work with an S4 Lite 4 years ago for a few months because my phone at the time got stolen, and it lagged to the point of being unusable so I said what the hell and flashed Cyanogen, however it continued to lag without notable improvement.
  • generalako - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

  • generalako - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    I'm not a tech snob, but a long-time Pixel user. Hardware DOES MATTER when I pay $800.

    Quality control DOES MATTER.I RMAed two different Pixel 2's and thre different 2 XL's. I RMAed three different Pixel 3's and two different 3 XL's. That's unacceptable for a flagship phones. The number of widespread QC issues in this series of phone is unprecedented -- as someone who buys and tests flagships, and also sell them, I have never seen anything like it.

    Battery DOES MATTER. Medicore battery size for the size and thickness, and battery life for battery size being mediocre as well, leading to bad battery life, generation after generation, is unacceptable.

    Display DOES MATTER. Going with a mix of Samsung OLED and shitty and cheap LG OLED, treating their calibrations differently, is unacceptable. As is bad calibraiton (especially gamma -- how can you provide black crush like this, year after year!?). As using LG OLED full of grain and color uniformity issues. It's like they're ordering the cheapest units they can get their hands on, from both LG and Samsung.

    RAM DOES MATTER. When they can't prove themselves by good RAM management, but instead bad, then 4GB is not enough and impedes on actual user experience. 6GB as well over time.

    Storage DOES MATTER. Spotify downloads alone take up 32GB. And when they decide to completely abandon the customers with free original backup on photos, this becomes even more important.

    And on and on it goes. I used Pixels for years because, as you point out, software smoothness and consistency is important for user experience. But none of it excuses all the other range of issues they have, nor does it justify the price tag they have. Pixel 3a gives me Pixel UI smoothness as well, for example, and it costs $400

    I actually jumped to the 3a from the 3, due to all the issues I had, and consider it an overall superior unit. Even Pixel 2 was a superior unit, as the Pixel 3 regressed in display quality, battery life and even smoothness (for some reason).

    Don't forget that Google was doing the superior software schtick with Nexuses as well: Nexus 5 is one of the best phones every made, Nexus 7 v2 the best tablet ever made, precisely for this reason. But they were cheap units. Likewise, Pixel 3a is Google's best Pixel ever, and Chromecast, Home Mini, etc. are their best products. Problem is that Google wants to make "flagship" units where it provides mostly same low-quality, but for 2-3x the price. That's unacceptable. You know that.
    Pixel 4 isn't a $800 device just as the Pixel Slate wasn't a $1000 device.
    I can't believe I waited so long for this device and was naive enough to think that maybe Google would learn. But they never do.
  • s.yu - Saturday, November 9, 2019 - link

    In their argument, the BOE panels are probably cheaper?

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