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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  • Jonahtrav - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    has a pixel 3 a user I was excited to see the pixel 4 come out but I usually wait for all the reviews and then decide and have you seen the jerry-rigged video where he test the durability of the pixel 4 and it fails miserably with cracking in four areas Reply
  • Oliseo - Sunday, November 10, 2019 - link

    Yeah, it's for halfwits. Reply
  • edzieba - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Coming from a Pixel 2XL, it ticks all the boxes for me. Performance (in terms of responsiveness rather than sustained benchmarks) is great, 90Hz display is a nice step up, the return of Qi charging means battery life is a nonissue for me (Put it down on the desk, and oh, it's charged when I go to pick it up again), and Soli has thus far been generally useful in a subtle way (activation on reach, and quieting alarms and rings before contact, rather than hand-waving demos). Camera is Good Enough for the few times I take photos. I miss the fingerprint reader for the notification swipe gesture, but it also means I can unlock and authenticate payments (pattern/code unlock is no good here) quickly without taking my gloves off - or even taking the phone out of the mount - to pay for fuel which is a nice convenience.

    Then there are the alternatives. Iphones are right out, ain't nobody got time to deal with Apple's ecosystem. Samsung (and most others) get the boot due to their glacial update rate and/or OS-fiddling. And as this is by definition a device intended to be network connected continuously, it's either updated or it's PWNed. Out of the manufacturers who are vaguely on the ball when it comes to consistent, reliable and timely updates and don't go messing with the core OS that leaves basically Nokia, Essential, and Sony. Essential seem to be dead for all intents and purposes, Sony still haven't gotten Qi implemented, and Nokia lock their bootloaders (and are still on Android 9).
  • edzieba - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Biggest thing I'm missing is an up/down motion gesture for scrolling recipes with dirty hands. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    > Samsung (and most others) get the boot due to their glacial update rate and/or OS-fiddling. And as this is by definition a device intended to be network connected continuously, it's either updated or it's PWNed.

    My S10 is on the November security patch since a couple of days. The Pixel 4 XL is still on the October one. People need to get their facts right.
  • thestryker - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    I could be wrong, but I believe the point he was getting at is over device lifetime. This is the predominant reason I'm still using my Droid Turbo. Outside of Essential and Google the device makers for android bail on their device OS updates relatively rapidly (ex: Pixel 2 running 10, Galaxy S8 running 9). Samsung seems good about security updates as old devices do get those albeit at lower cadence, but that doesn't mean the devices get OS support.

    Android in general is a nightmare when it comes to OS support, but the alternative is Apple, so that's a non starter for me. In general it'd be nice if Google did the work to square away OS updates so they could be device independent, but there is no pressure on anyone to do this it seems.
  • imaheadcase - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    What does security update have to do with what he said? Andrei security updates are pushed on pixel phones in normal updates as well so its tied into regular autoupdates anyways now.

    His point is valid, OS specific UI can totally ruin a phone experience, especially when upgrading is not a must have thing for you. Samsung is notorious for not pushing updates, or even down right lying about updating. Look at Tablet line they have..they still sell tablets and make them WITHOUT updates of any kind, despite them constantly saying after a couple years they will unlock them for users.

    I have the Pixel 3 and love it, i won't be going to Pixel 4 (want fingerprint unlock). I might consider it for home use if price drops way low.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    > What does security update have to do with what he said?

    Because he specifically brought up security concerns?
  • Sigil224 - Saturday, November 9, 2019 - link

    Would an article on this be possible?
    I’m currently on an iPhone Xs but have been looking at Androids as a change but have had doubts over some of them because of concerns over update cadence due to anecdotal evidence (Samsung, normally) but if that’s not right then that changes things a bit.
  • Oliseo - Sunday, November 10, 2019 - link

    You'll get three years MAX from the BEST android phone OEM (including Google) and that's from the Launch date.

    Prepare to junk it after 4 years at the latest (and that's a year with no OS upgrade).

    And these are BEST CASE SCENERIOS.

    Pick the wrong phone and it will be junk soon as you buy it.

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