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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  • Death666Angel - Sunday, November 10, 2019 - link

    Custom ROMs are a thing, do your research before to get a phone that is well supported and you can have unlimited* software support. I can get an Android 9.0 ROM for my Moto G 2013.
    And if you buy the right phone, something like a Pocophone from last year or a Xiaomi Mi 9 variant now, you can get a top of the line specced phone (S855, 6 GB RAM, 64+ GB ROM, 1080+ AMOLED, 48 MP tripple cameras etc.) for half the price of the entry level iPhone 11, get good custom ROM support and even decent normal support for a year or two and if you don't anymore, you can buy the newest thing from them and have paid less than one iPhone for 2 phones in the end. You can even get their entry level phone with a slower SoC and if you don't game you won't notice the performance difference in Facebook or Youtube, and then get 3 phones for the price of one iPhone.
  • Spunjji - Monday, November 11, 2019 - link

    I'll take 3 years of support on my OnePlus device for roughly 1/2 to 2/3 of what an equivalent-spec iPhone would have cost. The battery's already tired after that length of time, and even if you keep your iPhone a year or two longer I'm still winning on cost.
  • Sharma_Ji - Sunday, November 10, 2019 - link

    Well, what?
    Google only released latest security patches along with updates to all their pixel phones on 5th of nov and does this each month.
    It's a rarity that some OEM pushes those before google does, essential only does simultaneously.
    And when other's do, they still get 1st of each month .
  • Sharma_Ji - Sunday, November 10, 2019 - link

    Well, what?
    Google only released latest security patches along with updates to all their pixel phones on 5th of nov and does this each month.
    It's a rarity that some OEM pushes those before google does, essential only does simultaneously.
    And when other's do, they still get 1st of each month .
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, November 11, 2019 - link

    The Galaxy S7 I am typing this with received 2 full OS upgrades, and is running the Aug 1 2019 k installed in Sept). It has received security updates every other month for the past year, so I'm expecting the next one in the next or so.

    My wife's Galaxy A8 (2018) has already received an OS upgrade and gets security updates every other month as well. We've had it for just over a year now.

    Our old Galaxy S6 received OS upgrades, and the last security update it received was for late 2018.

    IOW, Samsung update process has greatly improved the past few years. You get 2 full OS upgrades and at least 3 years of security updates.
  • ahamling27 - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Um, OnePlus?
  • flyingpants265 - Saturday, November 9, 2019 - link

    For me, the real choices haven't changed much since the beginning. Samsung, LG or Nexus 4/5/HTC Desire/OnePlus. Either the latest flagship, or a decent Google-only device. Not a cheap plastic mid-tier phone (unless that cheap phone is also a Nexus5-type phone with at least flagship CPU.) Pixel 4 should be $400 total.. So should be 50% off.
  • Spunjji - Monday, November 11, 2019 - link

    You missed OnePlus in your final assessment. They don't do much to the OS, and I've found the small things they do very useful. They don't do Qi either, but their Dash charge and superior battery life serve the same practical function.

    I consider them to be an ideal replacement for the Nexus line that Google ditched.
  • Jonahtrav - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Back in May of this year I bought a pixel 3a just to give it a try and I so enjoy the experience I sold my iPhone 8 plus and waited for the pixel 4 to come out and I've been watching reviews and I have to say up kind of disappointed in this phone. Recent review I watched was YouTuber by jerry-rig which tested the durability of the pixel for it failed miserably cracks in 4 areas...yeah I know I know I'm going to stick it in the case but you know it's a back pocket and you sit down in your car forget to take it out take it out after you sit down and madewell cause a problem but after watching that review I don't think I'm buying a mix before going to keep my pixel 3 a.... In the battery was the first thing I thought what a disaster
  • PeachNCream - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Underwhelming, but some of the feature decisions can be explained. 64GB base storage encourages people to make more use of cloud alternatives so Alphabet has greater access to perform analytics on user uploaded information. It's hard to pilfer information from over someone's cellular data plan without that catching attention and motivating the IT security types to go poking around at what you're doing. Encouraging users to put information out there of their own free will means analytics will attract a lot less attention.

    Face unlock is downright alarming stuff that would do Eric Schmidt's decade-old walk right up to the creepy line (his own words back when he was the CEO of Google) expected justice. All that sensor equipment can capture a significant amount of data and put facial analysis of other photographs from other sources into a more useful context. Alphabet is leaning forward here and I would expect the mothership's repository of highly personal data to increase somewhat from this and the addition of Fitbit biometrics collection -- but it's all beneficial to society so it's okay, right?

    As for RAM, I don't see a significant disadvantage in only including 6GB. I rarely see utilization go beyond 900MB on my current phone. Maybe being a bit behind on OS versions has something to do with it though. The only problem here is that Google is offering less memory and less storage for a similar price after showing up late to the party.

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