Performance

With Honeycomb, Google enabled full GPU acceleration across the OS. As a result, I had hoped that we’d have a very Windows Phone 7 like experience in Android 3.0. For the most part, it’s similarly smooth, but it’s still not quite perfect.

Performance in Honeycomb seems even more dependent on background apps than with earlier versions of Android. I’m not sure if that’s because Honeycomb is less aggressive about kicking processes out of memory or if I’m simply doing more with the OS on a larger screen, but I found myself killing tasks manually more frequently in Honeycomb than I did on Froyo. It’s also possible that with faster hardware and a faster OS that any slowdown, even if only minor, is more perceptible.

Swiping between home screens is butter smooth under Honeycomb, as is interacting with widgets and notifications. Applications launch quickly and scrolling in them is smoother than any other Android release. Even scrolling in the browser is finally smooth on Android, although I don’t believe it’s quite up to par with iOS/WP7. Granted Honeycomb doesn’t support Flash yet so it’s too early to tell how Flash integration will change the browsing experience, but I wonder if the delay on integrating flash has to do with ensuring that browser scrolling performance isn’t hurt.

As we saw with the Atrix 4G, performance benchmarks may be slower on the Xoom due to its higher native resolution (1280 x 800) than the competitors. This is particularly evident in the 3D gaming tests. I almost wonder if we'll begin seeing higher performing SoCs in tablets going forward, with lighter hardware being used in smartphones. It's clear that these smartphone SoCs, while fine for lower res smartphones, don't have the compute horsepower or memory bandwidth to cope with higher resolution displays.

I'm also not entirely sure what's going on in the Quadrant results as there are some significant drops in performance on the Xoom vs. Atrix. This could be a Honeycomb thing or an issue with the benchmark itself.

Linpack

GLBenchmark 2.0 - Egypt

GLBenchmark 2.0 - PRO

Quadrant Benchmark

Quadrant CPU Benchmark

Quadrant Memory Benchmark

Quadrant I/O Benchmark

Quadrant 2D Benchmark

Quadrant 3D Benchmark

BaseMark GUI Benchmark - Animation

BaseMark GUI Benchmark - Texture IO

BaseMark GUI Benchmark - Composition

BaseMark GUI Benchmark - Rendering Order

Camera Quality Wireless Performance: Cellular & WiFi
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  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Wow, it loads pages three to eight times faster than the iPad? I didn't realize Tegra 2 was THAT much faster. Did you run that same page load test during the Atrix review? I must've glossed over it. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Preview rather. Reply
  • dcollins - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    It's a combination of Tegra 2 and Chrome being much faster than Safari. I would assume Chrome for Android 3.0 was optimized even more heavily than Chrome for Windows, which remains the performance leader on the desktop. Reply
  • samirsshah - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    make that your SD Card reader SDXC rather than SDHC and just like that utility of Zoom increase twofold because you can store more media. Rumor has it that Apple is going SDXC in their new MacBooks. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    SDHC should be good for most people's needs, they go up to at least 64GB no? I mean, even 32GB is a lot of music... Judging by MP3 player sales most people don't care to bring their entire collection of music with them, and if you're at home there's plenty of streaming solutions (or even if you aren't). Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I like the intro... I also feel that at these prices tablets are a little bit too much of a luxury item for anyone that has or needs a laptop. For those of us, the tablet's still a third or fourth device (behind phone, laptop/netbook, and possibly a desktop); and at $800 I simply can't justify it. I'd rather upgrade one of my other devices. For people with just a desktop or a heavy desktop replacement laptop I imagine that tablets hold a higher appel, particularly if the don't need a portable system for work/study. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Honeycomb is certainly an impressive release tho, given how quickly after Gingerbread it arrived (had obviously been in the works way earlier)... I'm excited to see where future wifi only models fall. If they sold it at $500 or under with 16gb or even 8gb and no 3g radio they'd fly off the shelves... But just like when the iPad first arrived, I think Moto is well aware they have a superior product so they can charge whatever they want for now. Reply
  • Enormously Hatworthy - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    There's a wifi only 16GB version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on the way. Pricing for the 16GB 3G version looks to be around €699 so that could come down to €599 without the 3G radio.

    Plus it'll have Samsung's screen tech and it weighs a quarter of a pound less than the iPad.

    Sounds like a winner to me.
    Reply
  • Enormously Hatworthy - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Oh and if you have the pleasure of owning one of Samsung's newer wifi enabled TVs, you'll be able to stream live tv to your Tablet.

    Unfortunately I don't have the pleasure :(
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Saturday, February 26, 2011 - link

    And by purchasing Samsung, you can forget about getting updated to 3.1 or 3.2. Reply

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