Performance

Performance on Windows Phone 7.5 at the moment tops out at almost the same place for virtually every handset. As I touched on before, the platform is still a Qualcomm-only party, and the name of the game is single core 45nm Snapdragon with Adreno 205 at the high end in the form of either MSM8x55, or for the Lumia 900 APQ8055 at 1.4 GHz.

I’ve already penned some thoughts on WP7’s current chassis spec, and in the future the specification will open up with the Tango update (which we’ve seen in the Lumia 610) to a lower-end configuration with MSM7x30 or MSM7x27A. Eventually Windows Phone will move onto dual core SoCs and possibly more vendors, but when and how that happens remains to be seen. The driving factors will undoubtably be both performance, but also improvements to things around the edges like 1080p video encode, decode, and power gains from a 28nm process geometry.

For now however let’s focus on the Lumia 900, which again is 1.4 GHz APQ8055 with 512 MB of LPDDR2. Benchmarking WP7.5 still is a pretty basic thing, since platform consistency somewhat obviates the need for many of the other big cross-platform benchmarks (this will change with Windows 8, however). For now that means our testing is limited primarily to assessing javascript performance with sunspider, browsermark, and WP Bench.

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser

BrowserMark

WPBench Comparison
  HTC Surround
(1.0 GHz QSD8250)
Nokia Lumia 800
(1.4 GHz MSM8255)
Nokia Lumia 710
(1.4 GHz MSM8255)
Nokia Lumia 900
(1.4 GHz APQ8055)
Total Score 61.58 91.14 92.85 89.09
Result Screenshot

At this point all the most modern WP7 devices are still shipping with essentially the same SoC - 1.4 GHz 45nm MSM8x55/APQ8055. For comparison, the initial launch devices were 65nm QSD8x50 at 1 GHz. With the Tango update performance differences will start to be more of a thing for consumers to care about as it becomes possible to select a phone with a lower end SoC that still runs the Windows Phone UI at a decent clip (like the Lumia 610 we’ve handled). As a result, it isn't surprising at all to see the WP7.5 devices with the same exact SoC all clumped together and performing basically the same. In addition, though the WP7.5 IE JavaScript engine (Chakra) is a huge improvement upon the WP7 JScript engine, it still lags behind the competition on Android and iOS. 

 

Battery Life and Charging Camera Analysis - Stills and Video
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  • name99 - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    "However the labeling here is actually hilarious - AT&T’s WCDMA “4G” marketing carries over to the Lumia 900, so selecting “3G” from the drop down will score you a “4G” indicator in the status bar. Likewise selecting “4G” from the drop down gets you “LTE” in the status bar. Finally, a concrete example of where AT&T’s re-branding marketing has resulted in an actual namespace collision!"

    We have been through this a dozen times, Brian. You are just being immature if you keep pushing this point even after the relevant engineering issues have been explained to you many times.
    If there is a name space collision here, it is because Nokia or MS are too stupid to understand that LTE is not the same thing as 4G, not because of an ATT fault.

    ATT are major league dicks --- there's plenty about them to complain about honestly, without complaining about stupid non-issues.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, April 05, 2012 - link

    Seems like a valid complaint to me, at least from the point of view of the average consumer, regardless of whose fault it is. If AT&T can influence even Apple to change their connection indicators, surely they could force something less confusing here. It's not a coven to me, but the average consumer barely knows or cares what LTE & HSPA+ are, if they did the iPhone wouldn't be selling very well right now. Reply
  • leexgx - Friday, April 06, 2012 - link

    MS naming (nice that they let you set the speeds 2g 3g and 4g speeds to bad you cant just force it to stay on one but that be asking to much)
    3g/H/H+ as 3g (WCDMA / UMTS / HSDPA / HSPA) and 4g as 4g (LTE or LTE-ADV) as it should be seems right to me (miss selling 4g when its not 4g is bad in the USA, hope Three in the UK do not start miss selling quite sure they Not be allowed to)

    2g best signal and power bat life
    3g lower bat life and calls and text may some times not work
    4g more power drain less bat life (depends if its been used as LTE should have way better power use then 3g+ spec)
    Reply
  • DarkUltra - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    I think you should dig some more into WP7. I would not have bought a Lumia 800 if I knew about these:

    - Deleting gmail mail archives mail instead of deleting it
    - Read, delete and move email operations is not pushed or synced immediately. Kinda disruptive and unnerving when you sit down in front of the computer and have to do it all over again
    - international characters turn into æøå after a reply from a gmail account ruining the threading (could be issue with gmail but worked fine on my first gen iphone)
    - no text wrap in ie9 so text on certain websites like anandtech and techreport is redicously small in portrait mode and uncomfortably small in landscape mode.
    - no Find on Page
    - no copy and paste in calendar
    - no every other week timing in calendar
    - no Other and custom phone numbers support in contacts
    - If you set your locale to something like Norway, you get SV: and vs: instead of the regular Re: and Fwd: email subject abbrevations. After a bit back and fourth with people abroad the subject line ends up like this:
    Re: SV: Re: SV: Re: SV: Smörgardsbord på Lørdag
    - no native PDF support, must use a slow and unresponsive 3rd party reader that lack zoom to picture/paragraph and search
    - Other and custom phone numbers in contacts
    Many phone numbers from Outlook and Google doesn't show up

    Othervise I really love this phone and its live tiles.
    Reply
  • Klimax - Friday, April 06, 2012 - link

    Corrections:
    "Deleting gmail mail archives mail instead of deleting it"
    Setting in gmail.

    "Read, delete and move email operations is not pushed or synced immediately. Kinda disruptive and unnerving when you sit down in front of the computer and have to do it all over again"
    Again, setting in gmail.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, April 05, 2012 - link

    "I don't know that there's still a lot of iPhone/Windows Phone cross shopping, but a trend towards even cheaper on-contract prices for high-end smartphones is absolutely welcome."

    I agree with the latter statement... But as far as consumer choice, I think there might be more iPhone/WP cross shopping than iPhone/Android or even WP/Android. MS seems to be straddling this line between Apple's platform approach and Google's, and right now I think they're leaning slightly towards the former.

    I think it's great for the market overall, and it's probably a winning strategy in the long run (something MS knows all about)... But right now I think Google's got more of the bargain/value market and the spec/geek market while Apple's carved itself a big chunk in between from average consumers looking to spend more but not necessarily focused on specs or sheer capability.

    I'm definitely excited to see where WP & Nokia go next, despite being heavily invested in Android... Nokia needs MS more than MS needs Nokia tho, and WP isn't gonna budge from 3rd place if Nokia is the only OEM producing flagship type devices. Could be worse tho, they could be RIM!
    Reply
  • PeteH - Thursday, April 05, 2012 - link

    You make some good points, but I disagree that the MS approach is necessarily a winning strategy. If this was April 2010 when the smartphone market wasn't so mature I would completely agree that Windows stands an excellent chance of becoming (along with iOS/Android) a third dominant mobile platform. Unfortunately for MS it's April 2012, and it may be too late for Windows to be anything other than a niche player.

    I think the key question is can MS attract developers so that a strong stable of quality Apps can be built up rapidly. If they can it will greatly increase their chance of success.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, April 05, 2012 - link

    Meh, there's a lot of race still left to run imo, the smartphone market may be maturing rapidly but it's still in it's infancy... It's like in the stage the PC market was in the 80s imo. Reply

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