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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  • lunarx3dfx - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    I agree with edd. I recently bought a focus flash after using a Nexus S for almost a year, and even with ics the Nexus wasn't anywhere near as smooth as WP7 is. Sure, gpu acceleration helped, but there are other underlying problems in Android.

    That being said however, I will probably be getting the HTC ONE X or the US GSM Galaxy Nexus (if it ever launches) because the one area WP really lacks is in providing features for power users. It is a beautiful os, and as a whole I really enjoy it, but I miss being able to customize everything like I could on android.
    Reply
  • papatom - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Besides there is a lot more that the underlying OS has to offer.
    Let's see how WP subjective performance changes (tanks?) when Microsoft adds all those features.
    They will bring the platform in-line feature wise, won't they?

    Another thing, as pointed by Exodite, is that the first crop of WP phones - at least reference ones - comes from Nokia, and is polished to the point OS permits.
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    I'm at 1.2ghz and 768 memory with only around 400 available for me to use! Sure it's dual core, but again, the GPU does its job now.

    Here, read this from an actual developer of Android.

    https://plus.google.com/105051985738280261832/post...
    Reply
  • mutatio - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Careful, Vision, that comes awful close to complimenting Apple's approach since day one of the iPhone. ;-) Reply
  • Exodite - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Ah yes, the wonders of anecdotal evidence and conjecture.

    Incidentially I have an Android phone based on very similar hardware, an 1GHz Qualcomm S2 SoC, 512MB memory and a FWVGA display.

    And it runs absolutely beautifully.

    It's the SE arc though, kinda funny how the old guard in phones still seem to come up with some of the best solutions.
    Reply
  • designerfx - Friday, April 06, 2012 - link

    wow, really?

    do you understand the point of quad core? it's not performance, it's more power savings.

    WP is not more efficient than anyone - if you think it is the OS, you don't understand that probably 99% of the performance (positive or negative) is based on the chips in the phone and that's it.
    Reply
  • crispbp04 - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    You are clueless so please don't speak on subjects you have no idea about. Do you even know what a scheduling is? Maybe when you get an education some day after you graduate high school you'll understand how an operating system works.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheduling_(computing...

    Saying performance is all hardware is like saying strengh is everything. try holding a 25lb weight 2 feet from you with your arms extended, then hold the same weight to your chest. What is easier?
    Reply
  • eddman - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Why talk time and 3G web browsing battery times are so low, compared to phones with a similar display and a similar or smaller battery?

    Is this one of the pitfalls of using a dedicated baseband chip?
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Basically that, and again that we're talking about (at least for the cellular page loading tests) the same display being the majority of power draw.

    The tethering results being so close surprised me, and I'm going to re-run the HSPA+ result just to see what was up there. Again very limited time on this review actually.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Lonegunman2012 - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Just a quick question: What is your rush to get the review out? I look to this site for thoroughly written reviews. It's disappointing that so much was left out. I would be happy to wait longer for a review to come out if it was complete. Reply

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