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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  • nitrousoxide - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    "1.4GHz APQ8060"..apparently it's not dual-core. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Oops, fixed! Thanks!

    -Brian
    Reply
  • mister2d - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    @Brian Klug

    You mentioned tethering in the article. Can you talk more about whether you need a separate tethering plan for the Lumia 900 or can you just enable it out of the box without a fuss.

    I asking since I am considering a jump from the original unlimited plan from AT&T/iPhone.

    Thanks
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Correct, just like other first-party AT&T phones it has a provisioning check to make sure you're paying a monthly rate for tethering.

    Otherwise it's functionally the same as every other phone I've tested with tethering - 5 clients maximum, WPA2, etc.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • jjj - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    You are way too kind with this phone.
    The OS lacks so many features,the SoC is almost 2 gens behind,the recycled design is expired and fat(fat by even last year's standards) and the Windows brand can't ever be made apealing anymore.
    Nokia can make nice hardware and ,i guess,we all want it to see it survive but they should have done better.
    Reply
  • Aenean144 - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Concur.

    The only modern component in the thing is LTE, and that is arguably 1 year late. The SoC is 2010 era. The display is 2011 era, and I think I'm being generous. The OS software is still running a year's worth of development late compared to competitors. Microsoft has to wake up!

    Even the chassis design isn't something stunningly new. It's nicely evolved from the design language introduced in the Nokia N8 almost 2 years. So we've seen this type of design for awhile. Nokia's messaging for this phone has been all wrong. They should have never let the media overhype this product.

    MS has another card they can play: an Intel x86 Windows 8 smartphone. It's coming. A stylus and x86 compatibility will be features. ;)
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    "I have to say that I’m impressed with how much Nokia Drive has improved since its initial launch on Windows Phone 7 with the Lumia 800. As of this writing the version is 2.0.0.2148, and it feels much more polished and responsive now since last I used it, and includes a few new features. The current version still requires you to preload maps for the regions you want over WiFi (so be sure you do this before getting in the car), but you basically get the ability to pre-cache whatever maps you want instead of hoping you have network connectivity where you’re going like with Google Navigation."

    You can pre cache maps as well with Google - just activate it in the labs dept, then download the area you need.

    Also, stock browser on the HTC Sensation with the ICS update gets around 2000ms for sunspider. 6127ms is so outdated :)
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Oh I know about that, but the radius ends up being too small for it to be practical or efficient. Eg if you're trying to cache a long roadtrip whose distance exceeds the radius, you'll need to precache multiple regions as opposed to just downloading all the maps.

    Also I need to update my SGS2 results with the ICS ROM. Unfortunately I had to send back the Sensation a while ago :/

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

    Then again my HTC Sensation has maps from them (HTC Locations) and I can pre cache entire regions. Somehow it can also sync it up with Google's Navigation as well. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Is it enough for a map of one city at least? Reply

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