Earlier this week Google announced two new flagship Nexus devices: the Nexus 4 smartphone and the Nexus 10 tablet. We received review samples of both earlier this week, and while we're hard at work at full reviews of the devices we couldn't help but share all of the test data we've been able to amass at this point.

For those who aren't familiar with it, the Nexus 4 features Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC - a quad-core 28nm Krait CPU with Qualcomm's next-generation Adreno 320 GPU. The combination proved quite formidable in the MDP/T we tested, as well as LG's recently announced Optimus G. The SoC drives a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 IPS display and is paired with 2GB of LPDDR2 memory. The Nexus 4 ships unlocked with 8GB of NAND for $299 without a contract ($349 for the 16GB version). Pair that with DC-HSPA+ support and you get an absolute killer smartphone for use on T-Mobile: no contracts, very low monthly fees, and compelling cellular performance:

Brian will talk more about the combination in his full review, but rest assured that the lack of LTE is workable depending on T-Mobile coverage where you live/travel to.

The Nexus 10 also boasts a brand new SoC: Samsung's Exynos 5 Dual. The Exynos 5 Dual features two ARM Cortex A15 cores running at 1.7GHz as well as ARM's own Mali-T604 GPU. This happens to be the exact same platform used in the new Chromebook, just running Android. The Nexus 10 features a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 display, giving it the same resolution as the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display - but in an even smaller form factor. Google is also aggressive on Nexus 10 pricing: the 16GB WiFi-only tablet sells for $399, with the 32GB version going for $499.

Both Nexus devices run Android 4.2 and are guaranteed to be the first devices to be updated to upcoming Android revisions for the foreseeable future (it's the power of Nexus).

We haven't had a ton of time to test the devices and put this together so you're going to see combined performance charts throughout the rest of this article.

CPU Performance

The big story when it comes to CPU performance is a look at how the Cortex A15s perform under Android. Unfortunately we're still left with mostly browser based benchmarks to measure CPU performance, which actually highlights a major issue in our testing: Android V8 optimization doesn't seem to be anywhere near as good as it is under Chrome OS or Windows. As a result, all of the Nexus 10 performance scores end up slower than the new Chromebook - despite using the same SoC and running Chrome on both platforms. It's also possible that the Exynos 5 Dual in the Chromebook is allowed to burn a bit more power, translating to better performance, but either way the solution here in the Nexus 10 doesn't look as good across the board.

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser

SunSpider performance is good, but not significantly better than Qualcomm's Krait based Snapdragon S4. Both the iPhone 5 and RAZR i are able to outperform the Nexus 10. The S4 Pro based Nexus 4 tends to be in line with other S4 based devices - SunSpider doesn't really give much credit to the extra 2 cores.

BrowserMark

BrowserMark puts the Nexus 10 behind many platforms that should be faster, I'm even wondering here if there's some hard partitioning of memory bandwidth between the CPU and GPU to drive the 2560 x 1600 display that's simply choking the CPU here.

The Nexus 4 does ok, but again there seem to be some V8 optimization issues at work here under Android 4.2. At 1.5GHz it should deliver at least the performance of the dual-core Snapdragon S4 solutions.

Google Octane Benchmark v1

Octane is the first test where the Cortex A15s are really able to flex their muscle - the Exynos 5 Dual based Nexus 10 manages to outperform the RAZR i by 34%, and compared to the A6/Swift based iPhone 5 the advantage grows to 64%.

The Nexus 4 performs about in line with other Snapdragon S4 based devices, although once again the extra 2 cores don't seem to be doing much for it here at all.

Mozilla Kraken Benchmark

Kraken also paints the Cortex A15 based Nexus 10 in a good light: there's a 30% advantage over the RAZR i and a 76% advantage over the iPhone 5. These numbers will shrink a bit compared to other tablets, but not by much. The Nexus 4, once again, ends up performing similarly to dual-core Snapdragon S4 based devices.

Overall, the Nexus 10 results show us some real promise for what we can expect from ARM Cortex A15 based SoCs. The potential upside to this new architecture is huge.

 

GPU Performance & Display
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  • cosminmcm - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    Here:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6426/ipad-4-gpu-perf...
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    'That's not quite true.
    The Exynos 5 according to this test is now king of the hill in the Egypt HD Offscreen test.'

    Um, no.

    There are lots of offscreen tests, two Egypt ones. The Exynos 5 powering a TABLET loses to the iPhone 5 (a smartphone) in all but one of the off screen tests, including an Egypt Classic Off-Screen test.

    Then there's the iPad 4 which Apple claimed doubles graphics performance. It wont even be close.
    Reply
  • Pipperox - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    The Egypt tests are the only "game like" tests where an actual scene is being rendered.

    The others are synthetic tests which as I said have been long abandoned in the PC industry due to being meaningless, unreliable and prone to cheating (the older guys will certainly remember the early days of NVidia VS 3Dfx :)

    Of the 2 Egypt tests, the "Classic" is representative of games and graphic complexity of 1-2 year ago, while the HD indicates what's coming next year.

    And yes Exynos 5 is powering a tablet now, but will trickle into smartphones in the coming months, for sure will be in the SGS 4.
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, November 03, 2012 - link

    So firstly you believe that you know better than Anandtech and you can decide that you're only going to listen to the 1 out of 10 or so benchmarks in which the product you clearly support barely comes out on top.

    Then, you're going to claim that the same clock speed and performance will be found in smartphones, despite the atrocious battery life of this in tablet form.

    And finally, you're just going to stick your fingers in your ears and shout 'la la la' because you didn't want to hear the fact that the already-out iPad will surpass this in performance by a long way.

    You sound balanced.
    Reply
  • Pipperox - Saturday, November 03, 2012 - link

    First off: i do not support any product.

    Second: It's not that I didn't want to hear about the iPad 4 performance, i just hadn't seen any review out at the time i was writing. Now i did.

    Third: you're free to believe whoever you want, but I do not need to believe to Anand, although i generally consider it a reputable site. As a computer engineer with enough specific knowledge on such matters, i believe i understand enough to form my own opinion.
    Benchmarks for mobile phones and tablets are in the stone age.
    Several "reputable" tech websites have been posting Quadrant scores for years to compare phones performance.
    Should I believe those?
    I've personally witnessed Quadrant scores being increased by factor 2.5x on the SAME DEVICE, with minor tweaks on a custom rom.
    Tweaks which did not yield ANY tangible improvement in any other application.

    Browser based benchmarks: well they're just that, BROWSER benchmarks.
    On my device if I test 3 different browsers, i get Sunspider and Browsermark scores which range anything between 50% and 100% (the latter being the "fastest" browser).
    Chrome is NOT the fastest browser, btw.

    GLBenchmark: out of all those tests, only 2 actually render a game like scene. Those are Egypt HD and Classic. Then these are divide between "normal" and Offscreen scores.
    Only Offscreen scores are run at the same resolution on all devices, so they're the only ones which can be used to compare GPU performance.
    Bit IF you want to compare *per DEVICE* framerates, then off course resolution is relevant and you should look at the "on screen" scores.

    Finally the other tests from GLBenchmark like Fillrate and Triangle throughput: when you want to buy a PC graphic card, do you base your purchase on 3DMark scores, or on a dozen GAMES average fps scores, games which the *reputable* tech sites update on a yearly basis?

    The PC industry has moved on from synthetic benchmarks.. 10 to 15 years ago.
    Before we had things like, NVidia's Riva 128 beating 3Dfx in synthetic benchmarks, and then people scratching their head when their games were not running as smoothly as on their friends' 3DFx.

    Fourth: a quad core Snapdragon Pro, running more slowly than its dual core sibling (which has also a lesser GPU), and slower than its IDENTICAL TWIN sold under another name (LG), doesn't sound right to me and makes me think that there were issues during the test (either of HW, SW or methodology nature).

    But you're free to believe what you want.
    Reply
  • dyc4ha - Saturday, November 03, 2012 - link

    +over 9000 Reply
  • UpSpin - Saturday, November 03, 2012 - link

    I hope others read this valuable post, too. Well said, great. Reply
  • doobydoo - Sunday, November 04, 2012 - link

    'First off: i do not support any product.'

    Easy to claim. Your comment suggests otherwise.

    'Second: It's not that I didn't want to hear about the iPad 4 performance, i just hadn't seen any review out at the time i was writing. Now i did.'

    But we knew it would represent a significant increase over the iPad 3 (based on Apples 2x performance claim) which only lost out to a tablet you claimed is the undisputed king of tablet performance by a small margin in 1 of 10 tests.

    'Benchmarks for mobile phones and tablets are in the stone age.
    Several "reputable" tech websites have been posting Quadrant scores for years to compare phones performance.
    Should I believe those?'

    If they post Quadrant scores, they aren't reputable.

    GL benchmarks are different, and a great indicator.

    'Browser based benchmarks: well they're just that, BROWSER benchmarks.
    On my device if I test 3 different browsers, i get Sunspider and Browsermark scores which range anything between 50% and 100% (the latter being the "fastest" browser).
    Chrome is NOT the fastest browser, btw.'

    Nothing I said was about browser benchmarks. And take any of the browsers you like, they all come out slower than even the iPhone 5.

    'GLBenchmark: out of all those tests, only 2 actually render a game like scene. Those are Egypt HD and Classic. Then these are divide between "normal" and Offscreen scores.
    Only Offscreen scores are run at the same resolution on all devices, so they're the only ones which can be used to compare GPU performance.'

    The reason there are different tests is that different games can put different demands on each aspect of the GPU, such as the Fill test. Thus, one single game running a 'game like scene' is not representative of all, and this is also why the other benchmarks are equally important.

    ' or on a dozen GAMES average fps scores, games which the *reputable* tech sites update on a yearly basis?'

    Where do I see a dozen game FPS scores? And are the games at the same resolution and quality? FPS isn't the only measure of performance. Same FPS at higher quality is a better user experience.

    'Before we had things like, NVidia's Riva 128 beating 3Dfx in synthetic benchmarks, and then people scratching their head when their games were not running as smoothly as on their friends' 3DFx.'

    Talking about old benchmarks not being representative says nothing about newer benchmarks.

    'Fourth: a quad core Snapdragon Pro, running more slowly than its dual core sibling (which has also a lesser GPU), and slower than its IDENTICAL TWIN sold under another name (LG), doesn't sound right to me and makes me think that there were issues during the test (either of HW, SW or methodology nature).'

    And even the 'Identical twin' in the Chromebook is different again. So either you've got 2 defective devices there or my point is correct that just because they use the same architecture doesn't equal the same performance.
    Reply
  • Pipperox - Sunday, November 04, 2012 - link

    "But we knew it would represent a significant increase over the iPad 3 (based on Apples 2x performance claim) "

    So just because Apple claimed a 2x performance
    increase, we should have blindly believed them?
    Finally you show your bias...
    (as for me, NOW THAT I'VE SEEN TESTS of the iPad 4, I have no problem calling it King of the Hill of GPU performance).

    "If they post Quadrant scores, they aren't reputable.
    GL benchmarks are different, and a great indicator."
    Says who?
    On what are you basing such claims?
    A benchmark made by.. Kishonti Informatics, based in.. Budapest?
    Who are they?
    I could code an OpenGL benchmark as well.
    It's not like it was a cross industry independent committee which developed such a benchmark, like, i don't know, the SPEC Consortium?

    "The reason there are different tests is that different games can put different demands on each aspect of the GPU, such as the Fill test. Thus, one single game running a 'game like scene' is not representative of all, and this is also why the other benchmarks are equally important."
    NO, if you knew how one of such tests was implemented, or had any idea of how to write one, you'd know that such synthetic benchmarks stress ONE SINGLE aspect in isolation, creating totally unrealistic conditions.
    For example, fill rate tests have an incredibly low number of polygons, and poly throughput tests have 1 pixel large triangles.
    And none use complex shaders.
    One architecture can do great in synthetic tests, but for example not having enough bandwidth for keeping up with the same performance once you turn on all the bells and whistles.
    This has been proven over and over again in the past, and it is proven here by the Egypt scene.

    And mind you, i'm not even advocating the Egypt benchmark to be reliable, it's just a little bit less unrealistic and meaningless as the others.

    "Where do I see a dozen game FPS scores? And are the games at the same resolution and quality? FPS isn't the only measure of performance. Same FPS at higher quality is a better user experience."
    Open any PC graphic card review on Anandtech or reputable competing sites.
    And yes FPS is not the only measure of perfomance, but since you cannot change quality settings on mobile phone games, the quality argument doesn't hold candle here.

    "And even the 'Identical twin' in the Chromebook is different again. So either you've got 2 defective devices there or my point is correct that just because they use the same architecture doesn't equal the same performance. "

    The Chromebook runs a DIFFERENT OS!
    And a different SW stack!
    That makes the difference!
    But the LG Optimus G and the Google Nexus 4 ARE THE SAME PHONE on the SAME OS!
    With the difference of phone storage size and SD Card slot.
    And minor SW customizations.
    There is no point about "same architecture", here we're talking about the exact same CPU!

    So if the Google Nexus 4 can't complete any benchmark without clock throttling, you cannot post numbers scored while throttling, it doesn't make any sense!
    And does numbers will never be repeatable, depending on current temperature of the room, battery status, previously run sw, etc!
    If a device cannot complete a single run of a 3 minute benchmark without thermal throttling, that device is defective!
    So either you got a lemon, and then you should return it to the manufacturer or do further investigation.
    Or that device has a major manufacturing flaw, it should be announced and do everything so that it is recalled.
    Because nobody should buy a device which cannot run a 3min benchmark without throttling.
    Reply
  • De_Com - Monday, November 05, 2012 - link

    Excellent Post Pipper !!
    Very informative and very well detailed.

    Nice to see someone not just taking the benchmarks as the be all and end all of a device choice.

    Reply

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