System Performance

As previously mentioned this year a major goal of ours was to focus on benchmarks with metrics that better indicate user experience rather than being subject to additional layers of indirection in addition to updating our previously used benchmarks. Probably one of the hardest problems to tackle from a testing perspective is capturing what it means to have a smooth and fast phone, and with the right benchmarks you can actually start to test for these things in a meaningful way instead of just relying on a reviewer’s word. In addition to new benchmarks, we’ve attempted to update existing types of benchmarks with tests that are more realistic and more useful rather than simple microbenchmarks that can be easily optimized against without any meaningful user experience improvements. With that said, let's get into the results.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2015 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

JetStream 1.1 (Chrome/Safari)

JetStream 1.1 (Stock)

Google Octane v2 (Stock Browser)

Kraken 1.1 (Stock Browser)

WebXPRT 2015 (Stock Browser)

Browser performance here is pretty much in line with expectations as pretty much every OEM using Snapdragon 820 is going to be using the same basic BSP and most of the optimizations here are going to be done by Qualcomm rather than the OEMs.

PCMark - Work Performance Overall

PCMark - Web Browsing

PCMark - Video Playback

PCMark - Writing

PCMark - Photo Editing

Again, performance is in line with expectation in PCMark, although there are some improvements here and there that are primarily centered about web browsing performance which is almost constantly being improved as developers figure out new optimizations for browsers. With that said we can move on to Discomark, which is a true high level benchmark designed to show exactly how quickly a suite of common Google and OEM applications load from NAND or from RAM.

DiscoMark - Android startActivity() Cold Runtimes

DiscoMark - Android startActivity() Hot Runtimes

Here the Galaxy Note7 shows some improvement on hot runtimes relative to the Galaxy S7, but the cold runtimes have dropped for some reason. It looks like much of the delta here is due to Dropbox which is now running significantly slower on the Galaxy Note7. I suspect that this is related to possible changes in Dropbox or its interaction with TouchWiz rather than any significant underlying difference in system performance relative to the Galaxy S7. Overall, the Galaxy Note7 performs about where you'd expect from a Snapdragon 820 device from Samsung given the performance of the Galaxy S7.

Battery Life and Charge Time System Performance Cont'd and NAND Performance


View All Comments

  • polbit - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    So it's an honest review because they criticize the phone? That's an interesting honesty test. Reply
  • Pdajah - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    Like many other reviewers, i don't think you really appreciate whu the Note devices are so popular. It not about comparing hardware or size or software features etc. It is about the complete package and no other device offers this package and therefore your comparators and not helpful nor relevant to the millions and millions of Note users who need a highly productivity focused device. I can easily justify $200 as I'll achieve that in productivity in 2 weeks of using the Note 7 over the S7 Edge. Reply
  • vidal6x6 - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    Why not compare xiaomi redmi note 3 pro i have one and play 7 8 hours to drain the batery samsung biased review! f&^&^anandtech! Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    You mean the review we posted a couple of weeks ago?
  • HollyDOL - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    But but, can in serve as an emergency oar? Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    With a 5.7 inch screen? Yes, you can tape it to the end of a stick and row your boat with it. :) Reply
  • winjay - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    I expected a section on PenTile subpixel image rendering, considering how DisplayMate was gushing about it. Apparently there are algorithms which convert RGB subpixel rendering to RGBG. Oculus rift aparently uses subpixel rendering for VR on its Pentile dislay, though I'm not sure about that fact.

    Also, no attempt at covering HDR and the (possibly gimicky) app-agnostic "video enhancer" option?
  • Tylanner - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    Bravo on the opening pictures. They plainly shows the appeal of this device without a single word.

    I want one
  • polbit - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    Your reviews are usually what I anticipate the most, as they tend to be well done. I have to say however that I am shocked at your 'merely acceptable' comment about design, because as a 6S Plus owner, after playing with Note 7 at a Verizon store, I find it to be the best looking phone I've ever touched. It is truly beautiful, and makes my 6S Plus look pedestrian by comparison.

    I think pretty much every other review supports the design aspect of Note 7, Anandtech being the lone wolf in talking it down. Maybe it's time for someone else at Anandtech to evaluate the aesthetics from now on? I have to say that this review has definitely soured my trust of future commentary here...
  • henrybravo - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    Agreed. The Note 7 and S7 Edge are the best designed phones out there by far. Even The Verge who many claimed to have an Apple bias said so. To read the comment, "Overall, the design of the phone is acceptable, but honestly at this point it’s nothing really special." is pretty funny.

    "We can argue about how Apple uses a plastic liner or whatever minute detail in the design is 'better' ” - LOL no one is arguing that.

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