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
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  • erikiksaz - Friday, August 19, 2016 - link

    How did you guys manage to monitor for frame drops? Is it a separate app? Reply
  • Belard - Sunday, August 21, 2016 - link

    Still rather blah- design. I'm surprised they continue the glass backing from the S6, like as if they have not learned anything from Apple? A family member has the S6 and yes, her back has a spider crack on it with a long one from top to bottom. Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - link

    they need the glass back for the wireless charging.
    Glass and plastic works with Qi-charging, metal does not(at least for now).
    Reply
  • thek - Sunday, August 21, 2016 - link

    so no one is going to bring up the facts that this 850$ phone has a smaller battery then the Xiaomi redmi note 3 (a 150$ phone) and it's bootloader is locked in the US which literally makes it just the same as an Iphone. (All of us here came to Android because it was an open garden). Closing android is making Samsung not a legit Apple vendor IMO, and should too for the rest of you.

    Don't be kids and be fooled by gimmicks and high specs. You can't even get CM13 on this phone.
    And a really bad job by the reviewer for not bringing this up. As usual in Anandtech they only cares about numbers and not whats behind them.
    Reply
  • thek - Sunday, August 21, 2016 - link

    not a legit Android* vendor Reply
  • CSMR - Sunday, August 21, 2016 - link

    Great review and phone.
    I wonder if it would be possible to check the compass in future?
    All the phones I have owned have had terrible magnetometers which stop working, require shaking the phone, or are off by a large angle.
    Having compass inaccuracies pointed out in reviews would really shake things up.
    Reply
  • Pipperox - Sunday, August 21, 2016 - link

    So you're slamming an excellent phone (like the S7 as well) because of your non-sensical review of its camera?
    The most reputable camera review website - Dxomark - puts the S7 at the top for still image quality, on par with the HTC10, and the Samsung is even better in the video score.
    What problems do you see with video stabilization?
    Dxo Labs talks about "excellent video stabilization", i have an S7 edge and can only confirm what they say.
    Reply
  • Diet - Monday, August 22, 2016 - link

    This the only review on the internet that addreses the weak points of this overpriced phone.
    Kudos To Anandtech!
    Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, August 22, 2016 - link

    More performance tests: https://youtu.be/3-61FFoJFy0

    tldw - The flagship GN7 is slower than a year-old iPhone 6S.
    Reply
  • jlabelle2 - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - link

    - The flagship GN7 is slower than a year-old iPhone 6S

    yes and a Porsche 911 from last year is faster than an Audi RS6. The question is what do you need in your day to day life. Is the speed of the RS6 enough? Do you need space? 5 seats? Comfort? Good equipments?

    People have short memory. The iPhone was a success because it was the 1st phone with a big touchscreen, easy to use, with a great experience. Now, people consider that a phone should be choosen only based on the speed difference of launching 30 different applications within 2mn. Even if new phone are twice as quick as the previous one that was twice as quick as the previous previous one that was twice... Well, you see the point. Phones are fast enough.

    I do not know anybody that is using an iPhone 6 or Samsung S6 and that is saying: "my phone is too slow and the only thing I would wish is to that a phone twice as quick".
    I am certain that if Apple would sell at the same price:
    1/ iPhone 7 = CPU of the 6S, AMOLED screen, quick and wireless charging, waterproof, 5,7" screen but 5mm narrower than current 6S+, camera hardware button, pen support.
    2/ iPhone 6SS = iPhone 6S with a CPU 50% quicker
    you can be absolutely assure that NOBODY would choose an iPhone 6SS versus this hypothetical iPhone 7.

    We can be all fair of what Apple is achieving with its iPhone, which is great. But some minimal common sense would be good in this forum.
    Reply

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