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

  • slyronit - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - link

    Silly question, why do we do Pentile AMOLED displays? Wouldn't an SRGB AMOLED display allow us to use a lower resolution panel, which will save the GPU a lot of processing and hence power consumption and battery life?

    Is this just an excuse to use 1440p as a marketing gimmick? AMOLED SRGB displays are definitely feasible (My Nokia E7-00 had it 7 years ago).
  • iRoNeTiK - Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - link

    I'm wondering the difference between your 2016 vs 2015 battery benchmarks. I see that in your LG G4 review you were using the "2015" benchmarks and LG G4 got 11.37 hours of battery life for Web Browsing over WiFi but in this, it only gets 6.53. Very significant decrease. This is just one phone for example.

    Why would there be a need to change the benchmarks? Were the 2015 test not accurate? By that much? 11.37 to 6.53? Almost half, geez! Any clarification would be appreciated, thanks!
  • n13L5 - Thursday, August 25, 2016 - link

    That bendy glass is just a way to get the corners scratched and well, a matter of taste, I guess. I'd rather do without, I already touch the edges of the screen accidentally when handling the phone sometimes, with usually annoying results.

    But ok, the rest of the phone is pretty splendid and I was tempted to overlook that -

    Until I found out the dual-SIM solution is a "hybrid" solution, requiring removal of your MicroSD card to put a second SIM card in. I guess I wait for Sony's next entry with their splendid noise cancelling, which I've always enjoyed on airplanes...
  • Bfree4me - Friday, August 26, 2016 - link

    Note 5 Owner here and for a while, because of the retail price of the Note 7. But the reviewer was clearly not feeling the Note and it's his opinion. But I have read countless reviews here and each and everytime Samsung was scrutinized for something. Plastic /Polymer Body, Screen Fit and Finish, overall Size etcetera. Now you guys err guy, has a gripe about the 3D glass sandwiching the aluminum as needed to be overhauled on the next generation. Ahem, this piece of KIT rivals anything on the market right now with exception being the S7. No one has a Water Resistant Unit period point blank! And the SPen is not for everyone, but I use my S-Pen each and every day, as a matter of fact several times a day to cut and paste captions. Yesh, a simple screen capture simply cannot compare to its precision. Samsung can do anything you've mentioned, but there is always a cost benefit associated with said options. Here's it from the head Engineering guy,
    Kind regards
  • ithehappy - Friday, August 26, 2016 - link

    Sad to see the review only for SD variant, which will be release in two countries only, but whatever. That line there, where its mentioned that scrolling is still not as smooth as expected, how devices like HTC 10 has constant near 60 fps output when it needs come, makes me to not buy this phone. I just don't know what is wrong with Samsung, that they keep their nuisance TouchWiz, and just have no interest to make it smoother and more polished. If you can't do just switch to AOSP, what's the big deal! S Note and all the other Samsung apps could work without heavily modifying the framework right? Darn it Samsung! You choose loads of features over finesse, being a major manufacturer that's unwise, like you said, and I have been saying for as long as I could remember, moment most people start realising how poor TW is in comparison with vanilla Android, let's see where Samsung stock stands after that. Probably I will still end up buying it just because of its display, but that's not the point.

    Exynos review should be there though anyway, as that is the "international" variant, and arguably the better unit than SD.
  • Vagabondjonez - Saturday, August 27, 2016 - link

    Htc 10 review... Reply
  • ideamotor - Monday, August 29, 2016 - link

    So .... call reception and volume? I've been through 3 Huawei Nexus 6Ps because everyone I talk to hears an echo, using two different cellular networks. Also, why don't you guys do reviews on DACs or at least point to a review? Reply
  • SanX - Monday, August 29, 2016 - link

    I immediately stop looking at any phone less then 6". Reply
  • lastunas - Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - link

    do you guys have charge time by 25w(12v/2.1a) wall charger? Reply
  • lastunas - Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - link

    do you guys have charge test by 25w(12v/2.1a) wall charger? Reply

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