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

  • Meteor2 - Saturday, August 20, 2016 - link

    The trick with Nexus is not to scroll continuously. Rather than scroll line by line, read a page of text, scroll it down in one motion, read the next section. Saves a lot of power. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    Just Android things Reply
  • Techguy89 - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    It's clear that Samsun really needs to invest in its Exynos chip and drop Snapdragon. They're still not evetop on Apple A9's level after an entire 11 months and all their 2016 flagships. Let's see how much wider the gap gets again with A10. Reply
  • Geranium - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    Apple SoC performes better running Apple optimized benchmark. Reply
  • xype - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    Yes, and Apple uses dark magic to make the UI stutter and calculations slower on select Android devices. True story. Reply
  • Geranium - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    Yep, because Android don't run Objective-C or Swift based benchmark. But most benchmark cross platform benchmark use those two.
    And a 100$-200$ Android phone may stutter, but you can compare it with 700$ phone.
  • Geranium - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    And if you think no stuttering means better OS, than my Nokia 206 running S40 is better OS both iOS and Android. Because it never stutters. Reply
  • Bluetooth - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    These are Javascript benchmarks that are not running in ObjC or Swift. It's measuring the browsing usage performance and work on all browser that run Javascript. Reply
  • lilmoe - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    Please spread more ignorance, the world is too smart... Reply
  • Xinn3r - Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - link

    You're commenting on a 700$ Android phone though...? Reply

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