GPU Performance

Moving on to the GPU tests, we see the P20’s make use of the Mali G72MP12 in the Kirin 970. The clock is the same 746MHz as in the Mate 10 – however as we’ll see, there’s some differences in terms of software that will affect the resulting benchmark scores.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Physics

Starting off with the 3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited Physics test which is solely CPU-bound, we see the Huawei P20s top the chart both in terms of peak as well as sustained performance. This test is more of a representation of how the CPU handles thermally constrained scenarios – such as GPU workloads.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Graphics

Moving into the Graphics subtest, we see the current disadvantages of the Mali G72 as it doesn’t have enough shader power to cope with more arithmetic heavy workloads such as 3DMark’s flagship test. Between the Mate 10 and both P20’s, all of them showcase similar peak performance. The sustained performance however is better on the P20 Pro as it seems the phone has a higher thermal envelope, this is particularly noticeable in juxtaposition with the result of the smaller P20 which I ran side-by-side in this test.

GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

In GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex, we see some very odd performance regressions in the P20s compared to the Mate 10. As they have the same chipsets, you would expect the same performance out of both device lines. Unfortunately this was an issue that I first encountered on the Mate 10 back in December and had reached out to Huawei to sort out. It turned out that the initial firmware didn’t enable full frequency of the memory controller – this was eventually resolved in another firmware and the full performance was eventually unlocked (The Mate 10 Pro scores). It looks like the P20’s do not have this change in their global firmware and that’s why the performance is so mediocre.

GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen

T-Rex in particular suffers so badly from this because it’s a very heavy fill-rate and thus also bandwidth limited test that also happens to now run at quite high framerates. This creates a bottle-neck for the GPU and performance suffers dramatically.

The same effect can be seen in Manhattan 3.1, although to a lower degree. Unfortunately that also means that the P20’s aren’t competitive in this regard, and they also showcase some very bad sustained performance degradations to the point where they score lower than the P10.

Overall the P20’s greatly disappoint in terms of 3D performance. It was one thing to have the weaker GPU trail behind the competition, but it’s doubly disappointing to see the P20 firmware not have issues resolved that were identified some months ago. Huawei, HiSilicon and in part Arm here have to make some great efforts to become competitive again in this regard as this is nothing short of an embarrassing showcase for a flagship device.

System Performance Display Evaluation & Power


View All Comments

  • sonny73n - Sunday, June 17, 2018 - link

    Anyone from the US can purchase any phone online, from eBay or Aliexpress.

    Your ideal government has a stupid patenting system. Everyone suing everyone’s ass. Crooks get rich by buying patent license and resale them. No wonder a new iPhone costs more than 3 times the actual cost of itself, manufacture and labor included.

    If Americans aren’t so financially irresponsible, other countries would never want to go thru troubles to sell their products here.
  • prisonerX - Friday, June 15, 2018 - link

    I think notches are great. The top of the phone is a great place to put the earpiece, sensors and camera along with the status symbols on either side. Including it in the background is ugly though. Reply
  • beginner99 - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    Nice small bezel. But again too large + on-screen buttons. no thanks. Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    Slightly off-topic:
    What is the GTurbo(GPU turbo) thingy they have announced? Sounds something like automatic quality/resolution reduction to increase FPS, or reduce FPS to save battery.
    I am very suspicious of software that automagically improves performance.
  • levizx - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    And you sound like a judgmental piece of sh*t who base your option on something pulled out of your a**.
    GPU Turbo has been out for days, and compared to P20/Mate10, Honor Play shows ZERO degradation on image quality/resolution.
  • kingson K - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    I won't buy any mobile made in commie china, they have lots of hacking devices Reply
  • levizx - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    That leaves you with only Samsung SONY and LG. Reply
  • levizx - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    Enjoy your life in you tinfoil Reply
  • GaysDisgustMe - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    Agreed, China can gft. Reply
  • thesloth - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    “As I did in the Galaxy S9 review, I have to call out Huawei on removing the headphone jack...”

    The S9 has a headphone jack, as far as I’m aware.

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