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
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  • Andrei Frumusanu - Sunday, June 17, 2018 - link

    I meant to say that I emphasised it in the S9 piece by bringing it up, praising Samsung for keeping it. I'll reword it here.
  • djayjp - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    I personally found the noise vs noise reduction smear balance of the s9 much more appealing in the night shots
  • s.yu - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - link

    Me too. Huawei NR smears the most out of all the flagships (HTC's seems to smear the least, surprisingly) and the only thing in auto propping up that low light performance is that second 20MP monochrome, because the 1/1.7" 40MP main on its own is horrible, its low light performance alone is completely out of proportion with its sensor size (easily hands the win to S9 and Pixel2), even if you manually bin the 40MP's output down to 10MP its low light performance is good as useless, Phonearena already did such a comparison size-matching the output of the P20Pro 40MP and a regular Pixel2XL low light shot.
  • djayjp - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - link

    Agreed! I think the author is out to lunch on this claim of his about the Huawei's supposed dominance in night shots. It clearly looks worse.
  • nrecob - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    New Cameraphone: Huawei P20 Pro. Old phone" iPhone X.
    Enjoying my P20 Pro immensely! My regrets: not buying the "Twilight" version & buying an iPhone X in the first place.
  • banvetor - Sunday, June 17, 2018 - link

    Why no comments or comparisons to the Google Pixel 2 in the camera pages? For me they still look the best in many cases (no pro photographer here though)
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Sunday, June 17, 2018 - link

    I didn't want to comment on every single phone and kept the phones to a minimum - personally I did not like the Pixel 2's shots - too much tendency towards unnatural HDR processing in daylight and too much noise and fuzziness in the night shots. Colour accuracy is the Pixel's forte I must admit though.
  • banvetor - Sunday, June 17, 2018 - link

    They look good to me exactly because of their HDR! And their colour of course. Anyway, appreciate the reply! Cheers
  • Quantumz0d - Sunday, June 17, 2018 - link

    No excuse for Huawei on their glaring 3 major flaws.

    1- Design copy of EMUI as iOS
    2 - Extended too deep as they just want to make the phone damn like an iPhone X with this Notch, camera module, the phone aesthetics, the plasticky frame look of that metal with polish like Apple again.
    3 - No Headphone jack, another inspiration from Apple.

    They want to be in serious front lines and all about their own AI powered notification system was a damn mess, I don't think it's going to be fixed anytime, Their lack of updates and price it to the north with tons of SKUs. After seeing the GSMA samples of Lumia 1020 Pureview, No camera comes close to that phone, they had Xenon flash, bigger massive sensor true lossless zoom and perfect natural colors unlike Huawei's AI crap or Samsung's oversaturated processing.

    Their recent fiasco of no bootloader unlock is another middle finger. Removing the jack driling holes like Apple. sheesh this phone doesn't even deserve any praise on the design front, and should be called out for it's cheap design, Only Huawei phone which is a true flagship was Mate 10 standard edition, no rounded drama, no notch, has a headphone jack, front scanner, 16:9 panel, SD slot. This phone doesn't have any of those or any phone from Huawei.

    Chinese phones nowadays have flooded the market with this obnoxious chin + notch BS and all phones are looking the damn same. A shame to the whole industry which Apple brought with their always fancy style over substance.

    No wonder no ones cares about audio anymore, soon LG will stop bleeding and ditch that ESS (half baked anyways needs mods to enable the HIM - High Impedance Mode as they crippled it unlike the older days SGS - Wolfson Linux driver compatible DACs) as they did with V20's removable battery and made an abomination G7 ruining the perfect balanced design, 19:9 is so impractical and useless, adding the chin (yeah I've said it by 3 times) it's just insane and stupid.

    Andrei shouldn't excuse them for adding a battery, Samsung's Note 8 has more tech inside it (ofc they played a stupid safe game of absurdly small battery) the stylus tech, Iris scanner, better construction and quality yet has a 3.5mm jack, S9+ improves on it, Note 9 rumored to have 3800+ mah (maybe it will help that failed Exynos 9810's custom kernel optimization) and have a 3.5mm jack again with SD Slot and all bells and whistles.

    Upcoming Pixel 3 XL having a notch, just ruins the Android now. Every OEM on the planet want to be like Apple. Sigh, Sorry for the long rant.
  • GREAT Expectations - Monday, June 18, 2018 - link

    Wow... It's just a phone. You sure do have strong opinions about this. Maybe use more full stops next time? Also IMHO, go get a life :)

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