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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - link

    After reading this review I'll simply keep the Mate 10 Pro and carry on. I was truly hopeful to finally have a Nokia 1020 killer but... it's not to be. Now THAT was an amazing camera (Especially with the grip).

    Years fly by and all we're seeing is small little jumps in camera tech while the 1020 had it all.
  • s.yu - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - link

    I don't think it's a matter of making jumps or steps but rather Huawei intentionally made a jump backwards. They have at least half of the original Pureview imaging team yet the rendering bears no resemblance to the 1020 nor the 808. They were probably explicitly ordered to bump up saturation to 11, and sharpening, NR to 13. The quad-bayer also does more damage than good, they could have gone for a 40MP bayer proper and ended up with much fewer false interpolation color and smearing. Now P20Pro RAW is gigantic (close to 80MB, larger than my a7RII's output) yet good as useless as it doesn't stand to clarity boost and sharpening (current algorithms are simply ineffective in extracting data from that interpolation pattern) and probably won't merge well in LR mobile's HDR RAW mode either.

    Speaking of which, LR mobile's HDR RAW is a real revolution. Although an exposure takes about half a minute to process (on the slow side, but its nothing if you got your shot) and may be more prone to shaking (as all auto HDR are), it yields DNG files from my Note 8 with DR in the range of APS-C sensors so far with imperceptible loss in sharpness from the merge. It hardly solves low light performance(shutter speed is automatically determined and doesn't seem to go very low) but it does help bring back highlight DR in low light, and in daylight it often substitutes a professional compact like a Coolpix A or Ricoh GR.
  • peevee - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - link

    A73/A53 are so last year...
  • p51d007 - Friday, June 22, 2018 - link

    Shame...I started out with a Huawei Mate2 years ago, then upgraded to the Mate 8, then the 9 after someone bought my 8.
    Sadly, due to the U.S. government telling retailers, carriers "you better not", the 9 might be my last Huawei phone. If I can't get the software to run it in the U.S. without jumping through hoops, support and what not, I'll have to start looking elsewhere.
    Shame...I've loved every one of them! Very stable, LONG battery life and good value.
  • pruthviraj - Saturday, June 23, 2018 - link

    i am waiting and i want to <a href=””>Buy Redmi Note 6 Pro</a>
  • djayjp - Saturday, June 23, 2018 - link

    Btw, author, OIS has nothing do with exposure lol
  • albert89 - Saturday, June 30, 2018 - link

    Oh yeah, that's that Chinese Co's that was fined by the U.S for breaking trade embargo's and stealing technology. I don't care how popular they were over seas. They arnt going to get my business and many people feel the same way. Do you wanna reward the Chinese communist party for stealing ? You either stand for something or nothing at all.
  • max123 - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - link

    Now that we know <a href=" Huawei Y3 2018 and Huawei Y3 2017</a>
    (Y5 Lite 2017) are basically the same phones with different software, we think that it’s likely the outgoing 2017 edition could also get Android Go features via an update.
  • max123 - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - link

    <a href=" Huawei P20 Pro is one of the primary cell phones</a> we have seen with three separation camera focal points on the back. The best one is a 8 megapixel zooming focal point, the center one is a 40 megapixel RGB focal point, and the last one (set apart independent from anyone else) is a 20 megapixel mono focal point.
  • Freedom11 - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - link

    Thank you for a brilliant review. I am between the P20 and P20 Pro. My question is whether the differences between the P20 Pro and the P20 is worth the price difference. I would truly appreciate if someone could summarise the advantages of the Pro over the standard P20. From reading the review, I see the main advantage in being the 5x zoom and the very, very dark lighting situations, which I guess both would be used more rarely. But even so the P20 performs very well in night shots! Thank you very much!!

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now