GPU Performance

During the release of the Snapdragon 845, the performance increases of the Adreno 630 GPU were touted to also come with large efficiency increases. Based on our testing with the Galaxy S9 and subsequent devices we’ve found that while the peak performance increases indeed matched Qualcomm’s projections, the higher benchmark scores came at a cost of increased device power consumption. This had the negative effect that in our new sustained performance tests the S845 did not manage to maintain an equal excellent % of peak performance as S835 devices.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time retesting these results and still always came within the same conclusions. The OnePlus 6 however seems to be the one S845 device that seems to particularly perform out of the norm here, as we’ll see in the following benchmarks.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Physics

Starting off with the 3DMark Sling Shot Physics test is mostly a CPU bound test within a GPU power constrained thermal environment, the OnePlus 6 fares just a tad better than the Galaxy S9+, posting slightly better peak and sustained scores.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Graphics

Switching over to the Graphics results of the test however, we see some very large divergences of the OnePlus 6 versus other devices. Here the OP6 posts a much better sustained score and a larger percentage of peak performance than other Snapdragon 845 devices. The LG G7 also showcases a slight advantage over the earlier devices but not quite as good as the OP6.

GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen

Switching over GFXBench Manhattan 3.1, we see a similar result as the OnePlus 6 posts 45% better sustained performance than the Galaxy S9+ and the Mi MIX 2S, with only the LG G7 behind it.

To verify these figures and to make sure that it wasn’t any change in environmental conditions during the testing I tested the phone alongside the Galaxy S9+ re-running the methodology again on the Samsung phone, and indeed the OnePlus 6 just was much better at sustaining performance as the initial end-result of the S9+ was reproduced.

GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

Finally, in T-Rex, the OnePlus 6 again manages to take the top spot in terms of sustained performance under stable thermal envelope.

As to why the OnePlus 6 really seems to post such different sustained performance characteristics is something that I think is attributable to thermal design of the phone. I measured 3D graphics power in the workloads and it didn’t really differ much from the measurements on the S9+, so this doesn’t seem to be a case of the GPU consuming less power either through whatever optimisations or possible better binned SoC unit.

While the Galaxy S9+ and Mi MIX 2S can get some quite high temperature hotspots at peak performance exceeding 55°C, the OnePlus 6 was much better and the worst skin temperature I measured on the warmest point, on the screen just over where the SoC is located, didn’t exceed 46°C. The phone seems to be much better at dissipating the heat throughout its mid-frame, and while overall the phone can still get quite warm, it’s more evened out and allows the SoC to seemingly maintain higher performance states. Obviously this is all circumstantial observations, it’s also possible that the OnePlus 6 also just has higher thermal throttling temperature settings, but then it would have also reached the very high temperature hotspots measured on the S9+ and MIX 2S, which just don't happen on the OP6.

In the end, the OnePlus 6 now posts the best graphics performance of any smartphone we’ve come to measure. This is not due to improved efficiency or power, but rather through a better sustained thermal envelope of the phone itself. It’s to note that while performance is very high, power for the Snapdragon 845 is still well above the Snapdragon 835 in this scenario and thus overall battery life at these high performance states will be worse.

System Performance Display Measurement
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  • Lau_Tech - Saturday, July 28, 2018 - link

    Thank you for the review Andrei! I think at this price point the oneplus 6's main problem is the lack of carrier support.
    In my country you can get an S9 for cheaper than a one plus 6 (with a carrier plan.)... Only people migrating to sim-only plans will still find the one plus 6 to be an attractive option.
    Reply
  • Lau_Tech - Saturday, July 28, 2018 - link

    Also would recommend some analysis of the fingerprint/face scanner ease of use Andrei... Something to consider for future reviews. Reply
  • diamondbackbilliards - Saturday, July 28, 2018 - link

    More Like IphoneX but I hope beats the Iphone on multitasking level. as iphone can handle no lag even if you left 30 apps open. heavy or light. Reply
  • djayjp - Saturday, July 28, 2018 - link

    Yes, buy a oneplus or a Huawei and have your data tracked (and likely hacked) by the Chinese government. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Saturday, July 28, 2018 - link

    There's no evidence that phones made by Chinese companies are actually being used for spying at least not outside routine data collection inherent to all Google powered devices. The UA government has an advisory publication out discouraging their use as a precaution where government furnished cellular hardware is concerned, but I wouldn't universally apply that to private citizens that just want to hide their dirty pics from a spouse. Reply
  • djayjp - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    Yeah you can give the Communist party all of your log in info and have them track you and steal IP. You have no idea how scary things are in China. There is ample evidence the Chinese government does hack. Look up about their new 1984 citizen points system. Reply
  • djayjp - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    Maybe you'll disappear one day. But don't worry, your organs will be of great benefit to the party leaders. Reply
  • Greg E - Saturday, July 28, 2018 - link

    Very useful review, if a little late for my purchase decision :>) A few comments from a user of about a month: 1) I waffled about the notch, finally "turned it off". This makes the notch background always black, which means that the stupid Google decision to not allow colored icons in the notification tray (because that would conflict with the uncontrolled background color) can maybe go away. I sorely miss having some icons easily spotted by use of color. 2) You don't comment on the utility (or otherwise) of the fingerprint sensor on the back. On my previous phone (Note 4) I didn't bother with security, as it was too much hassle. With a reachable, tappable (ie not swipe) FPS, this is easy, so I use it. I no longer use the power button or double-tap on screen to wake the phone, as the FPS does that along with security. 3) I don't care for the glass back either, but I read somewhere that this contributes to better radio performance. My experience in that regard has been pretty good, but I am not in a position to test (hint, hint). Also, this may put them in good position to add 5G antennae in the next generation. Can you comment on this? Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Saturday, July 28, 2018 - link

    2) FPS' have been around for long enough now that I generally don't have much to talk about them. Personally as I have like 15 devices on my desk I don't have them on by default and beyond shortly testing them.

    3) Radio performance testing is insanely hard to do correctly and requires >$60k of equipment or very close cooperation with an RF lab - currently we don't have any of the prerequisites. Also I've seen in the past that posting subjective or amateurish testing can be completely wrong so I prefer not to write about it rather than write misleading things when I have no sense of certainty on the topic.
    Reply
  • ZolaIII - Sunday, July 29, 2018 - link

    What makes the most on RF (radio) performance is traditionally antenna straight (size) and amplifier. So you have old chunky big antenna M's from late 90's that can get the signal when digged 6 fits under. Glass isn't particularly better than let's say plastic in letting analogue signals true but metals block them. Its a final time to step up and use nano tube polymers for phone casing or at least first gen of so called liquid metals (that actually don't have anything common with metal except straight)... Reply

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