System Performance

We’ve seen that the new Kirin 990 does in fact still pack quite a bit of punch in regards to the CPUs due to the new memory subsystem, so now the question is how this translates into overall system performance. The Mate 30 Pro ships with Android 10 (technically, AOSP 10), so it should be an interesting comparison.

As with other Huawei devices over the last year, we’re testing the chip in its “High performance” mode in the battery settings as this is the equivalent to the intended performance of the chip, and the default state of the phone is more of a light battery saving mode. This is in contrast to some other Chinese vendor’s High Performance modes which is more akin to a cheating mode for benchmarks.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Web Browsing 2.0

In the web browsing test, the Mate 30 Pro here fares slightly worse than the Kirin 980 devices. I haven’t seen evidence that the Kirin 990 is scaling slower than the Kirin 980, so the differences here might be related to the new memory subsystem. If the A55 cores indeed have access to the SLC, this would mean there would also be a larger latency penalty to DRAM, and it possibly might be a reason why PCMark’s rather light web browsing test is sensitive to performance changes here.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Video Editing

We’ve seen the video test to be quite outdated here and mostly related to very fine scaling behaviours as well as screen refresh rates.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Writing 2.0

The Writing sub-test is the most important in the whole suite as it’s post representative of real world performance, and here the Mate 30 Pro’s performance is simply a step ahead of every other phone in the market, showcasing a similar large step-increase as we’ve seen in some of the memory bound benchmarks in SPEC.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Photo Editing 2.0

The Photo Editing scores are also significantly better for the new phone, although due to the workload being a RenderScript task, we’re not sure if this is due to Android 10 or changes in the software stack or DVFS of the GPU of the new phone. In any case, the new results are excellent and just slightly ahead of the best Snapdragon 855 devices. It’ll be interesting to see Kirin 980 devices here once they’ve been updates with the new OS and if that improves the scores in any way.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Data Manipulation

Data Manipulation test scores are again quite high, although the differences to other phones is smaller here.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Performance

Overall in PCMark, the Mate 30 Pro takes the top spot amongst all Android devices, which given that it’s the phone with the strongest hardware to date, isn’t too surprising.

Web Benchmarks

Speedometer 2.0 - OS WebView WebXPRT 3 - OS WebView JetStream 2 - OS Webview

Oddly enough, the phone didn’t do too well in the web benchmarks, sometimes falling behind the Kirin 980. I don’t believe this would be due to the hardware, but rather to maybe some software issues with the BSP and Android 10. Over the last few months I’ve seen some odd changes in WebView performance in recent updates across a larger swath of phones, some showing degradations. It’s definitely something I would blame on Google rather than Huawei in this case.

System Performance Conclusion

Overall, the Mate 30 Pro has been for me visibly the fastest Android device to date. It’s quite noticeable that it shows more responsiveness than any other device this year and is ahead of other fast devices such as the Galaxy S10 or the Pixel 4. Huawei definitely did a good job here and I think it’s one of the Mate 30 Pro’s strong points.

The Kirin 990 SoC GPU Performance & Power
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  • Alistair - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    "Count" me ;) Reply
  • prisonerX - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Curved screens are ugly, distracting and generally idiotic. Reply
  • invinciblegod - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    The curved screen is the worst part about my Note 9, cases don't protect properly and it just looks ugly to me. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    My Note 8 has the same screen as the Note 9. Can't say the curvature bothers me... But then I also have a Galaxy Note 10+ and it actually bothers me there.

    It was less pronounced on older devices and had no case issues with my Note 8.
    Reply
  • yetanotherhuman - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Yes. Curved screens are simply a ploy to make phones more easily damaged, and remove the possibility of having a well-fitting screen protector or case. Curved screens, forget 'em. Reply
  • GXCoder - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    K990 5G's GPU frequency is also 600MHz. Suppliers of screen are LG,BOE and Samsung Reply
  • A5 - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Having to play panel lottery with a flagship phone is kind of a dealbreaker if the Google stuff isn't already. Reply
  • s.yu - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    A three-way lottery, at that. Reply
  • Sttm - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Huawei should try and sell it to the Iranians, now that they are US banned, might as well go back to selling to Iran...

    Oh wait Iran turned off the internet to brutally repress their people, so no one needs a Mate Pro.
    Reply
  • airdrifting - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Huawei sells to all over the world, including entire Europe and India. There is no international law says you can not sell phones to Iran, US can whine and moan all she wants but Huawei is free to do business with whoever they want because they are not a US company. The world is bigger than US, even if US bans Huawei (not because Huawei sells to Iran but rather Huawei is ahead in 5G technology), there is still rest of the world buying Huawei 5G. It's also pretty ironic and a slap to the face to a country which promotes free market when itself is doing the opposite. But I guess it's all okay because there are plenty of pathetic brainwashed losers in the US thinking they are the center of the world. Reply

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