System Performance

System performance of the new OnePlus 8 phones shouldn’t be a big concern given the Snapdragon 865 chipsets as well as the fact that both phones have high-refresh rate displays. Still, software can play a big role in the experience of a device, so let’s look at our typical system performance benchmark suite:

PCMark Work 2.0 - Web Browsing 2.0

The web-browsing workload is a little bit lighter in terms of load, and is most sensitive to the actual performance responsiveness of a device’s scheduler. The OnePlus 8 phones in their regular 60Hz mode don’t seem to be all that convincing as they’re seemingly tuned to be more conservative than most other phones on the market. Increasing the refresh rate to respectively 90Hz and 120Hz ups the scores, but still not quite as high as what other phones are achieving.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Video Editing PCMark Work 2.0 - Writing 2.0

The writing sub-test of PCMark is the most representative of a device’s performance and how it will compare in the real world. Here the OnePlus 8 phones also fare relatively average in their rankings. Amongst the Snapdragon 865 devices it’s on par with the Xiaomi Mi10 Pro, but lose out to the LG V60 and particularly the Samsung S20 Ultra which has a considerable lead. Samsung usually tunes their BSP software more than other vendors and this can be seen here in particular.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Photo Editing 2.0

In the GPU-bound Renderscript photo editing test we see a similar ranking, the new generation devices are the top scoring phones but the OnePlus 8 falls a bit short of the V60 and S20.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Data Manipulation

The data manipulation score is also very sensitive to performance scaling speed – at 60Hz the OnePlus devices aren’t particularly noteworthy, but at 90/120Hz they more closely match up the top performing devices.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Performance

Overall, in the PCMark ranking the OnePlus 8 phones do well, although there’s a lot of other phones which seem to have more aggressive scheduler settings that are able to distance themselves more from the pack, in particular Samsung’s S20 series with the Snapdragon 865.

WebXPRT 3 - OS WebView

In the browser based benchmarks, we again see that the OnePlus 8 phones generally fall in line with other phones of its generation such as the V60 and the Mi 10 Pro, however fall short of the performance that the S20 is able to achieve.

JetStream 2 - OS WebviewSpeedometer 2.0 - OS WebView

The Speedometer scores were quite odd in that I measured a bigger difference in performance between the two phones, with the regular OnePlus 8 for some reason being in the lead. I don’t have any good explanation for this other than possibly we’re seeing differences in the memory architectures of the two units and the benchmark is maybe exposing some sensitivities between the two units.

I had run my memory benchmarks on the two phones as this was the first time we’ve had access to an LPDDR4X version of the Snapdragon 865. The results were mixed – full random memory access latency was better on the LP5 system by about 5ns, but some other access patterns were slightly lower latency on the LP4 system. Sequential memory latency access in particular being oddly 10% lower latency on the LP4 system. Memory bandwidth wise, the LP5 system had a clear win with a 21% lead in memory reads at 35.71GB/s vs 29.31GB/s – however it lost on memory writes at 19.84GB/s vs 20.56GB/s in favour of the LP4 system. In actual memory copy loads it was thus also the LP4 system which had a notable lead of 12% at 10.22GB/s vs 9.09GB/s.

These are all results I hadn’t quite expected and shows that the newer memory technology doesn’t necessarily mean it’s outright better in every regard. The difference here in the Speedometer test could be very much tied to one of the memory performance characteristics of the systems

Overall Performance Verdict

Although the OnePlus 8 phones didn’t particularly top the benchmark scores in our system tests, they still showcase outstanding experiences in the real world. The 90Hz refresh rate on the OnePlus 8 is very much noticeable and a great addition to the product, and the 120Hz scrolling experience of the OnePlus 8 Pro even exceeds it.

I tried hard to compare the OnePlus 8 Pro to Samsung’s S20 series phones, and whilst the differences were minute, Samsung’s devices did seem just a little bit snappier and that fact does materialise in our benchmark scores. It’s possible here that OnePlus opted to leave the more conservative DVFS and scheduler tuneables at the Qualcomm defaults for a more balanced battery life experience.

Still – you can’t go wrong either OnePlus phone as both are exemplary in their performance characteristics.

Introduction & Design GPU Performance
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  • Daro - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    Agreed. I like google cloud ecosystem (maps, photos, etc) but the android phones are getting worse every day and iphones better.
  • Speedfriend - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    Alufan, you can't delete the Apple apps either so they have just as much bloatware as Android. And you can't change the default apps either though that change is coming.
  • star-affinity - Sunday, July 12, 2020 - link

    Quite a few of the standard apps on an iPhone can be deleted and re-downloaded from the App Store. But I guess not all – att least not the App Store app. :D
  • star-affinity - Sunday, July 12, 2020 - link

    att = at
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    I agree, Google is all in copying spree from iOS, they killed QS tiles from Pie, they killed Filesystem from this Android 11, R. They banned so many APIs, they are even copying the OS navigation to the task switcher, the goddamned flagship Pixel is also a clone of Apple, total disaster. With Android 12 they are now against 32bit apps to slash all the back compat of Android, they put so many mandatory restrictions like App Bundles to force the Playstore deployment and added Google Sign the apps instead of the Developers. The removal of HW features and SW is going to kill Android. Many users are migrating from Android, sad. Esp on the topic of lack of updates, I do not update because I don't want to lose features but many want, and with a Linux Kernel Google can enforce but they don't they don't want people to use their existing phones for a long period and with insane $1000 pricetag for same use and throw garbage it's not going to turn out good.

    The freedom is being eroded just like how that CA state is in a pathetic condition from politically correct to other garbage, they even wanted to setup a search engine for CCP from backdoor, good that their own woke employees clashed against them, unlike Apple which is free to do all with CCP, if it was not for Apple I bet none of these OEMs would be in the Manufacturing of the Camera arrays and other phone mechanical engineering. Apple even put lot of money into BOE.
  • Arbie - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    No audio jack, no sale. Especially at $900.
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    And no MicroSD slot either. This is a pure garbage phone with all cloned technology overpriced to hell, buying an S10+ is the best choice right now. It has everything that this phone cannot do, 120Hz is not at all a mandate, esp given how it destroys the phone's battery quickly, that's why Apple didn't put this yet.
  • KompuKare - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    Yes, expandable storage is must. I refuse to buy a phone where I'm totally dependent on overpriced internal storage and can't just take my card to transfer stuff.
    No expandable storage = automatic no-buy from me.
    This will all the anti-consumer trends (lack of expandable storage, replaceable batteries, removal of audio jacks), this was started Apple and copied by Google and other anti-consumer companies.
  • Revv233 - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    *Scans furiously too see if it's a flagship with a headphone jack. *

    *Skips rest of article*

    Amazing they can afford the feature in budget phones.
  • ads295 - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    It's not about manufacturers being able to afford to put it, it's about the target customers being able to afford to not have it on their phones. Nearly every phone manufacturer has come up with their own version of wireless gear.

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