Earlier this week Google announced two new flagship Nexus devices: the Nexus 4 smartphone and the Nexus 10 tablet. We received review samples of both earlier this week, and while we're hard at work at full reviews of the devices we couldn't help but share all of the test data we've been able to amass at this point.

For those who aren't familiar with it, the Nexus 4 features Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC - a quad-core 28nm Krait CPU with Qualcomm's next-generation Adreno 320 GPU. The combination proved quite formidable in the MDP/T we tested, as well as LG's recently announced Optimus G. The SoC drives a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 IPS display and is paired with 2GB of LPDDR2 memory. The Nexus 4 ships unlocked with 8GB of NAND for $299 without a contract ($349 for the 16GB version). Pair that with DC-HSPA+ support and you get an absolute killer smartphone for use on T-Mobile: no contracts, very low monthly fees, and compelling cellular performance:

Brian will talk more about the combination in his full review, but rest assured that the lack of LTE is workable depending on T-Mobile coverage where you live/travel to.

The Nexus 10 also boasts a brand new SoC: Samsung's Exynos 5 Dual. The Exynos 5 Dual features two ARM Cortex A15 cores running at 1.7GHz as well as ARM's own Mali-T604 GPU. This happens to be the exact same platform used in the new Chromebook, just running Android. The Nexus 10 features a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 display, giving it the same resolution as the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display - but in an even smaller form factor. Google is also aggressive on Nexus 10 pricing: the 16GB WiFi-only tablet sells for $399, with the 32GB version going for $499.

Both Nexus devices run Android 4.2 and are guaranteed to be the first devices to be updated to upcoming Android revisions for the foreseeable future (it's the power of Nexus).

We haven't had a ton of time to test the devices and put this together so you're going to see combined performance charts throughout the rest of this article.

CPU Performance

The big story when it comes to CPU performance is a look at how the Cortex A15s perform under Android. Unfortunately we're still left with mostly browser based benchmarks to measure CPU performance, which actually highlights a major issue in our testing: Android V8 optimization doesn't seem to be anywhere near as good as it is under Chrome OS or Windows. As a result, all of the Nexus 10 performance scores end up slower than the new Chromebook - despite using the same SoC and running Chrome on both platforms. It's also possible that the Exynos 5 Dual in the Chromebook is allowed to burn a bit more power, translating to better performance, but either way the solution here in the Nexus 10 doesn't look as good across the board.

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser

SunSpider performance is good, but not significantly better than Qualcomm's Krait based Snapdragon S4. Both the iPhone 5 and RAZR i are able to outperform the Nexus 10. The S4 Pro based Nexus 4 tends to be in line with other S4 based devices - SunSpider doesn't really give much credit to the extra 2 cores.


BrowserMark puts the Nexus 10 behind many platforms that should be faster, I'm even wondering here if there's some hard partitioning of memory bandwidth between the CPU and GPU to drive the 2560 x 1600 display that's simply choking the CPU here.

The Nexus 4 does ok, but again there seem to be some V8 optimization issues at work here under Android 4.2. At 1.5GHz it should deliver at least the performance of the dual-core Snapdragon S4 solutions.

Google Octane Benchmark v1

Octane is the first test where the Cortex A15s are really able to flex their muscle - the Exynos 5 Dual based Nexus 10 manages to outperform the RAZR i by 34%, and compared to the A6/Swift based iPhone 5 the advantage grows to 64%.

The Nexus 4 performs about in line with other Snapdragon S4 based devices, although once again the extra 2 cores don't seem to be doing much for it here at all.

Mozilla Kraken Benchmark

Kraken also paints the Cortex A15 based Nexus 10 in a good light: there's a 30% advantage over the RAZR i and a 76% advantage over the iPhone 5. These numbers will shrink a bit compared to other tablets, but not by much. The Nexus 4, once again, ends up performing similarly to dual-core Snapdragon S4 based devices.

Overall, the Nexus 10 results show us some real promise for what we can expect from ARM Cortex A15 based SoCs. The potential upside to this new architecture is huge.


GPU Performance & Display


View All Comments

  • Pipperox - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    Well if you pay attention to this preview, you'll see that the numbers are rather inconsistent.
    The Snapdragon S4 Pro here basically gets beaten in several tests by its lesser sibling the Snapdragon S4; that doesn't make any sense.

    There also seem to be obvious issues with the browser tests.

    Maybe the SW is still not in final stage...
  • ratte - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    As Anand& Brian said "there is some thermal throttling happening on the device." Reply
  • Pipperox - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    They can say what they want, what I see in the number they've posted is that the LG Optimus G is mopping the floor with the Nexus 4.

    The funny thing is that the LG Optimus G is the SAME darn phone, with less built in flash and no SD card slot.

    And it's also manufactured by LG as well.

    So either they got a faulty sample, or perhaps LG is skimping on manufacturing quality for the phones they sell to Google?
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, November 03, 2012 - link

    So you're saying that a company can't build two different devices of different quality levels? Off contract $550 phone vs a $300-350 phone, for example?

    Maybe... you know... you get what you pay for? There's more to a phone than what processor it uses? Things like build quality, LTE, storage, memory card slot... speaking of memory card slots, Apple and MS took a lot of flack for this. Where's all the naysayers now? Matias Duarte of Google says you're all too stupid to use memory cards, what do you have to say about that?

    Slightly off topid: The line in the article was about Google pricing the Nexus 10 "aggressively" made me chuckle a bit. Mostly because the lack of a memory card slot was one of the things I hated about iDevices, and here's all these Nexus devices without a card slot. So now I'm looking at the 32GB model for $500 and thinking competing models look more appealing now. Well except for iPad, I still don't want one of those, even though the iPad 4 is a screamer.
  • De_Com - Monday, November 05, 2012 - link

    Of course a company can build two different devices with differing build quality.There could be a myriad of reasons why the Optimus G looks so good in these tests, but as already stated above, there seems to be something else going on, which hopefully will be sorted before release.

    Apple and MS take a bashing for no SD Card Slot and rightly so in my opinion, they never offered one period, you can get other Android devices with an SD slot, that's the beauty of choice.

    The fact that Google, one of, if not the biggest "Cloud" providers on the planet want to push devices with no SD doesn't seem in line with their business model to you??

    They've gone aggressive on all Nexus devices, not just the 10", why do you think the 7" at $199 has been such a runaway success.
    With the entry 10" at $399 for 16GB it's directly priced at iPad2 levels, given that choice it's a very tempting offer.
  • rdatoc - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link


    Just want to give you a heads up that you might have another URL injecting bit of Javascript from one of your content partners (as happened with your Intel 330 SSD review back in August). I was redirected to:


    from the first page of this article, congratulating me on getting a chance to win an iPad mini or a $1000 gift card. I don't see any embedded links in the text and i don't remember clicking on anything so it might just be my browser or PC ;-) but I am running Chrome and daily scans (which doesn't really count for much as it used to in this era of zero-day exploits).
  • firesyde424 - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    This just happened to me as well when posting a comment. Reply
  • noblemo - Sunday, November 04, 2012 - link

    Similar circumstance:

    From the page: http://www.anandtech.com/tag/smartphones

    Clicking the link: "197 Comments" (http://www.anandtech.com/show/6425/google-nexus-4-...

    Took me to: http://testables.net/d/juicyru.com, which displayed a full screen ad for Netflix.
  • edlee - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    Ok, who cares for another tablet, I already have two in my home, dont use them nearly as much as my smartphone.

    So when is this beast called the exynos5dual coming to smartphones, I need this soc along with a 5" 1080p super freaking amoled hd plus (whatever moniker is for the non-pentile is called) screen.
  • bwmccann - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    Anand and team. Please start reviewing tablets and comparing them to each other. I'd love to see the Surface models, Kindle HD models, IPADs, Nexus and Samsung devices pitted at each other. It would really help determine my next purchase. Reply

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