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

  • KitsuneKnight - Sunday, November 04, 2012 - link

    For your second thing, Anand (and the others) have talked about that sort of thing before in their full product reviews (at least in the iPhone 5 one)

    The benchmark does the same workload across all the phones, and since the 5 has LTE, it'll win due to race-to-sleep, which means (in the benchmark), the 5 is getting to spend much more time idle than the 4. Translate this to real world, and you usually (depending on the user) won't actually see the change going from 3G to LTE, due to the user's workload often changing thanks to the increased speed.

    So, at least the idea proposed by them, a lot of people won't see the change in battery life due to their workload becoming much more intense, thanks to the better performance. Can't say if that was the case for you, but it does make sense.
  • RollingCamel - Sunday, November 04, 2012 - link

    Stop teasing us and put the review already! Been checking the website waiting W8, WP8 and 'N4/10 reviews for quite some while. Just publish it!! Reply
  • thesavvymage - Monday, November 05, 2012 - link

    Google probably wont allow full reviews until the 13th when the phone is out. They will either post it when the review is ready, or when the NDA expires. Not before either. Reply
  • alkp - Sunday, November 04, 2012 - link

    From all the tests above, and only hypothesizing here, we can see what apple has done right, although the qualcomm cpu is great technology and architecture wise, but they did a mistake they seem to always do, the ram is just dual channel 533mhz dd2 9 gb/sec, which is old by today's standard high performance SOCs, apple is using a ddr2 with more than 13 gb/sec , even the 1 year old tegra uses ddr3 (although single channel) I think the cpu and adreno 320 gpu are chocking with low memory rates and not enough data being present for processing, same goes for the exynos why are they using these low clock rams while apple is using quad channel ddr2 to maintain the performance which should be with more than 25 gb/sec speed which is needed for those high res screens and big GPUs, this is a design flow they have better cpu technology but the ram speeds are not on par ..... even if they needed it for power management, apple still does better even in that respect, maybe they turn off channels not being used Reply
  • noblemo - Monday, November 05, 2012 - link

  • Eudoxus - Monday, November 05, 2012 - link

    I could use some help interpreting this preview. This really makes it look like Google is releasing a quad-core phone whose performance will be much poorer than that of other dual-core flagship phones, such as the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 (which I assume is dual-core; apologies if I'm wrong). Compared to these other phones, the N4 has web page load times which are twice as long and the rest of the benchmarks are a really mixed bag. The benchmarks from Slashdot show the N4 having about the same 3D scores as my old Nexus S and other phones with supposedly lesser GPUs (see: http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/1... So what's going on here? Are the benchmarks misleading in some way that is not obvious, or is Google really releasing a quad-core, Adreno 320 flagship phone whose specs manage not to beat much older competitors?

    I'm really having a hard time deciding what to buy. I don't want to waste my money. These benchmarks tell a pretty grim story about the N4 and make it look like an S3 would be a better choice. If only I wasn't so attached to stock Android...

    Thanks for your help in understanding this.
  • worldbfree4me - Monday, November 05, 2012 - link

    So, basically this is AMD vs INTEL! One can spend more and get the Apple or spend less and get the Nexus. I always go with the "Unda Dog" and not to mention the better value, so Google Nexus it is. Reply
  • val580 - Thursday, November 08, 2012 - link

    Did you really think you could pay half the price of Samsung and HTC top phones and beat them at benchmarks ?

    Android experience is said to be the best ever on the N4 so it seems ok ; why excuse it ?
    But even Engadget noticed hicups on their devices compared to LG OG.

    Personnally I like to see web pages load times comparisons between devices.

    I believe Anandtech is intensively testing the device before releasing it's final (always great ) review

    Whatever tops out I'm still waiting for LG OG european release
  • joelol75 - Sunday, November 11, 2012 - link

    Quotes from the Apple fanboi that uses House MD as his avatar:
    "Bit of a non-issue for iOS users since their stock browser consistently dominates......because you didn't want to hear the fact that the already-out iPad will surpass this in performance by a long way...comparing new device vs new device, the Nexus 10 is miles behind the iPad 4..."

    1. Would U please shut up! I have an idea. Anatech Stop listing Apple benchmarks in Android reviews so AppFboiz like you stop posting your crAPPaganda. I love the "ummm. I guess Nexus x sucks so I'm getting the Iphone" posts too. Either these fb's have icrap hardware and a Steve Jobs candlelit shrine already or they really are that stupid (in that case they are making the right choice)

    NO! Android users don't bail to Apple on a review (maybe decide between other Android devices) so quit posting this crap. I don't post Android propaganda on Apple review sites and personally prefer it if Nokia STOOD BEHIND Maemo instead of flushing their business down the Symbian and Microsoft tubes but anyway the point....

    The Nexus . IS new software as well as hardware. Show me a phone with 4.2 on it... and.... the new Iclone is just rehashed same-old, cookie-cutter, designed for obsolescence in no time Apple hardware with an old lock-me-in-Johnny, I-so-stupid so show me how (rather tell me how) to use my device shiny GUI on top of a good (which they didn't write of course but legally stole) FreeBSD OS known as IOS6.

    I'm retiring or promoting my Nokia N900 to a carputer project so I can remote start my car by Wifi, SMS, or SSH. It will have a Nexus10 integrated into the dash replacing the Factory radio and will have a Stripped Dell Pentium M laptop with Linux for the backend. All HVAC controls will be touch controlled. Blower motor will be PWM Mosfet. Remote entry will be RFID, NFC (Samsung Tectiles), or SSH. (Solenoid door poppers). Wifi hotspot and GPS, Bluetooth tether and other display duties (FM RDS) will be handled by the N900. Wifi linking and media sync (podcasts auto dl'd) and video capture from the 4 always running cameras as well as OBD2 datalogging (ELM327), voice control and text to speech will be all Linux (ATT Truevoice or Cepstral) Smb and Nfs will be available as the car will always be wifi hs will be handled by a Raspberry Pi and GPIO for all this (no keys! power seat /mirror. memory and other logic will be PicAxe handled. Some voice prompts will be handled with WinBond ISD1000 or so series chips. Radio tuning and rds by si474 ics.

    Anyway id rather use my old Nokia N900 than get a ip6. I was deciding btw nexus . and sgs3. Maybe Note 2. Sooo. someone like me would use the iphone as a paperweight. The sheep like 'em I hear...
  • TekDemon - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure how compelling that ping time is! Surfing the web is often about hitting the server rapidly for little bits of data here and there so that 1.4 second ping time is gonna add quite a bit of time to your loading times. I personally don't care that much about the lack of LTE but that's a crazy high ping time even for HSPA+ Reply

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