GPU Performance

As I’ve already mentioned a few times, both models of the ZenFone 2 use the PowerVR G6430 GPU from Imagination Technologies. This is the same GPU used in Apple’s A7 chip, although the implementation in A7 likely has a max GPU clock of around 450MHz, while in Atom Z3560 and Z3580 it peaks at 533MHz. While one would think this would give the ZenFone 2 a lead over the Apple A7 based iOS devices, factors like driver optimization can also play a role.

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Graphics

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Physics

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Overall

The ZenFone’s performance in 3DMark is very good, and is one of the highest that we’ve seen. Much of this is due to the score in the physics test, which bests even the Galaxy S6 that had previously topped the chart, and second only to the Venue 8 7000 tablet. In the graphics test it achieves a score similar to that of the iPhone 6. The overall weighted average of the two tests puts the ZenFone 2 in fourth place, between the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy S6 Edge.

BaseMark X 1.1 - Overall (High Quality)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Offscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Offscreen)

In BaseMark X we see that the ZenFone 2 stumbles compared to the G6430 implementation in the iPhone 5s. Despite the higher clock speed on the GPU, it trails the iPhone 5s in both the Dunes and Hanger tests. The final score ends up right in the middle of the chart. It’s not as quick as the iPhone 5s and faster devices, but it’s quicker than those that use Snapdragon 801 and Adreno 330.

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Offscreen)

Our last benchmark is GFXBench. In the off screen 1080p tests we see that the ZenFone 2 is slightly quicker than the iPhone 5s in both Manhattan and T-Rex HD. The differences are small enough to be attributed to test variance, but the important point is that the G6430 GPU ends up being as quick as the implementation in Apple’s A7 SoC. The fact that it’s only as quick as the iPhone 5s despite its higher clock speeds indicates that PowerVR GPU drivers on Android are not as well optimized as on iOS, and it would be great to see GPU performance improve a little bit down the road via driver improvements.

Overall, the GPU in the ZenFone 2 is more than fast enough to run the OS smoothly and run any 2D or 3D games a user will want to play. The performance is substantially better than any other phone at this price point. It looks like there's still a gap between the optimization of PowerVR GPU drivers on iOS versus Android, but despite that the ZenFone 2 still delivers performance that I know won't disappoint any of its buyers.

System Performance NAND Memory Performance
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  • meacupla - Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - link

    There was another reviewer who also droppped his zenfone 2 and he cracked the screen.

    So is the phone hard to hold while pulling out of pockets and fingering buttons or what?
    Reply
  • niva - Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - link

    It's always a risk when you don't use a case, even with a case it can happen.

    I found most disappointing about this phone the references to zenUI and the pre-installed bloatware. We knew the camera wasn't perfect but had some good parts too already so I wasn't too surprised.
    Reply
  • Glock24 - Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - link

    Would a metal (alumunium) or glass phone fare any better? Would it also get big scratches and marks? Reply
  • niva - Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - link

    Metal doesn't necessarily fare better, though in this case it seems like it would have. Metal can get scratched and unlike this plastic removable case cannot be replaced... also metal is more rigid usually which leads to higher rates of cracked screens though that statement is hard to back up by statistics. Other polycarbonate phones (like Nokia) fare amazingly well in drops and feature surfaces that don't get scratched easily unless you purposely take a knife to them. I for one have never understood the premium materials thing going on in the industry because I always put cases on my phones. Even the all metal phones need cases to help protect them in drops. Reply
  • Frenetic Pony - Thursday, May 28, 2015 - link

    I've never dropped my phone in my life, going on 6+ years now for that record, so I've never seen a need for a case. But maybe I'm overconfident, and then maybe so are other people. Reply
  • ketacdx - Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - link

    I dropped my first Zenfone 2. Ended up needing to buy a 2nd one (I got the TW models so I've had it for a few weeks) Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - link

    Plastic phones generally do better in drop tests than metal or obviously glass ones. I have heard of some ZP2s cracking, but I hope it's just the usual odd accident that would put any phone down. I wonder if there are any drop tests of it out yet. Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - link

    No I was just trying to hold it in my left hand while trying to photograph it. I never dropped it once in normal use, but it's something to look out for. In general I find myself having trouble when holding any phone of this size in one hand, but that's not specific to the ZenFone 2. Reply
  • ketacdx - Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - link

    Mine landed flat from about 2-3 feet on my basement cement floor. directly flat on its screen, no sliding or anything and the screen completely shattered. Ironically it didn't have even a scratch elsewhere on it. It was cement so im not necessarily saying the phone is weak however I've dropped phones before but never had anything like that happen. It was very saddening.. Reply
  • re2onance - Friday, May 29, 2015 - link

    Did you purchase the 550 or the 551. I've heard that the 550 does not actually come with Gorilla Glass 3 which is extremely deceptive in their advertising. Reply

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