Google Pixel 2 And Pixel 2 XL Review: Perfecting Android

Pixel 2 And Pixel 2 XL Browsing And General System Performance

Smartphones are increasingly becoming the way many people access the Internet. As such, a mobile device needs to have a responsive web browser to render complex pages fast, along with a reliable cell or Wi-Fi connection. We can’t easily, quantitatively state how well device radios perform in various phones, as the variables between carriers and access points are too difficult to lock down. However, we can investigate browser performance between devices.

For our first tests we're using the JetStream benchmark for Javascript performance and RightWare’s Web Test 3.0 for comprehensive, mixed-media web performance analysis, including HTML5 rendering. Here we'll primarily determine how the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL's Qualcomm CPU handles this workload, along with the Android Oreo operating system and Chrome web browser...

JetStream And Basemark Web 3.0
JavaScript and Browser Testing
JetStream Pixel 2

Basemark Web 3 Pixel 2

There are some fairly prominent variances to observe here. The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL score well in both tests, but trail in pure Javascript processing with JetStream, while they pull far ahead in the Web 3.0 Basemark test. JetStream pushes operations like Ray Tracing and security hashes, while the Basemark web 3.0 test renders actual web page workloads, and its obvious that's where Google spent their optimization time. It's interesting to see the flip-flop here so early, but it's more of a hat tip to Android 8.0 Oreo in our humble opinion. 

Synthetic CPU Testing

In the GeekBench test, we're stressing only CPU cores in a handset (not graphics), with both single and multi-threaded workloads. The test is comprised of encryption processing, image compression, HTML5 parsing, physics calculations, and other general purpose compute processing. 

GeekBench Pixel 2

There's nothing too surprising here. The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL perform similarly to their Qualcomm Snapdragon 835-based counterparts. Notably, Apple's iPhone 7 single core performance and efficiency is an obvious standout versus the pack of Android-driven ARM silicon. 

Futuremark PCMark For Android
General Purpose Pocket Computing Performance Metrics
Futuremark's PCMark for Android is a new benchmark addition here for us, so we have fewer results in our database of tested phones to show you. However, this is an excellent suite of tests that we highly recommend for benchmarking performance of a handset with heavier-duty tasks for things like image and video editing, as well as lighter-duty workloads like email, and web browsing. When you see the test running live it's clear the scripted application tests are carefully selected and tuned to make use of the platforms involved in a very controlled way.

PCMark Android Pixel 2

PCMark for Android is an Android-only benchmark so we don't have any iPhones to compare here. However, clearly the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL rein supreme in this test, which again seems to be a true testament to the performance enhancements Google claimed for with Android 8.0, aka Oreo. The Photo Editing test shows a dramatic lead, with small advantages in Video Editing and Web Browsing. It appears as though Android Oreo's fast file access is paying off in rapid fire random IO requirements, which is also part of the reason why these new Pixel 2 phones boot up so fast.

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