Google Pixel 2 And Pixel 2 XL Review: Perfecting Android

Pixel 2 And Pixel 2 XL Graphics And Gaming Performance

Next we'll test Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL with GFXBench, which has been one of our standard mobile graphics performance benchmarks for quite a while now. In order to ensure display refresh (v-sync) and resolution are not limiting factors, we are comparing off-screen test results here. GFXBench tests OpenGL ES graphics workloads; we're specifically testing GLES 2.0 and 3.0 rendering performance in the following two benchmark modules. 

3D Graphics Benchmarks: 3DMark & GFX Bench
Pushing The Pixels
GFXBench TRex Pixel 2

GFXBench Manhattan Pixel 2

Though performance is strong here for #TeamPixel, there's nothing remarkable really. Google's new Android flagships perform just like any other Snapdragon 835 powered handset here. 

We also ran Futuremark's 3DMark, which has been a staple 3D graphics benchmark at HotHardware across all mobile and desktop platforms for many years. In this case we were running 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, which is targeted for mobile devices and also runs at 720p in offscreen mode, so as to take display resolution out of the equation. This test and its 3D graphics engine are also based on the Open GL ES 2.0 API. 

3DMark Ice Storm Pixel 2

3DMark Ice Storm FPS Pixel 2

In terms of the overall 3DMark score, Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are clear leaders in this test, over every other premium smartphone we've tested to date. Strong graphics performance is logged here, but team Android can't quite catch Apple in certain test conditions, though the same could be said for certain tests where the Android army proves dominant as well.

3DMark Sling Shot is a new benchmark module that's been added to the 3DMark mobile suite, so we have fewer results in our database to share, though we do have a few top-shelf Android phones, the iPhone 7, and Samsung's previous-gen Galaxy S7 in the mix. Sling Shot is a much more advanced OpenGL ES 3.1 and Metal API-based test that employs some advanced rendering techniques like volumetric lighting and particle illumination.

3DMark Sling Shot Test
Futuremark 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Benchmark

In this test we again run the off-screen mode, so as to remove display resolution differences from the equation and thus can compare cross-platform results more reliably.
3DMark Sling Shot Pixel 2

In the newer 3DMark Sling Shot benchmark Team Pixel 2 serves a beating up for all contenders, once again distancing themselves from other phones based on the same silicon platform with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835. And once again, we would have to point to Google's good work on Android 8.0 Oreo for these performance gains. All things being equal, with the same silicon engines at play, Google is wringing performance out of its operating system better than ever. 

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