Google Pixel 4 XL Review: Streaks Of Brilliance, Pure Android

Google Pixel 4 XL Web Browsing And General Compute Performance

For our firsts set of tests, we're using the JetStream benchmark to evaluate Javascript performance and Basemark's Web Test 3.0 for a more comprehensive, mixed-media web performance analysis, which includes HTML5 rendering. Here we'll primarily determine how the Pixel 4 XL, with its 6GB of RAM and Snapdragon 855 SoC, handles this specific workload with the Android Chrome web browser. All tests were performed at the phone's default resolution. 

JetStream And Basemark Web 3.0
JavaScript and Browser Testing
JetStream Pixel 4 benchmark

Basemark Pixel 4 benchmark

As our first series of tests, results here are a little odd. The new Pixel 4 XL doesn't quite catch the rest of the Snapdragon 855-powered Android pack. Perhaps there's a power efficiency mechanism at play that's causing Google's slightly softer numbers in exchange for battery life in what is generally a light-duty workload. However, this is only speculation on our part. 

Synthetic CPU Benchmark

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 4 benchmark

GeekBench as well shows the same softness for the Pixel 4 XL, in terms of multi-core performance. However, it's single core performance is plenty strong. Maybe 6GB of RAM is holding things back a bit here as well, versus the other premium Android phones with 8GB or more.

Futuremark PCMark For Android
General Purpose Pocket Computing Performance Metrics
Futuremark's PCMark for Android is an excellent suite of tests that we recommend for benchmarking performance of a handset in a wide range of tasks, for things like image and video editing, as well as lighter-duty, everyday workloads such as 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 mobile platforms involved in a very controlled way. 

PCMark Pixel 4 Benchmark

PCMark shows the Google Pixel 4 XL back in the hunt near the top of the pack. The variations in scoring here are fairly small among most all current gen devices. 

AnTuTu 7
Platform Benchmarks

AnTuTu’s latest benchmark returns a number of metrics ranked with somewhat nebulous scores, rather than frame rates or time to complete. We tested with the latest version of AnTuTu across an all Android platform group. AnTuTu returns four top level performance metric results that we are including here: CPU, RAM, 3D, UX (or User Experience), along with a total score. 

AnTuTu Pixel 4 benchmark

In AnTuTu, on the other hand, awards Google's new Pixel 4 XL the best score we've recorded in the benchmark. In fact, it's rated about 8% faster than our previous top phone, the OnePlus 7T that's powered by a Snapdragon 855+. If we look at the Pixel 4 XL's CPU and Memory scores, these could be our clues. Perhaps its pure, unadulterated Android 10 setup is giving the new Pixel 4 XL an advantage. 

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