Samsung Galaxy S9+ Review: Fantastic And Fast With A Killer Camera

Galaxy S9+ Gaming And Graphics Performance

Next we'll test the Samsung Galaxy S9+ with GFXBench, which has been one of our standard mobile graphics performance benchmarks for quite a while now. In order to ensure display resolution and refresh rate are not limiting factors, we are comparing Offscreen test results here. GFXBench tests OpenGL ES graphics workloads and we're specifically testing OpenGL ES 2.0 and 3.0 rendering performance in the following two benchmark modules, with OpenGL ES 3.0 being a more enhanced and advanced rendering API for mobile graphics.

3D Graphics Benchmarks: 3DMark & GFX Bench
Pushing The Pixels
GFXBench T Rex Galaxy S9

GFXBench Manhattan Galaxy S9

Samsung's Galaxy S9+ and Apple's iPhone X are neck and neck here, trading blows but with Apple edging out a win in the more advanced Manhattan ES 3.0 test. The spread, however, is less than 5% percent and extremely tight regardless. This is a major coup versus Apple for Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 with its Adreno 630 graphics engine. Beyond that, once again, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is way out ahead of any other Android phone on the market currently. This will change as more Snapdragon 845-powered devices come to market but for now it's all Samsung.

We also ran with Futuremark's 3DMark benchmark suite, which has been a staple 3D graphics testing tool 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 is based on the aging OpenGL ES 2.0 API, but we'll follow-up with 3DMark Sling Shot here as well, which is much more advanced. 

3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited FPS Galaxy S9

Samsung's Galaxy S9+ jumps way out in front again, with a monster gain in frame rate over its nearest competitor, Motorola's Z2 Force. Again, with most all previous generation Android handsets powered by the Snapdragon 835, the Snapdragon 845 in the Galaxy S9+, along with its 6GB of RAM, is proving to be a really nice upgrade in performance, generally speaking. Here we don't have an iPhone X score to weigh in with, but we'll pull Apple's current flagship into the mix in the more demanding and advanced Open GL ES 3.1-based 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme, next.

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

3DMark Sling Shot is a new benchmark module that's been added to the 3DMark mobile test suite, so again we have fewer results in our database to share, though we do have a few top-shelf Android phones, Apple's latest flagship the iPhone X and Samsung's previous-gen Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 series in the mix. Sling Shot is a much more advanced OpenGL ES 3.1 and Metal API-based test that employs more advanced rendering techniques like volumetric lighting and particle illumination. In this test we again run the Offscreen mode, so as to remove display resolution differences from the equation and thus compare cross-platform results more reliably.
3DMark SlingShot Galaxy S9 Details

3DMark SlingShot Galaxy S9

In Sling Shot Extreme, the Galaxy S9+ maintains its lead over the other flagship Android smartphones in our test group, and even takes Apple's iPhone X out behind the wood shed for a beating. Interestingly, the iPhone X lags the furthest in the GT2 test, and we'll note that Sling Shot is generally a more memory intensive test. Perhaps this is where the iPhone X falters somewhat with only 3GB of RAM at its disposal. At any rate, it's a clean sweep again for the Samsung Galaxy S9+. 

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