GPU Performance

One larger negative of using a lower-end SoC such as the Snapdragon 765 versus a flagship design, is the fact that Qualcomm’s Adreno GPU here is actually significantly weaker than you’d expect the “one tier” lower status of the SoC. The Adreno 620 is actually significantly smaller and lower performance compared to not only previous generation flagship SoCs, but actually even flagship SoCs even a few generations old. Last year we had seen the LG Velvet perform more like a Snapdragon 845 device, lagging substantially behind the competition. Let’s see how the Pixel 5 performs:

Basemark GPU 1.2 - Medium 1440p - Off-Screen / Blit GFXBench Aztec Ruins - High - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen GFXBench Aztec Ruins - Normal - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

I’m not exactly sure what Google has done here to the Snapdragon 765, but something is definitely very different compared to other devices employing the same chipset. The Pixel 5 here posts significantly lower performance than a comparable LG Velvet or an OPPO Reno3 Pro 5G, with some of the scores even coming in at half performance. When I got the phone I initially thought this must be some firmware issue, but even now in January it’s still the same.

Measuring power consumption of the phone, the SoC barely uses 1W of power under a 3D load (total device power minus idle), which is far less than what we saw of other Snapdragon 765 devices.

I have no idea as to why the Pixel 5 is set up this way, however the end result is that gaming performance is just horrible. If other Snapdragon 765 devices roughly matched the 845 in gaming, the Pixel 5 is only half of that. Playing a modern-AAA title like Genshin Impact on the phone is horrendous unless you set it to the lowest possible settings, and even then, it’s not a good experience.

If you’re looking for a decent gaming smartphone, the Pixel 5 is not it, and I recommend users to give it a wide berth.

System Performance Battery Life
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  • melgross - Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - link

    It’s not a luxury product. It’s a high/mid priced phone. It’s just not a particularly good one. Google has never made really good phones, and has minuscule sales because of that. Naked Android, and sometimes, a slightly better camera have never been serious selling points, even among the geeky public.

    They keep changing their formula, but never seem to get it quite right. This is just another example of that..
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  • sharath.naik - Monday, February 1, 2021 - link

    No it's a beta products that google hands out to those they think should be greate full. Of course on their beta network called FI. Not sure who is running google now, but the behavior of google has been that of directionless corporate rot. I currently bought into new device on fi, no service due to a bug on their system. For 1 month on going, with no answer on fix or support or option to leave or even stop payments or pause service while they fix this.
    All these even after 2 fcc complaints. Something is really really broken with google.
  • RobJoy - Thursday, February 11, 2021 - link

    Luxury? Seriously? :DDDDDDDD
  • sharath.naik - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    It's a shame google bar a few products is becoming synonymous for mediocrity. With all the talent they have, has google become another company down the drain by becoming controlled by MBAs
  • MrSpadge - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    To be fair, the new device is a lot smaller. A rare thing to find nowadays. I think it looked like an attractive "small" phone if it was sold for 400€.
  • Flunk - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    I think the biggest competitor for the Pixel 5 is the Pixel 4a 5G, I don't really see the additional features bringing enough value for the increased price and in a lot of benchmarks the 4a beats the 5.

    Additionally, the OnePlus Nord N10 has similar specs to the Pixel 5, benchmarks faster, and costs $249.99 right now (on sale from $299.99). Now that the Nord is available in the US Google doesn't really have much of an excuse for their prices. I think better software support is worth something, but not > $400.
  • BedfordTim - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    You do get wireless charging, but you are right the 4a makes the 5 look over priced. As for other companies, the US has worked hard to protect its market but OnePlus seems to have slipped through the sanctions net.

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