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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Flunk - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    Correction, the US version of the Nord uses the slightly inferior Snapdragon 690 SoC so it should be slower. It's still crazy cheap.
  • Fulljack - Sunday, January 24, 2021 - link

    snapdragon 690 uses newer cortex-a77 while snapdragon 765g still uses cortex-a76, clockwise it's slower by 16,66% but the ipc gain is 20%, so snapdragon 690 are actually faster. qualcomm products naming are weird, I know
  • iphonebestgamephone - Monday, January 25, 2021 - link

    The gpu would probably be slower on 690.
  • Spunjji - Monday, January 25, 2021 - link

    @iphonebestgamephone - correct, the 690 uses the Adreno 619L which is actually around 50% slower than the 620.

    Qualcomm's naming system is b a n a n a s
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, January 25, 2021 - link

    For how long does OnePlus guarantee software (system and security) updates for? That's an important part of a phone's value proposition. And, while it pains me as an Android user, not leaving owners of older phone models behind is something Apple actually does well. I was, however, pleasantly surprised when Xiaomi made an OS update for my decidedly middle-class (at time of purchase) phone available even after >2.5 years of ownership. I took note of that, and it might help convince me to buy another phone from them.
  • Arbie - Saturday, January 23, 2021 - link

    The Pixel 5 also has a much larger battery than the 4a. Which is why I would have considered it as an eventual replacement for that.

    Except they removed the headphone jack so no dice.
  • rahvin - Saturday, January 23, 2021 - link

    Those aren't the only differences, the battery is quite a bit longer lasting (owing to the extra 200mah deleting the 3.5mm jack). The glass is also GG6 versus GG3 like on the pixel 2/4a5G, it's the smoothest glass I've ever encountered, if I set the pixel 5 down (screen down) on a table that is even slightly out of level it will slide off. It's like I'm carrying around an air table puck. The GG6 is also significantly harder to scratch based on what's happened to mine since I got it. I honestly wouldn't have expected that much improvement in glass between GG3 and GG6 but IMO there is.
  • Spunjji - Monday, January 25, 2021 - link

    Same conclusion I came to. The 2GB of RAM isn't really useful. The 90Hz screen would be *nice*, and the same goes for IP68 rating - but you can get most or all of those with other companies' $400 phones. I haven't used wireless charging since my Palm Pre 2 🤷‍♂️
  • BrokePeopleBuyBadStuff - Monday, January 25, 2021 - link

    ...yeah that stuff isn't free and it's faster than last years BUDGET phone. Don't get me wrong, it's still a budget phone but yeah...broke people get broke joke phones I guess.
  • Great_Scott - Monday, January 25, 2021 - link

    The Chart says that the Pixel 4a (5G) is the phone to get of the three.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now