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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  • Vitor - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    Lol that gpu perf. Looks like a soc from the 400 family.
  • shabby - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    Omg i didn't know it was this bad, i thought the G in 765g stood for gaming? Lololol
  • Fulljack - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    Qualcomm always botched graphic performance on their non 800-series SoC. never trust how many marketing done by Qualcomm or OEM/Vendor, it'll perform less than even two years generation ago of 800-series flagship.
  • Spunjji - Monday, January 25, 2021 - link

    Yup. I can only see it as a deliberate move - it means that even people like me with Snapdragon 835 devices can't really "upgrade" to a 700-series SoC unless we're willing to sacrifice GPU performance.
  • TinyOilot - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    We'll.. Google pixel 5 owner from UK. Let's talk about ugly things.
    Well... I bought pixel for pixel features. And that was my big mistake. If you're not in US, there's nothing left from pixel specific features, as they are not available outside US. (No "Hold for me", "assistant calling", "call screening") So, this phone becomes just another mid range phone.
    I guess, only purpose for me is early OS upgrades.
    Rather should look into OnePlus, as I like their warranty policy.
  • Mekk Elek - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    Thank you for your review. It is, like what, a 5 month late, and there is absolutely nothing new in it, but your effort to copy it together deserves some recognition.
  • lmcd - Saturday, January 23, 2021 - link

    Thank you for your comment. It is, like what, a 5000 years post-sentience, and there is absolutely nothing new in it, but your effort to copy it together deserves some recognition.
  • Hulk - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    I still have my Pixel 2 and don't see the need to upgrade except for battery life. I like the Pixel mainly because of the lack of crapware on the phone. Yeah I know I can root and get rid of that stuff but I'm lazy.
  • icrf - Friday, January 22, 2021 - link

    I was in the same boat. I had a Pixel 2 and was generally still happy, but the battery life was debilitating, so I bought a Pixel 5 around Thanksgiving when it was $50 off (incidentally, the exact same price I paid for my Pixel 2 three years ago).

    It was also nearing the end of its updates, which is really Google's killer feature with the Pixel line. Are there other Android OEMs that provide consistent seamless updates for three years? Only Apple does better, and I'm not willing to make that jump.

    The camera on the 5 is basically the same thing as the 2, plus the ultra-wide lens. I didn't care about 5G or headphone jack, but I really wanted the extra battery and waterproofing over the 4a. The extra storage and RAM is nice. I give no shits about GPU, and the CPU is adequate.

    I like the smaller form factor, but honestly, the best form factor ever, IMO, was the 2013 Moto X. I could actually reach the top of the 4.7" screen with my thumb. The lack of bottom bezel on modern phones makes it hard to reach bottom navigation buttons/gestures.
  • toffty - Saturday, January 23, 2021 - link

    You can enable the bottom buttons btw, it's somewhere in settings (Google it)

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