CPU Performance

LG's G2 features a quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC (MSM8974). For a quick refresher, Snapdragon 800 features four Krait 400 cores running at up to 2.3GHz courtesy of TSMC's 28nm HPM process. The 2.3GHz max clock speed comes at a surprisingly low voltage thanks to the low power HPM process. Gone are the days of 1.4V to hit near-2GHz frequencies it seems, instead 8974 will hit 2.3 GHz at around 1V. Krait 400 improves L2 access latencies over Krait 300 (which is at the heart of Snapdragon 600 and S4 Pro) and is optimized for higher frequency operation, but Krait 400 is otherwise architecturally similar to Krait 300. Make no mistake, MSM8974 is the new high-end, pushing Snapdragon 600 and S4 Pro parts further down into midrange category. There are other SoC level enhancements as well, including things like a new version of the Hexagon DSP and obviously Adreno 330 vs. Adreno 320 (which I'll get to later). We already ran through a performance preview of Snapdragon 800/MSM8974 using Qualcomm's 8974 Tablet Mobile Development Platform, but today we get to do the same with the G2.

Gallery: LG G2

LG was pretty eager to get us a G2 sample as early as possible, unfortunately that comes at the expense of software maturity. LG made it very clear to us that the International G2 sample (LG-D802) we received has nowhere near final software, and as a result may not deliver performance indicative of what we'll see when the device shows up later this month. This puts us in an interesting situation as we want to see how close shipping Snapdragon 800 devices come to the Snapdragon MDP/T we tested back in June. Software maturity aside, there's no skirting the fact that the G2 simply has a smaller chassis and perhaps lower thermal limits than the tablet MSM8974 MDP/T we tested previously.

 

The most interesting comparison points here will be to LG's Optimus G Pro which ships with a Snapdragon 600 (4 x Krait 300 running at 1.7GHz), the Exynos 5 Octa based Galaxy S 4 (SHVE300S) and to the MDP/T. As always, we'll start with a look at CPU performance.

The state of CPU performance testing under Android is unfortunately still quite broken. We're using a mix of browser based tests with Java & Native apps (AndEBench).

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 1.0 - Stock Browser

SunSpider has quickly become an exercise in browser optimization rather than platform performance. Qualcomm's browser optimizations are clearly good for showing off Snapdragon 800's potential, however the G2 doesn't appear to have the same optimizations in place (yet). Performance isn't bad, but it's merely on par with Snapdragon 600 and ARM's Cortex A15.

Mozilla Kraken Benchmark - 1.1

Kraken is an interesting test as it has (thus far) remained less of a browser optimization target. Kraken is also a physically larger and longer benchmark, which provides results that I tend to be a little happier with. The G2 once again falls short of Qualcomm's MDP/T, but given its early software I'm not too surprised. Performance is roughly on par with the Exynos 5 Octa, and slightly behind the very high clocked Snapdragon 600 in the nearly stock Moto X.

Google Octane Benchmark v1

Octane is the first benchmark where we see the Snapdragon 800 flex its potential. Here the G2 not only ties the Snapdragon 800 MDP/T, but it also roughly equals the performance of the Cortex A15 based Exynos 5 Octa. Ultimately that's the comparison that Qualcomm will be most interested in winning. If Snapdragon 800 can deliver better performance (or at least perf per watt) than the Cortex A15, it'll be a definite win for Qualcomm.

Browsermark 2.0

If Octane had the S800 in the proverbial passing lane, Browsermark 2.0 shows the G2 in the clear lead. Here LG was able to even outperform Qualcomm's own reference design by 16%. I suspect this has more to do with browser optimizations than anything else though, as the S600 based Optimus G Pro also does extremely well.

AndEBench - Java

AndEBench - Native

AndEBench provides us with very low level look at SoC performance. I'm not a huge fan of these types of tests, especially ones that aggregate a bunch of microbenchmarks and attempt to present a single performance number. AndEBench is unique (and useful) in that it presents performance in both native code and Dalvik interpreted states. The G2's native performance here is quite good, but it's actually equalled by the Galaxy S 4 GPe and not far ahead of the Optimus G Pro. I suspect we're once again seeing the limits of early software rather than a full understanding of Snapdragon 800's performance in a retail device. Dalvik performance is a bit worse. The relatively high ranking of the Google Play Edition devices points to software optimization being a culprit here.

Vellamo Benchmark - 2.0

Vellamo Benchmark - 2.0

Both Vellamo tests put the G2 on par with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 MDP/T.

 
Battery Life GPU Performance
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  • KurianOfBorg - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    What about the suttering and lag? I used the Optimus G Pro and it stuttered and lagged everywhere. No where close to the smoothness of the Nexus 4. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I find it to be really smooth, of course if you want absolute smoothness, you can just wait for 8974 in the Nexus 5 :)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • htotfalitm - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    good. I'm glad they ditched capacitive controls
    I hated onscreen controls too but I've been completely sold on the idea since I tried Paranoid Android and discovered Pie Control
    Reply
  • baronmog - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I feel like a broken record: only 32GB onboard storage and no microSD? No thanks. I really, really, really, wish someone other than Samsung would get their heads out of the cloud. It's ok when you're someplace with decent, or any, wireless connectivity. Otherwise, useless. Reply
  • HideOut - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I want to trade off my S4 for this...but no microSD? FAIL. Reply
  • BabelHuber - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Exactly my thoughts!

    When I see reviews at Anandtech, often my first thought is 'wow, what a nice phone!'-

    Then I see that the SD-card is missing and the phone has died for me.

    Samsung seems to be very smart in this area. They always have removable batteries, SD-card support and unlocked bootloaders.

    And while Samsung breaks one sales record after another quarter by quarter, LG and HTC are wondering why most customers prefer their competitor's devices.

    I don't think that this is coincidence. E.g. I personally like the look and feel of the HTC One, but the lacking flexibility turned me off immediately.

    Android games like the Asphalt-series consume about 1.5GB meanwhile. A 16GB phone without SD-card support is a joke meanwhile.

    32GB are OK, but still inferiour to an external 64GB SD-card. Once you root your device, you can set mount points to the external SD-card or - in case you are lazy like me - use an app like FolderMount to at least move the apps which are memory-hogs to the external SD.

    How much can it cost to support such a feature? LG, HTC etc. are clueless and deserve their low market share with their crippled devices, really.

    They should wake up and support SD-cards so we get more competition. But no, instead the champaign flows at Samsung while the managers laugh about the competition.
    Reply
  • maximumGPU - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    You're talking as if LG and HTC's low market share is attributable to lack of SD support. It has practically nothing to do with this.
    You do understand that people requesting SD support are a minority that barely register in sales number?
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    This is what I always hear. But I do not believe this.

    Why are people buying 70 Million Samsung smartphones per quarter, then? Just because 'Samsung' is printed on them?

    In basically every store, HTC, Samsung, LG and Sony phones are sold. People walk in and mostly buy Samsung.

    And this has nothing to do with the additional features Samsung offers for the same price? Come on!
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Just take a look at how much money Samsung spends on advertising, then you'll understand why the Samsung smartphones are the most sold ones.
    http://www.imore.com/samsung-spending-ludicrously-...
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014241278873240...

    Most people really don't care about SD-Cards, for some it's even an annoyance because you can't combine the phone storage with the SD-Card storage, so you can't use it for apps and other stuff. And it's much slower than eMMC and another part which can and will fail after extensive usage.
    Thus a phone with 8GB internal + 64GB SD-Card is almost as worthless as a phone with 8GB only for the !majority of people!
    The big advantage comes with storing music libraries, movie libraries, ... on the SD-Card, but there again, the majority of users does not have a 64GB music library, and barely DVD/Blu-Ray rips, they rather rely on streaming.
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    First of all, I already have posted that using the SD-card for apps is child's play after the phone has been rooted. Just root, install FoulderMount and off you go.

    Then you can use the SD-card for Music, movies etc., while music probably being the major use-case for most people, as a solt of people use their phone as 'walkman' or use it as music data storage in their cars.

    So simply stating that an SD-card does not give you benefits ist BS.

    And yes, marketing is an explanation for higher market share. But this alone does not explain why Samsung has ten times the marketshare of its competitors.

    Tomi Ahonen called the smartphone market 'Samsung, Apple and the nine dwarfes', which is correct IMO.

    A lot of people walk into a store and don't have much clue. Then the sales guy shows them the phones and explains the advantages/ disadvantages.

    So, if you are not much interested in the HTC One's speakers, you can also take the SGS4. It has a removable battery and an SD-card slot and costs the same.

    Why take the phone with less options? It simply does not make sense - after all, if you never use the SD-card slot it does not matter because you payed no premium for it.

    But simply stating that customers are too stupid to properly use SD-cards falls short when Samsung has so much success with phones equipped with such features.
    Reply

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