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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  • et20 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    No, they are not too stupid.
    You are too stupid to understand that not everyone cares about the same things as you do.

    The simple fact that you are reading and commenting on this site is clear indication you are part of a tiny minority.
    You are completely disconnected from the needs and interests of mass market consumers.

    The sales guy you mentioned is paid by Samsung to sell more Samsung phones. Almost nobody uses SD cards.
    Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    Almost no one uses SD cards? Do you have any fact to base that statement on?

    SD cards are not the primary reason people prefer Samsung phones, but they are definitely one of the contributing arguments when people buy phones. Clearly, vanity is not as highly rated in real life as HTC thought. People apparently prefers to spend their money of useful things, not just looks.
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Now you come with rooting. I'm a science student and technically interested (as it's obvious because I'm here on this site). I've rooted my smartphone and will do the same to all my future smartphones. It's a no brainer for me. A lot of my friends own an Android smartphone, too. They are in no way stupid. But none of them has a rooted device. I don't know a single one in my surrounding who rooted it. To some I explained them the beneifts, how to do it, etc. But none did it. Why? Because they had no urgent need for it and didn't want to 'waste' time doing it.
    Some of the smartphones they use have a SD-Card, none of them really cared. None of them heavily uses it.

    I'm sorry to burst your ignorant selfish bubble, but not everyone is like you and wants the same you do!

    Samsung has the highest marketing expense of possible any company on earth. People who go in a store and want to buy a smartphone, know mostly nothing about the different flavors of smartphones, but they do know, that Samsung has some, lots of them, with nice looking features, according to the ads they see in TV/web/posters just everywhere! The sales person also probably knows the advantages of Samsung devices best, so it's no surprise that most people just buy a Samsung smartphone. The fine differences between the different smartphones are negligible for most people and few even understand them or value them.
    Few know what OS they are running on, let alone the precise Android version.

    The majority chose a smartphone by:
    1. Price
    2. Look, feel, size
    3. Devices they saw from ads
    4. Recommendation from friends

    You aren't the smartest either, if you think that the only outstanding feature of the HTC One is the dual speakers. There's the aluminum body, OIS, magnitudes brighter display, software features and others left, which you don't care about and thus don't care about.
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    You are calling me stupid while you are to dense to recognize two major points I made besides rooting:

    1.) People use SD-cards to store music at. I know lots of people who use their SD-cards exclusively this way without having rooted their phones.

    Only an imbecile can say that it is no advantage that you can put an SD-card into your notebook, copy all movies and music you want to it, put it into your phone and use it.

    You do not need much technical knowledge to do so, and in fact lots of people do exactly this. Ask them if this feature is worthless!

    2.) You do not seem to understand the gap regarding sales between Samsung and any other Android phone manufacturer.

    Samsung sold about 70 Million smartphones in Q2 2013, while LG, Sony, HTC, Huawei and ZTE can be glad to sell one tenth of this number!

    And you say the fact that SD-card support and a removable battery play no role at all? And then you call me stupid?

    Let me give you a clue: If only 5% of Samsung customers care about SD-cards, this is 3.5 Million customers per quarter. If 10% care about this, it is 7 Millions.

    And you are telling me that this is a non-issue for companies which sell 5-7 Million smartphones per quarter? That they do not want or need these customers?

    I really do not understand what is so hard to understand here!
    Reply
  • maximumGPU - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Are you really saying that you single-handedly just uncovered the reason for HTC, LG, Sony and all the rest's low market share?
    And here they were scratching their hair completely baffled at just why Samsung handsets were selling so much. Everyone in there market research team should be fired for failing to see that simply adding an SD card slot would immediately result in at least 3.5 million extra sales per quarter.
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    No. I am saying that this is one reason - in the sense that this lacking features makes it harder for them to compete.

    And yes, I think their management is stupid.
    Reply
  • blacks329 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    You honestly think 1 in 20 people care about SD cards in their phones? I suggest you do a poll of the layman and find out how many of them actually care.

    Apple sells 40 million iPhones a quarter, I wonder how they can sell so many?

    /psssssst it's not SD cards
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    When a company wants to compete against Apple, it makes sense to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the competitor.

    Apple does not have removable batteries and SD-card slots.

    So it is a cheap win to offer these features for those customers who do care. OTOH competing with Apple without having such obvious advantages is tougher.
    Reply
  • deskjob - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Hey bud, I agree with you - the SD card expansion is a valuable feature to have. If I was given the choice to have it or not, with absolutely no trade-off, then duh of course I'll want to have the feature.

    But I want to share my personal experience so far - my smartphone history up to this point is the HTC Thunderbolt, Rezound and now the One. I loved having the SD card expansion. I rooted and S-off'ed both the Thunderbolt and Rezound (shorting out two contacts on my brand new Rezound in order to get S-off was a damn crazy leap of faith). And I always thought that I wouldn't get a phone without SD card expansion, ever. Period.

    But then when I actually looked at my usage pattern - after the initial transfer from the Thunderbolt to Rezound, I never once took out the microSD card again for data transfer. Hell, I actually bought a 64GB card for the Rezound (I jacked the 32GB from the Thunderbolt originally), because the phone actually supported it unofficially (the card capacity didn't exist when the phone was first out!). But you know what... the 64GB card never made it into the phone. It's now in my Nikon SLR.

    And dude trust me, I put that extra storage space to good use. Talking about multiple NAND backups, my music library, a movie or two, photos, Titanium app backups, the works. But that's just it - what I need, and I suspect most people need, isn't the microSD expansion per se. We need SPACE! As long as there's enough space to fit your need, who cares if it's microSD, internal, or even cloud? Okay, cloud might be iffy with security and extra power draw from data connection, not to mention data cap (not for me though, unlimited data hehe). Look at it from another perspective - if your phone came with 128GB of internal space, would you be able to do without microSD expansion?

    And as you might know, the way Android handles external SD space isn't very elegant. You have to keep track of the system partition, the internal SD, and the external SD. It sounds trivial, but it's not elegant and gets more annoying as you go forward. At least for me. I honestly can't see the majority of the public dealing with this and feeling happy about it.

    Marketing is everything, unfortunately. I think we've reached a point in the smartphone market where most phones are ADEQUATE. They'll do the job of calls, internet, chat, camera, etc. Marketing is the key to making people want to buy your product. Samsung is great at it. Apple is great at it. HTC and the rest, not so much.

    Did you know that Samsung went as far as to hire poor college and grad students to post negative comments about competitor phones on major tech review forums and sites? Look it up - they admitted to it, and blamed it on some "rogue individuals" within the company. No... they were sorry they got caught.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Yes expandable storage is so old school - apple will soon make macbooks with soldered on SSDs, cameras with only internal memory, and so on. In fact they are already doing that (rMBP's RAM is soldered and SSD is proprietary format) Reply

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