System Performance

While subjective judgments of performance may be possible to make when the delta is significant, when the gap gets increasingly close within the range of perceivable performance differences it becomes important to rely on more precise and accurate methods of measuring the overall performance of the mobile device. For the most part, when we’re discussing system performance the single biggest factor is often the SoC, which makes sense given that an SoC contains the CPU, GPU, video encode and decode blocks, memory bus, and DSPs. There are other aspects of the device that determine the overall perception of performance and things that can have a meaningful effect on performance, but the SoC is often the gating factor.

In order to test this we run mobile devices through our standard suite of benchmarks. In the case of the Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S6 edge+, there shouldn’t be too many surprises given the commonality in components with the Galaxy S6.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2013 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2015 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Overall

Basemark OS II 2.0 - System

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Memory

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Graphics

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Web

PCMark - Work Performance Overall

PCMark - Web Browsing

PCMark - Video Playback

PCMark - Writing

PCMark - Photo Editing

If you guessed that performance in these benchmarks would be similar to the Galaxy S6, you'd be right. Given the shared SoC and general commonality in components performance remains as high as it is with the Galaxy S6. In some cases we see improvements, likely a combination of changes to Chrome and changes to areas like the frequency governor to respond faster to changes in load. It's probably fair to say that the Exynos 7420 will continue to be the best SoC for Android mobile devices in 2015, although it's likely that we'll see significantly increased competition for 2016.

Display System Performance Cont'd and NAND Performance
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  • lopri - Friday, October 2, 2015 - link

    Also odd that the author thinks the color shift on the Edge+ is due to RGBG subpixel layout. I thought the color shift would be there due to curves regardless of subpixel layout.

    In any case I give the author props for this effort. A rather thorough review, even if a little heavy on editorials.
  • lilmoe - Friday, October 2, 2015 - link

    After being called out so many times, your "comparison charts" are still an absolute (intentional?) mess. Why do you have 25 different phones on one chart, and 10 completely different ones on others? Why is the crappiest browser on Android still being used for battery tests? Why is the iPhone 6 in GPU tests and the 6plus absent?

    While they do have really nice articles, Anandtech scores the lowest in the consistency department out of all sites. Please try being more consistent.

    Can you just put 4-5 most popular phones of each platform on the SAME darn charts and keep them that way, without conveniently leaving some out and putting them back here and there? Like PLEASE?

    Also, it would be nice if you'd explain why you're posting NAND performance benchmarks with your particular set of settings. I seriously find it VERY hard to believe that UFS 2.0 is equal or often slower than the very best of eMMC in sequentials and randoms.
  • lopri - Friday, October 2, 2015 - link

    The real mess is the camera samples. (which by the way is not limited to Android devices for a change) It is maddening to sift through camera samples without knowing ahead what I am going to see only to click dozen more times to find out what I am looking for.
  • Kuzi - Saturday, October 3, 2015 - link

    Agreed their charts are a mess.
  • Bob Todd - Friday, October 2, 2015 - link

    The gigantor phone market is more competitive than ever, so it's interesting to see them dropping features and generally not taking full advantage of being the most vertically integrated Android OEM. They dropped microSD but capacity maxes out at 64GB. They had the opportunity to be ballsy and go higher capacity PCIe NVMe and absolutely crush every other Android OEM in storage performance. You have to *really* want the pen, because this looks like a tough sell at $780 for 64GB when $650 gets you a 128GB Nexus 6P and $500 gets you a 64GB Moto X Pure with expandable storage. Sure Samsung's SOC is better, but this is a pretty underwhelming release for me.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, October 2, 2015 - link

    Not to mention the sealed, non removable battery. And samsung's terrible track record with updates.
  • thedons1983 - Sunday, October 18, 2015 - link

    Sealed, non removable battery = better looking device. Simple as. Never mind the fact, that most users do not want to swap the battery, as they simply don't need to. How obsessed with your phone are you anyway? You should probably try getting a life instead!!
  • lilmoe - Friday, October 2, 2015 - link

    Samsung knows a thing or two about fast storage, and their UFS 2.0 is pretty darn GOOD. It's just not showing well on you-know-who's charts.
  • Bob Todd - Friday, October 2, 2015 - link

    You are missing the point. They are charging more than "good enough" money for this thing. They need to offer compelling reasons to spend way more on this than the other solid new entries in this segment. Something like a PCIe NVMe solution would have been a good way to justify that price gap. I predict steep discounts (~$100+) shortly after launch.
  • lilmoe - Friday, October 2, 2015 - link

    "I predict steep discounts (~$100+) shortly after launch"

    They already priced the Note 5 cheaper than the Note 4 at launch. Sorry if American carriers are over charging.

    "You are missing the point"

    Read my *short* comment again. Their storage solution isn't particularly inferior. Random reads and writes are comparable, if not better. If you honestly believe that sequential performance is more important than random for everyday workloads, then I have nothing else to tell you. It's not like we have an extensive comparison of performance and power consumption/efficiency between Samsung's UFS 2.0 vs Apple's sourced NVMe solution (might not even be possible at this stage), nor is it the case that Samsung has already developed a miniature PCIe V-NAND 950 PRO NVMe SSD and is holding back to "cut corners".

    Everything in this segment is overpriced, for better or worse. We just learn to "deal with it". That said, your point boils down to overall manufacturer costs, ie: BoM. You shouldn't make assumptions on your own over bits and pieces of the package. Samsung, despite manufacturing most of their parts, have a costlier BoM than most other OEMs, including Apple. Their external enclosure, AMOLED screens, Wacom Digitizers, DACs, etc. are always best in class and cost more than comparable parts from the competition. Other than the omission of SD-card controller, they went all out in every other detail (removable batteries don't contribute to cost, it's a design choice rather).

    That said, I'd rather have them start with 64GB of standard storage (128GB option) and an SD-Card slot for a much more value proposition at that price range. A larger ~4000mah battery would have also been possible since the Note 5 is relatively large but is one of the lightest "phablet" out there. This goes for all manufacturers, not only Samsung.

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