GPU Performance

GPU performance of the Pixel 3 should be relatively non-surprising for the most part – again we see the Snapdragon 845 at play and its Adreno 630 GPU should be performing excellently. This year the only real differences between devices was how vendors decided to set up their thermal throttling mechanisms and how the hardware itself is able to dissipate sufficient heat – as the SoC’s peak performance lies above the sustainable thermal envelope of a given device.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Physics

In the 3DMark Physics test, the Pixel 3 performs as expected in peak performance, however we see a more than usual decline is sustained performance compared to other Snapdragon 845 phones. Here it is possible Google has more strict thermal limits on the CPU.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Graphics

The graphics results on 3DMark are more in line with other S845 devices, still the small Pixel 3 does end up slightly lower in performance. It’s notable that the Pixel 3 here ends up with a lower sustained performance score as the Pixel 2 family – showcasing the worst-case scenario for the SoC.

GFXBench Aztec Ruins - High - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen

GFXBench Aztec Ruins - Normal - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen

In the new Aztec benchmark, the new GPU architecture does help quite a bit in terms of differentiating itself from last year’s Pixels, however still the Pixel 3 ends up at the lower end of S845 phones in terms of the sustained performance.

GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

Finally in Manhattan and T-Rex, the Pixel 3 ends up in the same ballpark range as last year’s Pixels – again a worst-case scenario for the new SoC.

Among Android devices the Pixel 3 doesn’t stand out too much from the competition, however is still going to be able to perform very well. One has to keep in mind GPU and gaming performance is very much tied to the hardware capabilities, and in this regard we’ll see major jumps with the next generation GPUs.

System Performance Display Measurement
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  • jospoortvliet - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    It combines multiple images into one - not something you would manually be able to reasonably do. I mean, maybe, but it is very hard. It isn't just applying some filters you can do on any picture.
  • Impulses - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    Um, HDR is a pretty common technique for photographers and the burst rates and high end stabilization of today's cameras make it more accessible than ever... So using HDR or HDR-like methods (Google actually combines multiple frames with similar exposures IIRC) to increase DR or average noise out is not the least bit uncommon, it's not hard to do and a lot of software packages automate it to a very high degree.

    Where Google's approach differs significantly and what makes it so accessible as the primary mode (and part of what makes Night Sight great, it's just building upon the same algorithms but with slower shutter speeds) is in the smart tiling they employ before stacking all the frames. That's what makes it usable even with subject motion in the frame and other variable lighting conditions... They break each frame down into tiles and they combine those tiles individually, dropping some as needed if the subject moved across tiles or blurred out... That's obviously way beyond the normal post processing techniques people do by hand.
  • Impulses - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    Note: I'm referring mostly to stills in standard HDR+ and Night Sight, what they've done with Super Res Zoom is somewhat impressive but still pretty gimmicky in the end IMO... If I needed a longer focal length I'd just shoot a discrete camera or a phone with a longer focal length in optics.
  • Ikefu - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Keep us posted on when the LG V40 comparison is coming! I'm between a 3 XL and a V40 and these reviews are phenomenal. Love it Andrei!
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    If the V40 is anywhere near the G7's camera performance, which some reviews have hinted at, then the 3XL might be a better choice.
  • Ikefu - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    True, but I'm slightly addicted to the wide angle camera for landscapes and stadiums. I'm still holding on to my shred of hope when your review hits.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    I'll do a quick check on the V40 tomorrow and write back here - the Mate 20's review is next in line to be published first.
  • Arbie - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Great, because the V30 and V40, along with the Samsung S9 and S9+, seem to be the only brand phones supporting all the T-Mobile bands (eg. 71). That really limits choice if you want max compatibility with that carrier.

    Which leads me to wonder how the S9 compares in general to the S9+; primarily in low light. The latter is well-documented here.

    Phenomenal review overall, thanks.
  • imaheadcase - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    The stand is not bundled with the phone, its a separate purchase. Not sure why you said that.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    I wrote that it was bundled with the review phone, I edited the sentence to clarify this.

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