Now that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have been in the hands of users for a bit of time now, I think we can all inhale a collective sigh of relief knowing that these new Google phones are no slouches in the performance category. While not as fast on paper as the Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm, real world testing shows the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro competing favorably with the ultra-fast iPhone 13 Pro Max doing day-to-day type of activities.
At the end of the day, the way the phone performs doing the things you actually rely on it to do is the best measure of whether or not it is fast enough for you. For me so far, that test has proven to be more than sufficient. I never think about the speed of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro and that means the performance is what I want it to be. If I was constantly feeling sluggishness, animation hiccups or graphic degradation, there would be cause for concern. For me, there just aren’t any of those issues present.
Benchmarks are still fun, though
All that being said, benchmarks can still mean added confidence in a mobile SoC, and seeing your phone perform handily in a synthetic benchmark can make you that much more confident in your purchase. It doesn’t mean one phone will feel faster than another in real-world applications, but it can definitely bolster your conviction that the purchase you are about to make (or already made) is the right one.
For those of you who get added benefit from those types of numbers, there are some interesting new ones to share for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro that should make you feel very good about your phone selection if you’ve already bought one or are intending to. With an update to Geekbench 5 that sorts out random crashes for Android 12 (pointed out on Twitter by @SomeGadgetGuy), we’re now able to not only see the standard CPU scores for Tensor, but the GPU scores as well. And they are beastly.
In the images above, we’re looking at the GPU compute scores from the OnePlus 9 Pro with the latest Snapdragon 888 inside and the Pixel 6 with Google’s own Tensor SoC. On paper, I’d expect the Adreno 660 in the Snapdragon 888 to pummel the Mali-G78, but that’s just not the case. In fact, according to the Geekbench 5 results page, the standard Mali-G78 already out-performs the Adreno 660 without Google’s help, putting up a 5931 in the most current listings.
But the customized Mali GPU in Tensor looks to be a bit of a different beast. When running Geekbench on our in-house Pixels, we are seeing scores topping out around 7700-7800 in the Vulkan compute tests. Those are really big numbers and these scores flat-out obliterate the 4578 we get on the Snapdragon 888.
Again, benchmarks aren’t the end-all be-all of performance and this isn’t to say Tensor is faster than the Snapdragon 888. Instead, it’s more of an affirmation that if you are buying into Google’s new vision for Pixel phones and want to be a part of what Android 12 looks like in the hands of the company that maintains it, you don’t have to really worry too much about performance on these phones. And compared to year’s past – *cough* Pixel 5 *cough* – that’s a really nice thing to consider.