System Performance

The Mi MIX 2 comes with a Snapdragon 845 and we’ve more extensively covered the performance and characteristics of the SoC in our performance preview as well as in the Galaxy S9 review. So while we’re not expecting any surprises in terms of performance, we’ll see that software configurations can be differ quite a bit from the implementation that we’ve tested on Samsung’s devices.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Web Browsing 2.0

In the PCMark’s Web Browsing 2.0 test the difference in performance isn’t too great. The test’s workload has become relatively light-weight enough in that its tasks have become short enough to not fully migrate to larger cores at the peak operating performance points.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Video Editing 

The video editing test is also a test in which most of today’s flagships only show minor differences between each other.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Writing 2.0

While the first two PCMark tests are reaching their limits in terms of performance scalability, the writing test is still insanely sensitive to both peak performance as well as performance latency. The test uses native Android APIs for text manipulation and also renders PDFs out of the resulting document. Here the Mi MIX 2S actually showcases a significant jump over the Galaxy S9+, and actually finally come near or even beats the scores of the QRD845 platform from Qualcomm that we previewed back in February.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Photo Editing 2.0

The Photo Editing test is also characterized by short but heavy enough bursts of work. Again the MIX 2S shows a significant improvement over the Galaxy S9 and leaves all other devices in its trail.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Data Manipulation

Finally the Data Manipulation test is a lot more evened out – this is mainly a single-thread bound workload, which also seems to be very memory latency sensitive as the Snapdragon 845 devices have trouble differentiating themselves from last year’s 835 units – a scenario that we also see in the Kirin 970 devices from Huawei.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Performance

Overall, the MIX 2S trumps the Snapdragon Galaxy S9 as the fastest Android device. This also very much reflects in daily usage as the phone is incredibly fast in terms of subjective usage, and in my view, is to date by far the fastest device I’ve had the pleasure to use.

Speedometer 2.0 - OS WebView

The web browsing tests show a similar improvement, pushing the further the scores that we’ve seen with the Galaxy S9+ and claiming the best Android performance among currently tested devices.

WebXPRT 3 - OS WebView

Applause to Qualcomm and Xiaomi

Over the last several months I had more opportunity to dive into the software of the Snapdragon 845 – in particular in the context of my efforts to try to improve the Exynos 9810 variant of the S9.  What Qualcomm has done in terms of rewriting the kernel scheduler is pretty astounding, as the modifications are quite extensive and heavy. I’ve talked to both ARM and Google about this and generally I think the two are underplaying or are unaware of the magnitude of the improvements.

I actually would not be surprised that if a majority of the performance improvements we’re seeing across the new Snapdragon 845 devices are in a great part due to software enhancements in the kernel rather than raw microarchitectural advancements. Performance latency is an incredibly important characteristic of system performance – and vendors need to pay a lot more attention to it, as in the grand scale of things, the cost of writing good software just seems minuscule compared to the vast investments needed to design and manufacture faster silicon chips and to brute-force the issue.

It’s very unusual for me to go into a rant like this praising a vendor – the Mi MIX 2S made such a good impression in terms of performance that I just have to laud Xiaomi and Qualcomm for the efforts made here, and I have to reiterate that the MIX 2S has been the fastest device I’ve used to date.

Introduction & Design GPU Performance
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  • Arbie - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    No microSD, no sale. I want to easily load and swap sets of media files. The lack of a standard headphone jack hurts too.
  • Lolimaster - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    Seems phone makers don't get it. Why depende on internet, when you can have tiny sets of mSD's on your wallet, pocket, backpack with different kind of content (favorite music, cartoons, anime, manga, popcorn/hentai)
  • Destoya - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    Maybe I don't get it either. I admittedly have a S8 with a 128GB SD card in it but I would have no problem going to a phone with 256GB internal storage and no SD card. I have something like 2000 320kbps songs, a bunch of games/apps, and that still is only around half of my total storage. If I really wanted to I could fill the rest of the storage with something like 40 hours of high-quality 1080p rips. More likely if I watch something on my phone I just connect to my Plex server back home with its terabytes of content.

    SD card support on android has always been a mediocre experience; it certainly works but has always felt tacked on at best. OTG SD/flash drive readers cover most of the remaining use-cases anyways.
  • FunBunny2 - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    "Seems phone makers don't get it."

    their all trying to emulate Jobs: tell the consumer what s/he needs irregardless. so far, he's about the only one to pull it off.
  • close - Saturday, June 30, 2018 - link

    I'm willing to bet their surveys showed people will complain but still buy the phones because the SD slot isn't a real *must* have. I've heard too many people claim "128/256GB is not enough" only to fall flat when they realize how much music fits in there, how many pictures, videos, etc. And the argument "my 4K videos, my lossless audio, my RAW pictures" is about as realistic and compelling as "but my mouse, my Excel, my coding project" on the phone.

    If you consider how much of that data has to be with you at any time it really stops making sense to insist on memory cards. Especially since they don't excel at reliability so having your only copy on that SD would be a monument of ignorance euphemistically speaking.

    Over the years I heard people screaming "no [whatever] no buy" 1000 times. Yet most of them now rock a phone with no replaceable battery, no physical keyboard, no SD slot, no headphone jack, no physical button, no week-long battery, notched screen, etc. They *ALL* pull it off ;).
  • serendip - Saturday, June 30, 2018 - link

    64 GB internal flash with no MicroSD isn't enough for me, especially when the user-accessible space is more like 45 GB after subtracting system and data partitions.
  • Holliday75 - Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - link

    How many people do we know in real life that would even know their phone has a SD slot or not? I for one can only think of a couple of cousins and maybe on uncle who would know, and even then I doubt they care.

    I'm in IT professionally, but even I have no use for it. How big is the market for such items? Sounds great to have and I'm sure if you told people what it was and asked if they wanted it they would mostly say yes, but in the real world I see very little use of it.
  • ianmills - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    Go cheaper and you can have what you desire. Xiaomi Redmi note 5 does all that for ~$200
  • djayjp - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    Apparently NAND performance doesn't matter........
  • Pallmei - Friday, June 29, 2018 - link

    400MB/s read, 160MB/s write on my Mi Mix 2. I am sure 2s is no worse and AFAIK they haven't upgraded the specs either

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