System Performance

As I mentioned on the first page, the LG X Power comes in two versions. The international model uses MediaTek's MT6735 SoC, which has four Cortex A53 cores with a peak frequency of 1.3GHz. The North American model uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 212 SoC with four Cortex A7 cores that also reach a peak frequency of 1.3GHz. Depending on the workload, there can be a considerable performance difference between Cortex A7 and Cortex A53. I don't know why LG has opted to ship two models of the same phone with significantly different SoCs, and it would have made much more sense to use Snapdragon 410 in the North American market.

I don't have both models of the LG X Power available for review, so I can really only speak to the performance of the North American model. There will definitely be differences in CPU and GPU performance between the two, and it's also important to note that the international model has an additional 512MB of RAM. Since the LG X Power doesn't support OpenGL ES 3.1, I've cut some of the benchmarks from the standard group that I run. Below I've organized the remaining benchmarks into sections that represent what part of the system each benchmark tests.

App Performance

PCMark - Web Browsing

PCMark - Video Playback

PCMark - Writing

PCMark - Photo Editing

PCMark - Work Performance Overall

PCMark is a good benchmark because it simulates actions that users perform on a daily basis, and does so using the same system APIs as real applications. This makes it particularly sensitive to software optimizations, as well as changes in Android version that bring improvements to the Android API.

The LG X Power doesn't get off to a good start in PCMark. In every sub-test except the video playback test it is one of the slowest devices on record. While it doesn't come in very last in photo editing or writing, it's close enough that the devices it beats in those individual tests actually end up doing better when all the scores are aggregated, making the LG X Power the overall slowest device on record for PCMark.

DiscoMark - Android startActivity() Cold Runtimes

DiscoMark - Android startActivity() Hot Runtimes

DiscoMark is a new addition to our benchmark suite. It allows us to measure the time it takes for an application to launch by monitoring how long it takes for an Activity to be created after a call to Android's startActivity method. For testing we have selected a group of commonly used applications, and the box-and-whisker diagrams allow the quickest and longest launch times for each app to be displayed, along with the first and third quartile boundaries. We also split the test into two parts, with the first being cold launches where an application has been killed before being launched, and hot launches where an application will still be resident in memory if the phone has enough RAM to accommodate it.

Unfortunately, DiscoMark shows how limiting the 1.5GB of RAM in the LG X Power is. In the cold launch test you're really limited by the speed of your SoC, and to an extent your NAND speed as things are read from persistent storage and loaded into memory. In this case the LG X Power is in line with Cortex A53 devices despite its use of a Cortex A7 CPU, which isn't a bad situation to be in.

The real issue for the LG X Power is the hot app launch times. The average median runtime for launching an app that could be resident in memory is 866ms, nearly twice as long as the next slowest phone, and three or four times slower than most other smartphones. It's apparent that LG is having to evict applications quite frequently, which means that although we aren't forcibly killing the apps, they're being re-created from scratch nonetheless. One interesting thing to note is that the Moto E (2015) performs much better despite having only 1GB of RAM, and this is probably a combination of LG's much heavier software customizations, along with different policies for memory management, data caching, and app eviction.

The impact that this has on the user experience is immense. It takes nearly a whole second to switch to an app that you would expect is still in memory, because it has often been evicted if you've opened only a couple other apps since you last used it. It makes the phone feel incredibly painful to use, to the point where you end up not using the phone because of how slow it is. With that in mind, the phone's large battery looks more like an insurance policy than a useful feature, because the phone will already last a long time by virtue of you choosing to avoid using it unless you absolutely need to.

Web Performance

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2015 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

JetStream 1.1 (Chrome/Safari)

Unsurprisingly, the LG X Power is the slowest device in all three web benchmarks. A quad core Cortex A7 SoC is just not competitive at all, even against the Moto E from February 2015, which launched at a lower price than the LG X Power. I don't really have much else to say here, as the web browsing performance of the LG X Power is just terrible, and I find it shocking how LG has seemingly bet the entire phone on a giant battery and neglected performance entirely, to the detriment of the user experience.

Graphics Performance

GFXBench Manhattan ES 3.0 (On Screen)

GFXBench Manhattan ES 3.0 (Off Screen 1080p)

Adreno 304, 305, and 306 are essentially identical, so it's not a surprise to see that the LG X Power sits right beside devices that use Snapdragon 400 and 410 in GFXBench's Manhattan ES 3.0 graphics test. Low end smartphones just don't have great GPU performance, although it won't prevent simple 2D games from being played. I don't expect this to change any time soon for phones that cost close to $100, but I also doubt that it impacts the kind of user that purchases a $100 phone in any appreciable manner.

NAND Performance

AndroBench 4.0 - Random Read

AndroBench 4.0 - Random Write

Androbench 4.0 - Squential Read

AndroBench 4.0 - Sequential Write

NAND performance on the LG X Power is actually decent as far as low-end smartphones go. Random read and write performance is definitely low, but sequential read and write performance is actually pretty good among the low-end and mid-range phones in the comparison. I don't expect that mid-range smartphones will move away from eMMC storage any time soon, so this is around the best storage performance that you'll see in a $100-150 smartphone.

Battery Life and Charge Time Display Analysis
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  • IUU - Friday, September 9, 2016 - link

    For me, a mobile phone must have a good battery life. The longer , the better. And they have a long way to go so they seem acceptable to me. If they have a screen you can read from easily enough, just enough RAM so that they do not hung hopelessly, they are good. Mobility requires that you don't run out of cyber assistance when you need it the most and this means long periods between charges.

    Weight is no issue today, by any means. Those who complain about weight they adhere too much into needless details. It does have to be the prettiest. What do you need the looks for in a device that is mostly a tool ? It doesn't have to be the fastest. Technology advances at such a pace that the flagship of today rapidly becomes the baseline of tomorrow. Chances are that you will replace your device in some years at the most. So buying them for the premium quality "feel" is a moot point.

    Conclusion is , battery life is quintessential, and it's about time manufacturers wake up from the fairy tale of fashionable and sleek devices.
    Reply
  • fuelvolts - Monday, September 12, 2016 - link

    Top notch review, thanks for reviewing a budget phone! I've been using this phone for a few days now, and I got to say, I really appreciate what you mention. This phone has 2014 budget phone specs in a 2016 world. However, I'll say this: using it daily (and not in a "review" sort of method), it's not horrible to use. The screen is decent for a 720p device (it's a much better screen than the Blu R1 HD, i.e. the Amazon phone) and Knock On is really useful. The performance is "alright" to me. I'm more of a purpose user. I unlock my phone to use 1 application, then I usually lock it and move on with my life.

    I'll say the worse app to open is GMail. That always takes forever to load for some reason. Everything else seems to work fine, even Chrome. It's a decent phone, and if you're a Cricket user, this phone is only $50 after MIR, so for a $50 phone, it's a fantastic deal. The battery life is astounding. I got 10.5 hrs SOT the first day I charged it up. I purposefully was trying to kill the battery, and when I finally went to bed, I still had about 16% battery left with that much SOT. Amazing; makes it almost worth the hassle.

    This is a temporary/backup phone while I wait for the Nexus/Pixel phones.
    Reply
  • FalconZ - Sunday, January 29, 2017 - link

    So many variants under single name ? LG This is horrible, dont give them same names pls and specify the lte bands supported on the website. Reply
  • Sammisam - Monday, February 6, 2017 - link

    It sucks bad I got stuck wit snapdragon. It's just my luck this would happen to me. Unfair both phones should`ve been the same. I feel like a elementary kid who got picked last for softball game type way. Lame LG! Reply
  • Sammisam - Monday, February 6, 2017 - link

    Sucks I get stuck wit snapdragon. Just my luck. Both phones should've been the same. I feel like a elementary school girl that got picked last to be on the softball game type way. How can they get away with selling this phone two difference types.Seems like they would lose money over this. No one I know wouldve bought this phone if they knew this. If I knew it I would've just bought an iPhone 6 plus. Reply
  • Max.racer94 - Saturday, March 11, 2017 - link

    Cheap quality screen. Haven't owned the phone for more then a week and the screen crack in numerous places from being in my tight jeans pocket.

    Did not hit it against nothing, didn't drop it, just had it in my pockets and was walking some stairs and craaack!

    Very fragile screen!
    Reply
  • Williepeck99 - Saturday, April 8, 2017 - link

    Interestingly​ my LG X Power came with a mediatek MT6755 octacore that clocked at 1.81 GHz and comes with 2GB of RAM. It's fairly fast and quite responsive. mine was bought as a Virgin Mobile phone. Reply
  • c21secco - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    I own an lg xpower cellphone. I love the phone. I had a samsung s4 till feb 2017 lol at&t. I changed to boostmobile because unlimited data. The phone was part of the service, is awesome. Even though yes lots of its core is reduced. Still works great. The battery is super. My question here. I can't find info of the xpower connectivity to hdmi tv. Probably not available!!. Does anyone have Info on this xpower to hdmi tv connectivity? Reply

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