System Performance

System performance of the new OnePlus 8 phones shouldn’t be a big concern given the Snapdragon 865 chipsets as well as the fact that both phones have high-refresh rate displays. Still, software can play a big role in the experience of a device, so let’s look at our typical system performance benchmark suite:

PCMark Work 2.0 - Web Browsing 2.0

The web-browsing workload is a little bit lighter in terms of load, and is most sensitive to the actual performance responsiveness of a device’s scheduler. The OnePlus 8 phones in their regular 60Hz mode don’t seem to be all that convincing as they’re seemingly tuned to be more conservative than most other phones on the market. Increasing the refresh rate to respectively 90Hz and 120Hz ups the scores, but still not quite as high as what other phones are achieving.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Video Editing PCMark Work 2.0 - Writing 2.0

The writing sub-test of PCMark is the most representative of a device’s performance and how it will compare in the real world. Here the OnePlus 8 phones also fare relatively average in their rankings. Amongst the Snapdragon 865 devices it’s on par with the Xiaomi Mi10 Pro, but lose out to the LG V60 and particularly the Samsung S20 Ultra which has a considerable lead. Samsung usually tunes their BSP software more than other vendors and this can be seen here in particular.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Photo Editing 2.0

In the GPU-bound Renderscript photo editing test we see a similar ranking, the new generation devices are the top scoring phones but the OnePlus 8 falls a bit short of the V60 and S20.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Data Manipulation

The data manipulation score is also very sensitive to performance scaling speed – at 60Hz the OnePlus devices aren’t particularly noteworthy, but at 90/120Hz they more closely match up the top performing devices.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Performance

Overall, in the PCMark ranking the OnePlus 8 phones do well, although there’s a lot of other phones which seem to have more aggressive scheduler settings that are able to distance themselves more from the pack, in particular Samsung’s S20 series with the Snapdragon 865.

WebXPRT 3 - OS WebView

In the browser based benchmarks, we again see that the OnePlus 8 phones generally fall in line with other phones of its generation such as the V60 and the Mi 10 Pro, however fall short of the performance that the S20 is able to achieve.

JetStream 2 - OS WebviewSpeedometer 2.0 - OS WebView

The Speedometer scores were quite odd in that I measured a bigger difference in performance between the two phones, with the regular OnePlus 8 for some reason being in the lead. I don’t have any good explanation for this other than possibly we’re seeing differences in the memory architectures of the two units and the benchmark is maybe exposing some sensitivities between the two units.

I had run my memory benchmarks on the two phones as this was the first time we’ve had access to an LPDDR4X version of the Snapdragon 865. The results were mixed – full random memory access latency was better on the LP5 system by about 5ns, but some other access patterns were slightly lower latency on the LP4 system. Sequential memory latency access in particular being oddly 10% lower latency on the LP4 system. Memory bandwidth wise, the LP5 system had a clear win with a 21% lead in memory reads at 35.71GB/s vs 29.31GB/s – however it lost on memory writes at 19.84GB/s vs 20.56GB/s in favour of the LP4 system. In actual memory copy loads it was thus also the LP4 system which had a notable lead of 12% at 10.22GB/s vs 9.09GB/s.

These are all results I hadn’t quite expected and shows that the newer memory technology doesn’t necessarily mean it’s outright better in every regard. The difference here in the Speedometer test could be very much tied to one of the memory performance characteristics of the systems

Overall Performance Verdict

Although the OnePlus 8 phones didn’t particularly top the benchmark scores in our system tests, they still showcase outstanding experiences in the real world. The 90Hz refresh rate on the OnePlus 8 is very much noticeable and a great addition to the product, and the 120Hz scrolling experience of the OnePlus 8 Pro even exceeds it.

I tried hard to compare the OnePlus 8 Pro to Samsung’s S20 series phones, and whilst the differences were minute, Samsung’s devices did seem just a little bit snappier and that fact does materialise in our benchmark scores. It’s possible here that OnePlus opted to leave the more conservative DVFS and scheduler tuneables at the Qualcomm defaults for a more balanced battery life experience.

Still – you can’t go wrong either OnePlus phone as both are exemplary in their performance characteristics.

Introduction & Design GPU Performance
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  • golemB - Monday, July 6, 2020 - link

    Really, superflex? You had to go to racism?
  • Kishoreshack - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    This phone is even better than the s20 line & way cheaper than them
    OnePlus is the pioneer of android os at this moment
    The only complain I would have is from One plus 7 pro
    Went from full screen to a punch hole in the screen
    I mean these people spend soo much on screen technology & then punches a hole in the screen which cuts out content
  • Kishoreshack - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    Very important question
    Has one plus done a very good job with 4500mah battery or
    Samsung has done a bad job with it's 5000mah battery?
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    They're both falling within the same range in terms of efficiency.
  • Kishoreshack - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    The best part of this phone is it's competitively priced in India
    It's an absolute steal for that price
    It outdoes S20 line up in majority of things & is way cheaper than it
  • Dexter101 - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    In the Indian market Oneplus phones are pretty good with their pricing, though I don't see how they beat the S20 line 'in a majority of things'. What things does it do better that a user notices day to day?
  • flyingpants265 - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    No front stereo speakers = no buy. I refuse to cup my hand around a phone to try to hear it in all conditions over background noise, whether home or outside. All phones should have front stereo speakers, there's absolutely no excuse not to have them, they can be mostly hidden behind glass.

    Is that a typo in the title?
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    It does have stereo speakers, albeit the bottom one is traditional bottom firing. What title?
  • Maxpower2727 - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    Like basically all other flagship phones, this has a front-firing speaker at the top of the phone and a bottom-firing speaker at the bottom, which is a stereo configuration and sounds great (no cupping needed). There are no manufacturers making flagship phones with dual front speakers, so unless you want to keep using an old phone, you're going to be out of luck.
  • flyingpants265 - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    No, it doesn't sound great, it sounds weird. The directionality of the sound is noticeable, it's awkward and unnecessary when I could just have loud, clear speakers facing me directly, like in landscape mode watching a movie or playing a game with a controller. The only reason we don't have front speakers on every phone is that companies want to save 2mm and $2 on a $999 phone, and you've been taught to accept it, just like the lack of a headphone jack.

    And not true, the Xiaomi Black Shark and Nubia Red Magic have front stereo speakers. They might be my only choice at this point, too bad they're missing other useful features.

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