Sony Xperia XZ2 Review: Snapdragon 845 Performance Benchmarks

By 09:44 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments


Benchmarking the Snapdragon 845 performance

We expected nothing short of chart-breaking performance from the Xperia XZ2 and the shiny recent Snapdragon 845 beating inside it, and we weren't disappointed. We are still getting our first tastes of the recent generation of flagship silicon and timing couldn't have been better.

After we put Samsung's Exynos 9810 through the paces in the Galaxy S9 and S9+, we now acquire to see how it compares to the Snapdragon 845 as well.

In our XZ2 review unit, the chipset is coupled with 4GB of RAM, although many markets will be getting even 6GB of memory.


Qualcomm's latest chip is based on a 10nm LPP manufacturing process and introduces a recent octa-core processor with recent Kryo 385 cores. The four high-performance Kryo 385 Grecent cores are clocked at 2.7GHz, and their architecture is derived from ARM's Cortex-A75 reference design.

On the other hand, the other four power-efficient Kryo 385 Silver cores work at 1.7GHz, and their architecture is based on ARM's Cortex-A55 design.

There is also a recent Adreno 630 GPU, 30% more powerful than the Adreno 540 inside the Snapdragon 835. While earlier rumors seemed to give Samsung's Mali solution of choice a bit of an edge over the Adreno 630, the numbers we are seeing have them trading fierce blows, with the latter coming on top, more often than not.


Of course, there are some other differences between the two chips as well, like Internet Service Provider (ISP) capabilities - where the Exynos 9810 has the upper hand, with 4K@120fps video capture capabilities. Still, the Xperia XZ2 brings a honest share of capturing camera goodies and extra features of its own to the table, so the race towards consumer appeal is very much on. But, more on that in the capturing camera section.

As far as connectivity goes, just like its Exynos rival, the Snapdragon 845 is decked out. It has a recent modem - the X20 with 5CA and LTE Cat1.18 downlink of 1.2Gbps. Sony also threw GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, with aptX HD, dual-band Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) ac, NFC and a Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.1, Type-C into the mix. No Frequency Modulation (FM) radio, though, in case you were wondering.

With the specs out of the way, let's see at some performance numbers. Our usual warning does still apply though - synthetics are not necessarily representative of real-world performance. Nor are they an exact science and given the early nature of the recent generation of chips, there is still a lot of optimization to be done, potential to be unlocked and proper testing scenarios to be designed. Plus, even though our selection of competing devices spans a couple of hardware generations back and all the way down to mid-range silicon, all of the devices on the list will still chew through any task you throw at them.


Kicking things off with GeekBench and some pure Central Processing Units (CPU) number-crunching ratings, we can see the Snapdragon 845 descend just a bit short of its Exynos 9810 rival. Still, both chips command an impressive lead over the rest of the devices on the list. And some of them are expensive flagships, which are only a few months old. It seems ARM as a whole still has some impressive leaps forward in its development roadmap.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    10215

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    10037

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    8830

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    8466

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    6784

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    6783

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    6759

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    6754

  • Huawei Honor View 10

    6738

  • Xiaomi Mi 6

    6719

  • HTC U11+

    6654

  • Motorola Moto Z2 Force

    6629

  • ZTE nubia Z17

    6622

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    6590

  • Nokia 8

    6568

  • Sony Xperia XZ1

    6541

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    6428

  • LG V30

    6365

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    6301

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    6234

  • Oppo R11s

    5907

  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium

    5460

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    4215

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    4198

  • LG G6

    4175

However, Apple remains the undisputed king of the hill when it comes to pure Central Processing Units (CPU) prowess.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    4256

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    4232

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    3759

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    2454

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    1987

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    1986

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    1974

  • ZTE nubia Z17

    1966

  • HTC U11+

    1939

  • Xiaomi Mi 6

    1929

  • Nokia 8

    1925

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    1924

  • Motorola Moto Z2 Force

    1915

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    1915

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    1902

  • Huawei Honor View 10

    1902

  • LG V30

    1901

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    1862

  • Sony Xperia XZ1

    1840

  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium

    1836

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    1832

  • LG G6

    1767

  • Oppo R11s

    1614

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    866

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    865

Moving on to the compound benchmarks that hold into account many other hardware aspects of its test subjects, we have AnTuTu 7. Once again, the Xperia XZ2 and Samsung Galaxy S9 find themselves neck to neck. This time around, however, elegant Qualcomm takes the gold, and our hunch is, it might just have something to do with GPU performance.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    259244

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    250156

  • Huawei Honor View 10

    212708

  • Nokia 8

    210323

  • Motorola Moto Z2 Force

    209779

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    207072

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    203119

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    201065

  • LG V30

    182374

  • LG G6

    158785

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    89110

Baseimprint Operating System (OS) 2.0 seems to favor the Xperia XZ2 even more. Still, the iPhone X aside, it's pretty much another cut-throat race between the rest of the flagships on the list. We are dealing with synthetic performance variances here that fade away form a real-life consumer standpoint. Instead, putting the pressure on developers, racing towards better optimized and more fluent user experiences.

Baseimprint Operating System (OS) 2.0

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    4708

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    3859

  • Motorola Moto Z2 Force

    3609

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    3601

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    3578

  • Xiaomi Mi 6

    3547

  • Nokia 8

    3503

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    3458

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    3425

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    3424

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    3382

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    3379

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    3333

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    3319

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    3298

  • ZTE nubia Z17

    3281

  • HTC U11+

    3257

  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium

    3174

  • Huawei Honor View 10

    3164

  • Sony Xperia XZ1

    2986

  • LG V30

    2705

  • Oppo R11s

    2499

  • Sony Xperia XZs

    2386

  • LG G6

    2126

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    1548

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    1545

Moving on the GPU tests, it's the Snapdragon's time to shine. Again, keeping in mind that most of these variances are hard to detect, if at all possible under real-world circumstances. Every fine mobile game, worth its salt nowadays is so well optimized that you should be fine with pretty much every flagship GPU solution for at least the average service time of a smartphone.

A lot is riding on OpenGL optimization in these tests, with some minor implementation details potentially skewing numbers one way or another. Staring with GFX 3.0 tests, we see the Xperia XZ2 pumping out around 10 frames more, on average, than the Samsung Galaxy S9 and almost 20 over the Huawei's Kirin 970-powered devices.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    85

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    82

  • Apple iPhone X

    81

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    73

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    65

  • Huawei Honor View 10

    65

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    63

  • ZTE nubia Z17

    63

  • Motorola Moto Z2 Force

    61

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    61

  • LG V30

    60

  • Xiaomi Mi 6

    59

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    57

  • Nokia 8

    57

  • HTC U11+

    56

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    56

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    54

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    51

  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium

    50

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    50

  • Sony Xperia XZ1

    49

  • Sony Xperia XZs

    42

  • LG G6

    41

  • Oppo R11s

    23

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    14

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    14

This is a trdiscontinue which mostly carries over to the higher OpenGL ES scenarios as well. Of course, we are talking about on-classy screen rendering performance here, since looking at on-classy screen numbers introduces other variables into the mix, like the native resolution at which each device renders. This is especially hard to properly hold into consideration with the different aspect ratios added on top. Plus, in GFX 3.0 test, at least, reaching the test's upper frame limit cap of 59fps is now a reality.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    59

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    59

  • Apple iPhone X

    59

  • Xiaomi Mi 6

    56

  • ZTE nubia Z17

    56

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    55

  • Huawei Honor View 10

    55

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    50

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    50

  • Sony Xperia XZ1

    48

  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium

    47

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    45

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    42

  • Sony Xperia XZs

    40

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    40

  • Motorola Moto Z2 Force

    40

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    37

  • HTC U11+

    36

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    36

  • LG V30

    35

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    34

  • Nokia 8

    33

  • LG G6

    24

  • Oppo R11s

    23

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    15

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    15

With OpenGL ES 3.1 loads things acquire a small more interesting, not to mention applicable to current and future game engines. Here we can really see the Adreno 630 flex its muscles. Not only does it command a 10 fps lead over the Mali-G72 MP18 inside the Galaxy S9, but it also manages to outpace the Apple GPU inside the iPhone X.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    55

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    46

  • Apple iPhone X

    44

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    43

  • ZTE nubia Z17

    43

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    42

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    42

  • Motorola Moto Z2 Force

    42

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    42

  • LG V30

    41

  • Xiaomi Mi 6

    41

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    40

  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium

    39

  • Sony Xperia XZ1

    39

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    39

  • Nokia 8

    39

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    38

  • Huawei Honor View 10

    38

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    37

  • HTC U11+

    35

  • Sony Xperia XZs

    32

  • LG G6

    26

  • Oppo R11s

    15

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    9.7

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    9.6

Ramping up the test difficulty only seems to create this lead more apparent.

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    35

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    28

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    26

  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium

    25

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    25

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    25

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    25

  • HTC U11+

    25

  • Motorola Moto Z2 Force

    25

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    25

  • Xiaomi Mi 6

    25

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    25

  • ZTE nubia Z17

    25

  • Sony Xperia XZ1

    24

  • LG V30

    24

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    23

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    22

  • Huawei Honor View 10

    22

  • Sony Xperia XZs

    20

  • LG G6

    16

  • Oppo R11s

    8.7

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    5.5

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    5.4

Of course, it can be observed in on-classy screen performance numbers as well. But like we assumed before, looking at those is a double-edged sword that requires factoring in pixel counts and rendering resolutions as well.

Baseimprint X appears to disclose the same overall story, although with what we can only assume is a bit of favoritism towards higher GPU core count, sprinkled in.

Baseimprint X

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    44097

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    43862

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    42645

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    40890

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    40232

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    39143

  • Motorola Moto Z2 Force

    38615

  • Sony Xperia XZ1

    38583

  • Xiaomi Mi 6

    38541

  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium

    38507

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    38349

  • HTC U11+

    38315

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    38248

  • Nokia 8

    37593

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    37211

  • LG V30

    36704

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    34951

  • Sony Xperia XZs

    33815

  • ZTE nubia Z17

    33513

  • Huawei Honor View 10

    33499

  • LG G6

    30507

  • Oppo R11s

    20914

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    14328

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    14312

Of course, for the sake of fairness, we can's skip over the Baseimprint ES 3.1 / Metal numbers either. Mainly to illustrate how throwing Apple's Metal graphics API into the mix disrupts the poll positions quite a bit. Never underestimate the power of proper hardware/software optimization, especially when done on a closely monitored hardware and software ecosystem, such as Cupertino's.

Baseimprint ES 3.1 / Metal

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    1854

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    1644

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    1456

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    1268

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    1183

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    1176

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    1111

Owing to the Snapdragon 845 chipset, the Sony Xperia XZ2 is one of the fastest phones available today on both CPU- and graphics-intensive tasks.

While playing the numbers game is fine fun, the simple reality is that in real-world terms, the XZ2 is up with the best smartphones Apple, Samsung or Huawei have to offer. Plus, you can be pretty sure the Snapdragon 845 will stay relevant for at least a few years to come.


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