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Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 benchmarks suggest Apple-beating graphics

Gamers might want to add a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phone to their 2022 wishlist.

Published onDecember 8, 2021

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 hero image
  • A series of benchmarks has shown that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 could beat iPhones for GPU power.
  • The benchmarks suggest that CPU gains are still way behind Apple’s phones though.

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset last week, and it’s expected to power a host of Android flagship phones in 2022. The company says you can expect a 20% CPU performance improvement and a 30% boost in GPU performance. Are these figures accurate though?

Well, Hot Hardware got its hands on a prototype engineering handset fitted with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. It then ran the phone through a variety of benchmarks, and the GPU-related tests in particular show that it’s competitive with Apple’s iPhone series.

A major GPU upgrade?

The GFXBench T-Rex off-screen test showed that the phone performed almost identically to the iPhone 13 Pro, delivering 450 frames per second (FPS) compared to the iPhone’s 451fps and iPhone 12 Pro Max’s 343fps. Hot Hardware then followed up with the GFXBench Manhattan off-screen ES 3.0 benchmark, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 handset handily beating the iPhone 13 Pro to wind up at the top of the list.

In both GFXBench tests, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phone was ahead of other Android phones such as the ROG Phone 5 by a massive margin. Check out the rankings for the Manhattan test below.

The news outlet also used 3DMark benchmarks, with the Wild Life Unlimited test showing that the new chipset slots in between the top-placed iPhone 13 Pro and third-placed iPhone 12 Pro Max. Meanwhile, the 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme test (which doesn’t include iPhones) shows that it was comfortably at the top.

It must be noted that these benchmarks need to be taken with a pinch of salt though. For one, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 prototype handset design might not reflect real-world designs. We’re also guessing that the prototype device isn’t running final firmware, which could influence performance as well.

Nevertheless, these GPU tests would represent a massive step forward for the Android smartphone space if they’re reflected in commercial devices as well. So gamers might want to keep an eye on the first phones with this processor.

What about CPU performance?

Hot Hardware also ran some CPU-related benchmarks, and these had more modest results. In terms of Android-specific tests, the processor was tops in Antutu 8 but second to the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders (with a Snapdragon 888 Plus) in the PCMark for Android test.

A Geekbench 5 test (seen below) showed that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phone was the top-performing Android device by a modest margin, but it was a long way behind the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. It also lost out to 2019’s iPhone 11 Pro in single-core performance but beat it in multi-core performance.

The outlet ran plenty more tests worth checking out, including an AI benchmark that found the prototype device was ~142% more powerful than the top Android phones on the market right now. In other words, it definitely seems like the GPU and machine learning gains are far more impressive than the CPU boost.

Again, you should still take these benchmarks with a pinch of salt while we wait for real-world phones with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. But we’re definitely keen to see how MediaTek and Samsung’s latest processors fare in these tests.

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