Google Pixel 5’s chipset is actually even slower than we initially thought

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Google’s flagships have usually had a tad less performance than their direct rivals, with the first gen using a down-clocked Snapdragon 821, while the Pixel 4 generation missed on the plus version of the Snapdragon 855 and used the original version. This year the Pixel 5 took things further by going for the mid-range Snapdragon 765G and it turns out that’s not even the entire story. It turns out that the chipset actually doesn’t deliver nearly as much processing power as its 765 peers.

During our review, we actually requested another Google Pixel 5 phone as we suspected the first unit was faulty. However, the second unit only came to confirm our findings. Here’s the just of it.

In single-core CPU tests, the Snapdragon 765G inside the Google Pixel 5 seems to be doing just fine, delivering the performance we expected it to. But when its multi-core scores and GPU test are way behind. In fact, it’s much closer to the Snapdragon 710 in terms of raw performance.

We also decided to rule out thermal throttling as the issue because, so we tried cooling the device while running benchmarks, but that made no difference whatsoever.

GeekBench 5 (multi-core)

Higher is better


  • OnePlus Nord

    1953

  • vivo X50

    1827

  • Realme 7 Pro

    1811

  • Poco X3 NFC

    1777

  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

    1694

  • Google Pixel 5 (unit 1)

    1647

  • Google Pixel 5 (unit 2)

    1647

  • Google Pixel 4a

    1626

GeekBench 5 (single-core)

Higher is better


  • OnePlus Nord

    610

  • Google Pixel 5 (unit 2)

    594

  • Google Pixel 5 (unit 1)

    592

  • Realme 7 Pro

    576

  • Poco X3 NFC

    568

  • Google Pixel 4a

    553

  • vivo X50

    552

  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

    521

GFX Manhattan ES 3.1 (offscreen 1080p)

Higher is better


  • OnePlus Nord

    38

  • Poco X3 NFC

    33

  • Realme 7 Pro

    30

  • Google Pixel 4a

    30

  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

    30

  • vivo X50

    27

  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

    26

  • Realme XT

    26

  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE

    23

  • Google Pixel 5 (unit 1)

    22

  • Google Pixel 5 (unit 2)

    20

Our working theory, for now, is that Google just wanted the 5G modem out of the SoC and that was the least power-hungry chipset available at the time. The 765G also has an integrated modem instead of the external one inside the 865, leading to even better power efficiency.

But then Google decided to either downclock the small cores and GPU or use a very aggressive governor, which operates within a more conservative power envelope, further prioritizing battery life at the expense of performance.

For what is worth the Pixel 5 actually has great battery life and we guess Google agrees with our own Prasad in that flagship chipsets just don’t make sense for most people these days.



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