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TEST: We benchmark the Snapdragon 835 inside the Xperia XZ Premium

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium was among the first devices to have a Snapdragon 835 inside and naturally we were curious how fast exactly it is.

We’ve already seen what the S835 can do in our detailed Galaxy S8 review so let’s compare it to Sony’s flagship phone.

We compared the engine inside the Xperia XZ Premium could only be against the Exynos 8895 Octa inside the international versions of the Galaxy S8 duo, the Snapdragon 835 in their US models, Apple’s A10 Fusion chip and Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 960.

We also included the older Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 821 via the likes of the older Xperia XZs and the LG G6, OnePlus 3T and Google Pixel XL. That should give us an idea of how much an improvent the SD835 actually is.

Starting off with the CPU tests the Sony Xperia XZ Premium scores similarly to Snapdragon 835-powered Galaxy S8+ and the Exynos 8895 Octa and higher than the Kirin 960-propelled P10 Plus. In the GeekBench 4 multi-core scores (where all 8 cores are going full speed) the Xperia XZ Premium lags slightly behind the Galaxy S8 and S8+ (in both Exynos and Snapdragon flavor) but is in front in the compound Basemark OS II.

When it comes to single-core performance the Xperia XZ Premium’s 2.45GHz Kryo cores are outpaced only by Apple’s custom cores. The Snapdragon 835’s single-core performance is practically the same as the single-core performance of the Kirin 960 and the Exynos 8895 Octa.

GeekBench 4 (multi-core)

Higher is better


Samsung Galaxy S8+
6338


Samsung Galaxy S8
6175


Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)
6106


Sony Xperia XZ Premium
5837


Huawei P10 Plus
5821


Apple iPhone 7 Plus
5664


OnePlus 3T
4364


Google Pixel XL
4152


Sony Xperia XZs
3979


LG G6 (US)
3648

GeekBench 4 (single-core)

Higher is better


Apple iPhone 7 Plus
3473


Samsung Galaxy S8
1945


Sony Xperia XZ Premium
1943


Samsung Galaxy S8+
1938


Huawei P10 Plus
1937


Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)
1915


OnePlus 3T
1890


LG G6 (US)
1792


Sony Xperia XZs
1724


Google Pixel XL
1507

Basemark OS II

Higher is better


Sony Xperia XZ Premium
4127


Huawei P10 Plus
3447


Samsung Galaxy S8+
3401


OnePlus 3T
3328


Samsung Galaxy S8
3272


Sony Xperia XZs
2606


Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)
2364

Graphics are a different story – the Mali-G71 MP20 GPU inside Samsung’s Exynos 8895 Octa scores higher than Qualcomm’s Adreno 540. Graphics-wise the Snapdragon 835 is only a slight improvement over the 821, at least in Basemark X.

The results continue in the same pattern in Basemark ES 3.1/Metal where the Adreno 540 sits behind the Mali GPU which in turn is second to the PowerVR Series7XT GPU inside Apple’s A10 chipset.

Basemark X

Higher is better


Samsung Galaxy S8+
43862


Samsung Galaxy S8
42370


Sony Xperia XZ Premium
38507


OnePlus 3T
36958


Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)
34951


Sony Xperia XZs
33815


LG G6 (US)
32041


Google Pixel XL
30861


Huawei P10 Plus
30602

Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal

Higher is better


Apple iPhone 7 Plus
1517


Samsung Galaxy S8
1189


Samsung Galaxy S8+
1111


Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)
817


Sony Xperia XZ Premium
727


LG G6 (US)
647


OnePlus 3T
641


Google Pixel XL
626


Sony Xperia XZs
623

So it appears we are looking a chipset that’s a definite step up from the Snapdragon 821, but not really a huge one.

Naturally, the latest chipsets are as much about futureproofing as serving to the current needs on the market, so don’t expect the Xperia XZ Premium feel drastically faster than its Snapdragon-821 rivals. It’s only under extreme loads that differences begin to appear. Of course once software catches up and starts utilizing more of the available power things will change.

What’s most important is real-life performance and the Sony Xperia XZ Premium does spendidly – the phone is snappy, runs cool, and is a real pleasure to use.