Maybe it's a little speed boost from Android Oreo, or perhaps it's simply that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have a clean install of Google's OS without any bloatware. Whatever the reason, Google's two flagships outgunned the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 on a tough real-world performance test.
But we saw mixed results in other tests.
For our video editing trial, we used the Adobe Clip app to process and transcode a 2-minute 4K clip to 1080p. The Pixel 2's Snapdragon 835 chip and 4GB of RAM took 2 minutes and 55 seconds to complete this task. The Galaxy S8+ took more than a minute longer at 4:07 with the same specs, while the Galaxy Note 8 with 6GB of RAM and the same Snapdragon CPU took 3:03. That's still behind the Pixel 2.
Next, we tried loading the resource-intensive Injustice 2 game. The Pixel 2 took 24.43 seconds to fully load the title, compared to 25.29 seconds for the Galaxy S8. So, in this case, the Pixel 2 had a very slight advantage. The Galaxy Note 8 pulled ahead with a load time of 19 seconds, so its extra RAM likely helped on this test. The iPhone 8, which features an A11 Fusion CPU, took just 14.53 seconds to load this title.
On Geekbench 4, which measures overall performance, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL turned in decent numbers, but they fall behind the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 — and especially the iPhone 8. The Pixel 2 notched 6,282 on the multi-core portion of the test, and Pixel 2 XL hit 6,316. The Galaxy S8 was in the same ballpark at 6,295, but the Note 8 scored a higher 6,564. The iPhone 8 scored above 10,000.
We saw slightly better results on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited test, which measures graphics performance. The Pixel 2 XL scored a fairly high 39,807, which is neck and neck with the Galaxy Note 8 (39,834), but the Pixel 2 registered a lower 38,800. The Galaxy S8 was even lower at 36,508. Once again, though, the iPhone 8 led the pack with a score over 62,000.
In terms of everyday performance, Google's new flagships provided fluid frame rates when playing Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade, and when switching apps. Based on these results, you should be pleased with the performance from the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.