Performance - Part I
Powering the Nexus
The Nexus S essentially retains the same hardware specifications as the earlier Galaxy S. As such, you can expect a similar performance from its 1GHz processor. Over the past few months, the Android portfolio has grown significantly, and with it, a few standard benchmark tests have been established to give us a gauge of a device's performance.
Within this page, we'll be looking at two specific benchmarks, both of which are downloadable via the Android Market. The first of which is Quadrant, which measures the device's performance based on its CPU, I/O and GPU. Simply put, Quadrant is a benchmark that gives you a general idea of how your device performs against other Android devices.
The second benchmark, NeoCore, is targeted towards the device's GPU's performance. Though Quadrant does factor in GPU performance towards its final score, a separate graphics benchmark is especially crucial to assess the device's capabilities. This is especially important given how smartphones of today have evolved into an alternative, high-powered device that dabbles in heavy graphical interfaces and gaming. Similarly, NeoCore can be found on the Android Market. This particular benchmark targets the OpenGL-ES API to measure the device's capabilities in graphical rendering.
Do note that the above two benchmarks are not absolute in performance measuring, giving you a rough estimate of how the device performs. Our tests were conducted on devices from a fresh reboot, on a stock firmware. Depending on how you customize your device, you might get different numbers on different runs. With these results in place, we compared the scores against the Google Nexus One, its HTC counterpart, the HTC Desire, and the counterpart to the Nexus S, the Galaxy S.
There are two aspects to compare against when we look at the above scores. The Quadrant scores for both the Nexus One and Nexus S were slightly higher than its branded counterparts, the HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy S. Our money is on the use of a stock user interface for both Google phones. With the absence of a second layer of user interface enhancements, this could give its performance a slight boost.
The NeoCore results are a close match between the Google Nexus S and Samsung Galaxy S, returning similar scores for the pair of devices. Looking at both the Nexus S and Nexus One, it's apparent that you would go for the former based on its higher scores for processor and graphics performance.
Numbers aside, we also considered how the device performed as we utilized its various features. Apps loading and multi-tasking are one of the main considerations, and the Nexus S did not fail to impress us with its capable multi-tasking. With no sluggish performance noted, what impressed us further was how smooth the screen transitions felt. This was especially noticeable when we accessed the menu, which was blazingly fast at the flick of our fingers. This is definitely in line with what we experienced with the earlier Galaxy S, thanks to the Hummingbird 1GHz processor within. In fact, the experience is much faster than before, which is likely attributed to the refinements brought along by the Android 2.3 OS.