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Galaxy Note 7 benchmarks and the nerds who love to hate them

Despite going through a massive recall at the moment, the Galaxy Note 7 is still one of the top phones on the market. And there's something deep in the heart of every smartphone nerd that twinkles every time they own a phone that someone with any measure of authority calls "the best" and defends that statement in a way they agree with.

Note 7 fans had that feeling taken away from them recently by the smart folks at XDA-Developers. Through a combination of "real world" tests, benchmarks, and system monitoring tools the XDA writers told a tale of stuttering performance that seemed to demonstrate this shiny new phone was, in some ways, not deserving the space at the top of the heap so many tech reviewers has placed it.

It's a fun read, especially if you only kind of understand what you're reading. Before you consider flinging your Note 7 back into the store it came from with that homemade catapult, there's a few things you should know about benchmarks and "real world" tests.

Benchmark apps are pointless

Note 7 benchmarks

If you use a benchmark app to tell you how great or terrible your phone performs, you're not getting anything anywhere near a complete picture. Benchmark apps used to be great for troubleshooting, existing so you could see if there had been some kind of performance loss over time or damage to your equipment. Today, many manufacturers implement special code that forces that hardware to perform above the typical thresholds when a benchmark app is being used, which irreparably alters the results. You're measuring a version of the hardware your phone otherwise never lets you have access to, so you gain nothing but an attempt at the highest score when you run benchmark apps today.

If you see a Note 7 performing anywhere near as smoothly as a Nexus 6P, consider how many more things that Note 7 is doing.

Those performance altering software changes lead to a much bigger issue. When you are comparing a Galaxy Note 7 to a Moto Z Droid Edition and a Nexus 6P, you're comparing three different experiences that will never be doing the same thing at the same time. Samsung and Lenovo both have background tasks that can't be replicated on the Nexus 6P. Features that can't be disabled to get a 1:1 compare of the software performance. If you see a Note 7 performing anywhere near as smoothly as a Nexus 6P, consider how many more things that Note 7 is doing. Better yet, take a look at the immeasurably more thorough Anandtech review of the Note 7 performance as it compares to all other high performing phones, and see how it regularly outpaces the Nexus 6P.

There's value in testing for things like dropped frames, and reporting on those dropped frames in context is an important thing to do when your goal is to educate and inform potential buyers. It's hard to say that's what happened with the presentation from XDA, given the lack of context or proper comparison. Does the Note 7 drop more or less frames than the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge? Could this be an issue exclusive to the Snapdragon variant of this model? Is this happening because Samsung's new Grace UI was rushed out and could be fixed in a future update? None of these questions are answered, because the goal wasn't to inform.

Cherry picking in the "real world"

Note 7 camera

Not long after XDA published their findings, a post from The Verge's Vlad Savov attempted to apply some reality to the initial Internet explosion. In this Vladitorial, it was pointed out that some of the findings on XDA weren't really findings. Specifically, claiming that a 200ms difference in launching apps was an example of "embarrassing performance" is silly and not representative of how people actually use smartphones. XDA fired back with more data, trying to fortify their position. The counter argument, that a 200ms delay would add up over time to a phone in such a way that a Note 7 user would grab a Nexus 6P and be amazed at how much faster it "feels" is enforced by GIFs demonstrating those performance differences.

What's fascinating about this demonstration is the cherry picking. Samsung's software is far from perfect; in fact, after uninstalling 13 apps from my shiny new Verizon Note 7 and finding eight more that I can't disable I kind of want to smash mine with a hammer right now. Sitting that phone next to my freshly Nougat-filled Nexus 6P, there are absolutely aspects of this Note 7 that are demonstrably faster. The camera, for example, routinely launches a full second faster. It wouldn't be difficult to cherry pick half a dozen examples, GIF them up, and write something that looks like evidence of how superior the Note 7 is to the Nexus 6P.

The thing is, that's not how real world testing works. The point of real world testing, as the name suggests, is to offer performance examples of how the whole phone functions as though an "average" user is going to use the phone. Using that data to compare one experience to another is tricky, instead of offering a 1:1 compare of software as it functions you're offering a 1:1 compare of the experience, what using the phones feels like. Showing how a share menu loads, especially when those phones are clearly not set up the same way with the same apps, doesn't really fit that description. Unless, of course, you're pushing a different narrative.

Better tools and actual analysis

Galaxy Note 7 and Nexus 6P

The real flaw in all of this is a mistaken assumption that Samsung's Note 7 and Google's Nexus 6P are built for the same purpose. Plain and simple, they aren't. Google's Nexus experience has evolved from clean Developer Kit to a demonstration of the Android Open Source Project with a handful of extras. Samsung's phones haven't started with AOSP in a long time, and there's no reason for the company to consider another path right now.

Samsung phones are Android-based, not Android.

Samsung phones are Android-based, not Android. As a result, Samsung phones are optimized in whatever way they deem most important. Right now those optimizations are for delivering unique Samsung features, like Samsung's camera, Samsung Pay and the unique S Pen functions. Android, by which I mean the OS, doesn't place priority on those things. In recent releases there's been a focus on things like battery consumption when you aren't using the phone, security at all times, and a consistent 60FPS user interface. It's difficult to argue that any of these things aren't important, but neither Samsung's Android nor Google's Android places a priority on all of these things.

Really, what this comes down to is what you as the user place priority. If you want the most secure phone with a slick, unburdened interface, you probably want the thing Google and HTC are going to be announcing soon. If you care about a great camera and software built to offer you a ton of feature you may or may not use, Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 is tough to beat right now. Trying to claim the Note 7 is somehow underperforming because it doesn't behave like a phone it wasn't built to behave like is ridiculous, no matter how you tightly you try to wrap that narrative in benchmarks.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

159 Comments
  • xda fanboy here... why are you making the comparison with nexus 6p, where xda chose to compare with htc 10 and oneplus 3 with a similar processor. 6p has a year 2015 processor. Who is 'cherry picking' here?
    If a 850$ phone has to struggle to provide comparable performance to a 400$ OP3, I find it really disturbing...
  • There are xda fanboys now?
  • U didn't know? Hottest trend on the Internet right now
  • Yeah, I thought I was just a member. Didn't know I was a fanboy ;)
  • Um, did you read the whole article?
  • No...he's cherry picking just like the XDA benchmark was.
  • Samsung is paying him to put out stuff like this. Right now hes doing damage control because they skimped on the phones charge circuitry and now have a world wide recall. Also Russel they do matter. The phones that are scoring higher in benchmarks are faster then the N7 in day to day use. Not to mention they wont burst into flames. Your worse then the Apple payed reviewers now. Bottom line the NB7 is a flop people wasted $850+ on it live and learn and next time do not buy into the hype from payed reviewers like Russle and just wait until honest people get the phone. -to date 35 have burst into flames. 3 a day. Thats higher then any other phone.
    -laggy performance. phone should not have lag. they did not optimize the software at all.
    -screen is way to soft. scratchs like a plastic display
    -bad design of a screen. screen protectors dont fit right, small drops break the phone multiple reports on that. XDA shown proof the phone is subpar. They shown its laggy and then AC does damage control for Samsung. There is no reason the phone should be so laggy. First year Android devs can bake faster roms with more features and still use crappy touchwiz. The N7 is a flop. Out of the box its the laggyest phone you can buy. And now we know for a fact they used the cheapest li-ion/li-po charge protection ic's money could not buy and 3 phones are causing fires a day. Samsung lost me when they locked down harder then Apple. Now they are reselling the older phone with qa few gimmicks like Apple but unlike Apple they are cutting down on quality to the point the devices are extremely unsafe. I wont ever use another Samsung phone for the pure fact i do not want to burn to death when im sleeping. Good job Samsung cant wait to see Apple use this against you
  • I disagree with you, Russell just stated his opinion, nothing more. It`s up to us to believe it or not.
  • You should have made a TL:DR on your post... "I dont like samsung, Note7 is laggy and it kills you!" :)
  • Ouch!! Hehehe
  • Every Samasung phone lags. If it doesn't lag when you first get it, it will lag later. Arguing that Samsung phones shouldn't lag is pointless. Samsung isn't going to change their ways no matter how much you or anybody else complains. People bought the S7 in droves. The Note 7 will sell well even with this recall. If you think people are going to jump ship to Nexus or any other Android manufacturer, you're dreaming.
  • I'll be honest...my Note 5 was rock solid and smooth. Went to the Note 7 and had very noticeable lag...
  • My Note 4 has not lagged, ever. It certainly has not gotten slower over time.
  • Please use facts not hype. 35 is not 3 a day, it has been out since 19th August. Also, that is not a sensible measure of faulty phones. 3 compared to 2 million or more out in the wild is the measure. Did you write the XDA story? Lies, damned lies, statistics and benchmarks is the new version of the old saying.
  • Not really, not when you consider one is more like a Rolls Royce , and the other mustang if I can use a car analogy,
    the note was never made to be a bare bones light software smart phone,
    it is and always was firstly a productivity and utility device , hence the s pen, the 2k screen, wireless charging, and the many convenience functions the note has that the one plus has not.
    The note has 10 sensors for example, and just like the hamburger with the lot hardware, there is a lot of software, in a lot of these stupid tests you don't see a lot of the cool features integrated into the note software..
    Sadly some of these dudes sooking about the price can't fathom just how powerful the note series of devices are , and being powerful does now mean opening an app a tenth of a second faster .
  • It's great that the Note series offers alot of useful features. But I'll tell you what, jump on YouTube and take a look at Phonebuff's Note 7 vs iPhone 6s speed test, then come back here and tell me it's acceptable for a $900 high end android device to perform like that. And that's only one example. There are plenty more showing the same results. Sorry but it's just unacceptable at this point, regardless of the amount of feature bloat. And that's just the 6s. The 1+, M10, G5, and last year's 6P have also been easily outpacing the N7 in side by sides.
  • that test against the 6s is retarded, iOS is light and heavily optimized for the new iPhone hardware. They don't have bloatware and push a 750p display, obviously the 6s will destroy any android phone, not just the note 7. Lastly, the American Note 7 gets the snapdragon...... snapdragon processors suck, reason why my note 5 with exynos also kicked my note 7s ass in CPU tasks
  • I love it when kids post idiotic shitt like that. 6s will destroy any android phone huh? Watch the 6P smash the 6S in general app launching the last half of this side by side https://youtu.be/6_CWMuPd6yA And watch it take a cumulative app opening dump on the 6s in this one https://youtu.be/ZsuH0NQKq8g Theres plenty more where that came from. And that's running last year's notorious Snapdragon 810 mind you. Granted most of the time it's extremely close when comparing the latest iphone to well optimized high- end android phones, but don't get it all twisted, the 6S really ain't got shitt on the best of android's latest and greatest in the performance department
  • I love it when know it alls assume I'm defending the iPhone
  • You're the one that said the 6s would destroy any android phone in a test like that. I don't care whether you like apple or not
  • It's amazing how optimized OP3 is! In both tests (by Phonebuff) was consistent w time (1m57s)beating S7 (exynos) by 20 sec and losing to iPhone 6s by 3 seconds.
    So, we can assume that the new Nexus/Pixel will show faster than iPhone 6s / plus and probably iPhone 7.
    Last Android I saw beat iPhone in this particular Phonebuff testing, was HTC m8 Note 7 is shown ridiculously slow there - minute late vs iPhone and around 30s slower than s7 exynos https://youtu.be/9AY5tRg1Wo8 https://youtu.be/P3kTDeHUk4Q Just realized that N6 and Note 4 (sd805) both did better than iPhone 6.
  • The oneplus3 does have the advantage of running on a clean, light AOSP ROM. It runs incredibly well. Yeah, the upcoming pixel's will without a doubt be the fastest Android phones of the year, much like the 6p was last year. I definitely won't go so far as to say they'll outpace the the iPhone 7 though but I wouldn't be surprised. Google developing stock for hardware that powerful is gonna make for some flawless performance
  • When I assumed that even iPhone 7 might be topped is that I don't expect it to have significantly faster processor and memory compared to the last year's and also their software is gonna be doing lot more than before. We'll see.
    Speaking of OP3 - since Moto Z still has a very clean ROM I expected similar results. Somehow Lenovo managed to get the same score as Moto XPE.
  • I own a G5 , it has pretty much the same hardware as the n7 , and I'd say they are very very similar in performance , and looking at all these different speed tests on different videos , and one thing I do notice is despite what these geekbench, anatutu show in numbers the devices often perform different.
    For example I Watched a fellow doing the finger print test on n7 and it looked slow , I watched a similar test by another bloke , and the note was so bloody fast, I doubt I have seen anything so fast, I mean it was bloody lightning.
    And I'm a serious phone geek, I watch all these phone tests.
    And you often see the same inconsistency in these tests despite what numbers say.
    As for performance for a 900 dollar Device , from what I have seen the n7 is every bit as fast as my G5 for the most part and faster in some areas, yet it has the same hardware with more features to put load on it ,
    yes I would be happy with it .
  • Yes, there are a ton of inconsistencies in most of these comparisons. You can get different results at different times, different networks etc, and many of them are done poorly by moron's, which is why I only take a select few seriously. But you do
    enerally see the same results on comparisons that are performed practically and similarly. I've done plenty as well, more between the 6s and android than anything else lately, and the results I've gotten have been spot on
  • Who cares? It isn't a race. And the other phones don't have an s-pen.
  • Did you read the part where he said optimized differently? Samsung places different emphasis on diffentertainment aspects and different services that can't be disabled. The one plus isn't nearly the overall device the note is.
  • Shhh...the kids can't discuss that aspect, it blows their logic.
  • My gripe is the note sereis generally had smoother software then the S line in previous years, as in my Note 5 felt better then the S6 and S6 edge I had , and so on and so forth. This year (recalls aside) the software does seem to have more lag or delay then the S7 and S7 edge phones I had. I am thinking with software updates things can improve. the phones design and screen is so gorgeous I must make it work :)
  • The Note 5 had the exact same SoC as the S6 and S6 Edge, just as the Note 7 has the same SoC at the S7/Edge. Differences in performance should be negligible. The Note series ships 6 months later, so Samsung does have time to make some software improvements, but probably most of that is dealing with S-Pen functionality rather than performance tweaking. The Note 5 did have an extra 1 GB of memory, but even that should be negligible because of the extra overhead from the S-Pen.
  • I guess that was the point i was trying to get across note series usually had more time to optimize software but this time around I feel the S series performed smoother.
  • It might be because of the new grace ux being more demanding
  • Last Thursday, my Note 4 shut down. Died. Toast. No idea why, but I needed a phone ASAP. The Note 5 is out for me as, an SD card is a requirement. The VZW store had a Note 7 in stock, so I bought it. The Note 4 was definitely smoother. I am not impressed with the nearly 2 years since my Note 4. I feel that they have taken the Note line backwards a little (yes I now have water resistance which is a step forward). I may have to try to get the old Note 4 repaired.
  • Thats interesting to heat the note 4 outperforming a newer phone. I just know that I'm sticking with it for a long time, maybe buying a new note 4 when mine quits. The removable battery, s pen, sd card, all make up for being my perfect phone.
  • You get it. My man....
    Long live the note 4, it shall echo throughout eternity
  • Not sure there are any "new" Note 4's to be purchased anymore. Sticking with mine too for a while. The number of times a day I swap out batteries makes it hard to get the Note7 and the super useful S-Pen makes it harder to use another product.
  • That's the attitude I have with my Note 4. Wish I would have bought a second one new when I had a chance. Still the best phone in the Note series.
  • There are valid points on both sides of this issue. Where things get stupid is in the hype over a single phone being the "best". Android Central is just as guilty as everyone else in the hype over the Note 7. I've recently gone from a Moto X 2nd gen that was silky smooth in its simplicity to a GS7 Edge that has a much better camera, much better display but IS noticeably more inconsistent in lag time and operation. Not in a way that I would call bad, just not consistently smooth. It sounds as though the Note 7 is no different. I can also understand why people would expect a phone that costs $1000 after tax to be as smooth and consistent in operation as a phone that costs $400.
  • That last sentence is the point I think this articles misses, although I agree you shouldn't gage Performance by benchmarks but if apps open slower on daily use thats noticeable compared to other phones then that's not good.
  • Yeah. If the Samsung flagships were as consistently smooth and fast in operation as their lower priced competitors AND provided the best camera, display and feature set, then I would have no problem with people giving them the "best" smartphone label, or the major price tag. I think Samsung would be doing themselves a favor by focusing on eliminating or reducing T-wiz and tweaking the phone toward performance. They have the design thing down.
  • Right, but then that's ignoring things that Samsung does faster/better - the camera being a perfect example. If the Note 7's camera opens a full second faster on a consistent basis, that makes up for 5 apps being open 200ms slower. If you're someone who uses the camera a lot, that could, in the end, make the Note 7 actually faster overall... if we're talking total time wasted over life... :)
  • Why can't I have both?
  • Because Samsung is unable to optimize ROM's that bloated and keep the performance up to par.
  • Or alternatively Google is crap at optimising their camera code..... The truth of the matter is if you don't need or want the s-pen and its features the Note is not the phone for you. The phone is not meant to be "the fastest ever phone" it's meant to be the best phone with a stylus and so far it does seem to be that, no other phones comes anywhere near it,
  • That's right! Google sucks at developing for their camera's, and Samsung just sucks at developing for everything else.
  • The LG G5 has been ridiculously smooth for me. By far the most consistently smooth phone I have ever used. Does anybody give a crap? Nope.
  • They did a hell of a job with the G5 in that respect, and it runs circles around both the 820 note 7 and S7 edge
  • It's okay if a 400-600$ phone is not 'the best phone', but a 850$ has to be 'the' best phone (at least on performance), otherwise the price is not justified.
  • Which 400-600 phone has an integrated stylus?
  • So you're putting a dollar value on the stylus of between $250.00- $450.00.If that's the way you actually feel and the value you attach to it,cool.
  • "Really, what this comes down to is what you as the user place priority. If you want the most secure phone with a slick, unburdened interface, you probably want the thing Google and HTC are going to be announcing soon. If you care about a great camera and software built to offer you a ton of feature you may or may not use, Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 is tough to beat right now." Seriously, I cannot agree more with this. I've always kept the philosophy of "buy what you want". We have to remember that no phone is for everyone as everyone has different usage patterns and expectations for a phone. That's why we have choice, and it's good to have it.
  • Of course everyone will buy the phone that they want LOL that's the way it works. It's good that we all have choice but it's also good that we have access to an "informed" choice. I appreciate XDA for their articles on the Note 7 and I also appreciate Android Central for what they bring to the table. Simply said though a $1,000 device should perform at least as well as a $400 device period. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active on T-Mobile / Hot Note 7 / or my peerless Note 4
  • True that, but we also have to consider the featureset that each device provides. It's unacceptable to have a near-$1000 device lag like heck, regardless of how many features it has, but if it performs quite well while having that featureset, I don't really mind a few milliseconds difference in app opening speeds. Then again, I use an Exynos version, which seems to be better optimized.
  • I think that what people are experiencing with the Snapdragon versions is not simply a slower speed, but an inconsistent performance. At least that is what I see with my new GS7 Edge. That is why it is noticeable. Sometimes transitions between apps and screens are as fast or faster than any phone I have ever used. Other times there is a noticeable lag or stutter.
  • Which is why I was kinda surprised to see that Samsung still hasn't tuned their software to work optimally with the 820. Maybe it'll get better in 2017, I hope. Not that I'm experiencing issues with my Exynos Note7, but they definitely should consider focusing on performance.
  • That's not necessarily how things work. To use one of those car analogies everyone seems to love, you'll pay considerably more for a Bentley than a Lotus Elise, but if you expect the Bentley to go faster or corner better you're mad. You're paying for all those wyvern leather seats and inlaid unicorn horn. There's a reason people make fun of TouchWiz, it does a lot of stuff, but that stuff takes up system resources.
  • It all depends on your definition of "perform"...
  • This! +1.
  • Super article. Unless there is enormous lag, a fault or some peculiar apps don't run as well with the Samsung background tasks, don't expect a 6P. It should be close most of the time, but don't buy it for buttery smoothness with all those features, even at twice the price. Maybe next year with the 6 x SD840 socs in tandem.
  • I have been using my Note 7 for a couple of weeks - since release day. Sadly, it feels like it lags as I use it compared to my Note 5. It also gets very hot as we now better understand. I feel like Samsung spent time and money on the IRIS feature and let other areas slip a little looking for a catchy feature that would sell more phones. There are so many IRIS issues, like contact lens, lighting, droopy eye lids, glasses, etc. that it is just not usable. They should have focused on a faster, better finger print scanner and faster overall performance along with the new beautiful looks...Now, what to do??? Swap or return and go with a different phone? Probably swap for replacement unit.
  • Yes, they are pointless.....especially when the Note 7 is getting embarrassed by the 1+, IP6S, G5..... And last year's 6P, etc in side by aide comparisons all over YouTube. Naah it's really not too bad....well, yes it is. It is frustrating as an Android enthusiast who would love to consider buying hardware that awesome to see Samsung still isn't meeting the performance standard that their rivals do with ease. I don't mean do discourage owners/would be owners even more than they must be now. Sorry. It's still the slickest looking smartphone ever made IMO (or the S7 edge)
  • I agree with you, but ironically the S7 Edge does not have the performance issues anywhere near as badly. When I owned it, the lag almost never bothered me. The Note's lag was on another level altogether. I also think that if Samsung can't optimize their software to run as smoothly as $400 phones even with all the extra background processes, they could easily, and relatively cheaply add 2GB more to get to 6GB RAM. With a bit more software work, they could make use of that added 2GB to get to a point where the Note7 at least matches the HTC 10.
  • It's the exynos S7 edge that they did such an amazing job with. That thing is beautifully optimized. In the end the Note is just jam packed with features, which is great unless you're one of the few nerds like me that don't like seeing last year's IP6S just demolish it side by side when others are able to get the 820 running like a champ
  • I agree with that, although mine were both the SD820 models and my S7 E was also spectacular until about 6 months in. But it sorted itself out after a short period of lag. I really wish Samsung would stop using the SD chips. They've more than proved that their Exynos chips are better, and the Exynos models also come with very good DACs that are missing on the SD820 models.
  • Its frustrating since its such an amazing design, gorgeous to look at, to hold, the screen but yes frustrating that my s7 edge (their own) had smoother performance , let alone other older devices
  • Why one should prefer S7E over Note 7.I don't get it
  • No question that theoretically the Note7 is a better phone. It's nicer to hold despite its larger screen too. But for whatever reason, the S7 Edge performance is significantly less problematic for those folks having issues with the Note7 lag (which isn't everyone). For a period I had both and compared them side by side the way I personally use my phone, and the Edge was far better. After a hard reset on my Note they got to a point of being close to equal with the Note being only slightly slower. Still, the S7 Edge never had as many teething issues. It was brilliant from day 1.
  • Better performance, better battery. None of the "lag" issues of this new faulty Note. Not as expensive. For starters, these are some of the reasons I chose to keep my S7 Edge and skip the Note.
  • All true... I ended up selling my S7E for the Note7 and regret doing that. It was in pristine condition. I can't complain too much since my current daily driver is the Nexus 6P (I've returned my Note7 and will reconsider after the recall is sorted out if the perf issues have also been addressed). But if I had to do it all over again, I'd do what you did, and stick to the S7E.
  • Yeah, if you're looking for a Note, I'd wait for a bit. Especially since you practically can't buy one now thanks to the battery recall. Hey, maybe said recall might sort out the other issues too.
  • Well read from somewhere that we can now replace Note 7 with S7 or S7E given the explosion situation but I don't think someone will agree to that coz there are tons of features that Note 7 offers and the better display better feel..Oh I would prefer the Note 7 anyday
  • Too many issues. I wouldn't go near this phone now. Over heating, exploding, lagging. Having to disable a bunch of crap just to get it to perform. Samsung phones generally get a bad rap in the enthusiast community. But this may be the first time they actually expect the consumer to optimize their phone for them?
  • What issues.. I've been using my friend's Note 7 and it is utterly smooth and no issues on that one.
  • I think you made a great choice
  • Because it has an integrated stylus. If you aren't interested in the stylus features I would way the S7 Edge is the better choice for you, why spend money on a feature you don't want or need?
  • I know this is anecdotal, but when I upgraded from my Xperia Z3 to the Note 7 I definitely noticed a performance decrease. Though I disable the transition animations and it helped with the perceived slowness, but still. This phone should blaze through things nearly twice as fast as a three year old phone.
  • Judging the note 7 against the greatest phone ever created isn't really fair ;-P Of course it doesn't perform as well as a Z3.
  • You're not wrong. But still, newer flagships should be better. Nothing will ever measure up to the Z3 I suspect.
  • XDA has a rebuttal to this article. They make good points too.
  • Dunno, I still have my 6p. It's running Nougat. The 6p SMOKES my Note 7. So bad it's not even funny. I get "but but but look at what the Note is doing in the background" but the friggen specs are computer like. The software needs serious optimization.
  • Hate to agree, but I agree. I'll defend Samsung when they deserve it. But the Note 7 has turned into a dud. Beautifully designed piece of hardware, but the software aspect is sorely lacking this time around. This is what they should turn their attention to in 2017. I feel bad for consumers who are dealing with this headache of a phone.
  • No frickin' way. There are reports all over the internet of the Note 7 putting out tons more smoke than any 6P ever made.
  • I've seen those same reports. Most have not compared the Note7 with the 6P running Nougat. Nougat has made the 6P much faster. It's also given it the split screen that Samsung has had for years, but a better implementation of it. My 6P is also faster than my Note7 was, particularly in app switching.
  • I think you may have misinterpreted my weak attempt at humor.
  • Oops, yes, now that I re-read that, I did. Smoking. Lol.
  • I haven't read the XDA article. All I can speak of is my own personal experiences with the S7 E, Note7, and Nexus 6P. Daniel, while I agree with many of your points, I think that there were some significant quality control issues in the release of the Note7, which landed up with many people having very laggy units, while others had less laggy units where the trade-off was more than acceptable. Barring that, as I mentioned in a reply above, Samsung is giving significant features for the price, and for people who like those features, a small performance degradation is not a huge deal. But I keep wondering how much it would have cost Samsung to add 2GB RAM to address this, and what the price difference would be to us if they sold that extra 2GB at cost. They manufacture the RAM after all. I know more RAM on its own wouldn't have done the trick. They'd still have to do some software optimization, but it would make all of this to away I think.
  • There is no "I think" about it. It's a fact that there are/were some serious QC issues with the note 7. The batteries are exploding and the phone has been recalled. Samsung ****** up big time on the Note 7. They got ****** batteries from I'm assuming a cheap manufacturer without much of a reputation, the software side of things is crap, and the SD820 version of the phone is lagging why more than it should for a phone that costs 1000 dollars. It's inexcusably crap QC and I wouldn't be surprised if people are going to lose their jobs over it.
  • Yup, you're probably right about people losing their jobs over it. And yes, I agree with you - they messed up QC. I eventually got my Note7 performing well, but I shouldn't have to do a hard reset to do that. I'm back on an S7 Edge, and loving it. Lag free, and very quick. Nexus 6P on Nougat still a bit smoother for app switching, but not enough to steer me away from the S7 Edge as my daily driver due to it's screen, Samsung Pay, etc.
  • Russell wrote the article.
  • Every single time someone says something remotely negative about Samsung, this beautiful site very quickly comes out with a superb article that is way too long and has way too many words, that explains how it's either not true or that it doesn't matter really all that much... Bravo...
  • Hahaha
  • You must be new here, this site has been talking about how benchmarks never tell the whole story for years. Leave if you don't like it.
  • Here in Canada, we got the Snapdragon 820 SoC on the Note 7 (with a locked bootloader), whereas the S7/S7 Edge had the Exynos 8890 and an unlocked bootloader. Even basic things like scrolling in webpages or even Tapatalk was a lot smoother on the S7 than on my Note 7. For us, the Note 7 is pretty much a downgrade! It's obvious Samsung hasn't optimized their phone for the Snapdragon SoC, and anyone who isn't a Samsung apologist should be able to see that.
  • It's not optimized for anything. new Samsung software never is. Three updates from now it will be fine, then they'll change it all again. If they try to update the GS7 with this version of their OS, block it. If you can't block it, sell it and wait for the GS9.
  • The exynos S7 edge was sure as hell optimized at launch. But that's about it for Samsung lately
  • I have been worried about this very thing with regards to myy Note5. My Note5 performs great and the last thing I want is any part of this janky new software.
  • Nexuspixel for life...
  • 6Gb RAM/128gb storage Too bad only China will see this version a little later,after things have quieted down. The S series is now the flagship.The Note series is a late year entry with a pen, to provide a sales boost.Most telling in this is the fact that their is no performance increase in the Note series vs. The S series.There has always been a performance increase in the Note series for a given year and the S series of the same year. Until now,that is.
    The S series flagship= mass sales. Also,a Note series device should never have less battery than anything in the S series, excluding the very niche active model, and the glass should not be prone to easily scratching. GG4>GG5.
  • No they won't, that phone doesn't exist. It never did.
  • Samsung has already talked about it on stage (in a positive manner).The only reason they have backed off on it for now,is angering their customers in the rest of the world.When a few months pass,and things quiet down,look for a Chinese market introduction.Believe whatever you want to,in order to feel better about a crippled version,for the rest of the world. Samsung has a long history of introducing "souped up" models in different world markets,a little while after the initial introduction. Also,I love my S7edge,but I'm not going to be a blind fanboy, for Samsung or anyone else.
  • If the S7E is actually faster in daily use compared to the note 7, why doesn't this article mention that?
  • Because this wasn't a performance comparison post, and in no way would I ever defend the Note 7 as the "best" when it comes to performance?
  • I wasn't insinuating that.
  • Because they are trying to make people feel good about the Note 7.
  • I openly admitted to violent desires surrounding this phone and a hammer in this article. In no way am I invested in this phone. There are at least three other phones I'd use before using this every day. But benchmarks are stupid, and any chance I get to say that I take with open arms.
  • Hey I agree benchmarks are stupid but daily use is daily use
  • Well, if I were you, I'd wait a few more months to see how it pans out. I've had my Note7 since August 18th. I absolutely love it, but let's acknowledge that the experience of others isn't so rosy. Add the ongoing battery recall, and I think it's probably best that potential buyers looking at this phone wait it out to see how it evolves over time before plopping down the premium. For the record, my Exynos-powered version did perform quite well in the time that I have it, though I'll be replacing it as part of the recall. I'll update with folks on the forums if anyone is interested.
  • I feel like this article was penned specifically for the 9'ers fan haha
  • I've had the note 4 for almost 2 years. I've also spent nearly 2 years trying to "nexusify" the phone. What I really need is the note 7's design, screen, and camera to have a baby with the new Pixel phone's software and user experience. Is that asking too much?
  • We'll see on October 4th, I suppose.
  • I prefer my NEXUS 6P. I never buy a phone based on any test or any reviews, I take these as the second opinion nothing more, the real world it`s the truth.
  • That's awesome!
  • Fully agreed. The worst purchases in my life were based on traditional reviews and I was taught an important lesson: Never buy a device based on 'mainstream' reviews. Those will favor certain brands and evade issues, especially when they are policy based (locked bootloaders, carrier distribution, lack of unlocked options etc). If I would believe ratings geared toward 'ordinary users' I would sit their with a carrier branded Samsung and pull my hair out in frustration... So I check specifications and user reviews paired with YouTube videos. The main objective is to search for issues - i.e. if there are showstoppers. When the users are happy, then time to go forward with an order. Mainstream reviews can be a fun read but not particularly useful for the actual purchase decision, especially not when you look at devices globally, i.e. have an interest in products sold elsewhere. You can't exactly find reviews of brands such as Doogee, Gionee, Xiaomi and so on from the traditional sources.
  • "The point of real world testing, as the name suggests, is to offer performance examples of how the whole phone functions as though an "average" user is going to use the phone. Using that data to compare one experience to another is tricky, instead of offering a 1:1 compare of software as it functions you're offering a 1:1 compare of the experience, what using the phones feels like. Showing how a share menu loads, especially when those phones are clearly not set up the same way with the same apps, doesn't really fit that description." Uhh.. A few things.. 1. XDA isn't a site geared for the average user, and even if it was there will always be a difference of opinion on what an average user is.
    2. There can still be value in cherry picked examples of poor performance if a user can relate those particular examples to their own daily workflows and they amount to more of an impact to the user than anything else. Yes I do get the point that there are clearly other features or actions that are omitted in their article that work faster or more efficiently than other devices but to turn the argument around - dismissing one viewpoint on performance by saying it cherry picked it's metrics by picking other examples where results would sway things the other way could also be perceived as cherry picking depending upon the perspective of the reader who may have different opinions on what measures are important to them.
    3. As for the share menu argument, it doesn't matter how different phones are set up. If a user shares frequently and accesses the menu many times a day for various reasons then the issue is still valid. Would it be a wash if the most frequent workflow for the user involved using the faster camera app? Surely, but if said user has the propensity to detect lag and isolate it from the entire experience then it won't matter to them how much faster it was for them to get to the point at which they initiated the share menu, the lag would be noticed and an opinion drawn. That is the type of user of XDA that the article targeted. Separating how one gets to the point of sharing or what happens after they make a selection from the menu can be relevant for that type of user. Again target audience - how data is presented is something writers choose based upon their own perceptions and opinions on what is important to the target audience. It's up to the readers to take everything in and evaluate for themselves. I get the point of this and Vlad's article, to point out that there are areas where the device outshines in performance and that there are differences in software design that make comparisons difficult, but I have a hard time dismissing the comparisons completely if I find value in both the additional software features Samsung provides and the areas within which perceived lag are going to affect my daily workflows. I'm not sure that I want to forgive Samsung for menu lag or app switching delay just because they provide me with a richer or different experience in the software features side - not when it comes at a much higher price point than ever before.
  • Bra... freaking...Vo
  • One day people will finally realize.. Just because it is the most popular, doesn't mean that it is the best!!!
  • I have both the N7 and S7E and the S7E isn't perfect my first one had the screen just die on me and use to get really hot.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4O8_JbaoMU The 2nd one has been good so far, but it's only a little over a month old, so only time will tell how good it is 6 months from now.
    The N7 has been good. Would I say it's better than the S7E...nope and that's just because I'm not a Spen user. I only got the phone, because I wanted
    black and I missed out on the Injustice edition S7E. Do I care that the phone cost $100 more than the S7E again nope. I knew the phone was coming out, saved my money for it, paid full price for it and went home. Got what I wanted no contract no regrets. Now I get to take it back and get a new one + a $25 phone credit.
  • For what it's worth, the unlocked Olympics edition of the S7 Edge is on sale at Best Buy at the moment.
  • Hahaha,good one.
  • The performance of the note 7 is just fine. It's not blazing fast, but it doesn't need to be. It handles its tasks in a more than acceptable speed, and hopefully will be even more optimized in the future. Its a great phone and I have been enjoying it. For those who don't like it, just choose another option.
    Performance is a subjective thing, and Speed is only one metic of performance. Camera quality is performance. Being waterproof is performance. Having the the best display is performance. Many hate it, but i think touch wiz has come into its own with some some great features and add to the experience of the phone as well, not to mention the numerous other features. An iris scanner is performance etc... Of course a phone that doesn't have those top notch features might be slightly faster, but i wouldn't trade slightly more speed for loosing all those great features.
  • Stop Its 1000 dollars, in daily use (not benchmarks) it HAS to be the best.
  • This argument reminds me of many discussions about cars that people have. People get caught up in what car is the fastest to 60 mph, or pulls the highest lateral G in a turn, and think that makes it the best car. When in actuality, those car's rarely provide the best overall experience, or are the most useful. How fast an app loads is such a limited perspective of the experience of owning and using a device.
  • Still comparing the Nexus 6P, released almost one year ago with a Note 7, it makes me smile I have to say! :)
  • My old 6P with Nougat now runs circles around the note 7 and even my S7E, with Nougat my 6Ps way faster than on marshmallow. Theres even videos of the nexus 6P on nougat beating the exynos Note 7 on "tech trinkets" youtube channel.
  • Compare them when Samsung releases Nougat for the Note.
  • I just don't get the point of this article. This is a sub $1000 phone and even much more in some other places. Samsung really messed up this time. When it comes to Samsung,AC is really pathetic.
  • A Samsung user here. I just don't get the fact that now that it has come to a Samsung phones benchmarks don't matter really?
  • Not a new thought for me. Benchmarks have been pointless on phones for years.
  • That's far from true Russell. What is now becoming ever increasingly old, is the argument that benchmarks don't matter. It's maybe time to drop that line of thought. Benchmarks will always have their place in tech...and they might be more important than ever. That goes for software benches and also hardware ones. They have been useful on a number of occasions to understand a devices performance, through the sea of opinions, that don't help anyone understand the device better. Whether it's a standard data/number driven test, or a real world physical hardware abuse benchmark, such as Zach from Jerryrig, or other tech abusers. All these tests 100% have their place. And often these benchmarks force a manufacturer to do something. Whether it's benchmarks that show a Qualcomm CPU overheating and throttling, to a Gorilla Glass test that forces a utterlly laughable response from Corning. They have their place. Lastly...to the overall point that Jerry made in his opinion on the Samsung recall and fanboys and haters alike. People who openly trash benchmarks with a passion, are usually the people who own that device, and simply don't like what they're hearing. Which is very understandable. Hey, when you love your device and some site says it lags behind a device that costs half as much...that can be upsetting. Not saying that's the case with you specifically...but you get the point.
  • This site has been saying benchmarks don't matter for a long time, nothing new.
  • Seems more like pure defense for the note 7 which is probably a great phone no doubt. But little bit silly.
  • Little defensive about the note 7 hey. I'd take a 6P over it any day. And I'm not just being bias I have had HTC and LG in the last year as well.
  • Yup I couldn't agree more. The 6P is so highly optimized. It really does show how smooth and fast android should run. Even the 6S+ gets out performed by it in the number of side by sides on YouTube. That's something you'll never see with the Note 7
  • lol, personal attacks against detractors? Game. Set. Match.
  • How does this come down to a Note 7 vs 6P? Guys there are TONS of new phones out there. The 6P is a great phone, but the fanboys really need to quit. Just because I don't want this year's Note does not mean last year's Nexus is the default. One Plus 3? Honor 8? Other flagships literally days away from being announced
  • Because those of us who have both a 6P and any of the flagships are uniformly finding that Nougat has made it faster than anything else out there. The 6P has some flaws, but even it's camera is a lot better with Nougat. It's HDR processing now happens as a background task, so you can continue taking as many photos as you'd like. I've compared it to the Note7, S7 Edge, and HTC 10, and it's quicker and smoother than all of those. I can't speak to the OnePlus 3 or Honor 8. But that's why we're suggesting it. Your can get one for cheap, and its still as good as or better than most 2016 phones.
  • Very good point!! That thing is on a whole different level on Nougat, even with full disk encryption too. The Nexus 6 converted me to stock but after having a 6P for awhile I'm amazed at what Google did with it. They turned the 810 into an absolute power house. Not that it wasn't already, like every SoC it just needed to be paired with proper, optimized firmware.
  • Fair enough. I hadn't considered the Nougat factor.
  • When iVerge tells you to calm down, you need to calm down. The fun thing to do currently is crap all over Samsung phones, they're the biggest, people love to see them fail. This is literally a non-story. Buy what you want, if you don't like it take it back. Super simple.
  • Until i broke my S7E and now use my 6P as a daily driver again and have 7.0 on it, i now took for granted how much i love my 6P, Nougat fixed almost all the 810s throttling, it gets hot still but less throttling, performance is way faster too, new jit compiler makes apps and games load so much faster, better battery now, smoother better animations etc. Nougat made the 6P a new phone again
  • waiting for it on my new P9 :)
  • XDA was spot on in their N7 complaints. They were also spot on in their follow up that praised it for many things. You can have both love and a healthy criticism for a device/company. It's called being realistic ;)
  • In regards to performance I've just tested my 6P against my Note 4 and the Note 4 leaves the 6P in the dust. I started the performance testing 2 days ago and on my note I had a Web page clip in about 3 seconds fro clicking on the browser icon, still waiting on my 6P to complete this performance test..... The Note series has always been about two things large screens and the s-pen, one of those features is now found in a lot of very good phones I. E. The large screen. If that was the feature that people wanted the Note for I would say today they would be mad to pay out the extra for the s-pen. But if like me you want a phone with an integrated stylus the Note range has always been the "best" phone. I've not got a Note 7 but have played with it and when it is available in my country I will be upgrading as in terms of performance the new s-pen is a huge upgrade from the previous notes.
  • Note 4? Lol, awesome.
  • This is one of the dumbest articles I've ever read at AC. Unoptimized, sloppily performing software is never ok on a near $900 device. Huawei phone also have plenty of features and perform great. Articles like this are the reason that Samsung is able to get away with janky, unoptimized software.
  • Huawei phones do not always perform great. Where the hell did you get that lie?
  • I'm pretty sure the battery blowing up is a performance problem! Lol
  • I just love my S7E. I don't even care. The brilliant display, camera and Samsung pay are enough to ignore the lag. Which I would say, for me, is easily forgotten.
  • First World problems hey......... 200ms and certain apps on one phone takes a little longer to open on another phone
  • I think this is a good article to emphasize, if nothing else, that all phones are not created equal. As stated in the article, a Nexus phone is purely Nexus driven with no enhancements or improvements Incorporated by other manufacturers. This is obviously why the iPhone performs as well as it does with half the power of Android phones.
    Samsung also got a raw deal on this recal. This is apparently a battery manufacturer's problem, out of the control of Samsung. Only so much testing can be done before product is released to the masses to see what issues may arise over time. I do believe the phone is grossly overpriced but if people pay that much for the phone the manufacture is going to sell it for that price (obviously the case with the iPhone). That's only common sense. Stop buying the phone and the prices will drop.
  • I don't know I'm not bothered by the price. This is samsung's flagship I'm bothered by the fact that they went back to Qualcomm for the soc in this flagship. The note 5 ran great the exynos s7/edge ran great with awesome battery life. For $900 after taxes that's what I wanted. A higher bom price for samsungs cpu with quallcomm's modem would have justified it. I really don't know if Samsung can't optimize for the 820 or is it just that the 820 is too weak for tw. Either way if I do get a note or any s7 variant it will be an exynos variant. Oh and all the hating about speed in the note because of the prices are crazy. It's like saying I expect a Tahoe to be as fast as a corvette because they use the same engine. That is simply not the case nor is it realistic they note does so much more than the 1+3, n6p, and htc10 it's not funny. Now if it can't run with the note 5 that's a huge problem and it is. Samsung went cheap for the us market and they should get bitten in the butt for the choice of soc.
  • That was a good read Mr Holly. Thank you sir.....
  • I think this must be 'SamsungCentral' when an article like this pops up, defending a device just because another site run tests, demonstrating that the shiny thing has performance issues.... Comparing with a Nexus 6P is also telling since XDA compared... with other Snapdragon 820 competitors. It is pretty obvious that there are either paid Samsung apologists or people with a deep affection for the brand who has been severely hurt by the XDA testing, thus leading to a need to send out 'countermeasures' aimed at spreading the happy message about the superiority of the brand. Samsung is simply the best thing since sliced bread and performance is top-notch, it is just all those 'features' the kind company adds in that affect benchmarks - and certainly NOT anything even remotely associated with 'less than optimum' choices. I guess those Samsung Apologists will praise this corporation whatever they do, UNLESS there is an official statement about something changing. So I will continue to just consider articles like this one to be Samsung Propaganda (not to mention reviews claiming that their Galaxies are the best devices in the world). Even if they don't pay in direct cash, they certainly want positive reviews and stuff in exchange for access to events, early availability of review devices, press releases and so on. There are several ways of getting positive publicity....
  • You just said, "Despite the massive recall(hyperlinked for clicks)".......
    Don't buy the gdamn phone... hahah wow
  • Benchmarks can be twisted in every which way to favor whichever device the so called tester chooses.
  • There is a reason phones are laggy.....besides crappy and sometimes potentially explosive innards..... and that is all of our phones are never really perfected. If you get a software update, it's to fix a few bugs, but the reality, is that every manufacturer is too worried about the releasing next BRAND new phone and getting it to cheat the Benchmarks. They release these things every 12 month or even less sometimes. No wonder there are so many problems...The hardware has to be completely different ....make the corners curved or flat or whatever. Just give me a nexus 7P. I'll take the same EXACT form factor.......Just update the processor and keep working on the phones performance. If they had a 2 or 3 year life on the phone body as a whole, we'd have much better performing phones over all I think. If they didn't design all new phones from the ground up yearly, we'd all be better off!... and probably would not be going broke buying them.
  • "Samsung's phones haven't started with AOSP in a long time, and there's no reason for the company to consider another path right now." <-- And that is why I no longer buy Samsung phones.
  • Correct article! However, I would not buy a Note7 now...I cannot risk it to blow up. A S7Edge would do it
  • Hey! Another Samsung apologist article from AC!