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Pixel 3 XL Performance and Gaming Review:

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We have made great strides in technology and prices for Google’s smartphones, from the Nexus series to its Pixel line. If you are looking for a premium smartphone with specs and a low price, the Pixel 3 XL is a worthy choice. With so many phones offering similar specifications at half the price of the Pixel 3 XL, you can also question the value of Google’s flagship smartphone.

The Pixel 3’s Snapdragon 845 is its core, and Google has underclocked it for some reason. Curiously, companies like OnePlus or Poco have polarized markets by launching cheaper devices with the same supercharged CPU without underclocking.

The stark price difference is fascinating, even if you consider the incredible camera. It prompts us to compare the performance of the Pixel 3 XL with OnePlus6 and Poco F1.

Let’s first talk about the Pixel 3 XL’s performance when faced with challenging tasks, particularly with its underclocked processor, 4GB RAM, and feeling a bit short.

Pixel 3 XL: Gaming and Performance

The industrious processor is the one behind the elegant personality. Our full review shows that the Pixel3 XL scores highly on benchmarks. However, initially, I was concerned about the 4GB RAM. Despite these concerns, the smartphone performed admirably in Geekbench and AnTuTu scores.

These are the benchmarking results that we obtained by comparing it to the direct competitors, which include the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note9, Huawei P20 PRO, Galaxy Note 9, and OnePlus6 (8GB).

The OnePlus 6 is the only one with a Snapdragon 845. The Pixel3 XL scores higher than all the Android devices in Antu, but the Google flagship is lower on Geekbench with poor scores when compared to other smartphones.

The only noticeable lag that I observed was when I tried to launch heavy apps from the Recents menu, after having left it unattended for a while, and this could be because of the 4GB RAM which may not be enough for large games.

  • Gaming

The Pixel 3 XL is a high-quality device that performs admirably considering its hardware. You can play PUBG at Ultra graphics settings without any noticeable lag thanks to the Adreno 630 GPU on the Snapdragon 845. I was able to enjoy smooth gameplay on the Pixel 3 XL without experiencing any heating issues. Asphalt 9 isn’t yet supported, but Asphalt 8 was easy to play.

Fortnite for Android arrived on time. I also reviewed the Pixel 3 XL while Fortnite was being played. However, its performance is not up to par with other games. The graphics are terrible. The gameplay is inconsistent and uneven. There have also been numerous frame drops and instances of lag. We’ve had similar results on other devices so it doesn’t seem like the issue is device-dependent. For this game, it would be a good idea to lower the settings to Medium.

The Pixel3 XL is capable of handling even the most demanding and power-hungry games and tasks. It also doesn’t seem to heat up too much.

These results are predictable but I’m curious to see how it compares with other Snapdragon 845 devices with more RAM. I decided to do a more detailed benchmark to see if the lower-than-expected RAM and underclocked chipset made any difference in the user experience.

Pixel 3 XL vs OnePlus 6, vs PocoF1: Same Processor, Different Optimization

It is important to compare the various configurations of the Snapdragon 845 chipset before we can compare them. We’re using Pixel XL and OnePlus6 for this comparison. All of these devices are available in different price brackets. This will allow us to see if companies are willing to spend extra time tuning the hardware’s performance.

Notable is the fact that all three smartphones use different clock speeds, despite having identical Kryo 385 CPU cores. Have a look at these:

  • Pixel 3 XL – 4 x 2.5GHz & 4 x 1.6GHz; 4GB RAM; Android Pie
  • OnePlus 6 4 x 2.GHz & 4x 1.7GHz; 8GB Ram; Oxygen OS based upon Android Pie
  • Poco F1 4x 2.8GHz and 4x 1.8GHz; 6GB Ram; MIUI 9 based upon Android Oreo

These are the scores achieved by PassMark after running multiple instances. The logic behind each test part of the benchmark will be explained at the end. The higher the number of tests, the better performance. Except in the case for Memory Latency, where the lowest value is the best performance.

Poco F1 6GB OnePlus 6 Pixel 3XL
System 14666 15909 16631
CPU Test 225685 245050 226626
Integer Math 2849 2875 2852
Mathematical Floating Point 4411 4447 4707
Prime Numbers 1.68 1.86 2.2
Random String Sorting 4.16 4.81 5.35
Data encryption 400 480 507
Data compression 4307 5663 4925
One Thread 839 1096 822
Disk tests 66979 75079 72553
2D graphics test 9069 13203 10585
3D Graphics Test 4257 4212 5061
Memory tests 12149 12316 12016
Database Operation 101 105 91.1
Memory Read Cached 1021 1356 968
Memory Read Uncached 1023 1363 993
Memo Write 961 1053 899
Memory Latency 96.1 95.7 95.8
Memory Threaded 6030 6562 6810
Legends at the bottom 1

Please refer to our explanation below to understand what each of these tests means

Despite having identical specs, the OnePlus 6 is clearly superior to the others. The Pixel 3 XL’s Snapdragon 845 is underclocked and performs well against other devices. However, the RAM is a bottleneck. A decrease in RAM results in memory-related scores where the Pixel 3 XL came last.

Surprisingly the Pixel 3 XL wins the 3D Graphics Test. Games look great on that stunning display on the Pixel 3 XL. Google may have placed graphics performance above faster processing speeds.

OnePlus 6 outpaces Poco F1 & Pixel 3 XL

We can see that all three devices have the same LPDDR4X tech and use the same frequency (1,866 MHz). The three manufacturers use different levels of optimization and their memory management kernels. This explains the difference in performance.

OnePlus has done a great job in making Oxygen OS more performance-oriented. Poco might have lower scores because of the MIUI that is based on Android Oreo. There is still optimization to be done on this new UI.

OnePlus is currently preparing for the next launch which is set for next week. Even though I have not yet seen the phone, I am confident it will be an amazing smartphone in terms of performance considering its similar specs.

The real battle is between the OnePlus 6 and Pixel 3 XL. If you are looking for stunning performance from the cameras and a brilliant display, then the extra expense on the Pixel 3 XL makes sense. The Pixel 3 XL has some issues that make me question its premium price tag.


These are the meanings of the PassMark scores.

  • CPU Test
    • Integer Mathematics This test measures how fast a device can perform arithmetic functions with integers (add, subtract multiply, multiply and divide). It is measured in MOps/s.
    • Floating Point Math This test measures how fast a device can perform mathematical operations on floating-point numbers (i.e. Fractions and numbers with decimal places. This test also measures MOps/s.
    • Find Prime number The test runs an Applet that determines numbers that cannot be divided by another number than themselves. It calculates the speed at which a device is able to run this test and finds prime numbers per unit of time.
    • Random string sorting This test measures a device’s ability to sort 500,000 combinations of words and numbers using 25 characters each. The result is expressed in millions of strings per second.
    • Data Encryption This test uses commonly used encryption techniques such as AES, Salso20, and Two Fish. It encrypts data, then calculates how long it takes for a device to find the key to decrypt it. This is measured in megabytes per second.
    • Data Compression This test calculates the number of megabytes (KB), of data that can easily be compressed using advanced encoding techniques.
    • Single thread This test measures the CPU’s performance in tasks that use one core simultaneously. It is measured in MOps/s.
  • Memory Tests
    • Database Operation This test uses standard C++ template templates to measure how well RAM can store these heavy database templates. It is measured in KOps/s.
    • Reach Cached– This determines the speed at which a small memory block is read.
    • Read Uncached– This determines the speed at which a block of memory containing 256MB is read.
    • Memory Write This test measures the speed at which data is written to memory.
    • Memory Latency This test measures the time it takes to transfer 1 byte of data from the RAM to a CPU. The lower this value is, the better.
    • Memory Threaded This test is similar to the Read Uncached one. It determines how long it takes to read multiple blocks of memory simultaneously. This information is shown in MB/
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