We put the new Sony Xperia Z2 flagship 5 inch smartphone through its paces today with a selection of the latest video games. Powered by Qualcomm’s top processor platform, the Xperia Z2 performs superbly when tasked with providing good frame-rates in titles such as Anomoly 2, GTA San Andreas, Real Racing 3 and Front Line Commando DDay.
The Sony Xpreria Z2 is one of a number of flagship devices that uses the Snapdragon 801 system-on-chip processor from Qualcomm. These top tier devices include the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, Xiaomi Mi3, OPPO Find 7 and the forthcoming OnePlus One. So what makes the 801 the current high performance mobile chip of choice, what performance advantages does it bring compared to its predecessor, the Snapdragon 800, and how does the all important graphics processing shape up?
The Snapdragon 801, on the surface at least is a higher clocked variant of the 800, with an upper clock limit of 2.45GHz on each its ARMv7 based Krait cores. The higher clock will undoubtedly help with multitasking and more demanding applications like 3D gaming, but the 801 also boasts a higher clocked graphics processor with its Adreno 330 GPU hitting 578MHz, which is almost 25% faster than the equivalent on the Snapdragon 800 which is clocked at a more conservative 450MHz.
Graphics processing requires a very specific kind of approach compared to regular processing unit or CPU. Intel for example, despite their financial resources, are still playing catch up with the two traditional leaders in graphics processing units Nvidia and AMD. Interestingly the Adreno technology came to Qualcomm via AMD, who sold off their mobile handset division to Qualcomm in 2009. The Adreno GPU itself was then known as Imageon and was developed by ATI Technologies, which was acquired by AMD in2006.
It seems that the purchase of AMD’s mobile platforms is now paying off, as Qualcomm have virtually cornered the high-end mobile platform market and I think that gaming performance is one area that is increasingly important as the 3G gaming app market continues to grow. Sony will have considered other options including Nvidia’s Tegra platform before deciding on Qualcomm. The end result is a pretty awesome gaming experience, bolstered by really good looking, Full HD IPS LCD Triluminos screen on the Xperia Z2.