More than half of 2018 has passed. So we can make some conclusion. Say, we can write down the performance has gradually become an important indicator of this year’s flagships. But do you really think the so-called ‘high-performance’ is equivalent to playing heavy games smoothly? In order to find out which of the current flagships is really great in terms of playing games, we have compared three outstanding models – the VIVO NEX S (aka Ultimate), the iPhone X, and the Xiaomi Black Shark. Actually, we have played two games in face of PLAYERUNKNOWN and Honor of Kings. After we measured the battery life, the frame rate, the temperature control, and the CPU performance. We guess these are sufficient to help you in making the right decision.
In 2018, the processor market focuses on two options. Regardless what a processor we deal with (the Apple A11 or the Snapdragon 845), both pay attention to the algorithm processing and image optimization. In this sense, there are no obvious shortcomings, and they are the leaders of the contemporary flagships.
According to the results of the above three running points, the gap between the three flagship machines is not very large. They can keep running smoothly when playing high-load games. But we are not naïve to take into account only these running points.
We understand that many customers use the running points in order to understand how well a smartphone can perform. But when it comes to real games, the gap is too big. The explanation why it happens is obvious – the processor usually makes every effort to brush the score. However, in daily use scenarios, in order to control the balance of performance and power consumption, the performance of the processor is limited. For example, when testing via a benchmark, the phone may boost all eight cores to reach a higher score. As for the daily use, many of the cores will work at the average frequency not to overload the processor.
Actually, all benchmarks show the peak any smartphone can reach. This is a very good way to understand the potential of a processor/smartphone. This can be treated in the following way – all benchmarks don’t show the actual performance rate but the peak performance level. For a better understanding, we can compare the processor’s peak performance point with a car’s highest speed. There are many cars that have the highest 280km/h speed level, but no one drives them at this speed in the streets.
So we decided to use an interesting benchmark, namely GameBench, which tests the performance of actual daily games. It is capable of running in the real-time background, detecting phone’s frame rate, battery consumption, and other features that can directly reflect the daily performance.
VIVO NEX S – PLAYERUNKNOWN
iPhone X – PLAYERUNKNOWN
Xiaomi Black Shark – PLAYERUNKNOWN
VIVO NEX S – Honor of Kings
iPhone X – Honor of Kings
Xiaomi Black Shark – Honor of Kings
For all three models of the VIVO NEX S, iPhone X, and Xiaomi Black Shark, we used three features – the high frame rate mode is turned on, the volume is set at medium, and the screen brightness is adjusted at 270nits. As we said, the PLAYERUNKNOWN and Honor of Kings were played during the test.
VIVO NEX S, iPhone X, and Xiaomi Black Shark Measured Results
In the half-hour test of each game, all three phones were running on a high frame rate mode, which will make the game experience smoother. The VIVO NEX S and the Xiaomi Black Shark phones showed full frame support, while the iPhone X does not reach this level, fluctuating around 33 frames.
But many users will wonder what the benefit of a high frame rate for the gaming experience is. Simply, the frame rate refers to the frequency of how many images will be displayed per second. So limiting the frame rate, you can reduce the pressure of the graph relative to the CPU. This will make the CPU stay not too busy. Second, it will reduce the amount of network data transmission. So the bill at the end of the month won’t be too big.
However, when these three smartphones started the test, in the first ten minutes, the screen was basically maintained at 60FPS. After 30 minutes of playing time, it has been noticed that the temperature of the phones has risen. Surprisingly, these handsets’ processors did not appear to significantly reduce or lock the core, and the picture can still maintain the highest frame rate. But at the end, the frequency has been lowered a little.
We are playing games on smartphones all the time. The phenomenon of a phone fever is very common at present. The main reason for the fever is the battery, and the long-running large programs make the CPU load high. Some people think that the smartphone fever is a good thing, indicating that the phone’s heat dissipation function is strong and the processor is strong. Although in theory, when the CPU gets hotter, it indicates that its computing speed is stronger. But we should find out whether these handsets are good in terms of controlling the battery and CPU performance. Just like when you buy a Ferrari, you not only look at its speed, but also consider its control of noise, stability during driving, and so on.
From the test results, the heat control of the VIVO NEX S has the best performance, and the control and optimization of the body temperature are in place. The performance of the Black Shark is closely followed. After three hours of use, the temperature reached its peak and the CPU operation began to accelerate at a normal operating level. The iPhone X’s curve is slightly higher. After half an hour of use, the temperature has soared to about 50 degrees. After that, the ‘high fever’ continues to make people sigh ‘Apple really needs to pay attention to the heat dissipation problem of its flagship.’
Cell phone batteries have always been an important feature that users pay attention to. The battery life of a smartphone can be a very important decisive factor when buying a smartphone. In this sense, most of the high-end smartphones come with a relatively large battery and a deep optimization that allows users to use it during a day on a single charge. So we decided to test this feature as well. During the test, the screen brightness was adjusted to 270nits and the volume was at 50%. The remaining power was 100%. We tested it via various heavy programs and games for 5 hours.
We have to write down the VIVO NEX S has a better charging speed. It is followed by the Xiaomi Black Shark. And the iPhone X is the third in this list. At the same time, the VIVO NEX Ultimate provides a longer battery life than its rivals.
So when buying a smartphone, you should not only take into consideration its configuration and pricing but also know how it will behave in an actual use. In this sense, the VIVO NEX S wins the race.
Probably, the main reason why the VIVO NEX S is the best in this comparison is that this phone is very careful about the optimization of the game mode. When starting playing a game, this phone offers to set up the game mode settings according to your preferences.
As for the overall performance, the Snapdragon 845 that is among the selling points of the VIVO NEX S and the Xiaomi Black Shark is capable of providing not only an outstanding performance but also excellent game experience. It is also eye-catching in terms of heat dissipation.
VIVO NEX S Advantages
Many recognize this handset by its pop-up front camera design and a genuine full-screen. But too little people know the VIVO NEX S comes with a great software, which is in a deep cooperation with a Snapdragon 845 chip and an 8GB of RAM. This comparison article is the best proof of that.
VIVO NEX S Disadvantages
Actually, there are no obvious disadvantages.
iPhone X Advantages
The iPhone X is equipped with an A11 bionic processor, which uses 2 high-performance cores and 4 energy-efficient cores. It still adopts the 64-bit design and is similar to ARM big.LITTLE architecture. But as you know, the architecture has always been independently developed by Apple. So 6 cores can run simultaneously, optimizing the performance and power consumption.
iPhone X Disadvantages
The iPhone X sports a 3GB and it is worth improving. The space for heat dissipation of the fuselage is very large.
Xiaomi Black Shark Advantages
It is packed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, a maximum memory of 8GB, and a 128GB of ROM. But there is also a PX8368WM game chip supplied by Pixelworks, which is the top display chip manufacturer in the United States.
Xiaomi Black Shark Disadvantages
The screen size is not large. And it could cost less.