Google's Pixel 5 April update appears to boost GPU performance

The flagship previously received flak for its sub-par scores in benchmark tests.

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Saqib Shah
April 6th, 2021
In this article: news, gear
Pixel 5
Engadget

Google's Pixel phones have consistently delivered clean software paired with intelligent features. But, let down by its camera and audio quality, the company's latest flagship simply couldn't meet the high bar set by its rivals. More worryingly, Anandtech reported that the Pixel 5 was underperforming other devices featuring the same Snapdragon 765G chipset in benchmark tests. Others pinned the blame on the phone's pre-installed Android 11 OS. Well, it seems Google was aware of the criticism as its latest security update for the Pixel range has some noting a significant boost in the phone's GPU performance, according to XDA-Developers.

In tweets, editors from Der Standard and Anandtech said the Pixel 5 achieved 30-50 percent better results or doubled in performance in new benchmark tests, respectively. According to the former, the phone went from a pre-update score of around 2278/2260 for the OpenGL/Vulkan tests in 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme to a new total of 3286/3083. 

Notably, the April update's changelog does mention “performance optimizations for certain graphics-intensive apps and games.” Though, that sounds like an understatement based on the latest performance results. Google says the update also features improved Pixel 5 and 4a 5G camera quality in “certain” third-party apps. Plus, there's a fix for an issue in last year's Pixel 4 line that caused some devices to freeze on the Google logo during startup and a patch for appearing offline when connected to VPN (which also applies to the Pixel 3 and 3a).

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