Google is always a step ahead of the Android OEMs (not the case of certain Samsung smartphones) when it comes to rolling out security patches and newer Android updates. While courageous Pixel owners are testing Android 12, those in the stable branch of Android 11 are enjoying a new April update. The company introduced its April 2021 update with a host of connectivity, camera, and stability improvements for the whole Pixel family. However, last year’s Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G are receiving some incremental improvements in the overall performance.
When the search giant rolled out the first Android 11 update for its Pixel smartphones, some users noticed that the graphics benchmark numbers have dropped following the update. The Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 4a took a major hit in graphical performance. Since the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G launched with Android 11 pre-installed, it was impossible to verify if the phones also had their “original performance” downgraded. However, certain reviews pointed that the Pixel 5 was below other Snapdragon 765G smartphones in terms of performance. Knowing the performance drop in stock Android 11 updates, it was easy to find the culprit.
The new update will greatly improve the Pixel 5 performance in games and apps
With its April 2021 update, Google introduces a bunch of “performance optimizations for certain graphic-intensive apps and games”. Shortly after updating, Andreas Proshofsky from Der Standard tested the GPU performance o the Pixel smartphone. He used 3DMark, and apparently, the phone’s overall performance has vastly improved after the update. In fact, the Pixel 5 scored around 2,278/2,260 for the OpenGL/Vulkan tests in 3D Mark before the April update. Now, after installing the update, the phone scored 3,286/3,083 in the same test. This is a massive improvement. Other reports from users and testers suggest that the GPU performance has received a huge boost after April 2021 update. Although reports only mention the “flagship” Pixel 5, we assume that the Pixel 4a also had similar gains. After all, the phone packs the same chipset and also has the same “improvements” mentioned on the changelog.
What is unclear right now is the reason behind the degradation of GPU performance. Perhaps this was an issue in the Android 11 update that was causing the problem, or perhaps it is something related to these devices. In the end, it’s good to know that Pixel 5 owners will finally enjoy the max performance offered by the premium-mid-range chipset.
The Pixel 5 packs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G which was one of the best offerings from Qualcomm last year. For this year, the chipmaker already has the Snapdragon 780G which will soon replace this chipset. However, we’re not sure if the next Pixel phone will stick with this chip. After all, reports suggest that Google will deploy the Pixel 6 series with its own chipset.