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The Snapdragon 888 version of the Galaxy S21 Ultra proves slower, but possibly more stable, than the Xiaomi Mi 11 in a new video

Two 2021 Android flagships go head to head. (Source: YouTube)
Two 2021 Android flagships go head to head. (Source: YouTube)
Earlier, the YouTuber Frankie Tech tested the Xiaomi Mi 11 and iQOO 7 - the only phones with the latest Snapdragon 888 processor at the time - in terms of their AnTuTu benchmarking performance, and found that both phones seemed to overheat in response. Now, the vlogger has pitted the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra against the Mi 11 in the same way, with interesting results.

The vlogger Frankie Tech has recently posted a video in which the Xiaomi Mi 11 took on the iQOO 7 (the first- and second-ever Snapdragon 888-based devices to launch respectively) in what he calls an "AnTuTu throttling test", in which the phones in question run the benchmark's app at least 3 times over to see if their scores drop in response to this kind of sustained load. Unfortunately, that was the case with both new phones on that occasion, with the 7 even becoming too hot to complete the test.

This, then, might be an early bit of evidence of overheating in the state-of-the-art Qualcomm processor in its only vehicles to date. However, there is now a third on the scene: the US version of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which, luckily, is also available to Frankie Tech's Hong Kong market.

Therefore, the vlogger has now had the chance to repeat the AnTuTu test with the same Mi 11 and his new S21 Ultra. The findings for the Xiaomi phone were similar to those from the first, with the phone declining in terms of scores by the round while rising in terms of reported heat levels.

Then again, it did consistently beat the S21 Ultra over 4 rounds of the benchmark (whereas the iQOO 7 could barely complete 2). The new Samsung flagship's scores fell sharply from about 639,000 in the first round to ~514,000 by the end of the last, compared to ~676,000 for the Mi 11 in the first round to ~631,000 in the fourth.

However, the Xiaomi device appeared to lose in terms of thermal management, with external temperatures recorded at 48.9°C at the end of the test compared to 42.8°C in the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It also took the measure of dimming the screen in the course of the video, as it did when competing with the iQOO phone.

This may seem damning for the 888. On the other hand, the consistently reduced temperatures in the S21 Ultra may indicate that its system was stepping in here, and that One UI 3.1 is designed to prioritize thermal safety over performance in situations such as these. MIUI 12.5, on the other hand, might be set to promote processing speeds, even at the cost of some things such as screen brightness.

Should this be the case, it seems that OriginOS (the Android 11 skin found on the iQOO 7) is relatively indifferent to heat, leaving the AnTuTu app to declare it was too hot to keep working and force-close in its own test.

In other words, while the Snapdragon 888 might be linked to thermal throttling, different Android skins from different OEMs might also have an impact on how it is managed and, in turn, how individual phones perform under load.

In addition, Frankie Tech also claimed that the Mi 11 and S21 Ultra lost 25% and 19% of their remaining battery levels during his test respectively, possibly suggesting that different OEMs might also get different levels of power efficiency out of the new top-end SoC as well.

It will be interesting to see how other hotly-anticipated premium smartphones such as those from OnePlus handle these emerging issues in the near future.

Grab an unlocked US Galaxy S21 Ultra version on Amazon


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > The Snapdragon 888 version of the Galaxy S21 Ultra proves slower, but possibly more stable, than the Xiaomi Mi 11 in a new video
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-01-28 (Update: 2021-01-28)