Last time I looked at MSM8x60 it was at 1.5 GHz inside the Qualcomm Mobile Development Platform (MDP). We benchmarked it and found performance to be pretty compelling, with the caveat that this was a development board with none of the power management OEMs use in real products.

Qualcomm MSM8660 MDP

It seems like a long time since we touched that MDP, but this time we're looking at production hardware that's very close to launch (and the Sensation is already shipping in Europe), after OEM power optimizations and with a lower base clock of 1.2 GHz. Keep in mind that both devices are now running at qHD (960x540) as opposed to the WVGA (800x480) that the MDP and most other Android phones are running at. We still haven't found a way to do this very effectively in our graphs (it's coming soon), but as of right now, the HTC Sensation, HTC EVO 3D, and Atrix are the only qHD devices we've tested.

In my limited time available, I was only able to run Egypt and Pro from GLBenchmark 2.0 (latest build, on both the Sensation and EVO 3D. The graphs are unfortunately again a bit deceptive since we're dealing with 1.35x as many pixels in qHD than we are with WVGA. If you factor in the 25% decrease in clock speed between 1.5 GHz from the MDP to 1.2 GHz in MSM8x60 shipping in devices now, and keep assume a linear scaling (which is honestly something we should never do, but here it gives a ballpark estimate), we get around 23 FPS expected performance on the Sensation/EVO 3D in Egypt. Compare that to the ~21 FPS we get in that test on those devices, and things look almost where they should be. 

All things considered, performance doesn't seem to take that big of a hit going from MDP to real implementation, at least in the Egypt test. Again, we're going to explore this in more depth in the HTC Sensation review. 

GLBenchmark 2.0 - Egypt

The Pro subtest is a bit more difficult to interpret since we're essentially back up against the framerate cap in this test. I didn't run the test to figure out what the Sensation and EVO 3D's respective caps are, but it should be in the neighborhood of 50-60 fps. 

GLBenchmark 2.0 - PRO

SunSpider and Browsermark are the odd tests here. Performance isn't at the top or even competitive with the other dual-core SoC on the charts, Tegra 2. Instead, the Sensation and EVO 3D scores hang back a little bit. It's entirely possible that at least in BrowserMark some of this is the difference in resolution, but SunSpider just shows some aberrant behavior. From what I've learned at Uplinq (and a story is coming on it soon as well) Qualcomm closely works with OEM partners and the V8 project to optimize V8, the JavaScript engine in Android's browser, for the Scorpion CPU architecture, so we should in theory see better performance. 

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9

Rightware BrowserMark

We still have a lot more testing to do when the Sensation hits our doorstep, and in spite of the curious browser benchmark performance numbers, the both MSM8x60 devices felt incredibly speedy in the hand. 

Physical Impressions
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  • azmodean - Friday, June 3, 2011 - link

    Please tell me I'm not the only person who saw the first picture and had some MAJOR cognitive dissonance trying to figure out why the smartphone had a cassette deck built in.
  • Sarah_ - Friday, June 3, 2011 - link

    Not gonna lie, I thought the same thing!
  • jabber - Friday, June 3, 2011 - link

    Note to smartphone manufacturers. Thanks for giving us ever higher and higher megapixel sensors and HD video capability. Ok we've given up hope of ever seeing more than a 50c lens on any of them but please can you give us greater control of the compression levels applied to pics and video?

    I see so many smartphones with awful pic quality and 720p+ video that looks no better (even worse) than VGA video due to over zealous compression settings.

    Please let me have the choice between being able to take 50 good pics or 500 crappy ones.
  • vision33r - Friday, June 3, 2011 - link

    At my work, I have access to virtually every smartphone device popular today. I've yet to find a smartphone that takes pictures/videos as good as an iPhone 4.

    Not kidding. While this will usually bring out a lot of anti-Apple haters and trolls. I've played around with so many Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and even good old dumb camera phones out there sporting 12Mpixel and 720p video.

    I attribute the excellent picture taking and video performance to Apple's software.

    It's such a joke these days that all these powerful devices with dual-core, super fast, and 8Mpixel cameras take grainy and muddy pictures. It's like looking at pictures with art filters FORCED ON.
  • cjl - Saturday, June 4, 2011 - link

    I haven't tried video yet, but the best pictures I've seen out of any smartphone (including the iphone 4) are from the Samsung Droid Charge.
  • Choppedliver - Saturday, June 4, 2011 - link

    I've got a 20 x 30 print from an 8 megapixel picture taken with my evo 4g. It looks damn good. Your point is taken, but I think you are exaggerating. Tell me what other phone on the market you can make a 20x30 print with and it look good in your living room.
  • ph00ny - Saturday, June 4, 2011 - link

    Since you wanted to bring iphone4 into the "picture"

    Some nokia phones are known for their camera capabilities and another reason why i'm watching this whole microsoft and nokia relationship very closely
  • NeoteriX - Saturday, June 4, 2011 - link

    Agreed. I'm an Android evangelist and own an Evo 4G (and the Evo 3D on preorder), but the iPhone 4 takes better low light photos than any non-cameraphone I've ever seen. The Evo 4G pales in comparison.

    I think Apple was just bold enough to choose a sensor with a lower resolution, but larger sensor sites. I'm hoping the Evo 3D follows the same path, but I have my doubts.
  • Lucian Armasu - Friday, June 3, 2011 - link

    That's pretty underwhelming. How are they going to fight against Tegra 3 that is out in a few months? My guess is they won't be able to match it.
  • Omid.M - Friday, June 3, 2011 - link


    That's like saying Car A is better to have than B, because the 0-60 is .5 seconds faster...but in daily use, it wouldn't make a difference.

    They don't need to match Tegra 3; they just need to push Gingerbread as soon as possible to be "ahead" of the competition.

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