Google’s Pixel smartphones come with a guaranteed two years of major Android operating system updates as well as three years of security updates, delivered monthly. But Google often sneaks a little something extra into those “security” updates including bug fixes and performance enhancements.
The April update for the Google Pixel 5 and the 5G variant of the Pixel 4a appears to bring a lot to the table and no, we’re not hyping up some eclectic new feature here.
It’s only a 15MB download, but after installing the update, multiple folks have noticed a big boost in graphics performance, at least in certain benchmarks. Although it’s worth keeping in mind that the performance boost doesn’t put these phones ahead of other smartphones with the same processor. But it does brings them in line with those phones, because Google’s Pixel phones with the Snapdragon 765G chips had been performing more poorly than you’d expect for a device with that hardware. That was until now.
SEE ALSO: Google Pixel 4a Review: Basically Basic
Reports from Ars Technica and Der Standard’s Andreas Proschofsky claim that the April 2021 update improves the Pixel GPU so significantly that phones are now experiencing “30-50 percent better” performance. The security update itself did disclose that it added “performance optimizations for certain graphics-intensive apps & games.” That said, Proschofsky notes that it was pretty unheard of for a phone to get such a performance boost after being released.
Turns out the Pixel 5 is now getting way better results in 3DMark. Like in 30-50 percent better compared to a P5 w March patch level. Even the results in general benchmarks like PCMark Work are a bit better (even though in this case really only just a bit). 2/ pic.twitter.com/58Ze5qFE6d
— Andreas Proschofsky (@suka_hiroaki) April 5, 2021
On the March 2021 security patch, the Pixel 5 scored 2278 and 2260 in 3DMark’s Open GL and Vulkan Sling Shot Extreme tests. These scores jumped to 3286 and 3083 post the April security patch.
Other changes in the latest security update include camera quality improvements for the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 when using some third-party apps and various performance and stability improvements and bug fixes for these and other Pixel phones plus actual security updates.
You can also find all the exploits patched in the April 2021 security patch in Android Security Bulletin. Google has already started rolling out the OTA in phases and your Pixel phone should get it soon, depending on your region and carrier.
SEE ALSO: Google Pixel 6 May Feature An In-House Custom Chip Dubbed ‘Whitechapel’