Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5T vs Xiaomi Mi Mix 2: Comprehensive Gaming & Performance Comparison

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Of the numerous reasons that flagship smartphones are called so, probably the most important is their top-notch overall performance and user experience. And that shouldn’t be surprising, considering they (almost) always come with the most cutting-edge hardware. Combine that with software-based optimizations, and it’s easy to see why top-tier smartphones cost as much as they do.

Speaking of, not all flagship smartphones cost a bomb. And three such handsets that have launched this year are Nokia 8, OnePlus 5T and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.

These three flagship smartphones are alike in more ways than one. All of them are powered by Qualcomm’s top-shelf (as of now) silicon – Snapdragon 835. They also come with ample amounts of RAM – 4GB (Nokia 8) and 6GB (Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and base variant of OnePlus 5T). Even the prices of the three handsets are near-identical, with all of them falling under the Rs 40K point.

Now, there’s no denying the fact that these smartphones are incredible in their own little ways (You can check our in-depth camera comparison review of Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5T, as well as our full reviews of Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8 to find out more). But the question is, which one shines the brightest when it comes to day-to-day performance and handling intensive tasks like gaming, something which a lot of users do on their smartphones on a near-daily basis?

Read our in-depth gaming and performance comparison review of Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, OnePlus 5T and Nokia 8, and find out yourself.

Important Notes About Testing Procedure

Note 1: All three smartphones were tested with their respective latest system updates and/or security patches installed.

Note 2: The devices were tested with their default home screen arrangement, in order to eliminate any speed or performance variations that could occur due to installing apps like third-party app launchers.

Benchmark Scores: What The Numbers Say?

As mentioned earlier, all three smartphones – Nokia 8, OnePlus 5T and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 – are powered by the same SoC. It’s a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, comprised of an octa-core CPU with four Kryo cores clocked at 2.5GHz and four Kryo cores clocked at 1.8GHz. For handling graphics, the Snapdragon 835 has an Adreno 540 GPU. As for the RAM, while OnePlus 5T and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 have 6GB each, Nokia 8 has 4GB.

Now, given their identical processing hardware, one would probably think that the three smartphones will rack up almost-similar results in benchmark test. And that’s indeed the case.

Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5T vs Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 - Geekbench 4

As is the case for all of our comparisons and reviews, we put Nokia 8, OnePlus 5T and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 through both Geekbench 4 and 3D Mark Slingshot.

Starting off with single-core performance on Geekbench 4, Nokia 8, OnePlus 5T and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 scored 1934, 1971 and 1942 respectively. Geekbench 4 scores of the three smartphones (in the same order) for multi-core performance were 6502, 6766 and 6751 respectively.

Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5T vs Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 - 3DMark Slingshot Extreme

Coming to 3D Mark Slingshot, the scores obtained by Nokia 8, OnePlus 5T and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 were 3694, 3777 and 3782 respectively.

Going strictly by the benchmark scores, it can be concluded that OnePlus 5T is slightly-most powerful of the three smartphones, followed closely by Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8, in that order. But are they really indicative of the smartphones’ real-world performance?

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Performance Under Standard Usage Conditions: Multitasking

To get an idea of the three smartphones’ capability of handling day-to-day tasks, we ran our set of standard multitasking test routines on all of them. This involves rapidly launching multiple (five to ten) random apps and switching between them. And unsurprisingly, we found the performance of all three nearly on par with each other.

However, we found the OnePlus 5T to be just slightly faster when switching between apps. Apps that are kept open in memory (RAM) generally resume with little to no delay. That’s not to say that Nokia 8 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 are any slower. It’s just that they are a little behind OnePlus 5T.

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nokia 8 vs oneplus 5t vs mi mix 2 - Gadget2Buy

As part of our next test, we cleared all the apps from memory, and launched the same app on all three smartphones at nearly the same time. In this case, OnePlus 5T clearly edged out its two rivals.

The phone is incredibly snappy and everything on it works blazing fast. Maybe it’s because of the software optimizations OnePlus has done with OxygenOS, but the experience is very fluid and responsive. In contrast, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 shows just a tiniest bit of lag, which could very well be because of the heavily-customized MIUI overlay that sits atop Android. As for Nokia 8, the smartphone certainly ‘looks’ to be a tad slower than OnePlus 5T and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2. Again, it’s no deal-breaker stuff. But the difference is visible when the phone is used side-by-side with its two rivals. It’s worth noting that of the three smartphones, Nokia 8 is the only one (at the time of writing of this article) running Android 8.0 Oreo. Hence, the performance of OnePlus 5T and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is likely to change (even if a little) vis-a-vis Nokia 8, when the two smartphones eventually get the Oreo update.

oneplus 5t vs mi mix 2 vs nokia 8 - Gadget2Buy

Split-screen multitasking worked just fine on all three smartphones during our testing. One can easily open up two apps side-by-side and work on them.

In summation, OnePlus 5T is the overall better performer of the three when it comes to day-to-day performance, followed by Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8.

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Gaming Performance

Mobile games are getting bigger and better by the day, with some titles having, among other things, console-level graphics. Games are among the most resource-intensive apps that users run on their smartphones on a regular basis, so how well a smartphone handles these can be a good indicator of its prowess.

For our gaming test routines, we played two pretty heavy games called WWE Immortals (Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5T) and Asphalt Xtreme (Xiaomi Mi Mix 2) on the three smartphones (with Wi-Fi enabled and brightness levels set to Automatic) for about 15 minutes.

oneplus 5t vs nokia 8 vs mi mix 2 - Gadget2Buy

The overall gaming experience on all three smartphones was essentially identical during the testing. Thanks to powerful CPUs and GPUs, the handsets had no issues with rendering detailed graphics on the display. Gameplay was also smooth, with absolutely no lag or dropped frames whatsoever.

The game’s loading time on the three smartphones is, however, a different story. OnePlus 5T beat its competitors here as well, loading up the game in the least amount of time. Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 was also quite fast, although definitely a little behind than the 5T. Nokia 8 took the most time to load up WWE Immortals. In its defense though, it’s the only smartphone among the three to have a higher-resolution (QuadHD vs FullHD+ on the other two) display, so maybe that’s why the 8 takes a bit extra time to load up graphics-intensive games, as compared to the 5T and the Mi Mix 2.

nokia 8 vs mi mix 2 vs oneplus 5t - Gadget2Buy

As for the heat levels, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 heated up the most during our gameplay test routines. Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5T remained relatively cooler. It appears that the full-length copper cooling pipe and graphite shield built into the Nokia 8 indeed work, keeping heat levels down even during extended gaming sessions.

Verdict

Priced at Rs 32,999, Rs 35,999 and Rs 36,999 respectively, OnePlus 5T, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Nokia 8 are three incredibly-solid flagship-class smartphones. Broadly speaking, their overall performance is as identical as their prices.

However, subtle enhancements and under-the-hood tweaks make one of these slightly better than the other two, despite the fact that all three smartphones have the same underlying hardware.

And that’s the OnePlus 5T. As mentioned earlier, it could be because of the smartphone’s 6GB RAM, software-based tweaks incorporated into Oxygen OS, or something else altogether. But having tested the three flagships side-by-side, we can say that OnePlus 5T is definitely better when it comes to general and gaming performance.

The other two smartphones have their strengths too. For instance, Nokia 8 comes with a great dual rear camera system and 360-degree spatial audio capture. On the other hand, Xiaomi Mi Mi Mix 2 sports a near-bezel less display and premium ceramic construction. But if what you’re looking for is a smartphone that doesn’t slow down no matter what you throw at it, OnePlus 5T is definitely worth a look.

All images © Gadget2Buy.

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