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Android Marshmallow makes the Nexus 5 faster: here’s proof

You might have just updated your Nexus 5 to Android Marshmallow, or you might still be debating whether or not you want this early version of Android 6.0 on your beautiful Nexus 5. Well if our Marshmallow doubles your Nexus 5 battery life article wasn’t enough to convince you, maybe this will be.

nexus 5 wallpaper 4
This is how the Nexus 5 performs on Android Marshmallow. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Nexus 5 launched with Android KitKat but has seen two major updates since then and is still going strong. In fact, it's running Android better than ever.

We put the Nexus 5 through some benchmark tests with Qualcomm Vellamo's Multicore benchmark, first running the last version of Android Lollipop (5.1.1 LMY48M), and then running the current version of Android Marshmallow (6.0.0 MRA58N). The results can be seen below.

androidpit nexus 5 lollipop performance 2
The highest score produced by the Nexus 5 running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. / © ANDROIDPIT
androidpit nexus 5 marshmallow performance 2
The highest score produced by the Nexus 5 running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. / © ANDROIDPIT

Note: I also ran benchmarks using AnTuTu but sadly it repeatedly failed when testing on the current version of Android Marshmallow. Whether this is a problem caused by the app, Android 6.0, our Nexus 5, or something else, is unclear. I will update this article with the Antutu results when I have them.

What this means

We ran the benchmark test three times for each version of Android. The screenshots above show the highest scores acheived by the Nexus 5 when it was running Lollipop and Marshmallow, respectively; the phone acheived its best score once we'd upgraded it to Marshmallow.

There was one Lollipop score that was higher than one Marshmallow score, but both the median and average scores from our tests were higher with Android Marshmallow.

It's worth noting that benchmarks are not perfect representations of performance, however; they can only provide an idea of how phones react in real circumstances. But if these results are representative of real world performance, this is a huge achievement for the Nexus 5. 

Has this made you think twice about upgrading your Nexus 5 to Android Marshmallow? Let us know in the comments. 


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  • xpmule 6 months ago Link to comment

    Has it occurred to anyone on the internet that the big improvement.
    That wiping out your Operating System then installing a new one fresh..
    Would make it *seem* faster.

    When it comes to Noobs there is far more of them on cell phones than on computers..

    Imagine this.. You run Windows 7 SP1 on your PC for 4 years every day..
    Then i lie to you and hand you a new version, Windows 7 SP2 (which doesn't exist)
    You then install it and proclaim WOWOWOW it's sooo much faster OMG!!
    Then i tell you it was exactly 100% identical to what they were already running LOL

    I coined a phrase for this logic.. i call it "common sense"
    ..i wonder if it will catch on with the masses? (i doubt it)

    Then we have a topic title here (i seen at the top of Google search results)
    That says here is "Proof"
    Then you say in one of the tests, Marshmallow had a lower score
    and then give a disclaimer recanting the Benchmark results LOL
    AKA: a contradiction.

    Maybe re-post the story with a more appropriate headline and more comprehensive testing?
    What you could do is Google search the Antutu problem which was explained how to fix on the 2nd Google search result.. then proceed to run tests that include a 3rd option..
    Re-installing *fresh* Android v5.1.1 for testing.

  • Marshmallow turned my Nexus 5 into a whole new phone. Noticeably faster, and battery life is easily doubled.

  • jv1 10 months ago Link to comment

    After seeing my mother's Nexus 5 running marshmallow, I was absolutely blown away. Absolutely nothing I tried could slow the phone down and she has incredible battery life now.

    I should have stuck with the phone. I've had the Note 4, Note 5, S6, and LG G3/G4 and NONE of them possess the same beautiful, simple UI performance and overall phone usability feel. Tons of UI hitches and hiccups and freezes and reboots on other phones with way more RAM and better processors. Boggles the mind. My Note 5 has recently started randomly rebooting, even during phone calls. Pisses me the hell off. A phone with an octo-core processor and 4 gigs of RAM LOLOLOL what a joke, Samsung!

    So that's why I ordered a refurb Nexus 5 and I'm giving it another year. Yes, I'm getting a two year-old phone, because it's that well rounded and optimized now. Watch and learn, Samsung, this is how you refine a phone over time.

    Amazing job by Google really supporting this excellent phone very well. Bravo!

  • Rcolbeck 11 months ago Link to comment

    I am truly disappointed that my Nexus 5 died and I had to get 5x. Let me tell you that the 5 will run circles around 5x. Google really ripped us off with the 5x. 8 core but stuck with 2 GB ram. Not much you can do with 8 core on a phone! But ram is really needed for many connected apps. Many reviews says that 5x have a better battery. But nope! My 5 lasts longer than my 5x. I paid $630 for the 5x - I realize that the exchange rate is to blame but seriously its 2015 and we don't have qualicolm fast charge and we don't have USB 3.0 speeds. Huh??? Why no 64gb option?? What's google smoking? They hope we will buy their cloud storage??? But its no good for apps that keepa getting bigger with every update.
    I am seriously considering returning my 5x and buy a used 5. It's much faster and less bugs (yes I had marshallow on it).
    Why are google screwing us?? It's not the latest technology. Beside the 8 core, everything else is from 2013 or even earlier.!!! The camera? N5 is better. I tried to reduce pixels but I still end up with 3mb per photo. Argh.

    • aenews 10 months ago Link to comment

      The Snapdragon 808 has a Hexa-Core CPU (Not Octa-Core). It needs those cores. Using just the 4X A53 Low-Performance Cores would yield the same performance as a couple generations ago. Core Count means very little. What matters is how powerfully those cores actually perform. The Nexus 5X supports 5V/3A Quick Charging. That's extremely fast. It should easily manage a full charge in 1-Hour 30 Minutes. Yeah a lack of a 64GB Storage Model is pretty terrible especially without a microSD Slot. I wouldn't consider the Nexus 5X. The Nexus 5X has a much better camera than the Nexus 5. Not sure what your issue might be with the camera, but check-out Camera FV-5. Professional camera applications are nearly always better than the stock camera applications on most phones. And why would you expect USB 3.0? Almost no vendor has USB 3.0 available on any current-gen or last-gen phones. Definitely none of the mainstream phones have USB 3.0. Idle Battery Life is dependent on your wakelocks. Try Greenify and Amplify.

  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow is great, snappy, fast. You should upgrade right now. I have only one bug with AnTuTu Benchmark.

  • - i am waiting for further updates for marshmallow (bug fixes)
    - hope androidpit tells us all about it!

  • The problem with crashing Antutu is connected with the Qualcomm's GPU Adreno drivers. There is a post on XDA's dedicated to Nexus 5 forum with a new version of the drivers which eventually fixes the problem with Antutu.

  • optimised software means more in real life use than using the most powerful processor....

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