The Google Pixel 9 Pro XL has been benchmarked with monstrous RAM but poor performance

Google Pixel 8 Pro review back angled
The Google Pixel 8 Pro (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

This year Google could have something new planned, as leaks suggest a Pixel 9 Pro XL will sit above the standard Google Pixel 9 and the Pixel 9 Pro, and while you might expect such a phone to be seriously powerful, an early benchmark paints a mixed picture.

Spotted by X user @QaM_Section31 (via NotebookCheck), the Pixel 9 Pro XL is listed with 16GB of RAM on Geekbench, which is 4GB more than the 12GB in the Pixel 8 Pro, and double what you get in the Pixel 8.

That’s a promising amount, and could help with on-device AI tasks. But sadly the phone’s Tensor G4 chipset doesn’t look so promising, as the device returned a single-core score of 1,950 and a multi-core result of 4,655.

An early benchmark listing for the Pixel 9 Pro XL

(Image credit: Geekbench)

For reference, NotebookCheck claims that the Tensor G3 found in the current Pixel models returns an average single-core score of 1,711 and an average multi-core result of 4,382, in a database of tests taken by the site.

So that would make the Tensor G4 only about 10% more powerful, and well behind the likes of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 used in most of the best Android phones, let alone the A17 Pro used in the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

A second set of substandard scores

Sadly, this Pixel 9 Pro XL result might not just be an anomaly, as a couple of days earlier the standard Pixel 9 seemingly appeared on Geekbench with the same chipset, and achieved even worse results, somehow falling behind even the Tensor G3.

But that in itself calls these scores into question, because surely the Tensor G4 will be a more powerful chipset than the G3. Benchmark results can vary, so it could simply be that these two examples scored at the low end of what you can expect from the G4. And it’s also worth noting that since the Pixel 9 line isn’t finished yet, this will be early versions of the phones, so the results could improve with release hardware and software.

Still, it’s not a promising start, and suggests that if nothing else the Tensor line of chipsets will probably continue to trail behind most rivals for power.

It’s likely that the Google Pixel 9 trio will launch in October, so there’s probably still at least a few months before we’ll find out for sure how powerful these phones are.

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James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.