Google sets new standards for device performance in Android 12

Includes 1080p displays and at least 6 GB RAM

Android-12 review-19

Although Android 12 was technically released last week, it has yet to make its way onto a real device — at least as a stable build. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a little more about what Google has changed behind the scenes. In addition to Android 12, a new compatibility definition document or CDD has been released, providing some insight into the agreement manufacturers must enter into to continue releasing devices.

The main change here is a new “Achievement Class” section (via 9to5Google). Here’s what Google says about its new standard:

“A performance class defines a set of device capabilities beyond the basic requirements of Android. […] Each Android device specifies the performance class it supports. Developers can check the performance class of the device at runtime and provide enhanced experiences that take full advantage of the device’s capabilities.”

Unlike other subjects covered by the CDD, performance classes are not a set requirement. Instead, each device is certified at a specific level, with performance class 12 currently ranked highest. However, because performance classes are forward compatible, a device does not have to go to a new performance class with every upgrade. A specific phone model could meet the performance class 12 standards and remain at that level even after an upgrade to Android 13 next year.

perf class

This year’s performance class is mainly devoted to camera capabilities and media playback, with topics such as frame drops, encoding quality, and HDR image capture. It’s good news for anyone planning to upgrade their phone soon, as some of the requirements are actually quite strict:

  • A 12MP (or higher) primary camera with 4K 30FPS support

  • A 1080p display with 400 PPI or higher

  • Minimum 6GB RAM

  • Specific read/write speeds

Screenshot 2021-10-14 121501

Those regulations — along with some of the more technical aspects found in the document, such as camera2’s boot delay and specific codec support — are quite the foundation for what to expect from a modern Android device.

If you fancy some light Thursday afternoon reading, you can browse the entire Android 12 CDD here.

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