LIke I mentioned, part of Verizon's strategy is to dial the processor back by 20% to 1.2 GHz on the CPU. We were curious, though, whether the GPU would face a similar clock hit. So we held it up against its One family counterparts, which includes several devices running the S4 at its full 1.5 GHz. 

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt - Offscreen (720p)

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro - Offscreen (720p)

RightWare Basemark ES 2.0 V1 - Hoverjet

GPU performance is just spot on with its One kin, even coming close to leading in some benchmarks. So, looks like the GPU isn't restricted at all. But, how big is the CPU performance deficit?

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser

BrowserMark

Vellamo Overall Score

Linpack - Single-threaded

Linpack - Multi-threaded

Here we start to see the penalty paid for the lower clock speed. The delta was as small as 12% and as high as 35% compared ot the top S4 performer in each chart. Some of that delta can be chalked up to differences in software builds; Qualcomm provides optimized Android builds to OEM partners, but it's up to them and the carrier to decide whether to implement them or not. So, there is a real performance hit, but perception of that hit isn't necessarily going to mar the experience, especially with GPU performance unaffected.

So, there's mixed results here, GPU performance is good, but CPU performance takes a hit. The display is smaller and has a lower resolution, but maintains good characteristics. But there could be something to gain from these cut-backs, with display size and clock speed held in check, battery life SHOULD see a benefit? Will it? We're finding out right now. 

The Display and The Mid-Range
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  • warisz00r - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    "The iPhone 4 premiered with the highest pixel density in a mobile device we’d ever seen"

    If you discount HTC Rezound, Sony Xperia S and other phones with a 4.3", 720p screen, then yeah...
    Reply
  • omikun - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Hence the word "premiered." Reply
  • EnzoFX - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Did those not come after? Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    +1 Reply
  • bearxor - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Wow. Reading comprehension FTL. Reply
  • eldwraith - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Well, you only picked phones that came after IPhone 4. I remember Sharp made phones with a higher density years before the 1st gen IPhone. I think Apple made a huge difference, and don't kill me because that is my opinion, and you all should have one too. The way reviews sensationalized the pixel density was just funny to me. Nobody was complaining about it then the retina display came into play. Maybe they didn't know there has been that screen technology for year. I don't know. So OP, good point, but bad examples. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - link

    Not following the Japanese mobile phone space, I had trouble finding references to these Sharp JDM phones, indeed the only one I found was the Fulltouch, a feature phone. I'm not saying no one had thought of higher density displays previously, indeed the Motorola Droid was no slouch in pixel density and it came out 9 months before the iPhone 4. But the actual race to get these displays into more phones was late in coming and for the US market was first to trumpet its density. Reply
  • ahar - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Unless any of those other phones were released before the iPhone 4, the statement is correct. Reply
  • Drag0nFire - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    I'm really curious how the "bigger = better" thing got started for smartphones. Everyone acts like a 4.8" phone is intrinsically better than a 3.7" or a 4" phone (including many reviewers). But if a 4" phone fits better in my pocket, isn't that worth considering?

    Anyways, thanks for an insightful article. Looking forward to the full review!
    Reply
  • PubFiction - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    I think it is all stupid and ignored. Size is a choice not better or worse, I mean ya a bigger phone is better but it comes at a cost of convienience and mobility.

    IMO all these companies need to focus on releasing 3 phones, 3", 4", 5" and let the consumer decide.

    Imagine if you went to buy a laptop and they said sorry we are apple we ONLY sell 13 inch laptops, and samsung said well if you want something nice it only comes in the 17 inch version? Seems ridiculous so why do we put up with it on phones.

    Don't get me started on the fact it took many years for the galaxy note to finally put a stylus holder back on a phone. And keyboards are not even an option with a good phone on carriers now.

    Basically phones are giving us less choice than ever now to fit our lifestyles. Sometimes I think they do a better job making the feature phones than the high end ones.
    Reply

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