NAND Performance

The Galaxy S 4 ships with either 16GB or 32GB of NAND on-board, but allows for expansion via a microSD card slot. The latter is a quickly disappearing feature on modern smartphones, but it remains a point of differentiation offered by Samsung. We were sampled a 16GB version of the Galaxy S 4, which arrived with 9.62GB of usable space after the OS and app pre-load.

As always we're using Androbench (with modified settings) to quantify NAND performance. Thankfully NAND performance has been steadily improving on modern smartphones/tablets, and the Galaxy S 4 is no exception. Sequential read performance actually sees a tremendous boost compared to most of the other devices in our charts here. Optimizing for sequential read performance makes a lot of sense, but it's good to see Samsung being competitive on all fronts here.

It is worth pointing out that NAND is treated very much as a commodity in these devices, and it's entirely possible that you'll see performance deviate from what we've shown here depending on what controller/NAND/firmware combination you get in your device.

Sequential Read (256KB) Performance

Sequential Write (256KB) Performance

Random Read (4KB) Performance

Random Write (4KB) Performance

GPU Performance Camera and Video Analysis
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  • airspoon - Sunday, June 23, 2013 - link

    Believe it or not, some people actually do consider phones to be a fashion accessory -obviously, because that is what the guy is saying. He is telling you that he does, in fact, consider a phone to be a fashion accessory. I happen to agree with you that it is silly and function before form is certainly motto for smartphones, but unless the guy is your employee then it shouldn't matter to you how he chooses his phone. It's one thing to argue OUR opinion that function beats form in the phone department, but you can't really make a reasonable argument that HIS phone is not a fashion accessory.

    With that said, the function of a non-unibody plastic chassis beats the form of a unibody aluminum chassis any day. Not because it may or may not provide increased sturdiness or less weight, but rather because it allows you crucial access to the battery compartment and storage I/O. Obviously, a unibody chassis cannot provide said access and a non-unibody aluminum chassis would be far too bulky and a lot less sturdy. In fact, a non-unibody aluminum chassis is simply not feasible in a premium phone worth anything. The fact that I can remove or replace the battery and add an SD card is well worth the plastic to me (and I'm sure the vast majority of S4 owners). The benefits of plastic far outweigh any perceived drawbacks. However, those who choose phones based SOLELY on its fashion statement rather than functionality -would obviously prefer the unibody aluminum (as it does arguable look and feel better). Personally, I like the look and feel of the unibody aluminum shells and if the plastic body of the S4 didn't offer the tremendous functional advantages that it does, then I would much prefer an aluminum unibody. However, the ratio of function to form of the S4's plastic non-unibody chassis makes it a "no-brainer" in my opinion. I sure hope Samsung doesn't cave in to the pressure and go aluminum unibody in the S5 to appease the vanity seeking consumers because Samsung would have to sacrifice major function to do so. I like being able to instantly add 64 gigs of storage in an interchangeable medium. I like being able to carry around a spare battery and not have to worry about carrying around a USB cable and looking for a usable plug when I'm traveling or out on the town. I like the peace-of-mind in knowing that the life expectancy of my phone is not dependent on the cheapest commodity batteries that the telecom company could secure. To me, that is well worth the plastic non-unibody design. Again, the function far outweighs the form -even for those who value form.
    Reply
  • speculatrix - Sunday, April 28, 2013 - link

    I'm a form-follows-function person but I agree with Upspin

    If you're paying quite a few hundred for a phone then you want it made of premium materials and to not be ugly.

    Provided the style and materials don't affect performance, which the iphone4 suffered.

    I have a note 2 and would prefer if it had more metal in the outer frame to make it tougher. But I am pretty sure RF performance would suffer if it was totally metal backed.
    Reply
  • danbob999 - Monday, April 29, 2013 - link

    Metal wouldn't make it tougher. Nobody change its phone because the plastic broke. People change phone because it is too old or because the display is broken.
    You want metal either because you think it looks better, or because it will look more expensive and you want people to know you have an expensive phone.
    Reply
  • patlak - Saturday, May 18, 2013 - link

    So, all these people that buy Mercedes and BMW are dumb? Why should they cash out 20 grand extra when they can just buy a Kia that provides the same functionality as a car, but also with similar engine power and capacity for much much less. Since you sit inside the car all the time, just like your phone sits in the pocket, why would you bother with the premium look. Reply
  • TedKord - Thursday, May 02, 2013 - link

    There's nothing wrong with desiring a product look the way you prefer. But using the glasses analogy, which would you buy? The really stylish pair that doesn't fit your head/nose and only corrects your vision to 20/50, or the ugly pair that fits perfectly and gives you 20/20?

    I know there are more choices, this is just an example to fit the current discussion. I love the HTC One (especially the front speakers), but I'd have to choose the Galaxy S4 (if I really needed a phone right now). The microsd slot and swappable battery are important to me, and Samsung is much better at updates and releasing source for devs. I choose function over form.

    Now, I really wish HTC would at least add the built in kickstand back in. That was a great little touch they had for a while.
    Reply
  • dyc4ha - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    lol look at all the designer labels, appearance matters in real life I assure you. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    He didn't say he would. Reply
  • Reikon - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Is it that hard to realize that a lot people don't actually use cases for their phones? Reply
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    I never use a case. Lots of people don't. Quit making excuses for Samsungs cheapness. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Exactly - mine won't see a case at all.

    I wanted to hold out for my removable battery & SD slot, but since my SGS2 had such poor audio, (thus meaning I often missed calls in a noisy communications / server environment), I gave in, and my new HTC One will arrive tomorrow.

    I might have lived with the plastic though, I had no case on my SGS2, and loved how light it was.

    A 4" version of either the SGS4 or HTC One with no skimping on internals would have me jumping for joy though...
    Reply

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