CPU Performance

For our CPU analysis we're left with our usual browser based benchmarks. Again this isn't an ideal list of tests but it's the best we've got for now. Where necessary we'll show results using both stock and Chrome browsers. We did notice a single case of thermal based throttling under SunSpider 0.9.1 (the benchmark alone is ine, but running it after a bunch of others caused throttling), so we're once again presenting results in our standard test environment as well as inside of a freezer to show peak performance. Although the Galaxy S 4 managed to throttle in one of our tests, the device never felt all that warm to the touch. We could be seeing some of the same aggressively set thermal governors that we saw back with the Nexus 4. It's also worth pointing out that we're simply in an era of pushing the limits of just how fast you can go at 28nm LP in many of these smartphones. The mobile SoC vendors also need to do a better job of power management, enabling controlled bursting to these high frequency states vs. sustaining the higher frequencies until there's a serious enough thermal issue that the CPU cores have to throttle themselves significantly.

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser

Mozilla Kraken Benchmark

Under Kraken in particular we see a measurable improvement in performance over the 1.7GHz S600 used in the HTC One. Qualcomm still can't attain the peak performance of ARM's Cortex A15, but once again we're looking at a much lower power profile.

Google Octane Benchmark v1

Vellamo Benchmark - 2.0

Vellamo Benchmark - 2.0


Galaxy S 4 - Powered by a Better Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064AB)? GPU Performance


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  • Crono - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    I like how you dismiss a view as being "a completely subjective opinion", then proceed to give your opinion, " i much prefer polycarbonate plastics", and conclude with a rather immature and unconvincing, "shup up. go away."

    Truth is some people prefer a solid aluminum body for the same reason one might prefer a more aesthetically premium vehicle. A phone is a tool, but when you are talking about high-end specs - and the GS4 is only marginally better CPU-wise in real-world, observable performance, about equal in other areas, and lower in some - a better quality chassis might make the difference.

    I don't care if someone prefers the GS4 for whatever reason, but stop pretending (and apparently you are by virtually putting your fingers in your ears with that last comment) that Samsung doesn't make cheaper casing and without offering a lower price for the end consumer.
    It's not even the fact that it's plastic or polycarbonate or whatever you want to call it, as Nokia and HTC make quality plastic bodies. There isn't a good excuse for cheap looking and feeling bodies, even if it's semi-durable without a third party case. This isn't the equivalent of an econobox in the car world, the Galaxy commands a high price.

    If you really are satisfied with the Galaxy line, then feel free to complain when Samsung finally gets the message and decides to make truly premium-bodied phones: because they eventually will have to if HTC succeeds with the One.
  • Roffles12 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    There is nothing subjective about the fact that polycarbonate plastics and a better material choice for a hand held daily use device than aluminum because of its durability, elasticity, ability to absorb shock and ability to shape into different sizes and thickness while still maintaining those superior properties. I was obviously commentating on the weaknesses of aluminum in CONTRAST to polycarbonate materials. If you can't read between the lines of my comment and apply some common sense, then you need to go back to school. I'm done with you... go back to the verge where you can all have a circle jerk with your fragile tech jewelery. Reply
  • RealityMonster - Monday, April 29, 2013 - link

    Actually, that's entirely subjective. The energy transfer argument is really only meaningful when you're talking about a device with moving parts or parts that are likely to break off because of the shock. The plastic back isn't really going to help the screen very much (that is, if the phone falls on its back, the screen isn't going to break, and if it falls on its front, the back isn't going to help), and there are very few parts inside the phone that are likely to move much at all given the impact. In fact, I see people with phones that have busted glass all the time, and the phone itself is still working. (I've seen both an SGS3 and an iPhone 4 working this way.)

    Plastic is more likely to shatter on impact (which is to say plastic shatters and aluminum won't), and if the plastic back falls and cracks, it probably won't snap back on anymore. On the MOHS hardness scale, aluminum is definitely higher than plastic, which means there are fewer things that can scratch it.

    Maybe you don't think it's important what the body material is, but I don't think your bias against aluminum is particularly justified. Aluminum is going to have structural rigidity that the polycarbonate doesn't have, which is why you can use it structurally on the outside of the phone.

    I'd actually like to know what the relative carbon footprint of the two materials is. On the one hand, aluminum has to be mined and machined, but plastic all comes from oil and I don't know if it's recyclable in this form. That's the sort of thing that I think is important.
  • Thegonagle - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Jeez, that's kind of like saying "it's annoying that people buy Cadillacs when Chevys do the same thing." It's a matter of style and differing taste. Reply
  • Kutark - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    Isn't rampant fanboism grand ;-). Reply
  • blau808 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Giving up MicroSD and removable battery just for aluminium? Pffft. Reply
  • dyc4ha - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Why is it so hard for you people to understand that not everyone (I am comfortable in saying the majority) uses up ALL 32GB on their phone. Removable battery/External battery pack, both involves carrying an extra piece. I dont see the big difference here. Actually with the battery pack I can have undisrupted continuous use whereas removable battery requires that I switch off the phone and then replace the battery. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    Not only that, in order to charge the battery, it has to be in the phone. POINTLESS. Reply
  • ojchurch - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Have you never heard of external battery chargers?
    With an extra battery I can use my phone for 7/8 hours at work for updating spreadsheets, pdfs etc. on a building site with limited access to power and still have a spare battery for use in the evening. Or have a more "normal" usage pattern and not charge the phone for a couple of days. You have more freedom in how you can use your phone.
  • sigmatau - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    Better screen on the HTC One. You can't see shit in sunlight on OLED screens. And the speakers are a huge difference. Reply

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