GPU Performance

Both CPU and GPU clocks are higher on Samsung's version of the Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064AB). While the Snapdragon 600 used in HTC's One (APQ8064T) features a max GPU frequency of 400MHz, in the Galaxy S 4 the max frequency moves up to 450MHz. The increase in max frequency alone is modest (~12.5%), but the gains in GLBenchmark are far more pronounced for whatever reason.

As always, we'll start with low level analysis beginning with GLBenchmark's fill rate test:

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Fill Test

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Fill Test (Offscreen 1080p)

Interestingly enough, fill rate is actually lower than on the HTC One. With so many variables at work here it's difficult to say exactly why this is, but the lowest hanging fruit is to blame it on memory bandwidth differences. Without getting inside the Galaxy S 4 (or more extensive poking around) it's unclear what speed Samsung is running its memory at, which could explain the differences here. We tried tossing the Galaxy S 4 in the freezer and re-running the test but performance didn't improve substantially. Note that GLB's fill rate benchmark is the only one that did not show the Galaxy S 4 ahead of HTC's One in raw performance.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Vertex Lit

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Vertex Lit (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit (Offscreen 1080p)

The low level triangle tests all show significant performance gains over the only other Snapdragon 600 based phone we have (HTC One). Again, I'm not really sure what's going on here with APQ8064AB but the gains here are greater than what clock speed alone can be responsible for. Samsung could be running at higher GPU frequencies more aggressively than HTC or it could have software advantages (a newer Adreno driver perhaps?) or there could be more to this APQ8064AB mystery than we realize.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD (Offscreen 1080p)

Egypt HD delivers a fairly sane number however. The Galaxy S 4 manages to outperform the HTC One by around 17% here. Again it's unclear why we're seeing greater performance than clock scaling alone would provide but the net is that the Galaxy S 4 does deliver better GPU performance than other Snapdragon 600 based devices today.

CPU Performance NAND Performance
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  • blue_urban_sky - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Not saying that. the ability of plastic to flex enables the little catches around the case to lock/unlock easily. to do that with alu you need a mechanical release which increases complexity. As a material plastic has advantages over glass/Alu and personally I don't mind it, not saying that I don't appreciate other materials just that as a functional cover it does its job well. Reply
  • CoryS - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    The Droid X had a metal back plate, without a mechanical release. It also always came off in your pocket.. Reply
  • zero2dash - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    I'd rather have a plastic shell with a removable battery and a microSD slot than a metal frame with neither.

    But hey, whatever's most important to you...
    Reply
  • xype - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    How often have you removed/changed your smartphone battery in the past? Just curious how often people who find the feature important use it (since I don’t know anyone who does so in real life). Reply
  • CoryS - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    I did it daily with my Gnex. But, never have had the need with any other phone. The peace of mind is nice though. I think I have found I no longer need to swap batteries as much because I have changed my usage model to the battery life of the device...meaning I don't use my phone as much so it doesn't die. Reply
  • RiotSloth - Saturday, April 27, 2013 - link

    I have an S3 with 2 batteries - I don't think I have ever swapped the battery out because I have a charger in my car and at work. Love dragging those batteries around and keeping them charged though.... and of course people buy phones because of how they look or what they are - saying that isn't so is just denial. Just because tech geeks don't doesn't mean others don't. How many people do you know who have phones they barely know how to use, but bought because they had heard its 'the one to get'? Reply
  • Androidtech - Sunday, April 28, 2013 - link

    For all of you talking about removable batteries. I have both the Galaxy S3 and the HTC EVO 4g LTE. Out of these two phones the Galaxy S3 is my primary phone while the HTC Evo tags along and gets used randomly when I think about it. This is because I use my phone constantly and I stream podcast all day long at work to a bluetooth speaker. When I run one battery down I just pop in the other one and start charging the backup with the handy dandy Sammy battery/charger combo pack. Since my job is one that I am always on the move this is a great feature for me. I build oilfield pump packages and rebuild Industrial gearboxes like those used in ships and sugar mills.The ones in the ship turn the giant propellers and the ones in the sugar mills turn giant grinders. I also do welding and fabrication. So in a job like this I am always getting tools and moving from one part of a project to the next part or the next project. I am almost always standing up. This is much different than an office job where I could just plug my phone in at my desk. Even then why would I want a wire attached to my phone. Personally I would prefer a metal phone with a mechanically removable back maybe like the HTC Amaze 4g. Also as far as the case discussion goes There is no way I would use either of my phones with out a case and screen protector especially in my work environment. I like to keep my devices in top shape so when I am ready to get a new one next year I can sell it for top dollar or hand it over to my wife so I can use her upgrade again. That way I can say hey baby here is a nice phone and it still looks brand new ! She does not care about the latest and greatest or the fact that she is a year or two behind current technology and I always have the newest thing out since I am rotating 4 upgrades if you include my stepsons phone. You see there really is no reason to argue or try to decide which phone is better just get one HTC phone and one Samsung phone and enjoy the different qualities that each brings forth. Just be the one that pays for the famliy mobile Bill and you too can use everyones upgrade and stay on top of the cutting edge handset race. Works for me ! Reply
  • Dug - Monday, April 29, 2013 - link

    I don't know anyone or have seen anyone that changes their battery. In a company of 200 tech geeks I would think that this would be the majority and probably why HTC went away from it. Reply
  • TedKord - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    I'm a very heavy user. Hours of streaming Netflix, surfing endlessly. I can carry a second battery, and just swap out when the first runs down. I don't have to worry about carrying a plug,

    So to answer your question, I have at times swapped out my battery every day for months on end. Now, I'm rocking a 4500mah extended battery, and I always make it through the day.

    I have a buddy at work who had an iPhone 4s, and it's battery had nearly died. He was getting a couple of hours max, but was out of warranty. He'd have killed for a swappable battery. Instead, after using my SGS3 and being impressed, he went out and got a Note 2, and left Apple all together. He hasn't regretted it a bit.
    Reply
  • RiotSloth - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    Although you can change the battery in an iPhone fairly easily... or he could buy a mophie. I think everything has been said now about batteries - to some people it matters, to others it doesn't. Reply

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