The UK Samsung Galaxy S4 – could the Snapdragon processor mean less battery life?

The UK will now only get the quad-core Galaxy S4 instead of the promised Exynos Octa-Core – but will that really matter?

Samsung Galaxy S4 core – intro

If there was just one version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 – packing the 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor and benchmarked as the fastest phone ever – we’d be plenty chuffed. But there isn't just one Galaxy S4, there are two – and the UK's missing out on the more battery efficient Samsung-built 1.6GHz Exynos 5 Octa-Core processor. So, have UK users drawn the short straw?

Samsung Galaxy S4 core – battery

Battery life is undoubtedly the most important factor in modern mobiles – all those fancy graphics and HD screens count for nothing if your phone's a brick after a train journey. That’s why an eight-core processor is so useful, with its four high-powered Cortex-A15s and four slower Cortex-A7s. Different speed processors mean that less intensive tasks don't use the juice of all the cores, saving power – ARM calls this trick big.LITTLE. The Exynos 5 presumably uses a similar technique, making it more efficient than the already outdated Snapdragon 600. And with tasks like Air View and Air Gesture that rely on always-on cameras to track you, the Galaxy S4 is likely to be a power-hungry beast. Of course, with the Exynos 5 running at a lower peak GHz, the two processors may break even depending on tasks – though we doubt it.

Samsung Galaxy S4 core – power

An eight-core processor running at 1.6GHz may not be as powerful as a quad-core running at 1.9GHz. So there may be a trade-off for owners of the Snapdragon 600 Galaxy S4 – losing a bit of battery life in exchange for extra peak power. But, realistically, when will that be needed? Phones have been running buttery smooth since they went dual-core. Battery is the thing we all crave. But with 1080p resolutions, smart gesture tracking, and multi-window apps all running at once anything less than a powerhouse could glitch. And you can always buy a portable charger. The Snapdragon 600 is starting to look good once again. Although with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 that can manage 4K video already unveiled, the 600 is looking a bit outdated already.


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