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

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 The Exynos 5 presumably uses a similar technique, making it more efficient than the already outdated Snapdragon 600.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 Although with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 that can manage 4K video already unveiled, the 600 is looking a bit outdated already.

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home