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Zoom, Zoom! Early Samsung Galaxy S 4 benchmark shows fastest phone yet

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Samsung not only has the newest phone about to hit the market, but it also may have the fastest. At last week’s Samsung Galaxy S 4 launch event, Android Authority ran a Geekbench 2 test on the handset, where it earned a score of 3163. Primate Labs, the company behind the benchmarking software, then compared that figure to prior tests on currently available handsets, finding that the Galaxy S 4 tops all handsets in this particular performance test — besting Apple’s(s aapl) iPhone 5 by nearly double.

The new Galaxy S 4 — using Qualcomm’s(s qcom) 1.9 GHz Snapdragon 600 — also returned a score higher than the new HTC One, which also uses a Snapdragon 600. The HTC One Score of 2687 is likely due to a slower version of the chip; it clocks at 1.7 GHz, likely to balance performance and battery life. Here’s a full chart of the Geekbench 2 scores:

Geekbench 2 - March 2013

While synthetic benchmarks are a good indicator of performance, that’s all they are: indicators. There are many tests available to use on smartphones that check performance for specific features. Mozilla’s SunSpider or Google’s Chrome Octane(s goog) tests, both challenge a phone to run through JavaScript tests, for example. So it’s possible that the Galaxy S 4 won’t be the fastest phone at every single task.

Air Touch on Galaxy S 4However, raw performance is key when it comes to many smartphone tasks. The responsiveness of the user interface is a perfect example; swiping to another home screen should be instant at this point, for example. Processing of high-definition videos and still camera images is another area that benefits from hardware performance. Samsung’s AirTouch hovering isn’t much use if it takes too long for information to pop up. And of course, if you’re a gamer, you want the chips in your smartphone to offer the fastest frame rates and greatest visual details.

One of the reasons for Samsung’s smartphone success over the past three years is a large marketing effort. I suspect the company will latch onto benchmark tests such as these and pound out the message repeatedly that its phones best all others in terms of speed.

Surely, the next iPhone and other Android devices will offer improved performance thanks to the newest chips from Qualcomm, Nvidia(s nvda) and even Intel(s intc), but for until that happens, expect Samsung’s marketing team to make a big deal about this aspect of the Galaxy S 4. And once it debuts the phone with its 8-core Exynos chip, that message of speed will only be amplified.

15 Responses to “Zoom, Zoom! Early Samsung Galaxy S 4 benchmark shows fastest phone yet”

  1. Thomas

    The problem with these kind of tests is that it doesn’t show the real performance of the device. The iPhone for example may be beaten by the S4 in pure raw speed but iOS is so light and smooth that it’s quicker and snappier than any android device on the market today.

    Unless Google does something about their bloated os, which did improve with jelly bean however, iOS will remain the fastest and most stable option you can get.

  2. Kenneth

    would you say the s4 is slower or faster than the htc one..??!! and also, is there quite a difference between the octa and the quad core s4..???!! thank you…

  3. The LG Optimus G Pro also looks very impressive from a performance standpoint. Wonder how it’ll stack up against the S4 when it’s released in the U.S. next quarter.

  4. Sherif Hanna

    Hi Kevin – the Exynos processor used in some SKUs of the Galaxy S 4 is not really 8-core. It’s a quad core A15 processor with 4 lower-power helper cores. The distinction is important.

  5. Chris Michael

    Bench marks that mean nothing. Have you watched the hands on videos and seen how laggy it still is. The guy had to hit an app 3 times because he thought he was missing it. Nope, just lag.

    • Haven’t seen the videos but I did use the phone for about 20 minutes and really didn’t see much lag. Also: The software on the devices used at the launch event are not the final version and may not be optimized.

  6. Hello Kevin! Sorry for the comment a little bit out of topic maybe, but I’d like to ask you: have you heard something about the Note II eventually getting some kind of update including any possible new Android version ( I guess soon there will be a new one) and the new features of the S4? Neither S4 or Note II has wireless charging, isn’t it? Thanks!