LIke I mentioned, part of Verizon's strategy is to dial the processor back by 20% to 1.2 GHz on the CPU. We were curious, though, whether the GPU would face a similar clock hit. So we held it up against its One family counterparts, which includes several devices running the S4 at its full 1.5 GHz. 

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt - Offscreen (720p)

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro - Offscreen (720p)

RightWare Basemark ES 2.0 V1 - Hoverjet

GPU performance is just spot on with its One kin, even coming close to leading in some benchmarks. So, looks like the GPU isn't restricted at all. But, how big is the CPU performance deficit?

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser


Vellamo Overall Score

Linpack - Single-threaded

Linpack - Multi-threaded

Here we start to see the penalty paid for the lower clock speed. The delta was as small as 12% and as high as 35% compared ot the top S4 performer in each chart. Some of that delta can be chalked up to differences in software builds; Qualcomm provides optimized Android builds to OEM partners, but it's up to them and the carrier to decide whether to implement them or not. So, there is a real performance hit, but perception of that hit isn't necessarily going to mar the experience, especially with GPU performance unaffected.

So, there's mixed results here, GPU performance is good, but CPU performance takes a hit. The display is smaller and has a lower resolution, but maintains good characteristics. But there could be something to gain from these cut-backs, with display size and clock speed held in check, battery life SHOULD see a benefit? Will it? We're finding out right now. 

The Display and The Mid-Range
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  • s44 - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    The 4.8" phone is actually lighter than the 4" phone, so how much mobility are you really giving up?
  • aliasfox - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Lighter doesn't mean much if it takes up too much pocket-space to be comfortable.
  • PubFiction - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Some girls like to be able to fit a phone in their wallets / small purses, they might have physical limit to dimensions. Some people just want a phone to be smaller so it goes more easily into a pocket. Others have larger pockets and would rather just have the extra screen real estate. I think the actual mass of the phone is the feature they are paying too much attention to now. Most people say they want build quality, but then they want it to be light, but last I checked those 2 items oppose each other in most cases.

    My complaint is just that phones now are compared to others as if there is some perfect size for a phone. How ridiculous would it be to see a review of a 17 inch laptop where the reviewer spent the whole time comparing it to a 13 inch laptop and bitching about the weight, size and lack of back packs for it.

    I have seen multiple people buy an iPhone over an android phone simply because it was smaller, and to me that did not make sense. Why didn't any android phones on the high end come with smaller packages.
  • dishayu - Thursday, July 12, 2012 - link

    HTC One S. :)
  • KPOM - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    The best guesses out there are that the next iPhone will have a 4" display. Samsung is by far the dominant Android manufacturer out there (indeed, the largest phone manufacturer), and they have done it with phones with large screens. This tends to invite negative comparisons with phones with smaller screens.
  • doobydoo - Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - link

    The thing with Samsung is that they sell their phones cheaper, firstly, meaning people may not be buying just because the screen is bigger, but rather putting up with a bigger more inconvenient screen due to the price saving. Also, while Samsung has a range of phones which add up collectively to more than any other Android manufacturer, not all of those have large screens.

    The single best selling mobile phone ever is the iPhone 4S, which coincidentally has a smaller form factor. The 'best guesses' out there are that the new iPhone will retain the same or similar form factor, but accommodate a larger screen within it, thus increasing screen size without any sacrifice on mobility or size.
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - link

    Does Samsung sell their phones cheaper? In the US we suffer from the subsidized market which means all our phones end up falling somewhere between $0 and $199, and that includes the iPhone. The more iterative nature of Android has meant, possibly until now, that Samsung needed to shove their phones out of the spotlight quicker to make room for the next big thing, and that often meant giving up the $199 spot. So, while there's no room to argue that the iPhone 4S is the best selling mobile phone, to simply say that Samsung sells its phones cheaper seems specious. Samsung always has a phone, on almost every carrier, that fills that $199 'halo' role.
    Now, outside of the subsidized market, I don't know. There's a very real possibility that in Europe and Asia the Samsung lines of phones undercut the iPhone's price, but if that's so couldn't it be argued that that's the case for every market Apple competes in? They are always the premium brand. They always charge a higher price than their commodity driven competition. It's what they prefer to do. It's not wrong, it's not right, it's just what they prefer.
    Market data told phone manufacturers to move to larger phones a long time ago. The reality is that there are some people who couldn't get used to the small screen of the iPhone, either because their hands were too small or because they just really liked the aesthetics of a big phone. If anyone bought a cheap Galaxy S, or Galaxy S II, or Galaxy Note, because it was cheaper, it was when the device had been sidelined and dropped to $99 on-contract, which means that there was a prior generation iPhone equally priced they could have bought.
  • JasonInofuentes - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    The PC space is dominated by commoditization. Drive the price of components as low as possible so that anyone with a screwdriver and a dream can make a PC that doesn't completely suck and sell it at a profit. That's dumbing things down a bit, but the cost to build a cheap case for a laptop is easier than for a phone, especially when consumer interest is much more variable. Consumer electronics change styles and fads faster than the fashion industry.
    And then there's the reality of part scarcity. There's lots of capacity for building 100ish PPI panels in the 10-17 inch space. The capacity for high quality <5" panels with >250ppi isn't nearly so high, and so even if the cost wasn't so great, there'd still be limited supply. And all of this comes, again, from the fact that this is a varying market, and a rapidly growing market. Hundreds of million of handsets get bought every year, not so much laptops.
    If innovation in components slows, and OEMs spend more time innovating in packaging, feature set, and, yes, commoditization of components, then they might feel the pressure is off and they can just build different sized handsets and charge differently for them. But is that really fair? I mean should I suffer a slower processor just because I want a smaller phone? I think offering tiered products and varying on glass size without altering price drastically would be the best method.
  • hags2k - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Honestly, I think that every manufacturer is going for grand slams instead of base hits. In the PC market, as someone else said, it'd be insanity to offer a laptop in ONLY 17" or ONLY 11", but because companies (*cough*apple*cough*) achieved so much success with ONE model, everyone is trying to duplicate that formula rather than offer consumers some kind of real choice, and on android phones, differentiating yourself is often a matter of one-upsmanship - 4.8 > 4.7 > 4.5 > 4.3 > 4, etc.

    Eventually they will get wise, I hope, but as the article pointed out, price compression is a factor - with computers, they can sell the same laptop with three screen sizes at three price points, but they don't have that kind of freedom in the US market.
  • bearxor - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    Remember when the iPhone came out and bucked the trend of increasingly smaller displays? We were down to 2.5" in Windows Mobile devices.

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