Galaxy S4 rear

At yesterday's big Samsung Galaxy S4 announcement, the manufacturer revealed that multiple versions of the phone would be produced running differing CPUs, as was the case with last year's Galaxy S3. Certain markets, including the U.S., will get a 1.9GHz quad-core chip powering their S4, while other territories, including the UK and Europe, would get an octa-core Samsung Exynos 4 chip at 1.6GHz.

However, there was some confusion as to exactly which quad-core chip would be fitted in the quad-core Galaxy S4 -- Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 600, or the slightly older Snapdragon S4 Pro. Today a Qualcomm spokesperson has confirmed to us that the quad-core Galaxy S4 is indeed packing the faster Snapdragon 600 chip, so hopefully we can all avoid any more sleepless nights worrying about that one.

The U.S. variant Galaxy S4 joins the HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro, which will also ship with Qualcomm's latest chip. While the S4 Pro, found in devices like the LG Optimus G and Nexus 4 is certainly a capable chip, we'll always welcome a little more processing horsepower -- Qualcomm claims its new chip offers an up to 40 percent increase in performance over the S4 Pro.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4​; Galaxy S4 forums


Reader comments

U.S. Galaxy S4 model to be powered by Snapdragon 600 CPU


Depending on the GPU - if the Octa ships with the Power VR GPU (that it's rumored to), the same GPU on the'll be a monster. But the SD600 could well ship with Adreno...which is thoroughly meh...

The Adreno 320 is nothing to complain about, it scores pretty close to the Power VR in the benchmarks I've seen, 1 or 2 fps at most isn't going to noticeably change the experience.

Just gonna say my Nexus 4 which I believe is Adreno powered runs everything just fine. Of course there's always faster stuff coming but what game are you running that are giving issues? Even my Gnex runs most stuff fine.

What I'm wondering if of we will see any new tegra 4 phones this year, seems to have been relegated to tablets.

well, the PowerVR in the Iphone isn't as powerful as you think. It barely beats out the One X in most benchmarks, while there are others it most certainly excells in, but that's comparing to an Adreno 305, while the Iphone 5 also has a slightly lower resolution. And you should know that the gpu in the Iphone 5 isn't the same as the chip in the new new iPad, iPad 4, or whatever you want to call it its a SGX543MP3, while the iPad uses a SGX554MP4+, a more capable design. The Adreno 320 almost matches the Ipad A6X in most categories, so I assume it would beat out the A6.

That being said, its not going to matter too much when SoC's start being fitted with Imagination Technologies' PowerVR G6630. A chip that can perform a little more than 1/4th of the Nvidia GTX 680. 1 teraflop versus 3.7 teraflops. So that's what im waiting for in terms of graphics prowess.

why do we in the USA always get cheated?

people who buy the new S4 will not be able to brag to their
iPhone friends about the cool 8-core CPU... :)

in day-to-day use, I doubt it will make that much difference,
but bragging rights is very important for those of us who
always want the latest and best hardware. :)

Don't comment about it if you have no idea about it.

Europe has LTE, the European S3 LTE had the Quad-Core Exynos. The European LTE of the S4 most likely has the Exynos 5 too.

You apparently don't know either. The US started with the dual core because of LTE. They didn't come out with a quad core LTE Exynos until after the S3 was released in the US.

But the number of cores does not necessarily mean it's faster. So, don't be a douche.

T-Mobile USA didn't have an LTE network yet. It runs the same chip as the AT&T, Verizon and Sprint GS3's. T-Mobile's versions were preprogrammed or only given the necessary antennas and other hardware for HSPA+42.

Not necessarily, Snapdragon 600 is just a category. I've only heard about the APQ8064T as being part of the Snapdragon 600 family at this point, which doesn't integrate LTE (but WiFi & BT). As Samsung is a major Qualcomm customer, I wouldn't be surprised if the Galaxy S4/USA shows up with a (yet unannounced) Snapdragon 600 with LTE at the end of April.

Feel free to brag that you have the highest clocked chip of any phone. If that makes you warm and tingly.

Personally, the 600 is fine with me. Although I will not get to annoy my wife by incessantly pointing to the new phone and stating, "Ocho Powered!"


The 8 core chip isn't 8 full power cores, it's 4 high performance cores for intensive tasks and 4 low power simpler cores for power efficiency. From what I understand for the most part one or the other set will be running. Sounds like a clunky fix for high performance cores that can't keep battery life in check.

I expect the performance will be similar, specs can lie. It'll most likely be comparable to other 4 core devices.

Yeah we'll have to see the battery tests for each version of the device. Qualcomm has their own power saving features on chip too which I'm guessing lower the clock speeds of the cores based on the tasks.

Benchmarks show very little difference between the two. Qualcomms' quad core chip demonstrates as usual that it only needs one core for samsungs 2 cores. That's worth bragging about.

I believe the 600 can be clocked up to 2.3ghz. the manufacturers then clock it at whatever they think is best for their device to conserve battery life

Manufacturing process is not perfect. Unless process is improved, few can be clocked at 2.3, more can be clocked at 1.9GHZ and more can be clocked at 1.7 GHZ.
They shipped with guarantee clock. HTC ONE receive chips at least capable of 1.7GHz but few of them might be 2.3 capable. That's why most of the time you can overclock.

question for you that know processors. not sure if im correct but only one core runs until you need another one right? so in theory 1.9 quad will run faster than a 1.6 octa unless you have Several things running at once. not sure if this is correct someone let me know?

I don't know all the details about it but i know that it isn't really 8 cores running together but instead a quad core a15 and a quad a7 processor to get the most out of battery life (the a7) while having more power (a15). Although I still don't understand why they couldn't have it in the U.S. seeing as that the galaxy note 2 has the quad core exynos processor with LTE as well. Maybe because there is not enough supply or something.

Not all apps run on more than one core, in the case of those apps it only benefits multitasking. But many apps are multithreaded and use multiple cores (games for instance)
So 1 app can use all 4 cores, but when not much power is needed they usaully turn off unnecessary cores.

I know everyone is saying "US" version is the Snapdragon 600, but what about Canada? Does that fall into the US category or international? =_=

Can't say for sure, but usually Canada gets the same as the US, as their frequencies are similar to AT&T and/or T-mobile in the US.

My guess is that North America will get Snapdragon 600's just like NA did last year for the GS3 and SnapdragonS4 chips. I believe Canada uses a lot of the same bands for LTE that the US does so I think it's a safe bet you guys are getting the 600 version.

Fantastic news. We should have some good custom kernels to play with. AOSP is going to kick ass on this phone. Samsung can be stingy with their xynos kernel source so this is great news for me.

I am glad someone pointed this out. The Qualcomm chipset is actually preferable for those of us who hack on our phones. Screw Samsung and their closed source buggy ass security problem ridden Exynos CPU's. I'll never buy another phone with Exynos as long as they refuse to honor the GPL. Many of my favorite devs have moved over to the Xperia Z from Samsung specifically for this reason.

Sucks. I think everybody is forgetting a key factor. Battery life. Without the smaller processor and higher clock rate there will be a battery life hit. Question is how much.

I supposed the only reason is that the octa isnt ready for U.S. right now? Just like the Equinox quad wasn't available to us til the note 2 came out.

The bigger question is what GPU will the american version ship with. I think that it's pretty well confirmed that the Exynos Octa will ship with the same PowerVR chip that currently ships in the iPhone 5 - if the Snapdragon 600 ships with Adreno - there's no way on earth it'll be able to compete at 1080p with either the iPhone5/s or the world- GS4. Great big question mark for me, and a deciding factor for if it's this phone or wait for the X-phone (as much as I love the HTC one...I wouldn't buy it for a similar reason).


You do realize that the Adreno 320 is the fastest non PowerVR chip in pixel pushing, and is better at textures and GPGPU than PowerVR chips, right? And that the 600's higher clocked 320 beats everything that's not the new new iPad? It's not anything to laugh at. FYI, you do know that Adreno is based on ATI Radeon, right? And that it supports 1440p output? Oh and let's not forget that 1080p phones are already out there, with the Droid DNA with a lower-clocked Adreno 320 that manages to have been the fastest phone period of 2012, and despite the benches not looking quite as nice as the PowerVR run iPhone5, still managed to give a great gaming experience.

And the Exynos Octa last time I heard was running a PowerVR SGX544MP, which would place it between the iphone5 and the newnew iPad.

Which in the end, places the two GPUs in the same category.

did i miss the part where someone said the US GS4 will use the Snapdragon 600? we already knew the Snapdragon 600 was inside some of the devices via benchmarks.

1.7Ghz on the HTC One or 1.9Ghz on the SGS4?

Think I'll be picking up the HTC One.

A point 2 difference on the same chip is not really a big deal. Judging from the video the SGS4 lagged a few times so obviously it's not clocked high enough. People say Sense slows your phone down (I've never experienced this) for some reason. With all these new gimmicks on the SGS4 I'm sure it will certainly slow down the phone as it did in the video.

You do realize the reason for this is the pre-release software? It's not the software that the phone will be shipped with, and the bugs/stutters will have been worked out before then.

So does your comment hold up with the benchmark comparisons as well? HTC kinda ate the S4 for dinner........just sayin.

In one test I saw it wasn't by a huge margin. Though really, I don't think benches matter much. We know what chips are in what phones and we choose the devices we want for whatever reason.
HTC One Quadrant test from Slashgear
And I believe this one was also done by Slashgear on the units at the show

PhoneArena did one and recorded it and it got 12502 in Quadrant!

I think it's really based on available RAM. The more system resources that are dedicated to the benchmark app itself, the better the result. So it's really apples to apples with the One especially since they're both running the same chipsets, but the S4 is supposed to be using better RAM I believe. Either way. They're still both really great and great performing phones by the look of it.

I read the Quick Charge 2.0 won't be available until 2014 and the 800s until later this year so expect the next Nexus to have the 800 chip.

Snapdragon 600 is good for sure but the 800 is gonna be a beast. Adreno 330 they claim 50% better performance and Krait 400 CPU architecture is said to be faster per clock than the Krait 300 of the S600. The 800 they want not just in phones but also tablets and laptops. Meant to be their big high performance chip. I expect HTC and LG will have new devices later this year using that since both of those companies tend to do multiple flagships a year.

Yeah the Snapdragon 600 has been rumored for a while to be in the U.S. version, so not really a surprise.

It's plenty fast so users should be happy with it.

My guess is that the models that require CDMA, a dead technology, will be Qualcomm based as Qualcomm owns all the patents for CDMA.

I know Verizon says they are going all VoLTE and killing CDMA. I think that could be a mistake. I think CDMA (not the Euro's WCDMA) works better for voice. For example, on Sprint the CDMA and LTE frequencies are pretty close to one another. The propagation of LTE and CDMA on Sprint therefore should be similar. If I go into some structures, I will get a very low, but usable, 3G signal and no LTE signal. CDMA's strength has always been weak signal performance.

It will be very interesting to see what happens when Verizon turns off CDMA.

Yep, get rid of that CDMA crap. What's that you say? You still want 3G? Well you can't have it both ways. Every 3G network runs a version of CDMA. Even those sweet little GSM networks. But it doesn't really matter. A few years from now everything will start to transition to LTE only.

Well, to be clear, I was talking specifically about any successor to IS-95/3GPP2 group based technologies. W-CDMA is only similar in signal modulation, its much more heavily based on GSM and the GPRS add-on. Qualcomm also owns patents based on the CDMA signal modulation technique, but that doesn't give them exclusivity over W-CDMA like it does for "CDMA" (the standard, not signal modulation technique).

Just look at the benchmarks for the S4. HTC One is killing in some areas (by a LOT) and winning by a small margin in others. Surprising.

I'm leaning towards the HTC ONE or waiting for the X Phone, that said I'm very pro Snapdragon myself being blown away by the S4 Pro on my Nexus 4 and the Lg Optimus G so the slight upgrade of the 600 should be more than sufficient for quite some time for those who purchase the GS4, for a couple years if they run custom ROMs as there is barely anything that can push the current quad core processors in the market with the exception of 1 or two games.

the 600 is better (and faster) than the octa. qualcomm really has added a lot of unique and cool features to their processor.

It's not exynos but I will be alright with it. plus battery life will most likely be a little better with this chip. People just like to complain.

Also exynos sucks for development with how samsung labeled them. I mean go read through the threads and see how many devs dropped support for exynos devices due to this.

Yes, in the long run the S4 will be great for people who like rooting and unlocking the bootloaders of their phones granted Samsung doesn't lock it down(I doubt they will).

Would you guys rather have the quad core exonys from the NOTE 2 or the snapdragon that is being released with it? wouldnt it be smarter for samsung, profit wise to use their own chip since it already has one working with LTE?

I guess it would be smarter? But it'd also be last generation technology if you're really suggesting reusing the Exynos 4 Quad in the S4. I'd rather have the Snapdragon 600 if you're giving me those options.

Qualcomm is in bed with Google. Most devices running their chipsets will be updated to newer Android OS' before others. Not a bad thing.

None of this matters the Galaxy Note 3 will arrive with the Exynos 5 Octa clocked at 2.2Ghz with 3gb of ram and 16 meg camrea. I will take that instead. My current Galaxy Note 2 is the GOLD STANDARD of the technology industry the device everyone is trying to catch up to and copy at every turn. The Galaxy Note 3 will make me use the Galaxy Note 2 as a backup device. September/October can't come fast enough...

It matters. You were the idiot who "knew" the US version would have the Exynos 5 Octa. You also "knew" the S4 would be able to measure blood sugar and blood pressure levels. You then claimed it would also have a 1080p flexible display. And yet, none of those came even remotely true. You have no clue what you're talking about.

as nice as the s4 is my nexus still is ok despite my deire for a better camera. It runs all apps well. If the s4 was a s800 I would do it but Just gonna wait for nexus 5 and hope to god it offers lte. If not gonna wait for wait and see I really want a new phone with key lime pie stock.