Samsung Galaxy S4 review: Supernova

GSMArena team, 28 March 2013.
Pages: 123456789101112

Tags: Samsung, Android

Synthetic benchmarks

Update, May 9: We added the I9500 Galaxy S4 benchmarks.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes in two versions - one uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset, while the other uses Samsung's own Exynos 5 Octa.

The Snapdragon version packs four Krait 300 cores clocked at 1.9GHz with 2GB of RAM and Adreno 320 GPU. The Exynos one has four Cortex-A15 cores at 1.6GHz that with 2GB of RAM and a tri-core PowerVR SGX544. Both versions should offer top notch performance, but the Exynos one packs a second group of four cores - Cortex-A7 clocked at 1.2GHz - which can be used during light load situations to reduce power usage.

The Galaxy Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600) edges out the HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro in single-threaded (Benchmark Pi) and multi-threaded (Linpack) performance, both these handsets use the same chipset but with the CPU clocked at 1.7GHz. The Exynos-powered Galaxy S4 meanwhile is clocked even lower but offers virtually the same performance as the Snapdragon version.

Note: The Snapdragon 600-powered Galaxy S4, the I9505, is marked S600, while the Exynos 5 Octa one, the I9500, is marked Octa.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    132
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    132
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    147
  • HTC One
    151
  • Sony Xperia Z
    264
  • HTC Butterfly
    266
  • Oppo Find 5
    267
  • HTC One X+
    280
  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    330
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    350
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    359
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    362
  • Nexus 4
    431

Linpack

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    791
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    788
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    743
  • HTC One
    646
  • Sony Xperia Z
    630
  • HTC Butterfly
    624
  • LG Optimus G
    608
  • Oppo Find 5
    593
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    214.3
  • Nexus 4
    213.5
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    189.1
  • HTC One X+
    177.7
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    175.5
  • HTC One X
    160.9
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    141.5

Geekbench 2 is a cross-platform benchmark, which allows us to compare the Galaxy Samsung Galaxy S4 against the iPhone 5 and the difference is double. The HTC One and Optimus G Pro lag behind both Samsung Galaxy S4 versions too, with the Octa pulling slightly ahead. We should note that they are using a newer version of Android (4.2.2 vs. 4.1.2).

Geekbench 2

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    3324
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    3227
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    3040
  • HTC One
    2708
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2173
  • HTC Butterfly
    2143
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1845
  • LG Optimus G
    1723
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1661
  • iPhone 5
    1601

Moving on to compound benchmarks, AnTuTu and Quadrant put the Galaxy Samsung Galaxy S4 on top, with the Octa version once again being slightly faster. The HTC One and the LG Optimus G Pro traded victories in both benchmarks.

AnTuTu

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    26275
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    24716
  • HTC One
    22678
  • Sony Xperia Z
    20794
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    20056
  • HTC Butterfly
    19513
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    15547
  • Oppo Find 5
    15167

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    12446
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    12376
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    12105
  • HTC One
    11746
  • Sony Xperia Z
    8075
  • HTC One X+
    7632
  • LG Optimus G
    7439
  • Oppo Find 5
    7111
  • HTC One X
    5952
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    5916
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    5450
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    5170
  • Nexus 4
    4567

Now let's look at the GPU benchmarks. We ran GLBenchmark 2.5 in 1080p off-screen mode, which is also the native screen resolution for the flagships. The Galaxy Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600) came out ahead of the HTC One here, which leads us to suspect that the GPU has been overclocked, just like the CPU. The S4 (Octa) was a couple of frames faster.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa) also topped the Epic Citadel chart (again, a couple of frames ahead of S600), though it's getting too close to the software 60fps limit to show much of a difference. Still, this benchmark uses Unreal Engine, which is sometimes used in high-end 3D mobile games and shows real-world performance.

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    43
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    41
  • HTC One
    37
  • Oppo Find 5
    32
  • Google Nexus 4
    32
  • Sony Xperia Z
    31
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    31
  • Sony Xperia SP
    31
  • Apple iPhone 5
    30
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    30
  • LG Optimus G
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    17
  • HTC One X
    11

Epic Citadel

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    59.8
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    57.1
  • HTC One
    56.4
  • Sony Xperia Z
    55.6
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    54.2
  • Nexus 4
    53.9
  • Asus Padfone 2
    53.4
  • LG Optimus G
    52.6
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    41.3
  • Oppo Find 5
    38.6

Finally, JavaScript is blazing fast, beating all other phones we've tested so far. HTML5 performance as measured by Vellamo could use some work. We used the Android Browser for the test rather than Chrome, which also comes preinstalled.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    804
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    810
  • Samsung Ativ S
    891
  • Apple iPhone 5
    915
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    910
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    972
  • HTC One X+
    1001
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1011
  • Motorola RAZR i XT890
    1059
  • HTC One
    1124
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1192
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1312
  • Sony Xperia Z
    1336
  • LG Optimus G
    1353
  • HTC Butterfly
    1433
  • Nexus 4
    1971
  • Oppo Find 5
    2045

Vellamo

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2418
  • HTC One
    2382
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2189
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    2078
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2060
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    2056
  • HTC Butterfly
    1866
  • Oppo Find 5
    1658
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1641
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1568
  • LG Optimus G
    1522
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1468
  • Nexus 4
    1310

The Galaxy Samsung Galaxy S4 is hands down one of the fastest smartpohnes on the market right now. There's very little difference between its two incarnations, even though practically everything about them is different - chipset maker, CPU and GPU architecture, the whole thing.

We suspect this is on purpose - Samsung wanted to guarantee that devs can expect the exact same level of performance form the Galaxy S4, regardless of which version the user has. And they've done an excellent job. But this isn't the best that Cortex-A15 is capable of - we might have to wait until the Galaxy Note III to get a true feel for its performance.

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