Qualcomm chip in HTC One S is speed demon, says analyst

Dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 in HTC One S gets thumbs up from research firm.

The HTC One S is powered by a fast 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor.
The HTC One S is powered by a fast 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor. CNET

Qualcomm is proving that a phone doesn't have to be quad-core to be fast.

"Scoring 25 percent higher than its older siblings...in [central processing unit] performance benchmarks, shows Qualcomm has delivered on its promise for higher performance CPU," Jim Mielke, vice president of engineering at ABI Research, said in a note today, referring to the HTC One S.

That phone comes with the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) operating system.

The HTC smartphone taps the first Qualcomm 28-nanometer (nm) chip -- the "Snapdragon" MSM8260A. That's a big step up in chip manufacturing process technology from older 45-nanometer Qualcomm silicon. Generally, the smaller the chip geometries, the faster and/or more power efficient the chip is.

"The combination of the 28nm [process] and the higher-performing Qualcomm core provides the best user experience found in any Android phone," ABI Research said.

ABI Research's impressions of HTC One S with new Qualcomm S4 chip:

  • Highest performing dual-core handset/tablet on the market.
  • Very small footprint for the complete modem, application processor, and connectivity solution.
  • The Adreno 225 graphics core performance remained on par with prior generation designs.
  • On par battery performance compared to prior generation.

And CNET Reviews said the Qualcomm chip delivers a snappy experience. "Many Android fanatics will likely bemoan the HTC One S' lack of a quad-core CPU [but] the handset felt very quick and responsive," CNET said.

Other reviews have also shown that the Qualcomm's chip performance is close to the Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3 in more than a few benchmarks.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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