The Galaxy S III and Bit of Comparison Between Krait and Exynos
Samsung's next superphone is set to be announced May 3rd, and there have been an awful lot of rumors leading up to the release. Similar to Apple's style of new product announcements, Samsung has been extremely tight with secuirity surrounding the S III, so we don't know know any of the following for certain.
So first things first: the internals. There have been lots of buzz surrounding Samsung's announcement of its Exynos 4212 quad-core A9 SoC. It boasts a 20% net energy savings with a higher performance. According to leaked benchmarks (below), it outperforms the Transformer Prime's pseudo-penta-quad-core Tegra 3 by a good amount.
The leaked benchmark also reveals that the S III has a max clock of 1.4 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, 720p (1280x720 ~319 ppi) 4.7 inch screen, and an impressive 12 MP rear camera. Knowing Samsung, the screen is probably a super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16 million colors. The benchmark also states that it is running Ice Cream Sandwich.
Many are dissapointed by Samsung's choice to use year-old A9 architecture intstead of the high performance A15-based processors. Luckily, it is highly likely that US bound Galaxies are fitted with the dual-core S4 Snaprdragon "Krait". Although Krait technically does not use A15 architecture, Qualcomm states that the S4 is based off of A15 design.
Now, the common myth is that quad-core is faster and more power-efficient than dual-core processors. While this could be true in a perfect world, there are tons of other factors that affect the performance of a processor. One huge factor is heat. And in the case of S4 Krait cores, Qualcomm has gone to great lengths to increase the thermal efficiency of its processors, which, in turn, makes them more energy efficient overall. Another big factor is the GPU. Krait's integrated Adreno graphics co-processors are very fast, and the new Adreno 320 GPU in the recently announced S4 Pro line of quad-core chipsets offers four times as much graphics processing power than the already impressive Adreno 225 GPU used today. Although I cannot find any hard benchmarks, I've heard that this new Adreno 320 offers graphics power similar to that of gaming consoles (it was never specified which console though...). On the other hand, Exynos's GPU is the generation old Mali-400MP. There is nothing too exceptional about it since it is used in the current Galaxy S II lineup. In this paragraph, I hope I have debunked the myth of more cores are better! Now, to the software of the S III.
As seen to the right, there is a leaked picture of a S III in a mockup case that hides the real design. It's obviosly running ICS and, as you can tell in this leak, there are no hardware buttons. One unique thing to note is the fourth software button typically not seen in other ICS devices. This is both good and bad. Back in 2.x Gingerbread days, most Android phones had 4 hardware buttons. Android has been criticized for being too fragmented in both hardware and software. So when Google released ICS, their intent was to reduce fragmentation within both realms by switching out hardware buttons with the consistent software buttons. It seems Samsung is bucking the trend and designing their own unique style for ICS. The only good I see coming out of this is for the S II user's benefit. I'm pretty sure Samsung is making this decision because they want the buttons on the S II to be similar to the S III so that users that upgrade will not get too confused..
Overall, the expectations for the S III is really high. The S II was the most popular Android handset on the market, so the S III better not mess things up! Any opinions would be greatly appreciated below and get ready for May 3rd!
EDIT: Some more details have been leaked. The unofficial blog SamMobile seem to have gotten their hands on some legitmate looking user manuals. According to this image, it seems like we've gotten it all wrong. The camera is 8 MP, not 12 MP; the Exynos 4212 reaches a max clock speed of 1.5 GHz. Most suprising, though, is the screen. It's not the rumored 4.6 or 4.7 inch screen, but a whopping 4.8 screen! It also mentions that the screen is MIPI (C-Type), which supposedly means HD RGB. Hopefully that means 720p screen with no Pentile! One small little thing that might discredit this image is the hardware buttons. The image shows three hardware buttons (back button, menu button, and trackball) and that just doesn't seem to make sense. ICS is unique because of its software buttons, so having two back buttons and menu buttons is not very plausible. But then again, this is just a rumor; and with all of these mismatching rumors, we really don't know what's certain. But May 3rd is just around the corner! Get excited!