Samsung Galaxy S2 Smashes Benchmarks

Samsung’s forthcoming Galaxy S2 – due for release 1st of May – has smashed the speed test record for Android phones. The test was conducted using an app called Quadrant which tests how well a phone performs various tasks and then gives an overall score which can be compared with other phones.

Typical scores for the HTC Desire are around 500, the Nexus S scores around 1400 and the Galaxy S2 clocks a whopping 3053.

Although these benchmarks aren’t always representative of how the phone will perform in real world, these numbers are impressive non the less. The high score comes courtesy of the dual core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.

Look at those specs again, they wouldn’t have looked out of place on a desktop PC a couple of years ago and compare favourably to today’s netbooks.

What will this mean in terms of the phone’s real world performance? Well it won’t make the slightest difference to calls, texts and emails but early reviews suggest that the user interface runs as smooth as smooth can be. Video playback was good on the original Galaxy S and the guts of the S2 should power the 4.3″ super AMOLED screen with no problems at all. All this power also means that the Galaxy S2 can record and encode 1080p HD video too.

The high specs will really make themselves known when it comes to gaming though. The addition of a dedicated GPU will mean that games built on the likes of the Unreal engine will have the juice to deliver detail and high frame rates.

The power that this and the next generation of handsets will have does beg a question though. What are we going to use it for?

Desktop PCs got more and more powerful until we reached where we are now, a situation where the vast majority of computer owners have a machine that is way over specified  for what they actually use it for.  Aside from specialist business applications and hardcore gaming, most people simply don’t need the kind of computing power they have. I would say that the same is true of mobile phones, but probably more so.

The two situations where people do need powerful PC hardware don’t really apply to phones:

Gaming on phones is inherently limited by the screen size and the control interface, more power won’t fix this. Even if your phone was technically capable of running Crysis 2 it would be a poor experience compared to playing on a big screen.  Mobile gaming isn’t about high frame rates and high tech. Angry Birds is a simple 2D game that has become so ubiquitous that it has spawned a massive range of merchandise, without anti aliasing or  a pixel shader in sight.

The other use for powerful hardware is specialist business software. Programs for graphic design, video editing, 3d modelling and engineering simulation all need high end computers but again these aren’t likely to work on a phone.

The hardware inside of a phone is only as useful as the form factor will let it be. The capabilities of the hardware are limited in what they can deliver by the screen size and the input devices, all of which are in turn limited by the size of the device.

So, this whopping benchmark score, impressive though it is, means very little without a real need for the kind of power it promises.

One Response to “Samsung Galaxy S2 Smashes Benchmarks”