Samsung S3 gets quad-core, better than Motorola Droid Fighter?

We know the S3 will be quad-core, but the Droid Fighter (HD?) is likely to arrive with a TI ARM-based dual-core, albeit still a fast performer.

Samsung's new Exynos 4 Quad processor: Twice the power, 20% less power. The chip will first appear in the US in the Samsung Galaxy S3. Other manufacturers will likely follow.

UPDATE: Note the quad-core S3 is not yet confirmed for the U.S. market as pointed out in the comments, though it is official for the S3 handset to be announced May 3 in London per pr today from Samsung. If history is any indication – HTC One X – we may unfortunately see another LTE concession in the form of a Qualcomm-based dual-core in a domestically crippled S3. Regardless of how this plays out, the S3 and Droid Fighter should be pretty evenly matched. And as for my prediction about quad-core handsets in North America for 2012: well, I still have time to get that right, if not slightly delayed. Hey, London’s a good place to live, right?

Chrome Beta running on a Samsung Galaxy S2 with Ice Cream Sandwich.

Quad-core Android looks to soon be a reality on these shores. Samsung has revealed that its upcoming Galaxy S3 Android smartphone will run on an Exynos 4 Quad, a 32nm chip that will enable full 1080p HD streaming (at 30 fps), smooth multi-tasking thanks to its multiple cores, and give customers the right to lay claim to owning one of the most – if not the most – powerful smartphone on the planet. Per Samsung, the processor is “already in production” and “is scheduled to be adopted first into Samsung’s next Galaxy smartphone that will officially be announced in May.”

Yep, it’s a honker, alright. The previous model, the S2, was no slouch and became the company’s best selling handset. No wonder, it’s well made, runs Android extremely well (especially if you root, install the Cynaogenmod ROM), and features a gorgeous 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display. So expectations are rightfully high for its successor.

Quad-Cores… finally

Admittedly, I was overzealous in my predictions for quad-core Androids back in January at CES. Nothing came of that. And then Mobile World Conference was a bust too – unless you lived in Europe where the HTC One X would be available with quad-core internals, unlike its bland American dual-core cousin. Finally, though, it appears those who have been waiting to upgrade have some tempting alternatives.

Droid Still Does

I never expected to be running an OG Moto Droid for some 30 months (“Droid Does” – November 2009). Nexus looked great, performed great, but its battery was a disaster. RAZR Maxx improved upon that greatly. But I’ve been holding out for quad-core simply because I don’t want to be left with an underperforming phone one year into contract. Clearly, there are two great choices looming for us would-be upgraders, but which is better:

Samsung Galaxy S3 or Motorola Droid Fighter?

We know the S3 will be quad-core, but the Droid Fighter (HD?) is likely to arrive with a TI ARM-based dual-core, albeit still a fast performer. If history is any indication, Samsung’s display will be yet another stunner. Battery life on both models will be a huge question mark, though in today’s press release Samsung touts the power efficiency of the Exynos claiming it draws 20% less power.

The decsion between the two Android options may come down to carrier. Like a lot of early Droid converts (was I really on a BlackBerry 8700c prior to the OG Droid!?) I’m on Verizon, and thankfully grandfathered on unlimited data. Making the jump to AT&T is likely not in the cards.

The new stars of mobile? Samsung's Exynos 4 Quad processor: Twice the power, 20% less power. The chip, already in production, will first appear in the US in the Samsung Galaxy S3. Other manufacturers will likely follow.

But do processors really matter?

All this talk of chip design, cores, and power management; do consumers really care about all that I wonder? I do, but then again I’m probably an outlier, being an Android Apologist and all. I suspect all that matters is the actual user experience – running apps smoothly, catching up on Facebook, Twitter and G+, browsing the web with quick load times. Regardless of the internals, isn’t that really the end game. Yes, but look at Apple and the iPhone 4 and 4S launches. There’s a company that knows a thing or two about the user experience, and selling us a lifestyle. And yet, there were those (proudly) Apple A4 and A5 cortex chips, front and center, in starring roles. They even received large landing pages on the Apple web site. Now, hoping to snag iPhone 5 sales, Samsung pre-announces its new chip, and issues a press release in advance of the S3 actual arriving (May 3, London). There’s no doubt gamesmanship as both companies frame their market positioning based on what they perceive to be differentiators that the consumer will care about. Samsung would do well to steer the conversation away from apps, where Android suffers in comparison to iOS, and flog the heck out of that Exynos 4 Quad. 30fps 1080p in your hand? I’m game.

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  • Skant153

    at the time this article went live it was already made public that the US version of the S3 would run dual core.

    • Yes, I’ve seen those rumors, but nothing official from Samsung. Based on what we’ve seen with the HTC One X I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s another LTE concession.

  • Striderevil

    As soon as they confirmed the dual core for the US market it was decided that 2012 Q4 earnings for Samsung would report a poor performance in US, thus catapulting Apple back into the global phone sales lead. Already their Galaxy Tab 2 is a joke and their Galaxy tab Note is nothing sensationally new and now the stick us with a dual core which is not bad since its a (A15 cortex arm processor) accept that the GPU is weaker than the Mali GPU in Galaxy S2. This makes the overall performance questionable.

    • CelticBrewer

      Yet Samsung just posted their best quarter, Stock is at its highest ever, people surprisingly love the note, and they grabbed the biggest smartphone share over Nokia and 3rd place crApple.   So.. I don’t think they’re doing as bad as you insinuating.   Yes, they have room to improve or falter, but so far, so good.

  • Atpcvos

    Can you buy the quad four and use it on a US privider?

    • I doubt it because of LTE incompatibility… the reason why we don’t get the quads to begin with afaik

  • GA2G

    The Galaxy S 2 had a 4.5 inch screen, …really? I own one, and the screen is 4.3 inches. Mine is the I9100 model. Possibly yours in the USA was a different sized screen? I’m in the UK.

    • Fixed typo. You’re right 4.3 inch screen on S2. I think it’s about perfect size. Problem I found with Nexus is can’t use in one hand as easily.

      • GA2G

        It is an excellent size, I agree ….until I got a Galaxy Note also. Now I use the Note ten times as much as I use the S 2. The Note is maybe too big for many people, but I find it almost the perfect productivity phone. In fact, its something I would have expected to come from RIM, as it has such fantastic business potential. It is slightly slower than the S 2, but that is due to the size of the screen, and maybe the near 200 apps that I have installed. On Youtube there is a video called *Using The Galaxy Note As A Computer – With Accessories*, and that shows more than anything else, how versatile it can be. I use it a lot for games, and watching videos, so it is excellent for entertainment, as well as work. The pressure sensitive stylus is the absolutely killer feature, especially if you can do art, or want to save handwritten notes.

  • Cummins359

    Why does every writer dis the dual core chip? You realize this chip is based on the A15 architecture right? Quad core is based on A9. The dual core A15 will smoke the quad A9. The problem with Qualcomm S4 is the gpu. They currently use adreno 225 gpu which which lags behind ARM’s own Mali gpu.

    • Namelessfiend

      Bcause Quad-Core is better than Dual-core? It saves way more battery life than dual-core and what speed tests are you looking at at says the S4 smokes the Exynos? Every benchmark I’ve seen on youtube shows the Exynos winning out. And the few I’ve seen where the S4 wins its VERY close. S4 “smokes” the Exynos 4 Quad? I dont think so

  • Scottyjbd

    still have my OG moto droid as well, was disappointed with the nexus, bionic and razr, and am now waiting for a slight price drop on the razr maxx all the while holding out for a quad core phone so I am not left with an underperforming phone only a year into my contract.

    word. couldn’t agree more.

    if the Fighter releases by say, June 15, I’m going to jump on it, but with no official announcement come the 15th, I’m done waiting and the Maxx it is. but not for more than 200 out the door.

    mobile nazi here

  • Kimza

    Dual core is great, but I am holding out for at least 2 gigs of RAM…have you heard if that is confirmed for the fighter?

    • Kimza

      Ugh, brain on overload, quad core would be great…I really want more RAM so I can use a few more apps a little more easily. Still Using the X because nothing to date has been that wonderful. Thought the Note/Journal would be a good thing, but it still only has 1 gig of RAM…