Over at GLBenchmark they’ve had a new fighter enter their ring, under the mysterious guise of the MB8866 (aka the “Qinara” or even the Atrix 3) running Android 4.0.3. Nothing new there, right? What is new, however, is that the benchmark submitted was made using the Snapdragon S4, clocked at 1.5 Ghz, the very same chip that we’ve seen excel over at anandtech earlier in the year.
Traditionally we’ve seen Motorola exclusively throwing OMAP chips from Texas Instruments into their smartphone pots, but now it seems like there making a change to the latest and greatest from Qualcomm. Why would they change now? Three letters: LTE. Phones coming out this year (at least high-end models) will more than likely all be toting 4G, something other chip makers have been lacking in support of. Tegra 3 is one such example, as HTC are having to supplant it with the very same S4 for their AT&T version of their flagship the One X. It’s been leaked that Tegra SoCs won’t be supporting LTE until mid-to-late 2013
Recently there’s been rumours of a Droid RAZR HD that’ll most likely sport LTE floating around and these benchmarks could well be evidence to suggest that the S4 will be coming to yet another RAZR near you soon.
Time and time again, Qualcomm have been pushing quality ARM SoCs, this is the company that first made 1Ghz phones possible way back in 2009. What’s particularly interesting about the S4 is that it supports the latest A15 instruction set from ARM, meaning that whilst it might only be dual-core and “only” clocked at 1.5 Ghz, it does a hell of a lot more than the Snapdragons, Hummingbirds and OMAPS of old. As always though, there’s always something better over the horizon, the S4 may well be up-ended by Samsung and their A15 sporting Exynos 5250. If one things for certain, it’s that this year is definitely turning out to be one for the speed freaks.