Back at MWC in February of this year HTC made a fairly big impact when they unveiled their One line of phones, not only because they were cracking down on the runaway number of models released last year but, because of what was inside them. Whenever a smartphone and/or tablet manufacturer updates or releases new products it's pretty much a given that the latest and greatest will be packed in. HTC didn't fail to deliver and have subsequently put out their One line of phones in a number of markets globally, including the popular and powerful Tegra 3 quad-core packing One X.
The One X from HTC is without a doubt a powerful phone, featuring four processor cores coupled with an Ultra Low Power GeForce GPU it's certainly a phone for gamers and
content consumers. What was somewhat surprising though, was the fact that it's younger brother, the One S, with it's dual-core Snapdragon processor would outperform it in certain tasks and also come out on top in a number of benchmarks. This is all down to the the fact the latest Snapdragons from Qualcomm – the S4 "Krait" series – are based around the newer Cortex-A15 processor design from ARM and not the old Cortex A9 that the Tegra 3 utilises.
The bump in performance is down to the fact that the Cortex A15 executes code a lot differently, the gap can easily be likened to the gap between the Core Duo and the Core 2 Duo processors from Intel. It's that sort of generational leap that we often see in the technology world. All this talk of processors is a lot to take in, if you want to catch up check out our history of the ARM platform. This allows the Snapdragon S4 to process more, and do it more efficiently because it does so in a better way. All of this equates to more speed and often better battery life. Now, this doesn't mean that the S4 is better for gaming as at the moment, the chips Qualcomm are sending out still use an older Adreno GPU that doesn't even close to what the Tegra's GPU can produce. What's going to be challenging for nVidia is when the S4 Plus chips begin to hit the market and the gap in the graphics race becomes even closer. If you were to ask me what chip I want in my next phone, I'd tell you straight that I'd want an S4 Plus simply because ARM processors based on the Cortex A15 platform are the future.