As our smartphones and tablets get more and more powerful, there's always one thing that seems to be left behind and that's battery life. It's always been a concern in Android smartphones, even when dual-core CPUs hit the scene, and then especially when quad-core CPUs such as the Tegra 3 hit the scene. The question has always been whether or not the extra power has an adverse affect on our battery life. Additions such as Nvidia's "companion core" in their Tegra CPUs and battery saving initiatives such as Sony's "STAMINA" mode have always been here but, Qualcomm seem to have done something right with their latest CPUs and just kept it simple.
The Snapdragon 800 is the latest and greatest to come from the world's biggest name in mobile chips and with clock speeds soaring past 2.0 Ghz a core, you'd think that this quad-core beast would drain that tiny battery of yours, right? Well, some enterprising Koreans found out that the answer is actually, no – the Snapdragon 800 is no marathon runner but, it's a frugal CPU that should keep things going for more than a full day or so.
The Galaxy S4 LTE-A was recently announced with the Snapdragon 800 inside of it and was benchmarked by Korean site, Playwares who put the device through its paces and compared it to other devices where battery life is concerned.
To keep things fair and square, all screens were set to the same brightness at around 230 cd/m2. In a WiFi test, the Snapdragon 800 device scored pretty much on par with the Exynos 5 Octa variant, but the S4 in general scored poorly as AMOLED displays often sip more battery than other displays.
This is still an impressive result, the Exynos 5 Octa is an elusive CPU and it's big.LITTLE layout from ARM is designed specifically to get better battery life. Not just that but the Octa will be running somewhere around 1.8 Ghz and the Snapdragon 800 around 2.2 Ghz so that's a good result for the Snapdragon 800.
In a slightly more scientific test, the Korean site put all the devices through the GLBenchmark to see how long they would last. The Snapdragon 800 GS4 handily outlasted the Exynos 5 Octa version.
That's around 3 hrs 35 mins compared to just 2 hrs 45 mins for the Exynos 5 Octa version. These tests aren't as concrete as we'd like but, these are the first quality tests we've seen made with the Snapdragon 800 and to see it fare this well against a chip designed for better battery life is promising to say the least.
Hopefully, devices that the Snapdragon 800 resides in will all perform better than previous years in the battery life department, after all it's one of the biggest problems we face with smartphones these days. They're more than powerful enough but, with battery technology standing still for years now, it's hard to get the most out of them on the go.