The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are the world’s first Android smartphones to support the new Vulkan API unveiled in 2015 and released in February 2016. The Vulkan API is considered the spiritual successor of OpenGL and, in a nutshell, it was designed to decrease CPU usage while improving 3D graphics performance across multiple platforms, including mobile. As mentioned above, Samsung Electronics is already making use of the Vulkan API on its latest series of flagship phones, and the South Korean manufacturer took advantage of the recent E3 conference to show off the graphics performance delivered by its newest mobile devices.
The Vulkan API was initially launched on the 16th of February 2016, but the first stable release came out last week on June 24. At the E3 game conference (June 14-16), Samsung Electronics demoed three graphically intensive games running on the Samsung Galaxy S7 series, namely Need for Speed No Limits – a racing game with an IP that needs no introduction -, Heroes of Incredible Tales – a 3D isometric role playing-action game developed by NEXON -, and Vainglory – a MOBA-style game (multiplayer online battle arena) developed by Super Evil Megacorp for Android and iOS. More recently and following E3, Samsung Electronics published a new video on YouTube, showcasing the benefits of using the Vulkan API to gadget enthusiasts who weren’t able to attend E3 and witness the demos firsthand. The video compares the performance and graphics fidelity delivered by OpenGL ES and Vulkan API side-by-side, and much to everyone’s expectations, the Vulkan API offers better graphics, a more stable frame rate overall, and higher responsiveness for a more immersive gaming experience.
Samsung has worked together with game developers and helped them to better understand the smartphones and the Vulkan API, and deliver the best experience on mobile devices. According to Tommy Krul, Chief Technology Officer at Super Evil Megacorp, “Samsung has been a great partner for us in importing our games to Vulkan”. The CTO added that they had Samsung engineers “right here in our office helping us port Vainglory to Vulkan and really squeeze out all the performance we can”. This apparently resulted in improved battery life, increased rendering, and up to 30% better performance.