Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One: Army of two

GSMArena team, 26 March 2013.

Synthetic benchmarks

Update, May 9: We added the Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4 to the benchmarks, this is the one powered by Exynos 5 Octa.

Qualcomm must be feeling pretty good - the HTC One and the majority of Samsung Galaxy S4 units (plus flagships from other companies) use the company's Snapdragon 600 chipset. This means we can expect similar benchmark scores, with a slight advantage for the Galaxy S4 due to the higher clock speed.

The Snapdragon 600 chipset packs four Krait 300 cores, which are clocked at 1.7GHz in the HTC One and 1.9GHz in the Galaxy S4. There's also 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 320 GPU on both smartphones. The GPU clock speed is unknown but we suspect it's higher in the S4 than the One. Then there's the other Galaxy S4, the I9500, which uses an Exynos 5 Octa with four Cortex-A15 cores at 1.6GHz (the Cortex-A7 will shut off under the heavy load of the benchmarks), 2GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX544.

The first batch of benchmarks tests CPU performance - first of a single core (Benchmark Pi) and then the full multithreaded performance (Linpack and Geekbench). The Galaxy S4 narrowly takes the single-threaded performance and gets a more comfortable lead in the multi-threaded tests.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    132
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    132
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    147
  • HTC One
    151
  • Sony Xperia Z
    264
  • HTC Butterfly
    266
  • Oppo Find 5
    267
  • HTC One X+
    280
  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    330
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    350
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    359
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    362
  • Nexus 4
    431

Linpack

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    791
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    788
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    743
  • HTC One
    646
  • Sony Xperia Z
    630
  • HTC Butterfly
    624
  • LG Optimus G
    608
  • Oppo Find 5
    593
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    214.3
  • Nexus 4
    213.5
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    189.1
  • HTC One X+
    177.7
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    175.5
  • HTC One X
    160.9
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    141.5

Geekbench 2

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    3324
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    3227
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    3040
  • HTC One
    2708
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2173
  • HTC Butterfly
    2143
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1845
  • LG Optimus G
    1723
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1661
  • iPhone 5
    1601

AnTuTu and Quadrant are all-inclusive tests that gauge pretty much every component (CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, etc.). Both of them place the Samsung Galaxy S4 ahead of the HTC One by a narrow margin.

AnTuTu

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    26275
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    24716
  • HTC One
    22678
  • Sony Xperia Z
    20794
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    20056
  • HTC Butterfly
    19513
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    15547
  • Oppo Find 5
    15167

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    12446
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    12376
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    12105
  • HTC One
    11746
  • Sony Xperia Z
    8075
  • HTC One X+
    7632
  • LG Optimus G
    7439
  • Oppo Find 5
    7111
  • HTC One X
    5952
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    5916
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    5450
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    5170
  • Nexus 4
    4567

With mobile phone screens topping FullHD resolution, GPUs are under more stress than ever. Luckily for the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, the Adreno 320 is one of the fastest around. The PowerVR SGX544MP3 is also blazing fast, it's used in the Apple iPhone 5.

The GLBenchmark 2.7 test runs at 1080p resolution off-screen, meaning the actual resolution of the physical screen doesn't matter, so we can compare raw performance. The Galaxy S4 tops the charts here, beating the HTC One by good 4-6fps. The only mobile GPU we've tested yet is that in the Apple iPad 4, but that's a tablet and it's not a fair comparison really.

GLBenchmark 2.7 Egypt (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    43
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    41
  • HTC One
    37
  • Oppo Find 5
    32
  • Google Nexus 4
    32
  • Sony Xperia Z
    31
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    31
  • Sony Xperia SP
    31
  • Apple iPhone 5
    30
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    30
  • LG Optimus G
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    17
  • HTC One X
    11

Epic Citadel is a tech demo for the latest Unreal Engine, which is bound to see use in real world games. We ran the test in full resolution with performance set to quality. The Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One came very close in this test as both often hit the software limit of 60fps. Still, it indicates that both phones will run heavy games easily.

Epic Citadel

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    59.8
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    57.1
  • HTC One
    56.4
  • Sony Xperia Z
    55.6
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    54.2
  • Nexus 4
    53.9
  • Asus Padfone 2
    53.4
  • LG Optimus G
    52.6
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    41.3
  • Oppo Find 5
    38.6

Finally, we tested the web browser performance using the stock Android browser (both phones come with Chrome pre-installed as well).

SunSpider showed the Galaxy S4 has much better JavaScript performance than the HTC One.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    804
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    810
  • Samsung Ativ S
    891
  • Apple iPhone 5
    915
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    910
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    972
  • HTC One X+
    1001
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1011
  • Motorola RAZR i XT890
    1059
  • HTC One
    1124
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1192
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1312
  • Sony Xperia Z
    1336
  • LG Optimus G
    1353
  • HTC Butterfly
    1433
  • Nexus 4
    1971
  • Oppo Find 5
    2045

Vellamo tests HTML5 performance alongside JavaScript performance and here the HTC One snagged a victory. Latest-gen Galaxy Note II ended up ahead of both, but keep in mind that the new smartphones have higher resolution screens, which affects web page rendering performance.

Vellamo

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2418
  • HTC One
    2382
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2189
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    2078
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2060
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    2056
  • HTC Butterfly
    1866
  • Oppo Find 5
    1658
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1641
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1568
  • LG Optimus G
    1522
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1468
  • Nexus 4
    1310

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S4. Samsung clocked the Snapdragon 600 chipset higher than HTC and helped its flagship to the victory here. The Exynos 5 Octa version of the Galaxy S4 is slightly faster with its Cortex-A15 CPU, but there's very little difference between the I9500 and I9505 in terms of performance.

The HTC One is by no means a slouch - we doubt there will be apps or games that are too intensive for it anytime soon as that would mean they won't run on anything other than flagship phones.

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