The fastest smartphone processors in Android devices

When buying a smartphone you also faces the question of whether the built-in processor is fast enough. In addition to raw benchmark results should decide on your purchase additional criteria. After all the trappings is important: How fast is the memory? If the chip is good at games? We made a few benchmarks and compared.

  • These are the fastest Android smartphones
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Jumps to section

  • Overview: A "processor" is more than just the CPU
    • CPU readings compared
    • GPU readings compared
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
  • Exynos 8895
  • Huawei / HiSilicon Kirin 960
  • Conclusion

Smartphone processors: Do not tell "CPU"!

The processor is the core component of a smartphone, affecting the pace of work. It is therefore essential that he works fast. But what makes a mobile processor faster than the others? The clock speed and the number of cores not tell the whole story. In the chips lies more than the meager data sheets in Handyladen give. Therefore, it is called a single-chip systems, to English "System on Chip" or shortly SoC.

  • Qualcomm does not want that we "processor" say

An SoC is ideally from central processor (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU), modem, multimedia processor, security and signal processor. This feature diversity makes it difficult to speak of a fastest mobile processor.

AndroidPIT qualcomm snapdragon 835 benchmark event 090049Qualcomm product manager Travis Lanier explains the Snapdragon 835. / © AndroidPIT

Benchmarks note a few service areas of a processor. In this overview, we can deliver results for pace and gaming pace. Unfortunately we have not had the opportunity, power consumption and antenna performance remeasure and compare.

The ARM CPU: The common denominator of smartphone processors?

Almost all smartphone chips put on your CPU on the ARM architecture. ARM provides varying degrees of CPU classes, which are reflected in a number of variations in smartphone SoCs. A clue lies in the composition and timing of the chips.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 was one of the first to have implemented the big.LITTLE construction principle of ARM. This is the pairing of two different cluster of processors in a housing. The big cluster has up to four high-performance CPU cores and the LITTLE cluster up to four trimmed for energy efficiency CPU cores.

But exactly this architecture is broken in the next ARM generation will be so found even more sizes and timings in a single SoC. Lest this further here:

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The graphics unit: large differences in gaming?

Chip maker Nvidia Tegra X1 installed in a strong graphics processor (GPU) for smartphones or tablets. The number of games that can take advantage of it, is growing. Nvidia has a list of Play store titles with Nvidia GPU support.

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nvidia shield packageNvidia has help the fastest mobile GPU that some games to really good graphics. / © AndroidPIT

Qualcomm has but refilled and in particular the Snapdragon 835 and the built-in Adreno 540 GPU confident in all measurements. By DirectX 12 support Qualcomm wants to 2017 even enter the Windows laptop market.

AndroidPIT qualcomm snapdragon 835 benchmark event 144717DX12, tessellation, VR, AR: Qualcomm Adreno can keep up. / © AndroidPIT

A difference between fast and slow GPUs can be felt in Android, if you start a new game with a really old smartphone. Unlike the Windows computer, the games do not stutter (mostly). Instead, they represent less detail.

real racing graphic details differenceReal Racing 3 shows details such as mirrors and fittings lighting only with a fast processor. Above the Exynos 7420 Galaxy S6 Edge, below the Snapdragon 400 in Moto G (2013). / © AndroidPITAndroidPIT Google pixel C 8784The tablet Google pixel C achieved in base Mark X over 40,000 points. / © AndroidPIT

The fastest mobile GPU in a portable Android device plugged the three processors that are used in Android smartphones, are in about the same is still in the Google Tablet pixel C.. Huawei Kirin 960 in Mate well optimized 9 and was able to catch up. Smartphones with Snapdragon 835 but still a shovel can drauflegen.

AndroidPIT huawei mate9 0158Nougat with volcanic and Daydream support care in Mate 9 for gaming power. / © AndroidPIT

So there are great playmates in all sizes and form factors. Do you want to spend less money, you can just pick up the OnePlus 3T. This has the pixel processor Snapdragon 821 and has a similarly good gaming performance.

OnePlusOnePlus 3T439.00 €To the shop

The fastest mobile processors in comparison

Below we look at results of CPU and GPU measurements and tell you that Android devices have built the fastest mobile processors. For reference, we take processors available in time for publication of the article in current equipment to buy. The Snapdragon 835 will follow later this year.

Benchmark values ​​Work Index

processorSnapdragon 835Kirin 960Exynos 8890Snapdragon 821Tegra X1testerWork Index
Qualcomm reference deviceHuawei Mate 9Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Google pixelPixel C Tablet
105.1%100% (reference)80.8%75.5%71.0%

The Work Index is made up of results from Geekbench, PC Mark Work and Octane.

Benchmark values ​​gaming Index

processorSnapdragon 835Tegra X1Kirin 960Snapdragon 821Exynos 8890testerGaming Index
Qualcomm reference device Pixel C TabletHuawei Mate 9Google pixelSamsung Galaxy S7 Edge
117.3%100% (reference)88.0%85.3%84.2%

The gaming index consists of the 3D Mark tests Slingshot Extreme (ES 3.1) and Ice Storm Unlimited (ES 2.0).

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Qualcomm returns with his latest offspring back to the octa-core design, but improves especially the graphics unit. In particular, players should therefore wait with the smartphone purchase, because the jump from the Snapdragon 821 especially in VR applications takes effect. Not just content to be rendered faster but power consumption is reduced, this is a third.

Snapdragon 835 in Benchmark: Qualcomm is getting ready for sophisticated VR Gaming

AndroidPIT qualcomm snapdragon 835 benchmark event 141720The Snapdragon 835 is in VR applications of entertainment. / © AndroidPIT

Away from the VR Snapdragon 820 and its improved variant 821 remain fast SoCs despite only four cores. The efficient signal processor Hexagon and optimizations for machine learning algorithms they control almost all the tricks of her successor.

Google AndroidPIT pixels Event2016 9894the images optimized invisible: the Snapdragon 821 in the pixel. / © AndroidPIT

The Google pixel is one of the first devices that makes massive use of the new features. In benchmarks, the chip does not provide too much surprises. Rather, his talent now spread to everyday tasks as just photography.

Exynos 8895

The Galaxy-S8 processor called Exynos 8895 and heralding herald the Exynos-9 Series. Here, too, is of considerably enhanced gaming performance talk. The focus of the new development of Samsung is clearly towards increased VR Power, since higher screen resolutions are required.

Even with the Exynos 8890 of Samsung Galaxy S7 succeeded for the second time in a row to produce the fastest mobile processor. But the SoC is not alone responsible for ensuring that the Galaxy's touch so quickly.

Only together with Samsung's proprietary flash memory type UFS 2.0 it comes to fast loading times of apps. Samsung sold the store to other smartphone manufacturers. So we find him in OnePlus 3T, the Google pixel or Huawei Mate 9 - so in all major competitors.

AndroidPIT OnePlus3 soft gold 6527OnePlus relies on fast Samsung memory. / © AndroidPIT

Huawei / HiSilicon Kirin 960

HiSilicon is the most interesting opponent for Qualcomm and Samsung. There is currently only used in household brands Huawei and Honor, he believes there in many areas. The voice quality is thanks to good sound processing increased. In LTE and WLAN performance of Chinese manufacturers its strengths as a technology supplier. The graphics performance was the first time catch up in collaboration with ARM and thanks to volcanic API in Mate 9 for Galaxy S7.

The fastest mobile processor: Conclusion

The Snapdragon 835 will be important for VR gaming. but beyond that it shows that the market is saturated. Most processors from the year 2016 also in 2017 still be fast enough. However, as already mentioned input, the chip is not solely responsible for high work rate.

A stable LTE connection and a faster, tidier flash memory are at least as important. Top devices almost all manufacturers now use fast flash memory UFS 2.0 of Samsung. A clean optimized software does the rest, and Huawei seems to have developed a good solution here.

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To speed up your present smartphone, we give you these tips:

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