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    Default Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    I was interested in having a performance discussion around the Galaxy S4 (S600 Variant) in direct contrast to the HTC One. This is, of course, a polarizing topic and thus, Ill have to set some rules:

    1) If youre interested in talking about performance differences, youre welcome to this needs to be backed up with fact, not fanciful arguments about feel, or intangible performance metrics
    2) If youre only interested in talking about intangibles, youre not welcome to discuss them here
    3) I dont want to talk about the build quality, display quality, removable battery or SD card options as value to offset the device. This is NOT a topic about the value of a device, rather, a discussion about the pure performance of said devices
    4) I dont particularly care which device you like better performance is about fact, preference is about opinion only one is valid for this type of discussion

    So the big question is Why? right? Why bother having a discussion about the performance of a device (or devices) in this case that should perform similarlygood question the answer isthey dont perform similarly in fact, on average, theres a pretty big gulf in performance if youre talking in technical terms. Whats big is the next question. If I look at all of the numbers summed and average (and understand that benchmarks are benchmarks and theres always a margin of error) the Galaxy S4 performs about 15% faster overall. Thats a pretty big difference between like devices and certainly not one that can be explained purely by looking at the 200 MHz difference in clock speed between the devices.

    So what do I mean by that? Lets look at some of the test results to understand. Ive got my table broken out to examine not only the sheer performance differences between the flagships but also the generational leap between the respective devices and their predecessors. How much of a gulf is there a pretty big one.
    The Galaxy S4 is, again on average, 40.6% faster than the Galaxy S3 (results are based on the Qualcomm equivalents of both Im not touching the Exynos chips today).
    The HTC One is 43% faster than the HTC One X (again, looking purely at the Qualcomm versions not the Tegra or XL version of the One X)
    I think, to level set here, that both companies need to be commended for such a performance leap from generation to generation. Things only get interesting when you start looking at the devices against one another. From a top down perspective:

    The Galaxy S4 takes the performance crown in 8 of 9 tests, with an average performance advantage of ~15%. But when you start to look at the tests, there are some that are much more divergent from this average. GL Benchmark 2.5HD (native) for example demonstrates a 19% performance advantage for the S4: which is interesting because if you look at the 1080p which, theoretically, should line up like for like (since 1900*1080 is the default rendering resolution) theres only a 15% advantage for the GS4. Geekbench is even more interesting, coming in at an insane 22% difference between the two (with the Galaxy S4 as the clear winner).
    The HTC One does net a win, in HTML5 rendering performance in Vellamo which is again, fascinating given that its a lower clocked variant of the same chip found in the GS4 and still outperforms it by nearly 11.5%.

    So that brings me to an interesting line in the sand, the lag. Man oh man, if I never hear this term again itll be too soon. Not because I dont acknowledge the little hiccups and differences in animations from time to time on the GS4 (especially when compared to the HTC One) but Im struggling to understand how the masses perceive that somehow Touchwiz is at fault, given that raw performance is so one sided in the GS4s favor. I understand, conceptually, that the animations are a little nuts, but given the horsepower difference you can no longer empirically state that touchwiz is a factor its obvious that Samsung is doing something better in Touchwiz than HTC is doing with sense (in terms of raw performance).

    Itll be interesting to see how the Nexus experience GS4 performs against the touchwiz version. Im going to go out on a limb and guessroughly the same, or slightly worse. Before you go beating me up remember, theres obviously some heady optimizations being done here a simple clock speed difference cannot account for the above performance differences that Touchwiz will be absent, indicates that some of those optimizations might not make it over to the (what Im understand as) largely AOSP device. Im happy to eat my words though prove me wrong Samsung. I think if anything, this largely states a case for NOT bringing a similar HTC version out to market. A Nexus HTC One would do little to improve the view point that the HTC One is superior to the GS4 (which is what HTC so desperately needs to prove) from a pure performance standpoint anyway. Sans the fancy camera software (which would undoubtedly NOT be transitioned to a Nexus AOSP experience) that shooter isnt going to look nearly as good against a raw 13mp camera (again, handicapped by AOSP camera software as well) and the performance of the stock HTC vs. GS4 isnt going to change greatly with taking away any optimizations that HTC has done with their s600 either.

    All that said, the above is in no way an indication that I think one device is better or worse. There are certainly tradeoffs to be made (and not discussed here) but from a raw performance perspective this is an interesting hardware generation indeed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion-image002.jpg  
  2. Thread Author  Thread Author    #2  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    If anyone has any other tests they'd like to see thrown at it - I'll have both devices through the weekend!

    Jack
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Um, yeah. It has long been known that Benchmarks are not an accurate measure of day to day performance. They can be easily manipulated, and there are tons of variables that can come into play.

    The "fact" is that there is stutter on my S4. The One has none. No amount of synthetic benchmarks you throw at me is going to change that. There's a reason that nobody really takes these things to heart. Their main use is to compare roms on the same device. Much more than that and theyre worthless.

    Posted via Android Central App
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Benchmarks are objective. Personal use is subjective. Benchmarks are the only way to take anecdotal personal data out of the equation. I know most people think they can perceive things in a more accurate manner than benchmarks but they just cannot. Benchmarks remove human bias, it is that simple. People tend to dismiss them when the results are different than their human experience. The fact is that most people assign the word "lag" to many things that are not lag, but the bottom line is if you are not happy with any device for whatever reason, return and get another device.

    The benchmarks are accurate at predicting day to day usage but the question is will it make enough of a difference to you. It is like clinical trials for drugs. Clinical trails may show that drug A reduces the relative risk for a certain disease 40% over drug B. Clinical trails are powered to remove bias and ensure the result will be reproduced no matter how many times you run the same trial over and over. The clinical application is that in terms of patients it may mean that using drug A will save 3 or 4 out of 100 patients from getting that disease. The trial is accurate in risk reduction but the absolute number of patients this affects may or may not make this treatment viable based on cost etc.

    I have no doubt that the S4 is a faster performing device based on all of these benchmarks. Whether it is enough to perceive or care about is another issue which is why people can dismiss them in real world usage. I mean how many times have you seen humans try to press the start button at the same time on two phones...kinda silly really. The benchmark does not tell us what this score difference translates to in application i.e. this means you will get to a you tube video 5 seconds faster etc, which is what we really want to know.
    Last edited by planoman; 05-23-2013 at 07:04 PM.
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  5. #5  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by slackerjack View Post
    If anyone has any other tests they'd like to see thrown at it - I'll have both devices through the weekend!

    Jack
    Antutu?
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  6. #6  

    Default

    Congratulations on passing Epidemiology 101. I understand your point - they give us objective numbers to compare. And different people perceive performance differently; that's indeed true. But the issue remains, which you did not address - they do not accurately predict real world performance. Although the One scores lower, it does not exhibit the framerate drops in OS animations that the S4 does. I have both sitting in front of me, and the difference is evident to the point where I can see it in day to day use. Now there are tons of variables that can come into play here. Perhaps the benchmark tells us that more optimization remains to be done to the Touchwiz UI to make for a smoother performance. They may signal device potential, but that does not necessarily translate into user experience.


    Edit: Ok, you did sort of address this point in your closing. It seems we're mostly in agreement.

    Posted via Android Central App
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by planoman View Post
    Antutu?
    Good catch, I missed it. Galaxy S4 was consistent..where the results for the one were all over the place. This was interesting actually...as even doing fresh boot runs were off from run to run...but if I average those...it was more even than back to back runs..just as a disclaimer:

    Galaxy S4: 24800
    Htc one: 23500

    I dont know that Im alltogetber comfortable with the One results, but I think 10(ish)% is probably the right ballpark.

    Jack

    Posted via Android Central App on my shiny new Galaxy S4
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  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Love Divine View Post
    Um, yeah. It has long been known that Benchmarks are not an accurate measure of day to day performance. They can be easily manipulated, and there are tons of variables that can come into play.

    The "fact" is that there is stutter on my S4. The One has none. No amount of synthetic benchmarks you throw at me is going to change that. There's a reason that nobody really takes these things to heart. Their main use is to compare roms on the same device. Much more than that and theyre worthless.

    Posted via Android Central App
    Probably not the thread for you then. This is about measurable, repeatable results based on even test criteria...synthetics are flawed sure, but a lot less than observational use.

    Posted via Android Central App on my shiny new Galaxy S4
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Love Divine View Post
    Congratulations on passing Epidemiology 101. I understand your point - they give us objective numbers to compare. And different people perceive performance differently; that's indeed true. But the issue remains, which you did not address - they do not accurately predict real world performance. Although the One scores lower, it does not exhibit the framerate drops in OS animations that the S4 does. I have both sitting in front of me, and the difference is evident to the point where I can see it in day to day use. Now there are tons of variables that can come into play here. Perhaps the benchmark tells us that more optimization remains to be done to the Touchwiz UI to make for a smoother performance. They may signal device potential, but that does not necessarily translate into user experience.


    Edit: Ok, you did sort of address this point in your closing. It seems we're mostly in agreement.

    Posted via Android Central App
    Agreed. The issue with dropped frames and OS issues could be the processors are not running at full capability to conserve battery or a number of reasons? In the Engadet review they said the HTC One use much more battery life at idle than the S4, maybe it is faster out of the blocks? I would still select the S4 as my device if all the benchmarks were in favor of the HTC One or Optimus G Pro etc. I know that my S4 is objectively faster than my Note 2 but subjectively it feels about the same to me or real world as we say!
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  10. #10  
    Kevin O'Quinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by slackerjack View Post
    Probably not the thread for you then. This is about measurable, repeatable results based on even test criteria...synthetics are flawed sure, but a lot less than observational use.

    Posted via Android Central App on my shiny new Galaxy S4
    You're really telling people not to post here? I get that you stated the purpose for the thread, but that's not going to stop people from saying what I'm about to say...

    Why? The answer you have in your OP isn't good enough for me. I could care less if one phones benchmark results are twice what the other is if the actual, real world use isn't better.

    The answer to your questions are software. That's the difference. Benchmarks can be cheated. Or "optimized" for. Which is why they are terrible for comparing devices (yep, I know sites like Anandtech use them).

    Allow me to address that. They will point out times when benchmark results don't represent real world experience. You can't just look at the charts. There's more to performance than raw benchmark scores.

    Posted via Android Central App
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  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin O'Quinn View Post
    You're really telling people not to post here? I get that you stated the purpose for the thread, but that's not going to stop people from saying what I'm about to say...

    Why? The answer you have in your OP isn't good enough for me. I could care less if one phones benchmark results are twice what the other is if the actual, real world use isn't better.

    The answer to your questions are software. That's the difference. Benchmarks can be cheated. Or "optimized" for. Which is why they are terrible for comparing devices (yep, I know sites like Anandtech use them).

    Allow me to address that. They will point out times when benchmark results don't represent real world experience. You can't just look at the charts. There's more to performance than raw benchmark scores.

    Posted via Android Central App
    So you're proposing that Samsung is cheating (optimizing) for all of the above benchmarks and that has more to do with different performance on different variations of the s600? That would be to say that general performance wasn't the target, but specific benchmarks were? They sounds like itd be a lot more work doesn't it?

    Listen, I'm not looking to make anyone feel better or worse about their device, I'm just trying too have a discussion about "the metal"'so to speak, and I'm not looking to have another, less than objective "defensive", conversation about who has the better phone...that's what his comment felt like to me..sorry if I misinterpreted it.

    Posted via Android Central App on my shiny new Galaxy S4
  12. #12  
    Kevin O'Quinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by slackerjack View Post
    So you're proposing that Samsung is cheating (optimizing) for all of the above benchmarks and that has more to do with different performance on different variations of the s600? That would be to say that general performance wasn't the target, but specific benchmarks were? They sounds like itd be a lot more work doesn't it?

    Listen, I'm not looking to make anyone feel better or worse about their device, I'm just trying too have a discussion about "the metal"'so to speak, and I'm not looking to have another, less than objective "defensive", conversation about who has the better phone...that's what his comment felt like to me..sorry if I misinterpreted it.

    Posted via Android Central App on my shiny new Galaxy S4
    You definitely misinterpreted. I'm not saying anything was done "on purpose" because I don't know. If the difference is greater than clock speed alone then you have to look elsewhere. That means software.

    We've known for a long time that Samsung optimizes their browser fairly heavily for the hardware they use. This has shown in benchmarks, actually, to be a fact.

    Also, what you said (that I didn't say) would be a perfect explanation for why benchmark performance of the S4 is so good but UI performance leaves something to be desired for some. But remember, you said it, not me.

    We can talk about "the metal" but you can't ignore the software. The fastest metal on Earth is worthless if the software can't use it properly.

    Posted via Android Central App
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  13. #13  
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    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Let us vote with our wallets......nuff said:beer:
    It would be fabulous if someone had battery stats that were real along with real time performance stats. HTC hides the screen time? Samsung optimization of the net? Who could fault either for kinking ssa?

    Reading the same stuff from the same people over and over......lol.

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Again this isn't about who is the better company, who makes more money....just about raw out performance

    Posted via Android Central App
  15. #15  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    User experience is all that matters to me. Why would I care what my phone scored in a TEST? How does that help me?
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    I'm not trying to convince anyone to buy one thing or another. Just discuss the technology that powers these devices...which, if you consider all factors, it's in its relative infancy. In other words...I'm less concerned with "these devices" and more concerned about where they sit on the pipeline of technological advancement.

    Posted via Android Central App
  17. #17  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    I think abstract benchmarks are useful for getting an idea for the *potential* of a particular device and are interesting in that respect. But as others have pointed out there is much more that goes into real world experience and practical results. As another example, most Windows Phone 8 devices do not do very well on benchmarks but Windows Phone 8 (whether you may like its UI philosophy or not) is very well designed and coded so that almost all WP8 devices "feel" very responsive despite mediocre specs and benchmarks.

    Having said that, I think it is still relevant to consider these abstract benchmarks because it does point to the fact that there is "room to improve" in the S4, and that it is not unreasonable to expect that later updates to TouchWiz or other native apps on the phone could lead to noticeably improved performance for those who are experiencing "lag" to some greater or lesser extent.
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    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by slackerjack View Post
    Again this isn't about who is the better company, who makes more money....just about raw out performance

    Posted via Android Central App
    And again you can't really trust benchmarks. The best way to judge is real world use. And then put thy money where thy mouth is. If you had the same OS on each device then maybe some benchmarking would be appropriate. What we need is someone to take both in real world situations and compare them for us. Then this thread gets real value!

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by slackerjack View Post
    So you're proposing that Samsung is cheating (optimizing) for all of the above benchmarks and that has more to do with different performance on different variations of the s600? That would be to say that general performance wasn't the target, but specific benchmarks were? They sounds like itd be a lot more work doesn't it?
    Nvidia and Ati back in the day were known for their benchmark optimizations.

    In fact Huawei was caught cheating recently.


    Stop cheating, Huawei Honor 2 - News - AnTuTu Benchmark -- Know Your Android Better

    So yes it just might be worth it. If benchmarks might be a final selling point for some, that be worth an extra few 100 million for a big company for a small investment.
  20. #20  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    The problem with the S4 might be the sensors. Even when turned off, they apparently draw the power, which means they are probably polling, but just not giving user output.

    Just a thought, since the other issue could be the gpu handling the data to a1080 display, but the One apparently does not have the issues.
  21. Thread Author  Thread Author    #21  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by FarishK View Post
    Nvidia and Ati back in the day were known for their benchmark optimizations.

    In fact Huawei was caught cheating recently.


    Stop cheating, Huawei Honor 2 - News - AnTuTu Benchmark -- Know Your Android Better

    So yes it just might be worth it. If benchmarks might be a final selling point for some, that be worth an extra few 100 million for a big company for a small investment.
    Hard for me to swallow, I actually workerd for both the above mentioned IHV's in my former life, so I have an understanding about how you optimize for certain applications, and its pretty hard to do without increasing the baseline performance of your platform without making it incredibly obvious youre doing so
    Your right in drawing the comparison though, but I look how it was done in the past to understand that it's not happening that way in the present, at least not in the same way.

    Posted via Android Central App
  22. Thread Author  Thread Author    #22  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by rushmore View Post
    The problem with the S4 might be the sensors. Even when turned off, they apparently draw the power, which means they are probably polling, but just not giving user output.

    Just a thought, since the other issue could be the gpu handling the data to a1080 display, but the One apparently does not have the issues.
    Interesting, I can run some tests with those off to see if there's a difference

    Posted via Android Central App
  23. #23  
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    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by slackerjack View Post
    Again this isn't about who is the better company, who makes more money....just about raw out performance

    Posted via Android Central App
    Then make this thread real instead of being a choke. Video real world performance of the two! Gawd.....really let us use the word again. .....several more times.

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  24. #24  
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    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin O'Quinn View Post
    You definitely misinterpreted. I'm not saying anything was done "on purpose" because I don't know. If the difference is greater than clock speed alone then you have to look elsewhere. That means software.

    We've known for a long time that Samsung optimizes their browser fairly heavily for the hardware they use. This has shown in benchmarks, actually, to be a fact.

    Also, what you said (that I didn't say) would be a perfect explanation for why benchmark performance of the S4 is so good but UI performance leaves something to be desired for some. But remember, you said it, not me.

    We can talk about "the metal" but you can't ignore the software. The fastest metal on Earth is worthless if the software can't use it properly.

    Posted via Android Central App
    Not really.....today's software is global. HTC trolls samsung and that is why they die. The Android OS they decided to carry saves that company. Samsung never needed metal. HTC did....and they need android because their software is the worst mobile experience as voted by the readers.......to many lover boys rave the one..........

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  25. Thread Author  Thread Author    #25  

    Default Re: Raw Galaxy S4 Vs HTC One Performance discussion

    I'm not sure I follow, though I suppose I do owe an explanation of the testbed:

    Both devices on latest firmware according to sprints ota rollout...

    Memory clear after each test run with a minimum of three tests averaged for finak results (antutu being the only benchmark run to really mitigate huge variance)

    I'm my initial test run, I did not reboot the devices between tests, though from suggestions above, I did try to see if there was further variance...in 2/3 tests I tried...there really wasnt any discernable difference.

    Hope that helps!

    Posted via Android Central App
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