Snapdragon S4 stays cool under pressure

June 7, 2012
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Snapdragon

Every high-end smartphone or tablet nowadays features at least a dual-core processor, with some quad-core devices already available. I’m sure all of you have noticed your device heating up after some heavy usage such as playing a graphic-intensive game. Qualcomm has decided to prove that their SoC, the dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, stays the coolest, compared to the competition, and Staff Engineer Vidyasagar Rao finds a fun and innovative way to do so.

If the title didn’t make sense, things should be clear now. Rao decided to place butter, which melts at 35 degrees Celsius (~95 degree Fahrenheit) on the back of three phones, one of which was powered by a Snapdragon S4, with the other two being the competition. From the video it looks like Competitor A is a Motorola Razr, featuring a TI OMAP 4430 processor, Competitor B is a Samsung Galaxy S2 that an Exynos 4210 processor, with the Snapdragon S4 powered device being the HTC One S. If you think I’m wrong and know what the devices are, do let me know in the comments section below.

Don’t worry, a plastic sheet was placed on top of the devices so none of the phones were ruined. Let’s take a look at the video.

As you can see, the Snapdragon S4 device stays the coolest, with Competitor B heating up the most, up to 55 degrees Celsius (~131 degrees Fahrenheit). We already know that quad-core processors suffer from compatibility issues with LTE radios and the use of the Snapdragon S4 processor by HTC and Samsung for the US versions of their flagship devices makes even more sense now.

There have been a lot of comments stating that it is unfair that the Snapdragon S4  to the “old” OMAP 4430 and Exynos 4210 processors but instead to the latest quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 and Exynos 4412 processors instead. While understandable as the Qualcomm SoC is directly competing against the newer quad-core processors and performing admirably, if not better in some cases. But when it comes to a comparison test, as a dual-core processor, it is not only “fair” but accurate to compare the S4 to other top-of-the-line dual-core processors.

With the current meme crazy going on, all I can think about at this point is a meme of a “Gadget chef” which reads “Needs to melt butter. Uses phone.”

What are your thoughts? Will the amazing performance of the Snapdragon S4 be enough to help you overcome the disappointment of not getting a quad-core device (relevant for US residents only)? Do you feel like your device heats up a lot more than necessary? What do you think the three devices used in the “butter test” are? Let us know in the comments section below.

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