Why you should look for user experience and not multi-core processors in Android smartphones
A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to play with the Samsung Galaxy S II for a few minutes. Even in those 10 or probably 15 minutes, I could feel it was snappier than most Android smartphones I have used. Transitions from one homescreen to another were fluid and apps would open without the customary two-three seconds lag. I found myself marveling at it just like the first time I hopped on to an HSPA+ network a couple of years ago after years of being accustomed to pathetic EDGE speeds. Of course it would, the Galaxy S II has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor running under its hood. At that time, I was reviewing the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc and I started to think whether Sony Ericsson made a mistake by not using a dual-core processor for its flagship Android smartphone. After all, even LG and Motorola are coming up with Android smartphones that run on dual-core processors. Will core computing power be Sony Ericsson’s downfall this time, like older Android versions last year?
I do not think so. Yes, dual-core processors bring with them some kick-ass raw computing power. They are much better when it comes to multi-tasking as compared to single-core processors. But when was the last time that you played a game on an Android smartphone and felt the need for extra computing power? (Please excuse those who are still hung up on a phone running a 600MHz processor.) More often than not, it is my carrier’s ability to provide a stable data connection that frustrates me while using an Android app than its computing prowess! In fact, even with multiple apps running in the background, I never found the XPERIA Arc displaying any signs of fatigue. On the contrary, I was impressed by the device, especially its camera capabilities and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great multimedia smartphone south of Rs 30k. Irrespective of the fact that it is not powered by a multi-core processor.
But come May and every Android smartphone vendor will peddle dual-core processor powered ware. They will try their best to convince you why their new gear is better than those that do not have ‘IT’. It will be an arms race of sorts, with processors starting from 1 GHz, going up to 1.6 GHz and beyond. All dual-core, of course.
I would suggest you resist the temptation. Look beyond the processor. Find out reasons other than the number of cores or the clock-speed of the processor. I love the Samsung Galaxy S II’s display and its industrial design. Or for that matter, the LG Optimus 2X’s price viz-a-viz the features it offers. Or the Motorola Atrix’s ability to morph into a netbook (of sorts). If you go for any of these smartphones just for the processor, you will be disappointed. Because at the moment, Android just does not have apps/games that can utilize the benefits of a multi-core processor. And it is bound to remain so till Google cleans up its Android Market act.
So when you are in the market to snap up an Android smartphone for yourself, choose one for the right reason.