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One of the most exciting Galaxy Z Fold 4 rumors to date concerns the foldable’s specs. More specifically, the phone’s System-on-Chip (SoC). The Fold 4 and Flip 4 will feature Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC rather than the regular 8 Gen 1 or the Exynos 2200. And the Fold 4 should deliver tremendous performance gains thanks to that. That’s good news for anyone worried about the chips that powered the Galaxy S22 series.
Rumors about chip choices for Android flagships coming out in the second half of the year shouldn’t be that exciting. In most years, the Android flagships launching in the second half would feature the same SoC as the phones that were released in the previous six months.
But the Galaxy S22 performance scandal hurt Samsung earlier this year, leading to speculations that Samsung would abandon the Exynos 2200 in favor of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon.
Galaxy S22 throttling scandal
In some years, Qualcomm releases improved variants of the SoCs that power Android flagships released in the first half of the year. 2022 is one such year, with Qualcomm delivering the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 to replace the regular 8 Gen 1 model.
That was even better news for Samsung fans looking to buy the Fold 4 or Flip 4. And rumors said all 2022 foldables will feature the newest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 variant. Even early benchmarks leaked, suggesting the new processor will be faster than the previous variant. Reports also claimed the new chip will not overheat as much.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip. Image source: Qualcomm The Galaxy S22 throttling issue came from Samsung’s desire to prevent overheating and battery life issues on the handset. The software reduced the chip’s peak performance, except for benchmark apps, where Samsung was caught cheating. It’s the Exynos 2200 variant of the Galaxy S22 phones that suffered from throttling the most, not the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 model.
Still, there’s another reason to cheer for the 8 Plus Gen 1. Qualcomm moved production from Samsung to TSMC for the new SoC.
Galaxy Z Fold 4’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 performance leaked
Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 next Wednesday. The phones will hit stores a few weeks later. Once that happens, users will be able to judge for themselves the performance of the new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip. And we’ll see plenty of reports detailing the phones’ performance and throttling.
But we have a new rumor to look at until then, which teases massive performance gains for the two handsets.
The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 CPU will be 15% faster when it comes to CPU performance, according to the tweet above. We assume the speed difference concerns last year’s Galaxy Z Fold 3. But the leaker doesn’t specify the other device/SoC in the comparison. Should the speed gains concern the Galaxy S22, then the Fold 4’s performance would be even more impressive.
The leaker also says that the GPU will deliver a tremendous jump, rising by nearly 60%. The NPU would also be 68% faster than the reference model. Again, we’re assuming it’s the Fold 3. That’s the only way to present these performance gains.
The leaker addressed other Galaxy Fold 4 features, not just the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 performance. The foldable phone will feature a 4,400 mAh battery that supports 25W charging. That’s enough for the phone to reach a 50% charge in half an hour.
Finally, the Fold 4 will feature a 120Hz display with 1,000 nits brightness and Victus+ protection on the front and back.
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There’s no point comparing the $429 iPhone SE 3 with the $1,199.99 Galaxy S22 Ultra, some might say, even though both of them are 2022 smartphones. The former is a mid-range device, the cheapest new iPhone that you can buy from Apple. The latter is Samsung’s best possible Galaxy S22 model and the revival of the Note series.
However, the $429 iPhone SE 3 absolutely obliterates the $1,200 Galaxy S22 Ultra when it comes to power and performance. And that’s an important detail, considering that Samsung won’t do any better than that in 2022. When you think of all the Galaxy S22 controversies and issues we saw so far, the iPhone SE 3 looks even better.
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There’s no denying that the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers various features that will appeal to buyers looking for a flagship experience. We’re looking at a large, bright OLED display that supports 120Hz refresh rates. The phone features a great build quality and an advanced camera module on the back. Then there’s the built-in S Pen, a feature that Note fans will love.
The iPhone SE 3 also comes with great build quality. But the handset features the same design as the 2017 iPhone. It still has large bezels and a 60Hz LCD screen with a lower resolution than the Galaxy S22. On the back, there’s only one camera lens. But it comes with all the possible upgrades Apple could add using the same design.
iPhone SE 3 specs and features. Image source: Apple Inc. The Galaxy S22 Ultra also features a larger battery than the iPhone SE 3 because it’s a significantly larger phone. But the Ultra doesn’t deliver the best battery life in town, failing to match the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The iPhone SE 3 does offer better battery life than its predecessor, however.
To get back to the overall design, we can’t talk about build quality without discussing drop tests. The iPhone SE 3’s display is stronger than the Galaxy S22 Ultra. That’s according to drop tests that showed the Galaxy S22 phones are more likely to break than the iPhone.
The curved screen on the Galaxy S22 Ultra also makes it more prone to sustaining damage than handsets with flat screens.
The big performance gap
Where the iPhone SE 3 shines is performance. The phone features the same A15 Bionic System-on-Chip (SoC) as the iPhone 13, and benchmarks show the phone is just as fast as iPhone 13 models. That means the newest iPhone SE will last for many years without showing its age.
Not to mention that Apple makes sure that its latest iOS releases will support several iPhone generations. That’s something Samsung hasn’t managed to achieve because it doesn’t control the underlying operating system. However, starting with the Galaxy S22 series, Samsung will guarantee four years of Android releases for certain devices.
Galaxy S22 Exynos 2200 benchmarks: Geekbench 5.1 single-core result. Image source: Computer Base Early Galaxy S22 Ultra Geekbench benchmarks showed that the A15 will outperform both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the Exynos 2200 chips. What’s worse for Samsung is that the A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE 2 also outscores the Exynos 2200 in benchmarks.
You won’t find benchmark results for the Galaxy S22 phones anymore. That’s because Geekbench banned the Galaxy S22 Ultra and other Samsung devices for cheating on the tests.
Samsung has throttled the performance of its phones, except for benchmark apps. After facing massive criticism, Samsung issued an update to improve the Galaxy S22’s performance. But there’s still reason to worry about performance and overheating on the phones. The Exynos 2200 seems to be prone to overheat, but that’s just speculation.
Also of note, the throttling fix isn’t yet available in most markets.
Galaxy S22 Ultra colors. Image source: Samsung The iPhone SE 3 wins
Again, comparing mid-range and flagship handsets might seem unfair. But the iPhone SE 3 delivers a flagship experience that can exceed the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The $429 device has no real competition right now.
The $449 Galaxy A53 that Samsung just launched won’t come close. That should be obvious when you consider that the $1,200 Galaxy S22 Ultra flagship can’t even compete with the iPhone SE 3.
With all that in mind, the new iPhone SE might be the best choice for all smartphone buyers who aren’t loyal to one brand or operating system. The $429 iPhone SE 3 can also be an excellent 5G device for people who want a fast handset right now but not necessarily an expensive flagship.
Given all the issues impacting the newest Samsung phones, whether they’re performance problems or Samsung’s misleading claims, you might want to wait for the Galaxy S23 Ultra rather than getting the current model.
More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.
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Last week, Apple unveiled the iPad Air 5 tablet, surprising buyers with a shockingly powerful upgrade. The mid-range iPad has the same M1 System-on-Chip (SoC) as the 2021 iPad Pro and several Macs. Benchmarks revealed Apple did not make changes to the M1 SoC in the iPad Air 5, supporting the idea that mid-range Android tablets can’t match its performance. But a new development indicates the iPad Air 5 is not just a big headache for Google, but also for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 flagship tablet.
The Galaxy Tab S8 series represents the best possible Android alternative to the iPad Pro. But the three Galaxy Tab S8 versions all suffer from the same app throttling problem as the Galaxy S22.
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With the new iPad Air 5, you get a 10.9-inch display, the M1 SoC, 64GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM all for $599. These are the base iPad Air 5 specs that will satisfy the needs of most tablet users.
The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799. The $200 price bump gets you double the storage, a slightly larger and brighter screen that comes with ProMotion support, a second ultra-wide camera and LiDAR sensor on the back, and Face ID authentication instead of Touch ID.
The Galaxy Tab S8 tablets are all supposed to be iPad Pro rivals. The cheapest model starts at $700. You’ll have to pay $200 more for the Plus and then another $200 on top of that for the Ultra. You read that properly — the S8 tops out at $1,100.
Samsung’s flagship tablets start with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and feature OLED screens. The base model has an 11-inch display, which means it’s about as big as the iPad Air 5.
All Galaxy Tab S8 models feature the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, which is an A15 Bionic alternative, not an M1 competitor. And the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 can’t even outperform the iPhone 13 chip in benchmarks or real-life tests.
Even without the throttling issues, the new Snapdragon doesn’t play in the same league as the M1.
Samsung revealed the Galaxy Tab S8 series at Galaxy Unpacked 2022. Image source: Samsung Samsung’s app throttling controversy
Samsung preloaded an app on various Android devices that can reduce the performance of thousands of apps. It’s called Game Optimization Service or GOS, and it’s supposed to mainly impact games. Unfortunately, it impacts thousands of apps that shouldn’t be affected.
GOS reduces performance to prevent overheating on the Galaxy S22 and other phones. This prevents battery drain, as the CPU speed is lowered.
Also of note, GOS throttles both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200. These are the two SoCs that power the Galaxy S22 series line.
The Galaxy Tab S8 suffers from the same problem, even though the tablets are much larger than Galaxy S22 phones. In theory, Samsung could have significantly improved the three tablets’ cooling system. And all of them feature much larger batteries, so battery life worries aren’t as serious. Yet GOS is very much enabled.
Having the best Android flagship tablet throttle performance is an absolute nightmare, especially when the iPad Air 5 delivers iPad Pro performance. And the new iPad Air is $100 cheaper than the most affordable Galaxy Tab S8.
Samsung issued a fix for the Galaxy S22 in some regions, allowing users to bypass GOS throttling. Moreover, Samsung apologized to shareholders this week, indicating how important this Galaxy S22 controversy is. But it’s unclear when the Galaxy Tab S8 fix will roll out.
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra design. Image source: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 line excluded from Geekbench 5
News that Apple hasn’t modified M1 performance for the iPad Air 5 has to be a devastating blow for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 ambitions. Especially since the new iPad Air dropped at the same time as news that the Galaxy Tab S8 suffers from the infamous app throttling issue.
What’s worse is that the Galaxy Tab S8 tablets will suffer the same fate as the Galaxy S22 phones when it comes to benchmarks. Android Police reports that Geekbench will delist the S8 series from its website for cheating. The blog was able to verify that the Galaxy Tab S8 tablets throttle the performance of resource-intensive apps, but it does not throttle benchmark test apps.
That’s a humiliating start for the Galaxy Tab S8 that indicates the iPad Pro is still the best “Pro” tablet choice in town. Or the iPad Air 5, if you’re on a tighter budget.
More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 13 guide.
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