Details about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone emerged this week in advance of its anticipated release. A Hungarian Android blog reported benchmark scores for the single-core and multi-core versions of the phone, which are significantly higher than those of last year’s Samsung Galaxy S6.
The scores come from Geekbench, a cross-platform processor benchmark whose scoring system separates single-core and multi-core performance.
The single-core version of the S6 received a benchmark score ranging from around 1250 to 1450; while the multi-core S6 clocked in the area between 4200 to 4800.
In comparison, the leaked Geekbench scores for the upcoming Galaxy S7 rated its performance at 1873 for the single-core edition, and 5946 for the multi-core version — a notable step up in both cases.
Meanwhile, various reports have said that the regular model of the S7 will have a display of either 5.1 or 5.2 inches, while the Edge phablet version will be 5.5 or 5.7 inches.
The flagship smartphone is scheduled to debut at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February.
What does all that mean? According to one analyst who we reached on Friday, it means mainly that Samsung is trying to keep pace with its competitors. Consider, for example, that the benchmark for Apple’s single-core iPhone 6s is 2497, while the multi-core iPhone 6s rates 4346.
“No real surprises,” says Jan Dawson, chief analyst for Utah-based Jackdaw Research. “At this point, it’s looking like the new Samsung Galaxy phones will provide a combination of predictable spec upgrades and somewhat equally predictable features to catch up with the latest iPhones.”
The leaked details also gave a glimpse at what will power the new Samsung phone. It reportedly will use Android 6.0.1, contain 4GB of RAM, and have an eight-core chipset running at 1.50GHz, most likely Samsung’s own Exynos in some markets, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon in other markets.
Previous reports have suggested that the Galaxy S7 will also have a pressure-sensitive screen similar to the 3D Touch feature on the iPhone 6S, along with a new high-speed charging USB Type-C port that could enable full-day charging. Also among the new features promised are an improved camera that brings enhancements to low-light performance, and a lens that’s flush with the back of the phone.
Analyst Dawson opines that Samsung will need more than incremental improvements to make up ground in the great smartphone race.
“Of course, we don’t know all the details yet and there may still be other features that Samsung surprises us with, but it feels like a lot of the fight has gone out of Samsung and it’s mostly just trying to keep up at this point,” Dawson said. “Given the way the S6 sold, they’ll have a tough time turning sales around if their high-end phones don’t get dramatically better, and it’s arguable that their sales are going to be challenging no matter what they do at this point.”
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