Nokia Lumia 820

There is plenty to look forward to with the new crop of Windows Phones. For example, with the Nokia Lumia 920 you have the Pureview Camera, the PureMotion screen, and the color choices. You can also add the Snapdragon S4 processor to the list of anticipated features--but you may be wondering what's so great about the S4 (MSM 8960) anyway?

The Snapdragon S4 won't be an exclusive to the Lumia 920. The Lumia 820, HTC 8X, HTC 8S and Samsung ATIV S will also bear Qualcomm's latest SoC. The new processor will benefit all our new Windows Phones across the board.  So what are those new perks?

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Here's what Nokia's Conversations has come up with and to which we agree:

  1. Lower Power Consumption: The S4 has been transitioned to a 28nm (nanometer) process which gives it more transistors than the older 45nm processors. This reduces the leakage so that the S4 consumes very little energy. It also keeps the temperature of the S4 a lot cooler.
  2. Better Performance: With Windows Phone 8 supporting multi-core processing, that means our new Windows Phones will take full advantage of the S4's dual cores.
  3. Faster 4G Connectivity: Combine the lower power consumption with the improved performance and the S4 will let you enjoy the speed of 4G LTE without such a noticeable drain on your resources and battery.
  4. Higher Definition: Paired with the S4 CPU is the Adreno 225 Graphics Processor. This will improve the overall graphics performance with the S4. Animations and video play back will be smoother making way for an much better multi-media experience.
  5. Security Improvements: The Snapdragon S4 incorporates Qualcomm's Secure MSM. It is a hardware and software based security protocol that provides encrypted boot, secure code signing service, and other features to keep your Windows Phone safe from hacking.
  6. Improved Camera Performance: With the Nokia Lumia 920, the S4's image signal processor improves the overall image quality and video capture. It will be curious how the ISP on the S4 will compare with HTC's stand alone graphic processor for the 8X's camera.  Either way, look for an improved experience with our Windows Phone cameras.
  7. Faster Location Services: With the S4 boosting 4G LTE and software performance, your Windows Phone will acquire your location faster and more accurately. You'll still have the advantage of both GPS and GLONASS networks but the S4 will give things a little more zip.

In essence, the S4 is a rather large step up in terms of CPU power--not just because it supports dual-core but because it's a redesign, allowing better graphics (GPU) and more efficient battery consumption even when on LTE 4G. Heck, even GPS will be "faster" in theory.

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Current Windows Phone 8 devices will only have the S4 chipste, but Qualcomm is already moving beyond that with the 'Pro' version, which supports quad-core and a faster GPU. Yes, that means that the 2nd generation of Windows Phone 8 devices will potentially be even more aggressive for raw power--though it remains to be seen how much of that will be needed.

From what we've seen so far, 1.5GHz CPU with dual-core should rock the user experience, resulting in fast load times. Likewise for games. But it will only be when we run some real benchmarks will we truly know if the S4 is all that it is cracked up to be.

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Regardless of which Windows Phone the Snapdragon S4 is soldered into, it is sure to be a welcome addition. Our current crop of Windows Phones aren't shabby by any means but the S4 is just one more reason that these new phones can't get to store shelves quick enough.

Source: Conversations Nokia