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Sunday debate: What matters more – performance or efficiency

Following up on last weeks’ debate we discuss whether you should favor chipsets with more sheer performance or better power efficiency.

Paul: “I feel the need, the need for speed”

I conform to the adage of getting the fastest device, combined with the most storage possible, and I don’t mind spending more to achieve it.

Experience has taught me that this approach ensures that my phone will serve me better and for longer, allowing me to ‘cascade’ the phone down to other family members (namely my son) when I decide to upgrade. This approach, given the longevity of the device, reduces the cost of ownership.

Modern chipsets today, with their multiple cores operating at different clock speeds, combined with an efficient OS, handle the balance between power and efficiency with aplomb. Capable of assigning the appropriate computing power for menial tasks such as checking e-mail to full-throttle tasks such as editing 4K video or battling away with 99 other opponents in Fortnite.

Modern SoC architectures balance power and efficiency better than ever

By taking this tack, I’m also certain that my phone is capable of receiving multiple OS updates well into the future supporting new functionality – assuming it has the appropriate hardware of course. In the past, I’ve gotten my fingers burnt when having purchased a cost-effective ‘efficient’ phone for use as a spare and in the gym, one OS ‘point’ update later, and it was rendered unusable.

The sweeping statements I’ve made above apply to me and how I use my phones. I’m never far away from either a charging pad or USB power pack if I’m caught short – but I honestly can’t remember when I last had a phone die on me.

The reality is that the most significant drain on our smartphones precious energy reserves is its screen – the window into our tasks and digital life. So for now, I’ll patiently await the introduction of microLED displays with their lower power consumption, while the thinner profile allows manufacturers to increase the size of the battery within the device.

I know that’s a big assumption, as I can foresee certain manufactures using that as an opportunity to make ‘the worlds thinnest phone’ where we don’t see any battery life benefits at all. Until then, I’ll live in the hope that they will do the right thing.

Yordan: There can be performance only where there is efficiency.

Lately chipset manufacturers tend to get overly excited and quote percentages such as Snapdragon 845 is 30% more power-efficient and you can charge your phone up to 50% in only 50 minutes. But you can do this even with lower-powered SoC for a more affordable price.

Often in the office, when talking about power-efficient chipsets, the Snapdragon 625 pops up and rightfully so. It powers a bunch of phones with solid performance and amazing battery life and without breaking the bank, too.

Sunday debate: What matters more - performance or efficiency

You can still do the stuff like handling email, social networking and browsing while commuting, which is the majority of use these smartphones get. Sure, chipsets that are leaning towards efficiency cant offer you as fast 4K video editing, but who does that on a smartphone at all?

I like the OS argument because it comes from an Apple owner and we know that Cupertino devices tend to go a longer distance. But this is solely because one company produces three phones per year and the support is easier.

Android phone manufacturers have two solutions to the long after-sales support – either do what Xiaomi does with updating 4-year-old phones or do what Huawei does – release all the phones all the time, so you can always have an upgrade option.

Technology today is advanced enough to offer you satisfactory performance with an affordable price tag. Youll even have some money left to go out and grab a drink with your friends to celebrate the new purchase.

Cast your votes

Time to cast your votes – which side are you leaning towards?

What matters more – performance or efficiency?