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Samsung Galaxy S4 Benchmarked: Serious Power, Dim Display

After months of waiting, Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy S4 to the world, and its latest superphone is packing some serious power. There will be two versions of the Galaxy S4, an international model powered by Samsung's octa-core Exynos processor and a U.S. version sporting a 1.9-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor. Following the Samsung event, we managed to get some hands-on time with a U.S. version of the S4 and test it using the AnTuTu Benchmark to see just how powerful Samsung's new halo phone really is.

AnTuTu Benchmark is a comprehensive test that measures a smartphone's memory performance, CPU integer and floating point performance, 2D and 3D graphics and more. Each category is scored and added together to get an overall system score. After running the test with no other software running in the background, the Galaxy S4 pulled down an impressive overall score of 21,089. That's significantly higher than AnTuTu's Galaxy S III benchmark average of 16,301. However, that's to be expected, as the Galaxy S III runs a less powerful 1.5-GHz dual-core Qualcomm chip.

The S4 also outpaced the 1.6-GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos-powered Galaxy Note II, which scored an average 17,531 on the AnTuTu Benchmark. What’s most impressive, though, is how well the Galaxy S4 performed compared to Google’s Nexus 4. According to the AnTuTu Benchmark, Nexus 4 and its 1.5-GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor scored an average 18,096, well below the Galaxy S4’s 21,089.

In addition to the Galaxy S4’s system performance, we also managed to benchmark the brightness level of the smartphone’s 5-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel Super AMOLED display. One of the biggest complaints we had regarding the S III was how dim its display was at just 213 lux. The Galaxy S4 improves upon that number, topping out at 258 lux. That’s brighter than the Galaxy S III, as well as the Galaxy Note II’s 240 lux rating. Unfortunately, the Galaxy S4 still falls behind the smartphone category average of 299 lux. The Google Nexus 4, meanwhile, came in with an average 399 lux.

So what does all this mean for the Galaxy S4? At first blush, it seems as though Samsung has put together an incredibly capable smartphone that has more than enough horsepower to handle most anything you throw at it. Its display brightness, however, is a bit disappointing. That said, we still have a lot more testing to perform on the Galaxy S4, so stay tuned for our full review in the coming weeks.