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Qualcomm: Don’t buy a smartphone because of a CPU benchmark

Luke Johnson


Qualcomm CPU
Qualcomm CPU

Despite being the leading provider of smartphone chipsets, Qualcomm has suggested that buying a phone based on its CPU is like buying a car just for its tyres.

Stating that users should no longer base their handset purchases on the benchmarked performances of a device’s processor, Qualcomm has claimed that the smartphone scene is now more dependent on the greater capabilities of a phone.

Buying a phone based on a CPU benchmark performance, when the CPU is just 15 per cent of the phone, is like buying a car based on what kind of tyres it has – it doesn’t make any sense,” Tim McDonough, Qualcomm’s Vice President of Marketing said speaking with TrustedReviews.

Revealing he has spoken with specialist reviewers on the subject, McDonough stated: “Benchmarks now give very narrow slices of the view of the phone.”

Although CPU clock speeds and cores are often used as bait for consumers, the Qualcomm head has suggested that the “linear progression of resolutions and clock speeds and cores” needs to stop. He stated: “We won’t announce a 200 core phone – that’s kind of silly.”

Looking to the future he said: “We are now saying ‘what can this phone do?’ and ‘I’m going to use it the way I want to use it.

“Getting caught in the specs is kind of like thinking of things the way we did in the PC space. Now though we are much more interested in what we can do with it – can I shoot 4K video, do I have LTE advanced for the fastest connectivity, can I take the world’s highest resolution pictures so if I want to zoom in I don’t have degradation in picture quality – those are the things that people want to do with their device.”

While the Qualcomm VP has suggesting purchasing a smartphone based on its CPU is pointless, this does not mean that users should not be aware of a handset’s chipset and the benefits each offers.

“If you were to break snapdragon down, the CPU is just about 15 per cent,” McDonough explained. “If you were to count all of the other things in that 85 percent, there are around 30 to 40 engines that are all doing very specific things.”

He added: “In November we announced Snapdragon 805, the next-generation of 800. Our shorthand for that is that it is the Ultra HD mobile processor and it runs Ultra HD. It will shoot it with video, it will play it back, it will play it back with surround sound and it will run an Ultra HD UI.”

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May 12, 2014, 11:07 am

That's a great argument


September 20, 2015, 9:24 pm

That is 1 persons view on the product. If the consumer is seeking out the phone with the best performance, they will be looking at the obvious bare bone specs with CPU, RAM, Memory, GPU, Battery life, and from there is goes on and on. He brought up several different points people MAY seek out, but as he stated so obviously in his contradicting statement was that everyone has a different desire for their device. The objective would be to make an all around top performing device with features that stand out and are wanted by consumers compared to the competition. That is what made Apple successful with Jobs was alive.

Telling your consumers that it's illogical to seek a certain quality or specification you desire in your phone well... as the VP stated "it's like buying a car based on what kind of tires it has – it doesn’t make any sense."

And then he goes on to top his amazing point with a contradiction, stating that with the development of newer and more powerful processors, they can add newer features that stand out in their phones making it a "quality to desire" as he states.

15% you say? I beg to differ good sir.


December 4, 2015, 4:11 pm

"...is like buying a car based on what kind of tyres it has – it doesn’t make any sense"
"...is like buying a car based on what kind of engine it has – it doesn’t make any sense"

Absolutely. Bulletproof logic there.
Who in their right mind would do such a thing? Well that would be the customer - you know, the person who defines value. Not the middleman, and certainly nott he supplier - they only define the price.

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