Andy Walker
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G AnTuTu benchmark

Modern smartphones need just as much efficiency and performance. Most chips from Qualcomm, MediaTek, and others achieve this to varying degrees, whether they’re flagship gaming SoCs or affordable processors for budget phones. But if there was just one trait you had to decide, would you want more horsepower or improved efficiency?

We asked our readers that question in a recent poll, and the results are here!

Do you value efficiency or horsepower in your phone’s processor?


In this poll, published on September 17th, we saw almost 1,400 votes. The clear winner with more than 69% of the votes was “efficiency”. A little more than 30% of the votes went to “PS” or “raw computing power”.

See also: Everything you need to know about smartphone chipsets

It might seem a bit of a surprising result for the obsessive benchmarkers and regular gamers out there. While efficiency and performance are not mutually exclusive – and we emphasized this in our first survey post – more users would prefer a more efficient chipset to a purely powerful one instead. This logic is largely understandable. When chipset manufacturers focus solely on computing power, problems with thermal management and battery life can arise. Even basic tasks like sending texts or streaming music don’t need raw power.

The processing power of smartphones has arguably reached a point where the average end user may no longer notice gains. However, increases in efficiency, especially since battery technology has made no significant advances, are much more obvious. Of course, different users need different solutions. Read some of the readers’ comments below.

Your comments

  • Crericper: Efficiency is more important. Still, I wish that we could have two modes, one aimed at efficiency, where the performance of the cores is disabled or reduced, the other one aimed at maximum performance, where the cores are maximized or even overclocked. The efficiency mode is obviously intended for everyday use, so our phones will last longer. The performance mode is gaming for me to run very demanding games. They may not be there now, but if you want to use your phone long enough, they will show up. e.g. Sky & Genshin can still run on an SD835 after 4 years.
  • Needa: Seems like things are getting more efficient, add functionality to bring things back down. We’ve been getting more or less four hours of sot a day for a decade. But every year the new flagship chip is 20-40% more efficient.
  • roaduardo: For me it has to be efficiency. I don’t run benchmarks all day. I don’t play a lot. I need my phone to work efficiently and smoothly. There is really nothing in my daily phone use that requires raw energy.
  • Shizuma: Efficiency, still looking for performance on phones is pointless as basically nothing done on phones takes the extra power of the top chipsets, but anyone can take advantage of the extra battery life.

That’s it for this poll. Thank you for your votes and comments. If you have further thoughts on the efficiency / performance debate or the results of this survey, please drop a line below.

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