Android flagship phones can expect double-whammy speed boost in 2021

From CNET: For years, Android phone chips have trailed Apple iPhone processors in speed tests. But Arm, a chip company whose technology is used by both mobile camps, has a chip design project called X1 that should give Android a significant speed boost.

On Tuesday, Arm unveiled its new Cortex-A78 processor design, which should provide a 20% speed boost compared with Arm's current A77, said Paul Williamson, general manager of the product line. Chips based on the more customized Cortex-X1-based designs get another boost of up to 22% more than regular A78 designs.

The power boost should help top-end Android phones and improve laptops like the Microsoft Surface Pro X that use Arm-family chips rather than Intel's Core processors. Competition with the iPhone, however, is the top priority. An iPhone 11 Pro earns a Geekbench speed score of 1,328, head and shoulders above the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra at 840. With a score of 918, even the iPhone X is faster than the Samsung flagship phone despite arriving more than two years earlier.

"There is no such thing as 'fast enough,'" said David Kanter, a chip expert at the Real World Technologies research firm. More performance lets phone makers offer features like advanced image processing for better photos. It also makes scrolling smoother, launches apps faster and helps pave the way for newer technologies like augmented reality.

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