Geared for speed: why the time is right to get a super-fast phone
Here’s an interesting fact for you. At present, there are around 2.5 billion smartphones in use in the world. By comparison, there’s only around 1.4 billion PCs. That means, for more than a billion people, the smartphone is the only computing device they own, and they way they do everything from shopping to managing money to doing work.
When you talk to people about their computer, they always want one that’s faster. There’s a recognition that a slow PC is a bad thing, something which will hold you back and stop you doing things. Talk to them about their smartphone, though, and you’ll often hear the exact opposite: “my phone’s fast enough”, “I don’t need a new one”, “it’s fine”.
So why is this? Why do people think that their PC is too slow, but the smartphone – which they spend far more time on – is “fast enough”? We think it’s largely because people are a bit stuck in the past, and don’t realise all the things they can do with a faster phone. So with that in mind, here’s why you should be getting something that doesn’t just have a little more speed – it needs a LOT. And we’re going to show you why the Honor 8 Pro is the phone you should be considering if you want great performance.
So what are you missing out on if you don’t get a powerful phone? There’s quite a few features and applications which you won’t get to experience in an optimum way. The first and most obvious one is gaming. Mobile gaming has come a long way from super-simple games (remember Snake?) to the point where a powerful mobile like the Honor 8 Pro is capable of delivering graphics which are close to desktop class.
But even if you’re not a hardcore gamer, a more powerful phone will improve the experience of even more simple games. Something like Hearthstone or Clash of Clans, which aren’t too taxing, look amazing when you’re able to run them on a better phone. Compare Hearthstone on your two year old Android phone – or even last-year’s flagship – to the Honor 8 Pro and you’ll see what we mean.
On the more serious side, business applications are are increasingly powerful on mobile, and so need a little more power than a three year old phone with a low-resolution screen can provide. Microsoft now ships most of its big Office applications on Android, including powerful versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint that go a long way from simple “viewers” which let you do the odd edit. We’ve done entire presentations from our smartphones, including effects and transitions, all of which are smoother and more responsive if you have a phone which has more speed.
The Kirin 960 in the Honor 8 Pro means there’s more than enough processor power for office applications. Equally important, the big-but-slim battery and smart battery software means you don’t pull it out of your pocket to do some tweaks on your presentation and find it’s powered off.
Then there’s virtual reality, which is fast-becoming something that’s moved beyond a curiosity into a something you really want. While a year or two ago, VR demos were a little bit rough and left you wondering what the point was, now you can get phones which are powerful enough to deliver really high-quality VR graphics using a headset – and, equally importantly, the software and content is now interesting and entertaining enough to make it worth using.
There are games, obviously, but there’s also a large and growing library of 360-degree content on YouTube which lets you immerse yourself in a scene. You can even experience events, live, in VR – the next-best thing to being there yourself. But try this with an older, less powerful phone and you’ll be disappointed.
So what features should you look out for if you want a fast phone? As with every kind of computer, it’s not just the speed of the processor that matters. There’s several factors which you should look at when getting a fast phone
Most smartphone models have at least dual-core processors, if not quad-core. Some, like the Kirin 960 used in the Honor 8 Pro, even have eight cores, with four lower-power cores dedicated to less-intensive tasks. The clock speed of a processor shows in how fast the handset is, how slick the OS feels, and how the phone copes with complicated web pages.
But the processor isn’t the only silicon you need to look for: you also want the graphics capabilities to match that. Look for the latest Mali-G71 graphics included if you want really great graphical performance.
Processor speed, though, isn’t the only factor in performance. A fast processor thrives when it’s given enough RAM to work with, so you should look for at least 4Gb of RAM with an Android phone, and preferably more. RAM is one of those areas where more is really always better.
The final factor to look for is software. Some companies customise Android in a way which actually slows things down, adding additional elements to the user interface which soak up your processor’s time but don’t actually add much to the experience. Look instead for a version of Android which optimises your experience without adding too much “flash”. Your phone is powerful – and you want that power working for you, rather than for the people writing the operating system.