Nov 20 AT 1:10 PM Nick Gray 17 Comments

Building the perfect Nexus phone: processor

processor generic

The display of a phone may be the most noticeable piece of hardware. We stare at it for hours on end each day. But, those beautiful pixels mean absolutely nothing if the wrong processor is used to power the phone. Fortunately the major players only use the best chips on the market for their flagship phones, so we can expect the next Nexus phone to do the same.

Right now, Qualcomm and NVIDIA are the only two chip manufacturers who have proven they can deliver great performance and battery life for Android powered phones. Yes, there are other chip makers out there, but none of them have shown they can match what NVIDIA and Qualcomm have to offer. Qualcomm has always been focused on creating the most well-balanced processors, which offer great performance and battery life, while NVIDIA’s approach has been to cater to games by making extraordinary GPU performance on its chips the number one priority.

By the time the next Nexus phone hits the market, Qualcomm and NVIDIA will have a new generation of chip available. We have yet to hear the specifics of what the chips will offer, but we can assume that they will be more energy efficient while delivering a lot more power.

Based on your experience, which chip manufacturer should Google choose to power the perfect Nexus phone?

Note: Samsung’s Exynos has been left out of the poll since Meizu and Lenovo are the only mainstream manufacturers besides Samsung that have used the chip in a select number of devices. 

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • http://lawrencesamantha.com olentz

    How about Intel?

  • jamal adam

    Talk about perfect timing. Qualcomm just announced the Snapdragon 805 with the Adreno 420.

    I feel that Qualcomm’s well balanced approach means that consumers will be getting the best of all aspects of CPU, GPU, and battery life and speaking of graphical power the Adreno 420 is claimed to have a 40% increase compared to the Adreno 330.

  • Fulaman

    The issue is that there are currently no games in the play store that even provide a challenge to the snapdragon S3… Until then, I don’t see the point to all these amazing processors.

    • renyo

      I did notice an occasional lag in Asphalt 8 on the Snapdragon 600…

    • vivek201

      game: shadowgun deadzone

  • Alex J.

    I owned Gnex, N4 and now N5.

    Sofar i noticed, that N5 is simply a killer smartphone.
    Who needs 4 Cores?
    Who needs fullHD on 5″ screen?
    Ok, 32 GB is nice thing, because of all music i have on it.

    But, i would prefer to see a Nexus, which can run for few days, hopefully for at least 3, and which has dual core and 720p screen.

    There is no such phone on the market.

    • Ross Pendleton

      How about the Motorola Moto G? Technically it’s a quad core phone, but it’s a low power Snapdragon 400 that is very battery efficient!

    • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

      Get yourself a Moto G. I like having high end specs on my nexus and hope thats the way Google goes. They could be high end and have a long lasting battery, hopefully they add that in future Nexus phones.

  • Meister_Li

    I would always prefer Qualcomm just based on their Support for the Open Source community alone. Nvidia is absolutely horrendous when it comes to that, so I tend to avoid phones or devices with their Chips in them.

  • rashad360

    Qualcomm is the way to go. NVidia’s proprietary drivers are an obstacle to mod developers. My poor G2x is still stuck on Gingerbread because of these issues. (4.0+ is possible but certainly not stable enough for a daily driver)

  • thymeless

    The ascendant processor package varies at the time of design. Pick what ever is best at the time, don’t be devotee of just one. Competition benefits us all.

  • clocinnorcal

    Qualcomm = dev support!

  • Pravas

    Qualcomm because of the developer community.

    • donger

      Hell yeahs.

  • Chad Moran

    Although i like nvidia for the graphics, Qualcomm provides two things that nvidia can not yet provide in the mobile market.

    1,Energy efficiency

    2. Power

    those two things alone is the reason why Qualcomm is on top and also Intel is making a breakthrough with the Haswell processors on the Chromebooks, is because it balances both to where it uses power to take what it needs and not what i wants in order to save battery life, prevent lag on the UI and to provide a good experience rather than drain it all with fancy high end graphics that will drain your battery within an hour or two.

  • http://nickvettesephotography.com Nicholas Vettese

    Personally, I love both chips, but I think for the sake of the Nexus line of products, Google needs to focus on one chip manufacturer, so that Android and it’s users receive the best experience, and Google can continue to provide updates without the need to handle multiple vendor’s drivers and more.

  • kritsana

    thumb up down+1

  1. How about Intel?

  2. Talk about perfect timing. Qualcomm just announced the Snapdragon 805 with the Adreno 420.

    I feel that Qualcomm’s well balanced approach means that consumers will be getting the best of all aspects of CPU, GPU, and battery life and speaking of graphical power the Adreno 420 is claimed to have a 40% increase compared to the Adreno 330.

  3. FulamanGuest 2 years ago

    The issue is that there are currently no games in the play store that even provide a challenge to the snapdragon S3… Until then, I don’t see the point to all these amazing processors.

  4. Alex J.Guest 2 years ago

    I owned Gnex, N4 and now N5.

    Sofar i noticed, that N5 is simply a killer smartphone.
    Who needs 4 Cores?
    Who needs fullHD on 5″ screen?
    Ok, 32 GB is nice thing, because of all music i have on it.

    But, i would prefer to see a Nexus, which can run for few days, hopefully for at least 3, and which has dual core and 720p screen.

    There is no such phone on the market.

    • Ross PendletonGuest 2 years ago

      How about the Motorola Moto G? Technically it’s a quad core phone, but it’s a low power Snapdragon 400 that is very battery efficient!

    • Get yourself a Moto G. I like having high end specs on my nexus and hope thats the way Google goes. They could be high end and have a long lasting battery, hopefully they add that in future Nexus phones.

  5. I would always prefer Qualcomm just based on their Support for the Open Source community alone. Nvidia is absolutely horrendous when it comes to that, so I tend to avoid phones or devices with their Chips in them.

  6. Qualcomm is the way to go. NVidia’s proprietary drivers are an obstacle to mod developers. My poor G2x is still stuck on Gingerbread because of these issues. (4.0+ is possible but certainly not stable enough for a daily driver)

  7. The ascendant processor package varies at the time of design. Pick what ever is best at the time, don’t be devotee of just one. Competition benefits us all.

  8. Qualcomm = dev support!

  9. Qualcomm because of the developer community.

  10. Chad MoranGuest 2 years ago

    Although i like nvidia for the graphics, Qualcomm provides two things that nvidia can not yet provide in the mobile market.

    1,Energy efficiency

    2. Power

    those two things alone is the reason why Qualcomm is on top and also Intel is making a breakthrough with the Haswell processors on the Chromebooks, is because it balances both to where it uses power to take what it needs and not what i wants in order to save battery life, prevent lag on the UI and to provide a good experience rather than drain it all with fancy high end graphics that will drain your battery within an hour or two.

  11. Personally, I love both chips, but I think for the sake of the Nexus line of products, Google needs to focus on one chip manufacturer, so that Android and it’s users receive the best experience, and Google can continue to provide updates without the need to handle multiple vendor’s drivers and more.

  12. kritsanaGuest 1 year ago

    thumb up down+1