Mobility

Samsung's big power play is packed in a small chip

Jack Wallen is ready to eat his words with regards to the demise of Samsung as a powerhouse smartphone manufacturer. A new chip could be just what the once-giant of the industry needs.

Samsung power play

I've been dismissing Samsung as having lost sight of what consumers really want, stating that the once-giant manufacturer had given over to plastic "toys" instead of creating modern devices consumers actually wanted in their hands.

But then Samsung does the unthinkable and devises a brilliant scheme to make everyone want its upcoming product. The scheme is all in the chip.

What chip, you ask? The chip in question is a 128 GB flash memory based on the new UFS 2.0 standard, and it will bring a significant advancement to the mobile technology landscape.

Think about it this way: Your current phone probably has 16, 32, or 64 GB of storage. With the new chip to be rumored for the Galaxy 6, you'll be looking at 128 GB of internal storage. But that's not the game changer — not even close, especially since Apple already has a 128 GB iPhone. Sure, a large amount of internal storage is a big bonus (especially for Android devices that do not have the luxury of removable storage), but its speed is an even bigger bonus.

With this new chip, Samsung has managed to pull off 19,000 I/O operations per second in random reading, which is 2.7 times faster than the current standard. Although 2.7 times faster doesn't sound like much, when you look at the write-to-storage test speeds, this new chip is looking at 14,000 I/O per second, which is 28 times faster than the standard. So, the storage of Samsung's newest flagship device will be faster at reading and significantly faster at writing than anything that's currently on the market — and when you factor that in with the added room, you have just what people want. This is enough to put the Galaxy line back on the top of consumers' want list.

There's even more good news. These new chips will come with a 50% reduction in power consumption, so you get more and faster storage while using less power. That's game changing. These chips will make everything on the smartphone better. Device users will be better able to multi-task, play massive games, or watch videos without hindering performance, plus download multiple large files simultaneously without a hitch.

Samsung has opted for gimmicks on its design aesthetics. When you're dealing with average flagship benchmarks, those gimmicks will get you nowhere. But when you significantly up the ante, performance wise, those gimmicks are easily forgiven.

The only possible downfall is that Samsung could forgo the removable SD card slot. Because of the 128 GB internal storage, the external storage wouldn't exactly be needed (plus, the external storage would be considerably slower than the internal storage). This would be an Achilles for those who tend to transfer files from device to device via removable storage. The good news is that, with Android, there are always options to smooth out such tiny wrinkles.

Now, let's couple that with the fact that Samsung has stated there would be very little added bloatware to the Galaxy 6 (only two Samsung apps will appear on the device), and the upcoming Samsung flagship device is already starting to look like a serious contender for phone of the year.

It is not 100% certain that these chips will find their way into the Galaxy 6; if they don't, most likely they'll wind up in the Galaxy Note 5. If Samsung is smart, it'll do everything possible to get them into the Galaxy 6. A smartphone that powerful would easily tip the scales back into Samsung's favor — gimmicks or not.

Hopefully, there will be another fallout from this amazing new technology: the demise of the 16 GB low-end standard on Android phones. Especially with Lollipop arriving, 16 GB internal storage no longer cuts it as a low-end. The minimum size of internal storage should be 32 GB. Period... end of story. This new push by Samsung could be the death knell for 16 GB.

Is this power play enough to rise Samsung out of the pile of ashes that was the Galaxy 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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