You’ve no doubt noticed that when mobile phone manufacturers detail the specifications of their smartphones, the core power of the processors inside the handsets is always mentioned. But does it really matter if you have an octa-core (eight cores) or quad-core (four cores) processor and what difference does it actually make?
Octa-core processors are a relatively new phenomenon as smartphones made prior to 2015 generally came with a quad-core processor. This year, many of the premium smartphones launched in 2015 feature an octa-core processor which means they have twice as many processor cores as those mobile phones with a quad-core processor. However, double the processor cores does not mean that the octa-core powered smartphones are twice as powerful and here’s why.
Generally a smartphone which contains a quad-core processor will have four separate cores which are responsible for powering a certain area of the handset. Typically this will include simultaneously providing power to the camera, gaming functionality and the fast and efficient performance of the smartphone. In a smartphone with an octa-core processor, there are in fact two sets of quad-core processing chips. Each set of quad-core processors runs specific smartphone functions and they are usually made up of a lower powered quad-core chip which is deployed for most of the time and a higher powered quad-core chip which is required for more advanced features.
The prime advantage to having an octa-core processor over a quad-core processor is that an octa-core chip is more power efficient and is less of a drain on the battery. If a smartphone is using a single high powered quad-core chip all the time then basic tasks such as checking your texts and emails and surfing the web which don’t require a high level of processing power will use up the charge on your battery pretty quickly. So in an smartphone with an octa-core processor, the less powerful quad-core chip can deal with the basic tasks in a more energy efficient way leaving the more powerful quad-core chip to manage gaming, video recording and other tasks which need more power.
So, in a nutshell, you’re thinking of upgrading from a quad-core to an octa-core phone, it won’t handle multitasking any better but it will use less battery when it’s doing so.
We hope that makes things clearer!