It seems to have been the case for a long time now that Android hardware manufacturers have suffered from an obsessive focus on specs. They have battle rage over clock rates, processor cores, megapixels, resolution, etc. These performance specs keep increasing in size and power and may seem to be innovative, however, these higher specs do not necessarily mean a better real world experience.
MediaTek have hailed a new processor calling it a “true” octo core. The Taiwanese chip manufacturer’s processor will be the first of its kind if they can manage to push it out before rival Samsung’s anticipated new line of octa-cores. The processor designed by MediaTek has 8 separate A7 cores and is capable of using all 8 simultaneously. The Samsung chip, named Exynos 5 octa, is currently found in some Asian and European market S4 variants and has been criticized for not being a “true” octa-core. It uses ARM’s big/little architecture to switch between four A15 and four A7 chips depending on the processing need required at any given time.
The Exynos 5 was designed in an attempt to improve the battery life. The big/little design is an innovative concept that should have delivered the combination of a phone with incredible performance with an acceptable battery life. Unfortunately, however, Samsung did not exactly do a sterling job of coding Android and Touchwiz to work with it and the resultant S-lag and decreased battery life has left a poor taste with customers.
Companies such as MediaTek have come into the fore. The small chip-maker has had modest success manufacturing processors for phone-makers like GooPhone, the infamous copier of IOS and Android devices alike. MediaTek has yearnings to get into bigger and more profitable markets. An octa-core processor made cheaply might be enough to get them there. You can have the best processor in the world, but if you have a poorly optimized Operating System you will still have lag. Even worse, because high end processors draw more power you will constantly be tethering yourself to a wall just to keep up and running.