Nvidia Shield Tablet vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Well, here we are… after we have tested two of the most powerful devices launched in 2014. First, we will treat each of them separately, as a device, because… both deserve this.
I personally believe that Galaxy Note 4 represents a turning point in the history of smartphones. Why do I say that? Well, of course, it is one of the most powerful smartphones ever launched, it has one of the best cameras I have ever seen on a smartphone and overall it is a true flagship. Ironically, that is not why I think it is a turning point. Ironically, it is the first year when Apple entered Samsung territory, that of big screen smartphones, and it is the first time when Samsung has a better design and form factor than Apple. I am not talking about iPhone 6 here but about iPhone 6 Plus. Which is not what it should be, at least not compared to Galaxy Note 4. Of course, Galaxy Note 4 is not a revolution, but a long awaited evolution.
And yes, apparently Samsung does know how to make big screen smartphones, while Apple still has to learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to giant smartphones. Because you see, in the end, the finer details that were changed on Note 4 make a very solid product, which is now also very beautiful. Heh… I never thought that it will come a day when the Samsung counterpart will look and feel better then the Apple one. Go figure…
Coming back to Nvidia Shield Tablet, I would say that it is probably the most powerful tablet built so far. I find the 8″ form factor well suited for many users, the performance top notch, the screen well balanced and the sound pretty darn good. And this is just as a regular tablet. But of course, the Shield Tablet is not a regular tablet. If you wish, it is a very ambitious bet made by Nvidia, and we will have to wait and see how successful the whole concept of tablet/console and GRID game streaming is.
We can definitely say that there is a whole lot of potential in the idea of an Android console that can also stream PC games to the living room TV, and which can also be used as a regular tablet, but in the end it depends on the support of the gaming community if this will be a major hit or not. I for one was not very happy when I saw that the BETA version of World Of Tanks Blitz does not know how to use the Shield Controller…
So… what did we learn? That both Galaxy Note 4 and Nvidia Shield Tablet are awesome devices in their class and both deserve the price tags they were given by their manufacturers. And both are very, very powerful devices, of course. So what about Samsung’s and Nvidia’s claims regarding performance? Well, as odd as it might be comparing a 699 USD smartphone with a 299 USD tablet, I must say that I think both manufacturers are wrong here.
Of course, looking at the benchmarks it might look like a very close tie, with Note 4 winning in 4 benchmarks, while Shield Tablets does the same thing in the other 4 benchmarks. However, I think that there is another very ironical situation here, the situation where Nvidia is this time the little guy that doesn’t have all the benchmarks properly optimized for it’s architecture. Because the differences shown in 3DMark and GFX Bench are pretty huge and we can say that at least from the 3D point of view, Tegra K1 has no rival at the moment.
But, taking into consideration that there are CPU and browser benchmarks where Shield Tablet comes second, I wouldn’t just call it the most powerful mobile chipset ever launched. I think there is a tremendous potential in Tegra K1, and the benchmarks and apps are not all optimized to show this, and I think that a fair test would be 6 months from now, when both devices are running Android 5.0 Lollipop and the developers had time to optimizes their apps for both devices. And of course, I still think that a proper test is done using the same screen resolution and the same RAM quantity. I’m just old school like that…
What do you think?