The Galaxy S8 is packing more power than most of us will ever need in our pockets. It’s so fast that it has the ability to play GameCube games inside an emulator at full speed.
Early benchmarks showed us that the Galaxy S8 would be faster than any other smartphone on the market today — by quite a considerable margin. It outpaces the iPhone 7 Plus powered by Apple’s latest A10 Fusion processor with ease, at least in AnTuTu scores.
But benchmarks don’t really tell us that much. To get a greater feel for just how fast the Galaxy S8 is, you have to see how well it can handle things like multitasking and graphics-intensive games. Or how well it can run GameCube favorites inside an emulator.
In the video below, the Galaxy S8 plays three GameCube titles — Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Mario Sunshine, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker — with ease. The games are played at full speed with sound, and performance is incredibly smooth.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: These games are over 15 years old now, so they should play on modern devices with ease, right? Well, no.
You see, emulators have to imitate one piece of hardware on another — in this case the GameCube’s processor and graphics on the Galaxy S8 — and this is an incredibly intensive task. It requires significantly more power than the original system offered.
This is why GameCube games haven’t been playable on mobile devices in the past, even though emulators have been available. The games might boot, but performance would be so poor that the experience would be far from enjoyable.
It’s tremendously impressive, then, that the Galaxy S8 can handle this task with ease. It shows just how powerful smartphones are becoming, and the staggering improvements chip designers like Qualcomm (and indeed Apple) are making every year.
iPhone fans should remember, however, that while the Galaxy S8 can outpace Apple’s latest handsets now, that might not be the case come September when Apple outs its next-generation A11 chip inside the iPhone 8.
Apple has proven year after year that it can design processors capable of outpacing rival chips, even with fewer cores and slower clock speeds. We’re expecting much of the same in 2017.