GPU Turbo is a flagship must, here’s why

By | 9th July 2018

Honor’s GPU Turbo technology promises some major performance and battery life benefits for a number of the companies’ handsets. The update is heading to the high-end Honor 10 first, followed by the Honor PlayView 10, Honor 9 Lite, and Honor 7X too.

The Honor 10 is a compelling cost-effective challenger to the flagship market, boasting AI-powered dual rear cameras, a stunning glass design, and the powerful Kirin 970 processor also found inside the ultra high-end Huawei P20 Pro. With a high-end chip and GPU Turbo optimizations onboard, the Honor 10 could become one of the highest performing smartphones around.

What is GPU Turbo?

In a nutshell, Honor’s GPU Turbo technology optimizes the graphics pipeline, removing possible performance barriers and bottlenecks between the phone’s graphics processing hardware and the software running on it. Honor says its technology reconstructs the traditional graphics processing framework at the lower layer system, but what does that actually mean?

We can split graphics software into two levels — high level and low. The highest level software is the apps and game engines, and just underneath those are the graphics APIs like OpenGL and Vulkan, which provide common graphics functions to these applications. Under the APIs is the low level software and drivers  — the bits of code mapping the APIs to the actual graphics hardware inside your phone.

It’s these last bits that Honor has control over in the graphics framework and where its engineers may have made improvements — the secret sauce remains under wraps for now. Throughout the history of Android, we’ve seen big performance leaps from software changes in the Java Runtime and tweaks to energy-aware scheduling. Honor may have found the next big gain in the graphics department.

Performance and energy improvements

Technical details are all well and good, but how does this improve the user experience? According to Honor, there are some major performance, energy, and temperature benefits from switching to GPU Turbo.

Apparently, GPU Turbo can provide up to 60 percent more performance than the old graphics framework. This means extra performance for higher and more stable frame rates and potentially improved image quality. 3D games will appear smoother and prettier, even without HDR (High Dynamic Range) support.

With GPU Turbo, the Honor V10 is able to offer high frame rates with excellent stability.

The performance gain is accompanied by a 30 percent drop in energy consumption. This means games run notably faster and consume less of your battery to do it, letting you game for longer. Lower power consumption also makes for a cooler smartphone, which is great for device longevity and will avoid instances where phones dial back performance to prevent overheating.

When can I get it?

The Honor 10 is the first smartphone in line for the update, which will be heading our way as early as August. The Honor 10 is available in Europe, Russia, Asia Pacific, India, and the Middle East, so customers across the world will get the update very soon.

The Honor 9 Lite, View 10, and Honor 7X will see the update a little later, probably around September. Other handsets could see a similar update sometime in November.