This year has been an interesting one for the mobile industry, not only has Samsung released some of their freshest devices since the Galaxy S III, but it was the first year that we really start to see any big chinks in Qualcomm's armor. The San Diego-based giant has not had that successful a year, and it would appear that Samsung is perhaps to blame for a lot of this. In the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S6 Edge, the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+, Samsung went rogue and used their own Exynos processors for the first time as standard in a long, long time. Sure, variants of the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 shipped with Exynos processors in parts of Asia, but Samsung's processor was so good this year it was the preferred choice for a flagship of such high quality as the Galaxy S6. Now however, there are reports that a Qualcomm-powered Galaxy S7 could be in the works.
According to leaked benchmarks out of China, Samsung is testing Galaxy S7 protoypes running on Snapdragon 820 processors. In a recent benchmark post, found on China's Weibo, it appears that Samsung has been testing both the A and B versions of the Snapdragon 820 and found it to be around 1.3x better than the 810 was. The A and B versions of the Snapdragon 820 are the first two revisions, and are not reflections of what the final chip could do. According to rumor, Samsung is to get the third version for testing next month.
The Snapdragon 820 is being seen as a return to form for Qualcomm, using custom cores once again - rather than standard reference designs from ARM - and it would appear the company has tackled their thermal demons. So far, any leaked benchmark of a Snapdragon 820 device has proven to offer much better thermal performance compared to the Snapdragon 810 and we're sure this has been one of Qualcomm's main concerns in their next processor. The Galaxy S7 should be released some time next Spring, so talking about it too much right now seems a little premature, but as users will be upgrading from a Galaxy S5 from two-year contracts we wouldn't be surprised if Samsung had something special up their sleeves.