An alleged unit of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus equipped with Qualcomm's latest flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 855, was benchmarked recently using the popular testing application AnTuTu. The test result allows consumers to compare the handset model with the Exynos 9820-equipped variant of the Galaxy S10 Plus, which was also recently tested using the same application. Based on the recent benchmark results, the Snapdragon model of the Galaxy S10 Plus garnered an overall score 343,051 points, which is almost 18,000 points higher than the 325,067 points achieved by the Exynos variant of the handset. Aside from the overall score, the benchmark also gave separate scores for the CPU and the GPU of the chipsets. The Snapdragon 855-equipped Galaxy S10 Plus obtained a CPU score of 119,650 points and a GPU score of 142,048 points, which are both significantly higher than the CPU score of 102,879 points and a GPU score of 137,332 points achieved by the Exynos 9820 SoC.
It is interesting to note that the CPU score recorded by the Exynos 9820 is also considerably lower than the benchmark results attained by Huawei's flagship chipset, the Kirin 980. However, Exynos 9820's GPU scores are significantly higher than the scores achieved by the in-house SoC of the Chinese device maker. Moreover, despite the differences in the benchmark results of the Snapdragon 855 and the Exynos 9820 chipsets, both processors still offered better performance compared to Qualcomm's previous flagship SoC offering, the Snapdragon 845.
Background: In recent years, Samsung dual sources the chipsets that power its flagship Galaxy S devices. The units of the Galaxy S handsets bound to the US market and a handful of other countries usually feature the Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm, while the models of the device shipping to the other parts of the world usually sport the Exynos chipset developed by the South Korean tech giant. Aside from the differences in the designs of the chipset, another key difference between the Snapdragon 855 and the Exynos 9820 is the process node technology used in fabricating the two SoCs. The Snapdragon 855 chipset is manufactured using TSMC's 7-nanometer process technology while the Exynos SoC uses the 8-nanometer FinFET Low Power Plus technology. While there is no definite method of comparing process nodes from different foundries, smaller process sizes often result in better power efficiency and improved processing performance.
However, dual sourcing chipsets may result in variations in the battery life or the performance among different variants of the Galaxy S devices. For example, consumers repeatedly criticized the Exynos 9810 model of the Galaxy S9 for its poorer battery life compared to the units of the device powered by the Snapdragon 845 SoC. On the other hand, the Exynos variants of the Galaxy S8, Samsung's flagship device in 2017, held a consistent lead in GPU performance compared to the Snapdragon models of the handset. To resolve significant differences in battery life or performance, Samsung may release patches that modify the behavior of the chipsets, similar to what the tech giant did with the Galaxy S9 earlier this year.
Impact: While the latest chipset offerings of both Samsung and Qualcomm offered significant improvements compared to the previous-generation SoCs, it is interesting to know how the South Korean device maker will optimize the device to ensure similar performance and battery life between the two models. Nonetheless, the improvements made to the chipsets should ultimately result in smoother user experience and longer battery life compared to Samsung's current flagship offerings.