Battle of the S8 chipsets: Snapdragon 835 vs Exynos 8895


As is the case for almost every of Samsung’s flagships, each of this year’s Galaxy S8 variants will come in two separate versions – one for the US and China, running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, and one for the rest of the world, powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 8895. This comes as a result of Qualcomm’s firm grasp on CDMA-related patents, which all but guarantees their near-monopoly in the States, forcing companies like Samsung to release modified versions of their devices compatible with local bands.

While the two chipsets have their differences, they are fairly minimal, and it’s fair to say the end user will probably never feel them. Furthermore, Samsung is unlikely to sell an underpowered version of its device in a given market, and will almost surely strive for equivalency across versions as a result. Still, while we’re waiting for the Galaxy S8, the best we can do is to compare the two chipsets, and see how they fare against each other, which will hopefully give us an idea of what the differences between versions might be:

Snapdragon 835Exynos 8895
CPU CoresKryo 280Custom + Cortex A53
CPU Configuration4 x 2.45 GHz
4 x 1.9 GHz
4 x 2.5 GHz
4 x 1.7 GHz
GPUAdreno 540Mali-G71 MP20
RAM2 x 32-bit LPDDR4X 1866MHzLPDDR4X
Camera16MP Dual, 32MP Single28MP+16MP Dual, 28MP Single
FlasheMMC 5.1 / UFS 2.1eMMC 5.1 / UFS 2.1
Video Recording4K @ 30FPS4K @ 120FPS
Video Playback4K UHD @ 60fps4K UHD @ 120fps
ModemLTE Cat. 16 4CA 1 Gbps down
LTE Cat. 13 2CA 150 Mbps up
LTE Cat. 16 5CA 1 Gbps down
LTE Cat. 13 2CA 150 Mbps up
ChargingQuick Charge 4.0, WiPowerSamsung Adaptive Fast Charge, Qi, PMA

CPU

The two processors are pretty similar, but their cores run at somewhat different clock speeds. 

First off, we have what is probably the most important component of a smartphone – its processor. Both Samsung and Qualcomm have upped their game since the last generation, offering an almost 30 percent increase in performance, along with a 40 percent reduction of power consumption. These, along with the processors' reduced physical size, are all a result of new 10 nm FinFET technologies, which let the manufacturers cram more power in less space. Both processors feature an octa-core architecture, with four high- and four low-powered cores which get switched on depending on processor load. While the two processors’ clock speeds are somewhat different, real-life usage benchmarks are yet to show which solution is the better one, though we predict performance will be near identical.

GPU

The Snapdragon offers a 25% improvement over previous chipsets, but the Exynos beats that quite easily.


In recent years, more and more pressure has been put upon chip makers to further develop not just the processors, but the GPUs, too – this largely comes from the emergence of mobile VR, which puts an immense strain upon the graphics capabilities of a phone. The Adreno 540, which is bundled into the Snapdragon 835, offers a 25 percent increase in power compared to its predecessor, the 530. The Exynos-powered version of the S8 will feature a Mali-G71 GPU instead, which will also come in an impressive 20-core configuration, with Samsung promising up to 60 percent improvement over previous GPUs. The clear winner here is Samsung’s chipset, though hopefully the real-world difference won’t be as huge as the number suggest.

Data speeds


Both new chipsets offer increased potential data speed – in fact, the numbers are exactly the same: up to 1 Gbps down and 150 Mbps up, though a major difference is that Exynos’ modem is also the first ever to offer 5-band carrier aggregation. Specifics on it are unclear, however, meaning we don’t yet know whether 5 bands are required to hit the maximum speed, or they are simply an optional feature. 

Audio, video, and cameras

The S8 doesn't make use use of either processor's full capabilities in the camera department.


According to leaked specs, the Galaxy S8 will feature a 12 MP dual camera on the back, and an 8 MP one on the front. This is a far cry from both of its chipsets’ capabilities, unfortunately – the Snapdragon 835 supports a dual-16 MP rear shooter, while the Exynos 8895 ups that with a 16 plus 28 MP configuration. Exynos-powered devices should also support 120 fps video playback, along with 4K recording, which puts the 835’s 60 fps playback to shame. Samsung’s chip also includes what the company calls a “Vision Processing Unit”, a technology designed to help analyze image data, and improve the phone’s video tracking and object recognition capabilities. As for audio, a comparison remains impossible for now, as the Exynos’ DSP hasn’t been detailed yet. the Snapdragon, on the other hand, offers reduced power consumption, including for always-on microphones, which are commonly used in virtual assistants.

Charging



Both of the chipsets powering the S8 will also feature some form of fast charging – for the international version, there’s Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charge, while the US gets Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0. The devices’ wireless charging technology will also be different, too, with Exynos-powered ones using the QI and PMA standards, while the Snapdragon 835 is locked to Qualcomm’s WiPower.

Security


As expected, both chipsets have advanced security features, the biggest of which is probably support for iris scanning technology. The S8 has been rumored for a while to include the feature, helping up mobile security. Snapdragon Security, a feature of the new 835 chipset, also promises automatic malware detection, along with transaction authentication for mobile payments. The Exynos 8895, meanwhile, has a “dedicated layer” for security, which will offer much of the same features, along with a hardware crypto accelerator and a flash memory protector.

Conclusion


While the different US and international variants of previous Samsung flagships haven’t differed that much in terms of specs, the Exynos-powered versions have consistently offered slightly better performance, and the S8 is not an exception in that regard. Of course, it’s doubtful Samsung will let international users get more features than US ones, so don’t get your hopes up for 120 fps video just yet. As for real-life performance, it’s worth noting again that nothing is set in stone just yet – there have been recorded instances of the same device using the same chipset on a different carrier having significantly different performance, so only time (and benchmarks) can tell which will be the best version of the Galaxy S8.

sources: Qualcomm, Samsung

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47 Comments

26. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

There is nothing 'international' about Exynos and there is nothing 'american' about Snapdragon version. Exynos is sold in many countries, Snapdragon is also sold in few countries (China/US etc.,). So stop this fecking nonsense about calling Exynos as 'international' version. Exynos is simply exynos-version. Typical useless editors.

29. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

exynos model support moar LTE bands nuff said..

38. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

There are over 190 countries in this world. Out of this, the Snapdragon variant is sold in just 3 markets. Rest all get the exynos. I guess that's enough reason to call it international and the SD as regional.

44. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

No. It's not. There is absolutely nothing international or regional about both these versions. SD version is sold in the 2 biggest markets of the world and possibly covers half of total smartphone market. Calling something 'international' is stupid af. what makes US more 'national' than others?? afterall SD version supports even CDMA which Exynos doesn't. and if Exynos is so-called international, it should work everywhere. otherwise why use non-sense like international. these are simply idiots jounos coining terms without even knowing what it means.

23. may_czos

Posts: 958; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

Are you sure it's going to be called 8895? It's pretty clear that their new SoC will be called Exynos 9810.

21. galaxy-gear

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Exynos is the best

20. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

The Adreno 530 was faster than it's Exynos counterpart the Mali-T880, so it's not clear if the Adreno 540 or the Mali-G71 will be faster, if 60% on theT880 means more than 25% on the 530. But more important than the short peak perfomances during benchmark tests, is how long, how high and steady performances can be sustained before throttling occurs.

27. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

The G71 MP8 beats adreno 530 in most benchmarks: http://www.anandtech.com/show/10871/the-huawei-mate-9-review/8 E8895 is going to use MP20. So it will easily be around 2.5x as fast as adreno 530. The 60% faster is with regards to G71 MP12 vs T880 MP12. G71 MP20 will be more than thrice as fast as the T880 MP12 in the E8890.

30. Macready

Posts: 1832; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

An early leaked specs sheet (which by now turned out to be right an all accounts that we can verify) for the 8895, had the Mali G71 MP20 clocked at just 550MHz max, where the G71 MP8 in the Mate 9 goes up to 900 MHz. This could hint at very good sustained performance while still getting up to about 50% better framerates than the Mate 9, which is already a graphics powerhouse.

37. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

At 550 MHz, the MP20 configuration would drain less power than the 900 MHz MP8 configuration in the Kirin 960. It should sustain the performance forever and the best thing is that it will be insanely efficient.

17. Totse2k15

Posts: 479; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Go away SD. I want that Exynos camera specs...

14. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

I clicked hoping to see actual benchmarks.

13. gamerRO25

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 09, 2015

If the 835 can not record 4K 60fps then for sure they will not enable it on the other version of the phone

31. M.O.A.B

Posts: 323; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

thats the worst thing about having a f**king snapdragon variant .. they already ditched 64 bit support in the note 4 exynos version because of that,, i still dont know what is the logic about having a damn snapdragon variant !!

9. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

As if the GPU in the E8895 is actually going to be more powerful than the GPU in the SD835, hasn't happened yet and if it does I doubt those percentages that suggest the MP20 G71 will destroy the Adreno 540 is accurate to say the least.

10. liberalsnowflake

Posts: 273; Member since: Feb 24, 2017

Doesn't matter half baked samsung devices would still lag.

11. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

The 7420 had a faster GPU than the SD 810, and the exynos 5410 had a faster GPU than SD600. I have conclusive proof that the E8895 GPU will beat the Adreno 540 easily. In fact, I'm gonna write a blog post about it.

12. liberalsnowflake

Posts: 273; Member since: Feb 24, 2017

True on paper it was fast but was still shamelessly lagging on certain low demanding games.

47. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

The key word is "low demanding". Don't know exactly about E7420 vs SD810 but E5433 outperformed SD805 in games though the difference wasn't huge.

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5838; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I reckon 8895's GPU will be better in short term benchmarks, but the 835's will be better in long term benchmarks Time will tell Although we probably have to wait for the 835 phones since Samsung's tend to be unoptimized as they usually focus more on their Exynos models (which is understandable)

19. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

I don't think so. The benchmarks for the G71 MP8 on anandtech left me awestruck. If Samsung goes for an MP20 configuration at 10nm with low frequencies, it will beat the 835 in peak as well as sustained performance. Even if it throttles by 30-40%, it will be ahead. And that's assuming adreno 540 is super stable. The G71 is an absolute monster of a GPU. Check this out: http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph10871/Huawei_Mate_9-GPU-Basemark_ES31-Off.png

32. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Yikes, I hadn't seen that. Hopefully Xiaomi does their thing with their Pinecone SoC, because they have been making strides to include western LTE bands and I can't see them going backwards on that. Hopefully the Mi6 will include these, because at their prices, goodbye Qualcomm.

42. vincelongman

Posts: 5838; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Basemark ES 3.1 is a bit older, doesn't use tessellation GFXBench 4.0 Car Chase has tessellationhttp://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph10871/Huawei_Mate_9-GPU-GFXBench_Car_Chase-Off.png Still very impressive for a MP8, but it throttles in long term Manhattan 3.1 The Pixel gets 28.7 fps, only dropping a few fps The Mate 9 gets 17.9 fps https://gfxbench.com/compare.jsp?benchmark=gfx40&did1=36723173&os1=Android&api1=gl&hwtype1=GPU&hwname1=Qualcomm+Adreno+%28TM%29+530&D2=Huawei+Mate+9+%28MHA-xxx%29 The Adreno 540 should be super stable given te Adreno 530 is already, eventhough with its CPU is subpar in efficiency Obviously the MP20 will do far better than the MP8 due to lower clocks But I have doubts if it will be better than the 540's sustained performance since its a pretty big gap

22. may_czos

Posts: 958; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

E7420 had slightly slower GPU than SD810, E8890 has slower GPU than SD820/821, E9810 may be equal to the SD835.

24. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

E7420 had a faster GPU than 810: http://www.anandtech.com/show/9146/the-samsung-galaxy-s6-and-s6-edge-review/6 See it for yourself. About the 8890 vs 820, it was a dead heat. E8890 won some, S820 won the others: http://www.anandtech.com/show/10196/the-samsung-galaxy-s7-and-s7-edge-review-part-2/3 8895 will surely be faster than 835 based on the leaks.

34. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The problem with the GPUs in exynos is they can't handle the higher compute situations as well as the Snapdragons can.

36. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

Exynos uses ARM's Mali GPUs. And yes, upto the last gen, they used midgard architecture which had really bad compute performance. But it should change with bifrost in the G71. I am one of the only users who use their GPUs for compute. My GTX 1060 has ran many a neural network simulations for deep learning. And never in the world would I do that on a phone, or even a laptop for that matter. P.S.: I know AMD GPUs have better compute. But for the moment the libraries I use only support CUDA, not OpenCL.

39. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

f**k paper facts, I'm talking IRL performance and Snapdragon has always performed better when gaming.

40. AStar

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

IRL performance, you wouldn't notice any difference in 99% games on the play store.

41. Instigator

Posts: 39; Member since: Feb 11, 2017

Give up Arch, you've been schooled. Tyrion Lannister is always fair and provides real facts. No one is interested in what you want to believes, so please stick to facts.

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