Samsung Galaxy Note 4 benchmarks: Snapdragon 805 vs Exynos 7 Octa

It's a fact that for the past several years, Samsung has been producing its flagship phones in multiple variants – one powered by its own Exynos SoC and another featuring a chip from a different supplier, usually Qualcomm. This is also the case with the company's top phablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which comes with either a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 or an octa-core Exynos 7 system-on-chip, depending on the market. Carriers in the U.S., for example, are offering the Snapdragon variant, while the Exynos model is marketed in parts of Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

On paper, the differences between the two chips are numerous. The Snapdragon 805 relies on four processing cores, while the Exynos 7 Octa features eight cores in total – two quad-core clusters, to be more specific, which can have all of their cores running at the same time if that is required. On the other hand, Qualcomm's solution can operate at much higher frequencies. Its cores tick at up to 2.7GHz, while the Exynos's high- and low-powered cores have top clock speeds of 1.9 and 1.3GHz respectively. 

But that's just the tip of the silicon iceberg. The chips rely on different GPUs – an Adreno 420 and a Mali-T760 for the Snapdragon 805 and Exynos 7 Octa respectively. Thankfully, both of them can handle QHD displays just fine, as well as OpenGL ES 3.1 and Direct3D 11.1, but variations in clock rates and architecture suggest that the GPUs may perform differently. 

The list of differences between the hardware inside the two Galaxy Note 4 variants goes on, but we're sure that theory is not what you're here for. So let's move on to the benchmark results and see if they can give us any indication as to which SoC is the better performer. 

We chose a total of 8 benchmark tools and suites to compare the Snapdragon 805 against the Exynos 7 Octa – benchmarks that test their single- and multi-core computational power, their 2D and 3D graphics capabilities, their RAM and storage speeds, and their web browsing performance. And to make the race as fair as possible for both phones, we conducted all our testing after resetting the handsets to their factory configuration. Note that the scores presented in the charts below are averages of three runs.

Processor benchmarks

One thing we can say with confidence – both the Snapdragon 805 and the Exynos 7 Octa are equipped with high-powered processors. It is a bit harder to say which one's really better, however, but it looks like the Exynos chip has the upper hand. While AnTuTu favors Qualcomm's silicon, giving it a higher score in most of its single- and multi-core tests, as well as in the UX performance category, Vellamo, Geekbench, Basemark, and PC Mark all give the Exynos 7 Octa a higher score in both their single- and multi-core tests. 

Graphics benchmarks

Here's where the Snapdragon 805 shines. During our testing, it tied or outscored the Exynos chip in all of the graphics benchmarks that we ran. These include AnTuTu's 2D and 3D graphics tests, the Basemark graphics benchmark, 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited, and GFX Bench's most advanced tests.  

RAM and storage benchmarks 

RAM performs faster on the Exynos 7 Octa variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, according to our benchmark results. The on-board storage, however, is equally fast on the two devices, pretty much.  

Web benchmarks

And when it comes to web browsing, the results are a mixed bag. Vellamo gives the Exynos SoC a higher score, and so does AnTuTu's HTML5 benchmark. But on the other hand, the Snapdragon 805 is faster according to Basemark and SunSpider when ran on the phone's stock browser.

But don't Samsung's phones cheat on benchmarks? – that's what some of you might point out. And while evidence suggests this might have been true in the past, the two Galaxy Note 4 models that we tested did not exhibit any suspicious behavior. One of the tricks that Samsung (and other smartphone makers, for that matter) used to boost their benchmark scores was to lock the CPU clock speed at its maximum level when a benchmark app was detected to be running. This is not the case with either of the Galaxy Note 4 variants – their clock rates are controlled dynamically, as they would be during regular use. Take the screenshots to the right as proof. The widget at the top displays the real-time CPU load and clock speed of the phones while benchmarks are running. (The Snapdragon version is on the left and the one on the right is the Exynos model.) 


So, which Samsung Galaxy Note 4 model has the faster SoC – the one with the Snapdragon 805, or the one with the Exynos 7 Octa? Well, it looks like they're both mighty powerful chips, but it is different areas they excel at. The Exynos 7 Octa model of the Galaxy Note 4 scored higher on raw computational scores and had faster RAM performance, which is why we'd expect faster app execution and load times from it. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 805 model dominated the graphics benchmarks, and that leads us to believe that it will be a better gaming device. Yet at the end of the day, we'd say that Samsung has done a good job ensuring that both Galaxy Note 4 models are excellent Android devices with comparable performance as neither of them stood miles ahead of the other in our tests. Regardless of which SoC powers your handset, rest assured that you're not missing out on much.

Software versions of the Galaxy Note 4 units used in this comparison:

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Snapdragon 805): Android 4.4.4 build KTU84P.N910FXXU1ANJ4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Exynos 7 Octa): Android 4.4.4 build KTU84P.N910CXXU1ANJ4

Related phones

Galaxy Note 4
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3220 mAh(20h 3G talk time)



1. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

Benchmarks don't really matter in the real world....

4. LRSousa

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 20, 2014

You can't say this if you play games on your phone.

5. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Yeah candy crush requires such many doge powers. :)

17. PorkyBurger

Posts: 585; Member since: May 18, 2013

what is candy crush? too lazy to remember

27. maherk

Posts: 6922; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

If that's the only game you play, then good for you. Still that doesn't mean that the millions out there who play Fifa, 2k games, NFS, Asphalt, Modern Combat, GTA and thousands of similar games, wouldn't mind the extra power the Note 4 brings to the table. I recommend you to go take a deep sleep for the coming next 3-4 months untill Sony releases the Z4, better than wasting your time hating on every Samsung article.

31. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Actually I don't even play it :p I only play temple run 2 and word base. Probably those will also get boring soon. And I didn't even hate on anything in this article so what's your problem, my friend?

48. livyatan

Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 19, 2013

You seen Vainglory? Or xcom enemy within? Both games are better played via touch than with mouse and keyboard. Vainglory looks better than by far the most popular and highest grossing(ouch) pc game (league of Legends), and Xcom enemy within is considered one of the best pc releases this year. And I'm pretty sure the best game ever imo- GTA V - will eventually land on mobile, and play perfectly on touch (o finished San Andreas and enjoyed every bit of it). So we need every bit of GPU horsepower they give us, thank you. Now can you go play with your pc and stop trolling mobile gaming already . Here's a bet though - you will come back, and troll more. I guess gaming on PC isn't engaging enough for you.

52. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Are you sure that benchmarks reflect real gaming performance? ;)

57. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

I'm sure it's not. On xda there are so many people reported that facing lag in games with Snapdragon version, but the Exynos version was still fine.

2. Malcolm.Merlyn

Posts: 160; Member since: Sep 28, 2014

Touchwiz will still hold this phone back. I know that touchwiz has improved a lot since the Galaxy S4 (in terms of performance) but its still a very heavy OEM skin.

21. wilsong17 unregistered

No other phone have so many thing if you don't like it don't buy it

24. maherk

Posts: 6922; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Rooted Note 4, xposed installed, wanam, Amplify, AdFree, bunch of customization throughout the UI, and i am yet to face any lag what so ever on my phone. Oh and it is the exynos version, based on the Samsung haters, my phone should be overheating and lagging like there is no day tomorrow!!

30. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Speak for your self. An average Note 4 user will not root it and will have no idea what root even means. He she will be stuck with laggy and bloatware filled touchwiz. How do I know this? Most of people aren't tech geeks. And I know even some tech geeks who don't care rooting their phones.

32. maherk

Posts: 6922; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You're such a moron. What i meant by my comment is that even with those modifications my phone still runs as smooth as when i took it out of the box. You're hate to a company that doesn't give a single fork about you shows how pathetic you are.

33. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Thankyfully 5.0 will fix some of it.

45. DroidMystic

Posts: 91; Member since: Oct 31, 2014

I don't think so, I'll bring more because 5.0 on Samsung is not pure the Touchwiz UI need to be adjusted to the new material design and Lollipop still not stable on is own. For sure Samsung will ruin it with the add and that Touchwiz UI.

50. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

I was aiming at the fact that you can remove bloatware.

53. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Exynos Note 4 isn't any slower than Nexus 5 or iPhone 5s. I've used them all.

26. XaErO

Posts: 353; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

+1 .. Agreed. Note 4 is the best device in the market .. There is just Touchwiz that blocks its true potential ..

3. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Hi Nick T, I wonder if the exynos version have the QUALCOM QUICK CHARGING 2.0, or only the snapdragon version?

7. mitoita

Posts: 77; Member since: Apr 03, 2014

i have the exynos variant and is charging verry fast ( 1,2 hour to charge the phone from 0 to 100%) is really fast. but im disapoint in term of battery....dont last soo long.....i hopw they will relase an update

13. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Is it compatible with the qualcom quick charging 2.0 charger?

8. Nick_T

Posts: 186; Member since: May 27, 2011

I can confirm that when connected to a 2 amp charger, both phones charge equally fast. That's when they're connected to the 5-port USB charger that I use. But I'm not sure if using their respective stock chargers instead would make any difference.

12. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Nick_T I mean the 60 WATT quick charge 2.0. Not the 10 Watt (2Amp/5Volt) quick charge 1.0

6. mitoita

Posts: 77; Member since: Apr 03, 2014

i have the exynos variant and is charging verry fast ( 1,2 hour to charge the phone from 0 to 100%) is really fast.

9. Freecableguy

Posts: 42; Member since: Jul 21, 2014

The Exynos scores from this test are way too low compared to my N910C Exynos model (and others): Brand new A57/A53 ARMV8 cores, a powerful Mali T760 GPU that often matches Adreno 420 in benchmarks and according to some reviewers actually offers better in-game performance (and more consistency after long gaming sessions), 20nm HKMG, Wolfson DAC and the list goes on. It's almost a 2015 flagship launched in 2014.

11. mitoita

Posts: 77; Member since: Apr 03, 2014

mine scores in antutu 50140, i have the same username

10. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Again and again, the Mali GPU loses again to Adreno even at 20nm. This proves that the Mali is not a very reliable GPU.

23. Xenovia

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 26, 2014

This is only Mali-T760MP6 @700MHz If Samsung equip this phone with Mali-T760MP16 = Instant death for Andreo

14. antmiu2

Posts: 550; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

please to a battery life test Phonearena

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