Samsung ships Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S22 units to India

Samsung ships Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S22 units to India
A post published by Samsung in India reveals officially that the Galaxy S22 series is being powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset in the world's second-largest smartphone market. That is a change from recent years which saw the Galaxy S line powered in India by the Samsung-designed Exynos chipset. There was one exception as the 5G version of the Galaxy S20 FE replaced the Exynos 990 last year.

There are other markets besides India where the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC is driving one of the three Galaxy S22 models instead of the usual Exynos component. One such country is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Traditionally, only select regions would find a Qualcomm chipset under the hood of their Galaxy S device such as North America and China.

Samsung teamed up with AMD to improve the graphics on its Exynos 2200 chipset

This year, Samsung teamed up with AMD so that the latter could help drive Sammy's new Xclipse GPU. And this might have resulted in a doozy of a rumor reported last September. The buzz whispered from ear to ear said that Verizon requested it be sold the Galaxy S22 series powered by the Exynos chip instead of Qualcomm's 2022 flagship AP (which turned out to be the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1).

At the time, the largest wireless carrier in the states and the top smartphone manufacturer worldwide were said to be discussing the request. Apparently, the talks never led to any deal between the two companies.

There have been times when Samsung was forced to make a change in the chipset used on a particular year's Galaxy S series in certain countries. In 2020, Samsung's Exynos team in the company's home country of South Korea were reportedly humiliated by Samsung's decision to ship the Galaxy S20 line in the country powered by Qualcomm's silicon. Samsung executives allegedly were not happy with the performance and energy consumption of their own Exynos 990.

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You might recall that back in 2015 when the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC suffered from a serious overheating problem, all Galaxy S6 series units were powered by the Exynos 7420 SoC. That even included models shipped to the U.S.

Here's an interesting fact to bring up at your Super Bowl party: both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the Exynos 2200 are manufactured by Samsung Foundry using its 4nm process node. But both have several new features that vary from each other widely.

Why did Samsung make this move in India?

For example, the Exynos 2200 should deliver more realistic shadows on video games as it is the first mobile chipset to include accelerated ray tracing (RT) and variable rate shading (VRS). The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has some new unique features as well. It sports the first mobile 18-bit image signal processor.

One theory about why Samsung gave its new flagship phones Qualcomm chips this year in India has to do with the composition of the consumer market in that country. In India, especially, phone buyers are quite knowledgeable. On the other hand, being an emerging and developing country means that India's per capita income is not at the level to support large sales of high-priced flagship models.

As a result, Samsung's thought process might have taken into account that even if it has to spend more to purchase the Snapdragon chips for the Indian market, the number of units would be small enough so as not to have an impact on the bottom line. And at the same time, using the latest powerful Snapdragon chipset in the Galaxy S22 series could lead to a hike in sales since many Indian phone buyers have been requesting that Sammy make this change in the country.

The next question, which we might not have an answer for until several months have passed, is whether India will be shipped Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S23 series handsets next year.

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