By now, it's clear that there will be at least three Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
versions, depending on whether they have 5G connectivity, and the chipset they are powered by. The rumored Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
calls it) model without 5G connectivity goes by the model number SM-N985F.
As is typical, the numbering indicates that this is an Exynos version for the international market, and, surprise, surprise, not all carriers abroad have entered the 5G rat race like Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile are having at it here. The FCC listing for SM-N985F clearly lacks 5G frequency support in all the connectivity mentions, too.
On the other hand, there is a model marked as SM-G986B which is an Exynos version with 5G connectivity, again for the international market. The Snapdragon variant for the US, however, will only be available with a 5G modem turned on.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Exynos vs Snapdragon chipset performance benchmarks
All those reports that the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G will be coming with a some sort of boosted Exynos 990 chipset in its global variant, may have been premature, it seems. The Exynos version, with model number SM-G986B, just popped up on Geekbench
found, and scored less than what the SM-G986U version with Snapdragon chipset scored.
It actually nets around the average score of a Galaxy S20
Ultra with the same amount of RAM and chipset, so there will be no magically gained performance from the Exynos 990 on the global version of the Note 20 Ultra, it seems.
Thankfully, the US version, for reasons involving carrier networks and Qualcomm modem patents, will be arriving with Snapdragon 865+
, which will further enlarge the gap with the Exynos version.
If we have to compare with the first Snapdragon 865+ handset that we tested, our ROG Phone 3 review
shows it scoring 3369 in the Geekbench 5 multi-core benchmark, so the performance difference may be quite stark.
Of course, this may not be a retail version of the handset, and the actual numbers are less important than throttling and heating under pressure as well as the graphics performance, which Samsung has reportedly addressed with extra cooling and Exynos 990 optimizations, so we'll just have to wait and test for ourselves.