Samsung responds to critics over Exynos 990-Snapdragon 865 performance gap

Samsung responds to critics over Exynos 990-Snapdragon 865 performance gap
Just a day or so ago, we told you that some members of Samsung's chip unit were feeling "humiliated." That's because Samsung decided to power its three new flagship models with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform everywhere except Europe. On that continent, the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G are equipped with the Exynos 990 SoC produced by Samsung. This is the opposite of Sammy's traditional processor pairings; historically, Galaxy S phones sold in the U.S. and China would be equipped with a Snapdragon chipset while the rest of the world would find an Exynos SoC under the hood.

A petition demanding that Samsung use Snapdragon chips on all of its flagships has received 35K signatures


The lone exception to this setup (prior to this year) took place in 2015 when the Samsung Galaxy S6 was powered by the Exynos 7420 worldwide. Fears that the Snapdragon 810 was prone to overheating lead Samsung to make this move. So imagine that you work on the Exynos 990 in South Korea for Samsung and you discover that in that market, the only versions of the Galaxy S20 models available are those powered by the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform. That might humiliate you.


In a statement posted by SamMobile, Samsung said on Friday that "the Galaxy S20 is a smartphone that’s been reimagined to change the way you experience the world and depending on the region, the Galaxy S20 will either ship with the Exynos 990 or the Snapdragon 865. Both the Exynos and Snapdragon processors go through the same strict and rigorous, real-life testing scenarios in order to deliver a consistent and optimal performance over the entire lifecycle of the smartphone."

Some Samsung fans in Europe are upset because they feel like they are paying more for what they consider an inferior product. That's because they don't consider the Exynos 990 to be a match for the Snapdragon 865. There are some who note that the Exynos 990 has a habit of throttling the GPU, negatively impacting the frame rate when playing a game; that can result in choppy looking animation.

In addition, the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform uses ARM Holdings' Cortex-A77 CPU cores providing it with a 20% performance advantage over the Exynos 990 chipset which uses the older Cortex-A76 CPU cores. And the GPU paired with Qualcomm's SoC, the Adreno 650, outperforms the ARM Mali G77 GPU used with the Exynos 990.

Last month, we told you that a petition was started on the Change.org website asking Samsung to stop selling flagship phones powered by its own Exynos chips. The petition has a goal of 35,000 signatures and as of this morning, it has attracted 34,222 leaving it just 778 short of the target.

The actual petition reads, "Outside of the US, Samsung sells phones that use their own-branded Exynos SoC chips, instead of using Qualcomm's Snapdragon. Samsung also use (sic) their own-brand camera sensors, whereas in the US, they use parts from specialists Sony. Based on experience, and studies from numerous sources online, we believe Samsung's parts to be inferior to their US counterparts. Phones with Exynos SoC chips are shown to perform slower, have less battery life, use inferior camera sensors and processing, overheat and throttle faster, amongst other issues."

It goes on to say, "At the very least, we would appreciate if Samsung were transparent about their inconsistencies. Alternatively, for Samsung to ensure we weren't paying the exact same price or even higher than our US friends. We have had to accept this over many years over different iterations of the flagship phones. Every year we have hoped for Samsung to either give us the same device or make their own parts perform on par with the competition. They have failed to deliver on these requests over and over again and the performance gap only seems to widen over time. In the age of transparency, it is time for a change and for us consumers to have the right to choose what we spend our hard earned money on.

Samsung, please hear us! We love your devices and want to be treated fairly, so that we can continue to enjoy them."

Even if the manufacturer takes the time to read the petition, there is no guarantee that it will follow through on the request with future flagship models.

Related phones

Galaxy S20
  • Display 6.2 inches
    3200 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera)
    10 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 12GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh
  • OS Android 10
    Samsung One UI
Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
  • Display 6.9 inches
    3200 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 108 MP (Quad camera)
    40 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 12GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 5000 mAh
  • OS Android 10
    Samsung One UI
Galaxy S20+
  • Display 6.7 inches
    3200 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Quad camera)
    10 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 12GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 4500 mAh
  • OS Android 10
    Samsung One UI

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