One of AnandTech’s more in-depth coverage pieces last year was
our analysis of the two different version of the Galaxy
Galaxy Note9. Specifically we covered the quite large
differences between units offered with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon
845 and Samsung’s own Exynos 9810.
This year again we’re seeing Samsung continue their
dual-sourcing strategy in
the new Galaxy S10. This time we’re pitting the new
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 against Samsung’s own new
Exynos 9820. We were able to extensively benchmark the new
Snapdragon 855 back at CES – however we don’t know much about
the new Exynos 9820.
At last year’s Galaxy S9 reveal at MWC2018 we were able to
benchmark the phone immediately after the press event.
Unfortunately this year with Samsung dedicating the launch to a
completely different event in San Francisco, we weren’t able to
get our hands on the units immediately. It took a while, but
with the help of some fellow colleagues over at TechRadar, I
was able to briefly have access to both units of the Galaxy S10
and run some quick benchmarks.
I kept things to a minimum and opted to just run PCMark and
Speedometer 2.0 – both benchmarks are some of my favourite in
terms of representing the true perceived performance and
experience of a smartphone. Both phones were set in performance
mode and were running firmware as sampled by Samsung.
In PCMark’s Web Browsing test, the new Galaxy S10s both perform
well. What is interesting to see here is that compared to the
scores we initially ran on Qualcomm’s reference device back in
January, the Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10 represents a notable
uplift, and seems to be a better representation of the
capability of the chip compared to the QRD.
It’s to be noted that the comparisons I’m making today are all
on the new Android 9 firmwares – I don’t have updated figures
for the Exynos S9 or the Snapdragon Note9, but have the latest
numbers on the Snapdragon S9 and Exynos Note9, which should be
identical to their sister series’ counter-parts.
The new Exynos 9820 Galaxy S10 now showcases a large
performance upgrade compared to last year’s Exynos 9810 units.
The new chip’s figures are good and better than the Snapdragon
845, however aren’t able to match either the Snapdragon 855 nor
the HiSilicon Kirin 980 – the latter two both based on Arm’s
newest Cortex A76 CPU cores.
The video editing test is less relevant nowadays as performance
differences between different platforms are quite minor. Still
the new Exynos still shows a distinct performance difference to
the Snapdragon counter-part, similar to what we saw last year.
The writing test is probably the single most important
component of PCMark when it comes to representing the
experienced performance of a device. The Snapdragon 855 Galaxy
S10 falls in line with the QRD’s performance, which is
The new Exynos 9820 Galaxy S10 represents a major jump for
Samsung, scoring double what we’ve seen on the Exynos 9810
units last year. Likely what this means is that Samsung has
solved some of the most important
performance issues plaguing the Exynos S9/Note9. The phone
still lags behind the new Snapdragon 855 as well as the Kirin
980. We’re not sure if this continued difference is due to
hardware or scheduler, and we won’t be able to find out until a
more in-depth investigation at a later date.
In the Photo Editing test we see the new Exynos 9820 similarly
performing almost twice as well as last year’s Samsung silicon.
Here it’s clearer that the difference is due to new improved
scheduler reactivity as the workload isn’t necessarily
throughput limited. The continued performance detriment to the
Snapdragon and Kirin chipsets however still points our that
Samsung’s APIs still aren’t as well optimised.
Finally, the Data Manipulation score is more single-thread
limited workload. Here, the new Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10 takes
the top spot among devices. The new Exynos 9820 doesn’t fall
too far behind, and does represent a big boost over the Galaxy
S9 in either versions.
Switching over to a browser benchmark, the new Galaxy S10s both
perform almost identically. The performance of the Snapdragon
855 is a bit better than the QRD we tested in January,
however it’s still lagging behind the Kirin 980.
The Exynos 9820’s performance here represents a huge boost
compared to the Exynos 9810. The score presented here not only
represents the possibly much better scheduler, but also
hardware improvements on the part of the new cluster and
Performance looks “OK” for the Exynos – Though Snapdragon looks
to be leading
Overall the new Galaxy S10s are both in line with expectations.
The Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10’s performance isn’t much of a
surprise, as we had covered the chipset in detail at
Qualcomm’s performance preview event. The Galaxy S10
actually performs better than the QRD – putting to rest some of
the worries we had on the early platform. It’s to be noted that
Qualcomm here still lags a tad behind HiSilicon’s Kirin 980 in
some aspects, probably a result of the latter’s better memory
The new Exynos 9820 performs significantly better than last
year’s 9810. Here Samsung seems to have taken note of the
scheduler slowness that has plagued the last 3 generations of
Samsung SoCs. Besides some obvious software improvements, the
new M4 microarchitecture also seems to have upped the
performance. Samsung claims 20% better performance than the
9810, which looks to be reasonable.
Battery Life To Be Determined
Today’s results only represent a bare minimum in terms of
benchmarking Samsung’s new devices. While the new Exynos 9820
can’t keep up to the Snapdragon 855 in terms of performance,
it’s no longer such a stark difference as we saw last
Most importantly, there’s still one big open question: power
efficiency. As we’ve covered in our preview of the Snapdragon
855, the new Cortex A76 derived cores on a new 7nm process node
showcase some outstanding efficiency figures. HiSilicon’s Kirin
980 is able to power some of highest endurance flagship devices
today, and I expect the Snapdragon 855 to be able to achieve
the same. If the new Exynos is able to achieve the same is
something we’ll have to find out at a later date. We have to
remember that Samsung’s chipset not only has to fix its
microarchitectural efficiency issues, but also comes with a
process manufacturing disadvantage as the chip is produced on a
(theoretically) inferior 8nm process.
Unfortunately we won’t have the Galaxy S10 in-house for review
until after public availability on March 8th – so
we’ll have to be a little more patient before we can post a
more detailed analysis of Samsung’s new flagship devices.