Samsung Exynos 9820 vs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

Yesterday, Qualcomm announced its flagship chipset for 2019, the Snapdragon 855. Naturally, this new Snapdragon chip will be employed on some variants of Samsung’s next Galaxy S flagship, the Galaxy S10. How do overall specs and capabilities of the Exynos 9820 and Snapdragon 855 compare?

Well, this year, Qualcomm has a leg-up over Samsung in the manufacturing process, as the Snapdragon 855 is built on a 7nm process and not an 8nm process like the Exynos 9820. While the average consumer won’t care whether it’s 7nm or 8nm, the Galaxy S10’s Snapdragon variant has been seen getting higher benchmark scores than the Exynos variant. Samsung will probably resort to artificially restricting the performance of the Snapdragon variant, but battery life may turn out to be slightly worse on the Exynos variant.

The Exynos 9820, like previous Exynos chips, has better video recording capabilities than the competing Snapdragon chip. The 9820, for example, can record 8K videos at 30 fps (frames per second) and 4K videos at 150 fps. The Snapdragon 855, meanwhile, seems to only support 4K recording at 60 fps like the Snapdragon 845, which means Samsung is unlikely to offer 8K@30 fps or 4K@150 fps in any market. The 855 does, however, get the ability to record HDR videos, something Samsung isn’t confirming or denying for the 9820 just yet.

Again, the 855 and 9820 are also similar in some ways. Both have dedicated NPUs (neural processing units) for artificial intelligence tasks, support UFS 3.0 storage (the 9820 also has backward compatibility for UFS 2.1) and LPDDR4x RAM, and come with 2Gbps download and 316 Mbps upload speeds over mobile networks. 5G support is missing, sadly, but these chipsets will run on 5G networks with an additional modem.

Here’s a table with the Exynos 9820 and Snapdragon 855 specs side-by-side. Also check out how the Exynos 9820 compares to its predecessor, the Exynos 9810.

Exynos 9820 vs Snapdragon 855 specs comparison

Exynos 9820 Snapdragon 855
Process 8nm LPP FinFET 7nm FinFET
CPU Octa-core custom CPU: Dual-core (Custom CPU) + Dual-core (Cortex-A75) + Quad-core (Cortex-A55) Octa-core semi-custom Kryo 485 CPU: Single-core (Cortex A76 @ 2.84GHz) + Tri-core (Cortex-A76 @ 2.42GHz) + Quad-core (Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz)
GPU ARM Mali-G76 MP12 Adreno 640
Dedicated NPU Yes Yes
Display WQUXGA (3840×2400), 4K UHD (4096×2160) Up to 4K, HDR and 10-bit color depth
LTE Modem LTE-Advanced Pro Cat.20 8CA 2Gbps (DL) / Cat.20 3CA 316Mbps (UL) X24 LTE 2 Gbps (DL)/316 Mbps (UL), Optional X50 5G Modem
Storage UFS 3.0, UFS 2.1 UFS 3.0
Memory LPDDR4x LPDDR4x
Camera Rear 22MP, Front 22MP, Dual-camera 16MP+16MP Up to 20 MP dual cameras, up to 32 MP single camera
Video Capture 8K @ 30fps or 4K @ 150fps 4K HDR @ 60fps. Supports shooting in HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
Video Playback 10-bit HEVC(H.265), H.264, VP9 codec 8K 360 degree VR, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, 10-bit color depth, H.265, VP9 video decoder
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