There has always been a debate about the performance difference between Samsung’s Exynos process and its equivalent Qualcomm chip. Samsung has historically used both for different variants of its flagships. Most markets got the Exynos-based flagship while a few got the one with Qualcomm’s processor.
In what might be considered as an abject admission, a new report from South Korea suggests that Samsung is going to sell the Snapdragon-based variant of its next flagship in more markets than ever before. The Snapdragon 865 Galaxy S11 would thus be available to more customers.
Snapdragon 865 Galaxy S11 may be sold in more markets globally
Snapdragon variants have largely been limited to the United States, China, Japan and Latin America. South Korea, Europe and the rest of the world got the Exynos-based variants. That may change with the Galaxy S11.
The Snapdragon 865’s competitor from Samsung is called the Exynos 990. A report from South Korea claims that the “inevitable” decision to offer the Snapdragon variant more widely was made after realizing that the prevailing performance gap between the two hadn’t been closed. It goes on to mention that most regional models of the Galaxy S11 will feature the Snapdragon 865, with the exception of Europe, which will get the Exynos 990.
Citing unnamed officials, the report says that the performance gap between the Snapdragon 865 and the Exynos 990 is “quite large.” That’s also what the specs of both chips suggest on paper. As we pointed out in our Exynos 990 vs Snapdragon 865 comparison, Qualcomm’s chip is using more recent ARM cores once again. Qualcomm is using ARM Cortex-A77 as the high performance core while Samsung opted for two M5 custom cores and two older ARM Cortex-A76 cores.
Numbers alone can only tell us so much about the actual performance. There is a historical precedent to go on, though. The Snapdragon chips have maintained an upper hand over their Exynos rivals in several areas, particularly thermal management and battery efficiency. This may finally have compelled Samsung to make the switch. This would also make sense in light of recent reports that Samsung had laid off the entire CPU dev team at its R&D Center in Austin. Exynos chips may not feature Samsung’s custom Mongoose cores in the future.
None of this has been officially confirmed at the moment so take it with some skepticism. It’s also unclear if regions like South Asia and the Middle East will also get the Qualcomm variant. In any case, it would be best to first put the Exynos 990 through its paces before passing judgment on its inferiority compared to the Snapdragon 865.