The last couple of years have not been good for Samsung’s chip-making team. Samsung’s flagship Exynos chips first started showing signs of concern back in 2018 when the Galaxy S9 lineup came out running the Exynos 9810. The Exynos 9810 was more powerful than that year’s top-end Snapdragon chip, but Samsung failed to optimize things well enough as far as power consumption was concerned.
The Galaxy S10’s Exynos 9820 was better, but Samsung fell behind the competition and used an 8nm manufacturing process when everyone else had moved on to 7nm, something the company only rectified with the Galaxy Note 10’s Exynos 9825 six months later.
And then came the Exynos 990. The Exynos 990 was so bad that Samsung ended up vowing to do better when it started teasing the Exynos 990’s successor. But while the Exynos 2100 that powers this year’s Galaxy S21 series has no serious issues, it still manages to lag behind the Snapdragon 888 that you get on Galaxy S21 smartphones in markets like the USA in many important parameters.
Once bitten, twice shy, and I no longer trust Samsung to get things right
Now, Samsung is enticing everyone with the Exynos 2200, which will be the company’s first chip to have an AMD GPU. Benchmarks and rumors have painted an exciting picture, with the 2200 showing a considerable increase in graphics performance. The AMD GPU will also bring support for modern features such as ray tracing and variable rate shading, which are commonplace on desktop GPUs these days.
But, as Stephen King put it, fool me twice, shame on me, fool me three times, shame on both of us. By now I’ve lost all trust on Samsung to get things right. The Exynos 2200 sounds good on paper, but so did the chips that came before. Only Samsung couldn’t get the implementation right and was beaten by Qualcomm every single time, making the Snapdragon versions of its flagships more desirable.
What I’m saying is that at this point I wish Samsung would start bringing the Snapdragon variants of its Galaxy S flagships to more regions. There are rumors that may end up being the case thanks to the global chip shortage, and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed. Whether the Exynos 2200 turns out to be great, not-so-great, or another misstep, I no longer care – just give me the Snapdragon 898 version of the Galaxy S22 and I’ll be a happy camper.