When it comes to smartphones, you need to consider a few aspects before making a purchase. Does it have a good camera? Does it have a strong battery? Is the display decent enough for viewing HD content? Is the form factor sleek, and does it rest comfortably in your palm? And so on and so on. However, one factor that arguably make or breaks the phone is its chipset. A powerful chipset means a powerful CPU, and that determines how snappy your device is in multitasking and running heavy workloads.
Similar to PC GPUs, smartphone chipsets currently revolve around two top-tier competing brands. In this case, they are chipsets by Snapdragon (the most popular) and Exynos (a rising underdog). In the past few years, Snapdragon chipsets edged out as the more powerful offerings, and chipsets like the Exynos 990 failing to beat the former’s performance. However, it seems all that is about to change on January 12, 2021. Because the upcoming Exynos 2100 seems set to dethrone the Snapdragon 888 once and for all.
A new Geekbench score shows Exynos 2100 scores outperforming those of the Snapdragon 888
Geekbench, over the years, has become one of the leading sources of authentic leaks. They have a great track record of revealing accurate information about currently unreleased hardware specs. However, we must mention that there is still a slight disclaimer. Namely, that these scores don’t represent real-world performance benchmarks. Also, the chipset isn’t even out; last minute tweaks to performance could happen and thus change the official benchmarks.
However, the leaked screenshots of Exynos 2100 Geekbench scores certainly hold promise. Both the single and multi-core scores bring it very close, even defeating in some cases, to the Snapdragon 888.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 22, 2020
Now, here comes the Snapdragon 888 numbers comparison. Some benchmarks show the Snapdragon 888 to sit in the margin of error of the above scores. So, single scores like 1135 and multi-core numbers like 37954 for the reigning champion won’t be enough to compete with Exynos’s very similar performance. And, since other benchmarks can show even lower Snapdragon scores like 1075 in single and 2916 in multi-core, the Exynos 2100 seems to be poised to take out the rival chipset.
This matters to many smartphone-savvy people, especially since the two chipsets often power different versions of the same phone
The Intel/AMD rivalry comes to mind here as a good comparison, since those PC CPUs are often interchangeable. Rather than compare Microsoft to Apple, the first comparison is more apt. Why? Because for major smartphone companies like Samsung, contractual limitations prevent them from incorporating the same chipset globally. Instead, regional variations exist, meaning a Samsung S20 in Europe may have an Exynos chipset while its North American counterpart the Snapdragon.
Why does this matter? If you look at previous Exynos offerings, the typical trend was less performance than the Snapdragon alternative. The two Samsung S20 owners may have paid similar sums for their premium smartphones, but the one with Snapdragon gets more performance for their money. Keep in mind factors like annually planned obsolescence and increasingly demanding games and apps (the resource-hungry Genshin Impact never would have run on a 2014 phone). Therefore, when it comes to buying any major smartphone (that isn’t an iPhone), you’d do well to check to compare benchmark scores on each regional chipset variant.
So next year, when the highly-anticipated Samsung S21 comes out, you may not need to worry as much about which variant is better. Our safest bet would just be to wait and see once the Exynos 2100 is officially out. But now, at least Exynos is closing the gap.
For more on Exynos, Snapdragon and Samsung, stay tuned!