With the Apple A13 Bionic, Huawei Kirin 990, and Mediatek 5G already announced it is almost time for Qualcomm to launch their latest flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 865.

Unlike phone launches, there has not been a lot of leaked information about the new Snapdragon. Two things that are a given though, there will be an integrated 5G chipset, and it will use Arm Coretex A77 CPUs. It will be interesting if they have a 4G and 5G version like Huawei though.

We have started to see the first tidbits of information about the new chipset in the form of benchmarks. The SD865 has shown up before but multiple scores have started showing up, and the score has gradually been increasing with time, indicating that they are optimising the chip and the firmware.

Out of the 7 posted results, the average single core speed is 4034 and 12100 for multi-core. However, Ice universe, has claimed that the chipset will push up to 4250 on a single core and 13300. This seems to make sense as Qualcomm has clearly managed to optimise it over previous months and will continue to do so up until release.


Personally, I think flagship chipsets are so good it doesn't really matter which one you choose, and I think this is applicable to most people. Some power users using specific apps may notice the difference but it won't be huge. That being said, we all love a comparison.

If we assume the 4250/13300 result is true from Ice Universe then the below graph shows the results of the SD865 versus the current cream of the crop from other companies, and the percentage difference in relation to the SD865.

Single CoreMulti CoreSingle DifferenceMulti Difference 
Snapdragon 865425013300N/aN/a
Snapdragon 855 Plus36231136717%17%
Huawei Kirin 990 5G38511263610%5%
Samsung Exynos 9825446610387-4.80%28%
Apple A13 Bionic 547213769-22%-3.40%

My thoughts

I will admit the title is a little clickbaity, looking at the comments on Twitter about the leaked information from Ice Universe, it is just people bickering about the A13 and Samsung 9820 being faster.

There is obviously a lot more to a chipset than a synthetic benchmark, real-world performance is very different. Even if the A13 is a better chipset overall, it is on a completely different platform so I don't really see the need to compare. Then if we want to nitpick about things, Apple doesn't have 5G nor will they for a while, and the Samsung 9820 is notoriously inefficient compared to the SD855 to the point that most people I know prefer the Snapdragon 855 variant of the Samsung Galaxy S10.

The Kirin 990 5G is also an interesting comparison, with it using the A76 architecture it doesn't fare so well on the Geekbench benchmarks, but if you look at AI benchmarks, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G scores more than double the Snapdragon 855 Plus on the Asus ROG Phone II.