Today Samsung is going to introduce their new M-series with three models M10, M20 & M30 all of which are focussed on the budget end of the market.

The new chip Exynos 7904 has now been confirmed on the Galaxy M20. Along with the new chipset, the phone features a 6.3-inch display (1080 × 2340)  with an “Infinity-V” teardrop. The M20 has 3GB or 4GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of internal storage that can be further expanded up to 512GB via microSD card. The M20 also features an impressively large 5,000 mAh battery.

Exynos chips are only used in Samsung devices whereas other budget phones will use chips from either Qualcomm or MediaTek. With MediaTek leaning towards the cheapest end of the market.

The closes like for like chip is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 which is used in the Nokia 6.1 Plus, Nokia 7.1, Motorola P30, BlackBerry Key2 LE and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro.

So how does the new Exynos 7904 stack up against the Snapdragon 636.

Specification comparison:

SoCExynos 7904Snapdragon 636
Fabrication14nm14nm
CPUS2 x A73 @ 1.8Ghz4 x Kryo 260G (A73) @ 1.8Ghz
6 x A53 @ 1.6Ghz4 x Kryo 260S (A53) @ 1.8Ghz
GPUMali-G71 MP2Adreno 509
MemoryLPDDR4X / eMMCLPDDR4X / UFS
Cameraupto 32MP dual24MP Single
Dual 16MP, Triple cam supportDual 16MP
4K @ 30 FPS4K @ 30 FPS
FHD @ 120FPSFHD @ 120FPS
ModemX12 LTE
Cat 12 (3xCA) / 13Cat 12 (3xCA) / 13
600Mbps down600Mbps down
150Mbps up150Mbps up

CPU & GPU

The Exynos 7904 and Snapdragon 636 both are an octa-core chipset of 64-bit and made on the same 14nm fabrication process.

The Exynos 7904 uses a 2×4 configuration with two powerful Cortex A73 cores clocked at 1.8Ghz and then six Cortex A53 cores for less demanding tasks. In comparison, the Qualcomm uses the same A73/A53 cores but in a 4×6 layout with four powerful cores. The Kryo naming on Qualcomm is mostly marketing, but these will often be slightly customised based on their needs.

The Qualcomm 636 should, therefore, be superior for CPU performance, but the extra processing power will use up more battery.

Making GPU comparisons is harder with the two chips using Adreno 509 and Mali-G71 MP2.

The Adreno 509 is a 14nm GPU with a clock frequency of around 720MHz. On the other hands, the Mali-G71 MP2 GPU of the Exynos 7904 is a getting old as it was introduced in 2016 based on the 16nm architecture. Still, the GPU has a clock frequency of around 770MHz so it should offer comparable performance.

Camera

The Exynos 7904 can support up to a 32MP single sensor, it also has a support of triple camera setup. The third camera stands for Ultra Wide shots and panoramas. Snapdragon 636 can support up to 24 MP single camera or 16+16 MP Dual Camera. Both the chipset have EIS option.

Display

Samsung Exynos 7904 support HD+ as well as FHD+ display panel up to the resolution of 2400 x 1080 with an aspect ratio of 20:9. It can play full HD video at 130 FPS and UHD video at 30 FPS. On the other hand, Snapdragon 636 supports full HD+ (2160 x 1080) with 18:9 aspect ratio.

Connectivity

Both Exynos 7904 and Snapdragon 636 has similar connectivity features such as Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, FM radio, and 600 Mbps download and 150 Mbps upload speed. So, both the chipset offers similar connectivity options.

Benchmarks

Initial benchmarks have been revealed with the Exynos 7904 scores around 107K on AnTuTu benchmark as shown in the image above. On the Geekbench benchmark, the single core score is 1314 while the multi-core score is 3982. So, it is a competent score based on its price.

The Snapdragon 636 processor, the AnTuTu score is around 113-114K. So it has a small edge over the Samsung as this was predictable based on the CPU core arrangement.

On Geekbench, the single core score of the Snapdragon 636 is around 1,328 while the multi-core score is 4,860. In comparison the Exynos 7904 has a similar single-core score, but when it comes to the multi-core score, the Snapdragon 636 is much better. Again due to the core arrangement.

Overall

On paper the Qualcomm will be the more powerful chip though the Mali-G71MP2 GPU on the Exynos may offer superior gaming performance.

The Exynos in theory can accommodate a superior camera too.

In real-world usage, I suspect most people will not be able to tell the performance difference. The main comparison most people should make when considering the device is how much the Exynos 7904 based phone costs in comparison to other Qualcomm equivalents.

If you are on the lookout for a high end phone with a top of the range chip then check out the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Vs HiSilicon Kirin 980 vs Exynos 9820 comparison.