Each year there is always an argument about which chipset is best, most of the time it is splitting hairs, a flagship SoC will perform exceptionally and the differences are negligible. Regardless, it is always interesting to see the differences.

The Samsung Galaxy series launches each year running two variants, one Qualcomm and one Exynos, this provides us the most accurate comparison between the two chipsets as it should mean that there is no software differences affecting performance.

Several tech sites have been benchmarking the two variants, with some slightly depressing results for UK users running the Exynos chipset.

AnandTech has carried out the most detailed comparison which puts the Snapdragon 855 ahead of the Exynos 9820 in almost every test. Their results also indicate that the Kirin 980 is also the best performing chipset of the three in most tests too.

With the PCMark Work 2.0 web browsing test, the SD855 is 16.5% ahead of the Exynos 9820. Which also puts the 9820 just 8% ahead of last years SD845

With the PCMark Work 2.0 photo editing task the Exynos 9820 sits 36% beind last years SD845 and 53% behind the current SD855.

Moving away from the PCMark tests, the Speedometer 2.0 OS WebView test has a more positive result with the Exynos 9820 only being 3.2% behind the Snapdragon 855. The performance difference widens when you compare it to the Kirin 980 found on the Mate 20 Pro with a 13.7 lower score.

While the SD855 does appear to perform better than the Exynos 9820 the perceived difference in real world usage is likely to be negligible.

However, one of the most important differences that has not been tested yet is power efficiency. I have seen some anecdotal reports on Twitter stating the Exynos does not perform as well, but we will have to wait for some more thorough tests after the official release date on the 8th of March..

ProcessorSnapdragon 855Exynos 9820
Process7nm FinFET8nm LPP FinFET
CPUOcta-core semi-custom Kryo 485CPU: Single-core (Cortex A76 @ 2.84GHz) + Tri-core (Cortex-A76 @ 2.42GHz) + Quad-core (Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz)Octa-core custom CPU: Dual-core(Custom CPU) + Dual-core (Cortex-A75) + Quad-core (Cortex-A55)
GPUAdreno 640ARM Mali-G76 MP12
Dedicated NPUYesYes
DisplayUp to 4K, HDR and 10-bit color depthWQUXGA (3840×2400), 4K UHD (4096×2160)
StorageUFS 3.0UFS 3.0, UFS 2.1
MemoryLPDDR4xLPDDR4x
CameraUp to 20 MP dual cameras, up to 32 MP single cameraRear 22MP, Front 22MP, Dual-camera 16MP+16MP
Video Capture4K HDR @ 60fps. Supports shooting in HDR10+, HDR10, HLG8K @ 30fps or 4K @ 150fps
Video Playback8K 360 degree VR, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, 10-bit color depth, H.265, VP9 video decoder10-bit HEVC(H.265), H.264, VP9 codec
LTE ModemX24 LTE 2 Gbps (DL)/316 Mbps (UL), Optional X50 5G ModemLTE-Advanced Pro Cat.20 8CA 2Gbps (DL) / Cat.20 3CA 316Mbps (UL)