Every year, Samsung changes its flagship smartphone lineup, and there’s always one point of contention: which is better, Snapdragon or Exynos? Exynos is Samsung’s in-house chipset, which drives some of the company’s phones each year, albeit Europe is usually always the only region assured to get an Exynos chip. The United States usually gets a Snapdragon chip, and the rest of the world is up in the air as to which chipset they’ll get. For the first time in the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, India received a Snapdragon processor, while Europe received Exynos.
As previously stated, retail units of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra look to have severe issues. There were display flickering issues that were resolved, as well as performance difficulties. Since releasing our article, I’ve received multiple tweets from customers claiming to have experienced similar performance issues with their Exynos-based S22 handsets. Some people have even claimed that things have gotten worse with the most recent upgrade. Also keep in mind that, at least according to famed leaker Max Jambor, Samsung is aware of the present performance issues with Exynos smartphones. Read also; Huawei P50 Pocket Review: Specifications, Features
To be fair to Samsung, I’ve also heard from a number of customers who say their machines are in perfect working order. The point of this essay is not to suggest that every user will have this experience, but there are a significant percentage of users who are dissatisfied with their devices’ performance. I finally got my hands on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered Galaxy S22 Ultra from Samsung PR in the United States, and I put it to the test against my Exynos-powered retail model from Samsung Ireland. The outcomes are most likely in line with your expectations.
Snapdragon vs Exynos
For perspective, I was planning to set up both of these devices as new to compare them, but I decided that any testing I conducted would not be representative of a real-world gadget. On an empty device with nothing installed, benchmarks can be utopian, but people buy phones to use them for more than benchmarks, right?
Instead, developer options were used to disable any background processes on the devices, and “don’t keep activities” was turned on on both. These devices were also removed from the internet where possible so that push notifications would not interfere with the test. In other words, I made sure no background programs were running and that there was no network interference.
Both devices have also been updated to the most recent software versions available, and their build numbers and dates are listed below.
- Exynos Version: S908BXXU1AVBF / S908BOXm1AVBF (Build date: February 23rd)
- Snapdragon Version: S908U1UEU1AVA6 / S908U1OYM1AVA6 (Build date: January 8th)
First and foremost, I benchmarked both devices side by side to test for differences. I ran a Geekbench 5 test on both of the Galaxy S22 Ultras that I have and asked Nils Ahrensmeier of TechnikNews to run it as well on his Exynos device.
These results already demonstrate a significant performance difference between the Exynos and Snapdragon variants of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and even between two runs on the same unit. Benchmarks aren’t everything, and it’s conceivable for a phone to perform well despite failing to meet the benchmark’s specific key indicators, resulting in a low score.
Continuous performance and throttling
When using a smartphone, one of the most crucial factors to pay attention to is sustained performance. If your sustained performance is poor, you’ll notice a significant drop in performance after what could be a short period of time. I conducted the test on both of these devices, and while they both performed consistently, the Snapdragon chipset came out on top the entire time. However, this resulted in a far more realistic result for the Exynos and is not indicative of a problem in and of itself.
Using the CPU Throttling Test, I was able to determine the peak power usage of both Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphones in my possession. At the peak of the test, the Exynos variant drained 11.84W and the Snapdragon variant drained 7.76W, respectively, with the screen on its lowest brightness on both devices. This is a significant disparity in power usage, demonstrating the Exynos chipset’s inefficiency. This means that in long-term operation, the Exynos 2200 smartphone will have shorter battery life when under strain.
To be clear, other aspects of the phone, such as the screen, play a role in part of this. Nonetheless, there is a significant variation in energy use.
In my testing, I discovered a substantial idle consumption, implying that Exynos devices will have shorter standby durations than Snapdragon devices.
App launch test
We created a real-world app launch speed test that runs a few popular apps we use every day for ten iterations. All of these apps are “cold” launched on the device, which means they aren’t cached in memory before being used. There is no waiting for material to load from the network because timing is stopped when the app’s main activity first begins to draw. As a result, this test can evaluate how rapidly a device can load an app from storage into memory, with the caveat that this test is susceptible to app and OS version updates. However, because we are comparing two varieties of the same phone, drawing direct conclusions is considerably easier.
The Snapdragon device launches apps considerably faster than the Exynos device. The Exynos device is one of the worst-performing devices I’ve ever seen in this metric. Apps take almost a full second to launch on average. That may not seem like much, but consider attempting to accomplish numerous things on your smartphone in a short amount of time. When you run into every tiny stumbling block between you and your work, it becomes aggravating quickly.