Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Exynos, Snapdragon models still have performance gaps

JC Torres - Sep 7, 2020, 11:41am CDT
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Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Exynos, Snapdragon models still have performance gaps

Samsung may have one of the most powerful Android phones in the market today but it also has some of the most expensive. There are definitely other options around with almost the same raw power, or even better, but some might argue that you are getting what you pay for. That might not actually be the case for Samsung’s flagships, which may have different processors inside and even a different cooling system. And while the prices might be the same, JerryRigEverything’s test shows the performance definitely isn’t.

There has recently been a lot of talk regarding the performance difference between Samsung’s Exynos processors and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips, both of which are shipped on the same premium Galaxy phones for the same price in different countries. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra this year, however, added a bit of complication by using different thermal cooling solutions for different phones. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any 100% certain pattern which phones get a more common copper vapor chamber and which ones get the new graphite solution.

JerryRigEverything’s Zack Nelson put the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra again to the test, this time subjecting an Exynos and a Snapdragon variant to benchmark tests before trying to swap their cooling systems. To answer perhaps the burning, no pun intended, question, the difference in thermal cooling solution may not have any significant impact on the performance of the two chips, confirming iFixit’s earlier analysis. Both phones experienced the same drop in performance when their thermal systems were swapped, which was probably due to opening up the phones in the first place.

What’s more striking, however, is that both phones also exhibited consistently different benchmark scores, with the Snapdragon always staying ahead of its Exynos counterpart. This means, in a nutshell, that you’re not getting what you pay for if your market only has the Exynos variant. Most consumers won’t know how to check beforehand, anyway, and are therefore unaware of the disadvantage they’re at.

Samsung’s two-processor strategy has always been unique in the OEM world but it has only been recently that it is getting called out for the discrepancies. With the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra changing other components as well, some might start to wonder what other performance-affecting changes Samsung isn’t disclosing.

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