Samsung unveiled its latest and greatest Galaxy S9 smartphones at the Mobile World Congress 2018 on Feb. 25, but early benchmark tests are not exactly encouraging.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ pack high-end specs and should deliver a top performance. Early benchmarks, however, show that Apple's iPhones from last year, as well as a number of other smartphones including the Galaxy S8, perform better than Samsung's latest flagship.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, the synthetic tests called benchmarks quantify performance and translate it into numeric results. These benchmarks typically consist of various applications set to make smartphones' SoCs run a number of tasks and assess how long it takes each of them to complete said tasks.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Benchmarks
While the smartphones barely made their debuts a few days ago, AnandTech already ran a few benchmark tests and revealed some early results. AnandTech is well-known for its rigorous technical analyses and tests, so its tests are worth taking into account.
The publication put the Exynos 9810-powered Galaxy S9 through a number of tests and compared the results against last year's iPhones, the Galaxy S8, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and other handsets.
In virtually every test performed, Apple's iPhones came on top of the Galaxy Note 8, in some cases by a long shot. Other smartphones' chipsets outperformed the Galaxy S9 as well.
Galaxy S9 Lags Behind Rivals?
Based on these initial benchmarks, it looks like the Galaxy S9 is running notably behind its rivals, but Samsung says that it might all be a matter of software. AnandTech put the smartphones through several tests including photo editing, web browsing, data manipulation, and more. However, the results of the Exynos 9810 processor powering the Galaxy S9 were surprisingly disappointing.
The benchmarked performance is odd since tests have shown that the Exynos 9810 processor itself is a notable upgrade over Samsung's 2017 Exynos chip that fueled the Galaxy S8 series and the newer Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung Says It's The Software
A Samsung spokesperson, however, clarified to AnandTech that the phones that went through the benchmark tests were running other firmware designed for the demo smartphones showcased at the MWC. Retail versions of the smartphones would have other firmware and would maximize the Exynos 9810's prowess, added the spokesperson.
"I did get confirmation that Samsung is planning to 'tune down' the Exynos variant to match the Snapdragon performance, however the current scores which I got on these devices make absolutely no sense, so I do hope this is just a mistake that will be resolved in shipping firmware and we see the full potential of the SoC," notes AnandTech.