The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 launched in two versions with either Snapdragon or Exynos processing options, but which one is more powerful?
Samsung has been launching its flagships in both Exynos and Snapdragon flavors for a good while now, offering different processing options depending on the market. The latest Galaxy Note 7 powerhouse is no different, as one version packs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, while the other version rocks Samsung's own Exynos 8890.
Samsung says that customers should not notice any real-world difference in performance between the Snapdragon or Exynos variants, but that may not always be the case. A speed test between the Snapdragon and Exynos versions of the Galaxy S7, for instance, leaned in favor of the Exynos one, while other reports claimed the Exynos version of the Galaxy S7 was overheating during stretched gaming sessions.
To shatter some doubts regarding the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 7's performance for the two processing options, Android Central has conducted benchmark tests for both the Exynos and the Snapdragon versions to see how they stack up against each other.
Before diving into the benchmark results, however, it's worth pointing out that both Galaxy Note 7 variants offer virtually the same experience and any slight difference in performance between the two may easily go unnoticed by users. That said, let's dive into the benchmark test results if you're interested in hard numbers.
The folks over at Android Central tested the Exynos 8890-powered Samsung SM-930F (UK model) and a Snapdragon 820-powered Samsung SM-N930T (U.S. model on T-Mobile). Both variants have the same configuration, some Play Store apps installed, and two accounts — one for work and the other for personal matters.
The publication further points out that it did not restart the smartphones or kill any apps before running the tests, it simply tested the two models in normal conditions, without disabling any features or doing anything special.
"Really, we treated them like we do every phone and just ran the apps we installed to benchmark them," notes Android Central.
Galaxy Note 7 Exynos vs. Snapdragon GeekBench 3 Benchmark Test
GeekBench 3 is designed to simulate the real-world performance of the central processing unit (CPU) and can tap all processor cores. After calculating the results, it compiles the performance into an overall indicator of the device's CPU performance in single-core and multi-core tests.
The higher the score, the better the CPU performance, and the Exynos version won this round, outperforming the Snapdragon model in terms of calculating and processing data. Some leaked benchmark results from earlier versions showed significantly higher single-core scores, but that may be attributed to the fact that Android Central did not kill off background processes, did not clear the app cache and tested the devices after fully setting them up, leaving the apps and account sync running.
At the same time, it should not be surprising that the Snapdragon 820 version of the Galaxy Note 7 yields lower multi-core scores than the Exynos model, as it has four cores as opposed to the eight cores of the Exynos 8890.
Galaxy Note 7 Exynos vs. Snapdragon AnTuTu 6 Benchmark
AnTuTu benchmark tests focus on four essential areas to determine the performance of the device: the processor, RAM, 3D graphics ability and user interface (UI). After calculating the performance, it breaks down the results into four distinct scores. Again, the higher the score, the better the performance.
This round places the Exynos version on top when it comes to CPU performance, but the Snapdragon variant wins in the 3D and UI areas. The RAM score shows both models on par, which is not surprising considering that both the Exynos and the Snapdragon versions of the Galaxy Note 7 have identical RAM modules and controllers.
Galaxy Note 7 Exynos vs. Snapdragon GFXBench
The GFXBench tests are designed to gauge graphics performance, focusing on performance stability in the long run, as well as power consumption and render quality.
"The tests use high-quality and high polygon 3D graphics, and we tested the off-screen versions of the Car Chase, both Manhattan and Manhattan 3.1, and T-Rex at 1080p," Android Central reports.
The Snapdragon version of the Galaxy Note 7 fared better in the GPU department, getting higher scores in all apps.
However, the publication could not compare the render quality test results because the Exynos-powered version of the Galaxy Note 7 returned an "Out of Memory" error. The Snapdragon-powered model, meanwhile, got a 2,510 score for the standard render quality test, while HQ render quality scored at 3,632.
Overall, the Exynos and Snapdragon versions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are not very different from each other in terms of performance. Although the Exynos model scores better in the CPU department and the Snapdragon model scores better in the GPU department, both processing options are powerful and can handle virtually any task you throw at them.
The numbers may not be identical, but no obvious difference casts a divide between the two Galaxy Note 7 processing options. Then again, that should not come as a huge surprise, and Android Central says both models emerge as winners from the benchmark test results.
If you'd like to learn more about the latest phablet powerhouse from Samsung, check out our Galaxy Note 7 review roundup.