Galaxy S21’s Snapdragon 888 vs Exynos 2100 features and performance

If you thought that the Galaxy S21 series will be powered by Qualcomm’s next generation Snapdragon 875 chipset, an heir to the 865 in the S20, you are sorely mistaken, as it will actually breeze through tasks with an even next-er generation processor, at least as far as naming, the Snapdragon 888.

Cool naming, eh? Qualcomm announced the 888 at its Snapdragon Tech Summit keynote back in December, paving the way for an onslaught of Samsung, LG, OnePlus, Sony, and other flagships phones with it as soon as January, starting with the Galaxy S21.
Samsung, on the other hand, is gearing up to detail the Exynos 2100 with a dedicated unveiling event for the first time, yet benchmarks show it will sport Cortex-X1 cores with peak 2.9GHz frequency, 5G integration, and a modern 5nm EUV production method. Obviously, Samsung is pretty proud with what it has done this time around, so hopefully the dreaded Snapdragon vs Exynos model controversy can be put to pasture once and for all.

Snapdragon 888 vs Exynos 2100 vs Snapdragon 865 vs Apple A14 specs and features

All new Snapdragon 888 features

  • 5G modem integration (longer battery life)
  • 5nm Qualcomm X60 modem
  • 6th generation AI engine on a new Hexagon processor
  • Fastest Adreno GPU graphics rendering on a Snapdragon ever
  • 35% faster image processor (120 pictures per second at 12MP)
To top it all off, the 5nm production process of the X60 modem means huge gains in battery life in your phone’s 5G mode, something the iPhone 12 series badly needed at one point, as standalone 5G modems are battery hogs compared to integrated solutions like in Qualcomm’s own Snapdragon 7-series midrangers like the one powering the Pixel 5.


Galaxy S21, Plus and Ultra Snapdragon vs Exynos benchmark performance comparison

As you can see, the single-core Geekbench scores are roughly the same, while the Exynos 2100 multi-core scores excel but the difference could very well be due to the average clock speeds, as the Exynos cores have worked on higher frequencies during the benchmark test.

The Exynos 2100 vs Snapdragon 888 vs Apple A14 test, on the other hand, reveals an expected advantage for Apple’s chipset, again likely due to the much higher, nearly 3GHz clock frequency the test is carried out at. 

Last but not least, the all-important Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 888 comparison, as found in the Galaxy S20 Ultra and S21 Ultra, respectively, reveal a hearty per-core advantage for the S21 Ultra at a similar clock speed which bodes well for the new phone’s performance compared to its predecessor.


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