If you’re going to buy a Samsung Galaxy S22 phone then its likely you’ll be counting on either the Exynos 2200 or the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. But which one is preferable? We’ve put the chips head to head in order to find out.
When you’re running down the spec list of a new smartphone, you might find it hard to decipher what one chipset or another actually means for the device’s performance.
That’s especially true with the case of these two rival processors, as some of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S22 models are likely to come with the Exynos 2200, while others will run on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. In previous years, European customers have has the Exynos version, while in the US the Snapdragon edition is the standard model.
That’s why we’re going to cut through the noise to figure out which slab of silicon is the best option for you, based on all the information we have so far.
Bear in mind that while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has already been released, the Exynos 2200 is still under wraps, so our early conclusions can only be based on what Samsung has announced along with leaked (and therefore uncorroborated) data.
Before we even get into performance scores, it’s worth noting the very similar construction of the two chipsets.
Both are built on the Samsung Foundry’s 4nm LPE process, both use ARM v9 CPU cores, and they both use one Cortex-X2 core, three Cortex-A710 cores, and four Cortex-A510 cores. The two chips also support quad-channel LPDDR5 RAM, UFS 3.1 storage, GPS, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and 5G connectivity. Suffice to say, they’re very capable chips.
The similarities mean that both of the processors will be able to perform some demanding tasks including 200-megapixel image capturing. However, there’s a fundamental difference; while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has an Adreno 730 GPU, the Exynos comes with the Xclipse 920 GPU instead — and that could make all the difference.
The CPU is the “brain” of the processor, which handles most of the tasks undertaken by your smartphone. Therefore it’s obviously important for this part to be as powerful as possible if you want a consistently reliable performance.
There are a few ways to measure how well the CPU performs, and one of the most reliable is Geekbench 5. The leaker Ishan Agarwal and website MySmartPrice claim to have obtained performance scores of the Exynos 2200 version of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra using this metric, and that gives us a real insight into the chip’s potential performance.
According to this source, the S22’s Exynos 2200 registered 1,108 in the single-core assessment, and 3,516 in the multi-core. This is somewhat similar to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which achieved 1,235 in the single-core and 3,837 in the multi-core tests when up and running on a Qualcomm-constructed reference device.
Clearly in this area, there’s little to choose from between the two.
The principal function of the GPU is to render graphics, including for video games, although it can increasingly impact a smartphone’s general performance as well.
As you know, this is the area where the two chips differ the most, so how do the performance stats compare?
According to the same source, the Exynos 2200 clocked a score of 109FPS on the GFXBench Aztec Ruins Normal test – meanwhile, its Snapdragon counterpart comfortably exceeded that (according to Anandtech) with a score of 139 FPS.
That said, the Exynos 2200 has a not-so-secret weapon on its side that could make it your favourite: it’s the first mobile chip in the world to support ray-tracing, so the GPU can realistically replicate the way that light behaves in the real world. Thanks to this neat feature, you could feel more immersed than ever in mobile gameplay. It’ll interesting to see how, and if, Samsung really utilise this across the S22 range.
On the one hand the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 does seem to offer better all-round GPU performance, but if you highly value the dazzling ray-tracing effect then you might be swayed towards the Exynos 2200.
Until we get our hands on devices running each of the two chips, it’s too early for us to name a definitive winner. However, the early indications that we’ve seen so far point to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 having an edge over the Exynos 2200 thanks to reported GPU performance scores, even though the latter offers ray-tracing which is currently beyond Snapdragon’s grasp. Other than that, there’s little to separate them due to their similar construction.