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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Exynos 2200 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

There are two versions of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra around, each with a different chipset on board. But which is available where, and is one better than the other?

As if Samsung’s S22 series wasn’t complicated enough, with three different models and an Ultra that bears strong resemblance to the now-discontinued Galaxy Note line, there’s another twist in the tail – and it’s all to do with the processor.

Some S22 handsets are sold with Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 processor on board, but others are sold with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, manufactured by tech giant Qualcomm, which we’ve seen on plenty of other Android flagships this year, including the Oppo Find X5 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro, and the Xiaomi 12 Pro.

Which versions of the Galaxy S22 Ultra are available where?

The version of the Galaxy S22 Ultra that you buy is most strongly dependent on the region of the world where you live. In the UK and the rest of Europe, the version with the Exynos 2200 is sold, while in the rest of the world it’s the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (including in the manufacturer’s native South Korea).

In previous generations of the S series, the Exynos chip was more widely sold, but its availability has waned in recent years as Samsung seems to have lost confidence in its prowess. In fact, a recent report from South Korean outlet Naver, and published by Sam Mobile, claims that Samsung will not launch a flagship Exynos chipset in 2023 or 2024, instead focusing its efforts on creating a new high-end processor to rival Apple’s A series of mobile processors, which is planned to launch in 2025.

Is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 better than the Exynos 2200?

Given that Exynos-variant Samsung flagships are not as widely available as before, and that rumours indicate they may be completely phased out over the next two years, do consumers have reason to believe that they’re getting a raw deal if they buy an Exynos Ultra rather than one equipped with the latest Qualcomm chip?

We’ve had access to both varieties of the device, and have run some benchmarking tests on them to see which one comes out on top. In the table below, the Geekbench scores refer to CPU performance, which dictates how the phone manages most tasks it undertakes, while the 3D Mark scores indicate GPU performance, which indicates the graphic processing capabilities that are particularly pertinent for mobile gaming.

On the left are the results for the Exynos version, and you can simply scroll right to see the results of the Snapdragon variant.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with the S Pen out
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Benchmarking comparison scores

Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
3D Mark – Wild Life
3D Mark – Wild Life Stress Test

As you can see, the CPU results of each are very similar, with the Snapdragon version slightly edging out on top but by no means winning a stunning victory. However, the real difference comes into play with the GPU scores, where there is a huge difference in favour of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 variant. If you’re a keen mobile gamer, then this should be of the most importance to you, and European customers will no doubt feel a bit disappointed that they will not receive the same gaming standards as those in other countries should they opt for the S22 Ultra.

After running those benchmarking tests above, we then ran another experiment to test for efficiency between the two handsets. This involved using 3D Mark’s demanding Wild Life Extreme Stress Test three times over, meaning a full hour of pushing the processor to the limit, and then checking up on both the maximum loop scores and the battery life.

After an hour, we found that the Exynos variant had lost 25% battery life, while the Snapdragon variant had lost 28%. That’s not a vast difference for an hour’s hard work, but it is nonetheless tilted in favour of the Exynos version.

In terms of the performance scores of these tests, the Snapdragon strongly outperformed the Exynos version in the first twenty minutes, scoring a maximum loop score of 2519 compared to 2152. However, in subsequent outings, the Exynos version actually held up slightly better, scoring 1712 and 997 in comparison to the Snapdragon’s 1568 and 971.

Overall though, we’d have to say that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 version of the S22 Ultra holds a clear advantage over its Exynos 2200 counterpart when it comes to GPU performance in particular.

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