Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Snapdragon Variant Performs Much Better Than Exynos Variant, Analysis Reveals

Almost in every test, the Snapdragon 845 variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note beats the Exynos model. Check out the complete story.


Although Samsung makes its own Exynos chipsets, it also uses the Qualcomm’s SoCs to power its smartphones. Take the recently released Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (review) for example the variant sold in America, China, and Japan is fueled by the Snapdragon 845 chipset and the model sold in the rest of the world is underpinned by the Exynos 9810 processor. In case you were wondering if there are any differences in the performance of the two phones, AnandTech had done a pretty thorough analysis of the two models.

The Gap Is Widening

First off, let’s talk about battery life. The Note 9 packs a massive 4000mAh battery. According to AnandTech, the Huawei Mate 20 provides the longest battery life when it comes to web browsing, and the two variants of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 deliver similar results, with the Snapdragon 845-fueled offering a marginally better battery life. Statistically, both the phones provide nearly 12 hours of juice. In PCMark, the Snapdragon version delivers a noticeably better battery life.

Just like the performance gap between the Snapdragon and Exynos variants of the Galaxy S9, the Snapdragon variant of the Galaxy Note has a considerable lead over the Exynos-powered version. In fact, the Exynos Note 9 fares worst than the Exynos Galaxy S9, and the Snapdragon 845-powered Galaxy S9 Plus (review) leaves behind all the Samsung phones. The same behavior is replicated when the video editing test is conducted, with the Snapdragon 845 fueled Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9 delivering similar performance, which is just marginally below that of the top scorers Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 2 XL, while the Exynos Galaxy Note 9 lands the bottom three spot.

The trend continues with the writing test of PCMark, which is thought to be one of the most crucial tests as the results are representative of the actual speed of the phone in many every-day scenarios. Huawei Mate 20 continues to shine through, with the Snapdragon 845-fueled Note 9 and the Snapdragon 835-powered Samsung Galaxy S8 making it to the top 10 list. The Exynos Note 9 again fails to impress.

Next up is the photo editing test, which serves to check the responsiveness of the system to increasing workload. The trend exhibited before continues here as well. The data manipulation test is conducted next, and here the Exynos Galaxy S9 beats the Snapdragon Note 9 by obtaining a 34 percent better score. The difference between the two variants of Note 9 is not that huge. As for the overall performance test, the Exynos Note 9 is nowhere near its Snapdragon 845 counterpart.

Moving on to web browsing tests, the same behavior continues, with the Note 9 variant performing considerably better. Apparently, the changes have to do with tweaks in the booster mechanism, which is the reason why Exynos is lagging behind Snapdragon.

GPU Performance Of The Two Variants

Samsung has fitted in a new heat-pipe and heat spreader, which should theoretically improve the thermal dissipation from the chipset to the body of the device. According to the on-screen Manhattan 3.1 test, the Snapdragon 845-powered Note 8 performs better than its Exynos counterpart, and the performance is similar to that of the Snapdragon 845 variant of The Galaxy S9 Plus. Coming to temperature, the Exynos 9810 Galaxy Note 9’s peak power consumption is lower than that of the Snapdragon 845 variant when it comes to GPU workloads. Per the 3DMark Physics test, the Snapdragon 845-fueled Note 9 provides a much better-sustained performance the Exynos Note9. The results are similar for the 3DMark graphics and GFXBench tests as well.

To sum it up, the Exynos Note 9 variant has nothing on its Snapdragon counterpart. Samsung did optimise the battery life, but it made no efforts to improve the overall performance of the chipset. In fact, AnandTech went as far as saying that the Exynos variant doesn’t justify the high price as its performance is comparable to last year’s flagships.

Check out our review of the Galaxy Note 9 below and let us know what you think of the device: