The quest for speed among chipset manufacturers has been in action for a long time. Qualcomm and Kirin were some of the first to manufacture a 7nm chipset for smartphones, but now Samsung has also joined this league of 7nm chipsets with their latest flagship chipset, Exynos 9825. The latest 7nm offering from Qualcomm is the Snapdragon 855 Plus, and the one from HiSilicon is the Kirin 980 seen on the latest Huawei flagship devices. How do these three fair against each other in different areas? Let’s find out.
Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Exynos 9825 vs Kirin 980
In terms of performance, the Snapdragon 855 Plus, on paper, looks the most promising, mainly because of its faster-performing power cores working together with highly clocked secondary cores. This gives the snapdragon a lead ahead of the others in terms of benchmark scores for both single and multi-core testing.
Catching on to the snapdragon is the Exynos 9825, whose benchmark scores are not yet but are expected to lie closely between the 855 Plus and the 980. Yes, the Kirin 980 does fall short of the Snapdragon beast in terms of numbers, but in real-life usage, the difference is not even evident. It gives the Snapdragon 855 Plus an absolute run for its money, mainly because it was launched even before the Snapdragon 855 came into the market, let alone the 855 Plus. So, HiSilicon’s answer to the 855 Plus is something to watch out for in the future.
The 855 Plus comes with a Spectra 380 image sensor for optical performance and supports up to a single 32 MP shooter. The Kirin 980 here has an edge over the Snapdragon 855 Plus as it can support a single 40MP sensor. Qualcomm boasts about the ability of the Snapdragon 855 Plus to capture HDR 4K videos with live portrait, but it is already done and used by consumers of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, which comes with the Kirin 980.
However, Samsung, with their Exynos 9825, goes for the kill in the camera department as it allows for encoding and decoding of 8K videos at 30 fps. 8K recording on mobile is quite a rare thing to acquire, but do we need it on a smartphone, or just 4K is enough? Well, if 4K is what you are looking for, the Exynos 9825 supports 4K UHD recording at 150 fps. One hundred fifty fps 4K video will be an absolute treat to watch and record on a smartphone.
The Kirin 980 is the oldest one among the bunch, so we have a series of flagship series offerings from both Huawei and Honor with the Kirin 980. Undoubtedly, this is among the three more commonly available in the market. As per your other requirements, you can pick up the perfect Huawei or Honor Kirin 980 phone.
The choice becomes a bit tricky when it comes to 855 plus. Yes, there is a huge list of devices featuring the Snapdragon 855, which is a minor downgrade from the Snapdragon 855 Plus. Still, the area of several choices increases as many brands go for Qualcomm as their processor manufacturer for all their devices.
The Snapdragon 855 Plus is the best Qualcomm has on offer, but it is still relatively new; as of now, we don’t see an 855 plus phone, but reports and leaks have suggested that we will see a couple of Snapdragon 855 Plus phones in 2019, but all of them are found to be gaming devices. Now, gaming devices can get bulky and heavy as their primary purpose is gaming. It may even lack in the camera department, which is a bummer for many. So, to see a proper flagship with the 855 plus, we might have to wait a couple of months as nothing concrete about such a phone has come up recently.
Lastly, we have the Exynos 9825, the newest one among the bunch, launched by Samsung in the Indian variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. It will probably be the processor we see on the Samsung Galaxy S11 next year.
The 855 Plus is just a minor tweak to the previous generation Snapdragon 855, and the Exynos 9825 is also the same last-generation tweak from Samsung. This means that we have a Snapdragon 865 on the table here in 2019. And the same goes for Samsung, as rumors have come in about a processor that Samsung has been working on for quite a while now. The most definite update among the three is the update over the Kirin 980. HiSilicon manufactured the Kirin 980 quite a while ago now, and the Mate 20 Pro was the first device to feature it. Currently, there are reports about the next Kirin flagship from HiSilicon, which is the Kirin 985, which is probably what we see on the Mate 30 Pro launching late this year.
Which one is the Best Processor?
It is challenging to choose the best as all of them trumps the other in some department. So, all of them have their strength, and ultimately, it depends on the consumer as to what they expect to get out of their new smartphone.
|Snapdragon 855 Plus
|1x Kryo 485 Gold (custom Cortex-A76) @2.96GHz
3x Kryo 485 Gold (custom Cortex-A76) @2.42GHz
4x Kryo 485 Silver (custom Cortex-A55) @1.80GHz
|2x Exynos M4 @2.73GHz
2x Cortex A75 @2.4GHz
4x Cortex A55 @1.95GHz
|2133MHz, 4x16bit, LPDDR4x
|Camera (dual lens)
|Camera (single lens)
|UFS 3.0, UFS 2.1
|UFS 3.0, UFS 2.1