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Samsung is going ALL IN on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU for its 2023 Galaxy S23 series – here’s why…



You don’t need to look far to find plenty of complaints about Samsung’s Exynos CPU. Reddit is full of users that utterly despise the chipset, citing things like over-heating issues, poor power management, and a general lack of performance compared to Qualcomm’s equivalent Snapdragon CPU.

So, it came as no surprise to anyone when Samsung confirmed that its Samsung Galaxy S23 series – meaning, the entire lineup of phones – would run exclusively on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 GEN 2 chipset.

The news, confirmed officially by Qualcomm during its Q4 earnings call, lays to rest the online chatter and unconfirmed rumblings regarding Samsung’s future CPU choice.

Here’s why this is a big deal, not just for Samsung, but also for the smartphone industry as a whole.

The Qualcomm-Samsung Collaboration

During Qualcomm’s Q4 earnings call, CFO Akash Palkhiwala elucidated the company’s expanded partnership with Samsung.

Qualcomm is now set to be the sole provider of CPUs for Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S23 series.

This represents a significant shift in Samsung’s strategy, as it means moving away from their in-house Exynos processors, which were often criticised for issues such as overheating and poor power management.

What Makes Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Stand Out?

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The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is no ordinary chipset. Engineered with advanced AI capabilities, this platform promises to revolutionize the way we experience smartphones.

  • AI Capabilities: With its Qualcomm AI Engine, the chipset supports intuitive user experiences, from natural language processing to AI cinematic video capture. The Hexagon Processor in the chipset further enhances AI performance, achieving up to 4.35x faster performance than its predecessor.
  • Gaming: Qualcomm’s Adreno GPU offers 25% faster graphics rendering, accompanied by Snapdragon Elite Gaming Features like real-time Hardware-Accelerated Ray Tracing for a desktop-level gaming experience.
  • Camera and Image Capture: With Qualcomm Spectra, the chipset can capture up to 200 MP single shots and incorporates Snapdragon Sight Technology for enhanced photo and video capturing capabilities.
  • Performance: The Kryo CPU offers a 35% increase in performance and a 40% improvement in power efficiency. With multi-threaded performance peaking at 3.36 GHz, expect a smooth and fast user experience.
  • Connectivity: Snapdragon X70 5G Modem-RF system and Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 ensure you have the latest in speed, coverage, and low latency in both 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs. Samsung’s Exynos: A Comparative Analysis

Let’s delve into a comparative analysis to understand the key differences between the two and why Samsung might have chosen to make this transition.

Performance

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: The chipset boasts a Kryo CPU that offers a 35% increase in performance and a 40% improvement in power efficiency, with multi-threaded performance peaking at 3.36 GHz.
  • Samsung Exynos: While exact metrics can vary between Exynos models, these chips have generally been criticized for their relatively weaker performance, especially in graphic-intensive tasks and long-duration usage.

AI Capabilities

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: One of the standout features is its AI capabilities, supported by Qualcomm’s most advanced AI Engine yet. The Hexagon Processor enhances AI performance by up to 4.35x compared to its predecessor.
  • Samsung Exynos: Although Samsung has been making strides in integrating AI capabilities into its Exynos chips, they have not yet reached the level of efficiency and performance offered by Qualcomm’s latest AI Engine.

Gaming

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: The Qualcomm Adreno GPU and Snapdragon Elite Gaming Features offer 25% faster graphics rendering and real-time Hardware-Accelerated Ray Tracing, elevating mobile gaming to near-desktop levels.
  • Samsung Exynos: While Exynos chips are competent for everyday gaming, they have often fallen short when compared to Snapdragon’s graphics performance, particularly in high-end gaming scenarios.

Camera and Image Capture

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: With its Qualcomm Spectra ISPs, this chipset can capture up to 200 MP single shots and includes advanced features like Real-time Semantic Segmentation.
  • Samsung Exynos: Earlier Exynos models have been somewhat limited in their camera capabilities, especially when it comes to advanced features like semantic segmentation and real-time processing.

Connectivity

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: This chipset features the Snapdragon X70 5G Modem-RF system, along with Qualcomm FastConnect 7800, offering robust 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Samsung Exynos: While Samsung has been offering 5G connectivity in its Exynos chipsets, the real-world performance and coverage have sometimes lagged behind Qualcomm’s solutions.

Is Exynos Really Dead?

Given the broad nature of Qualcomm’s new multi-year agreement with Samsung, it appears that Exynos chips will take a back seat, at least in Samsung’s higher-end models for the foreseeable future.

The move has led to some internal debates within Samsung, but the final decision leans strongly in favor of Qualcomm, marking a significant moment in the smartphone industry.

“We believe the future of our products lies in delivering new and exciting experiences in a range of form-factors, all powered by the latest and greatest technology,” Inkang Song, vice president and head of technology strategy team, Samsung Electronics. “Samsung is proud to feature the latest flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy inside the Galaxy Z Flip5, Galaxy Z Fold5, and Galaxy Tab S9 Series. We’re excited to see how these devices will enable new possibilities for our users.”

Conclusion

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With Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series is primed to go toe-to-toe with any flagship phone on the market, including Apple’s iPhone 14.

And with this QualcommSamsung partnership set to extend into future releases, we could be looking at the dawn of a new era for Samsung’s smartphone lineup—one that promises unprecedented performance, AI capabilities, and user experience.

This is not just a one-off event; it’s a multi-year affair, making it clear that Samsung is betting big on Qualcomm.

Only time will tell how this bold move plays out, but initial indications suggest that users can look forward to a much-enhanced experience on their Samsung devices, starting with the Galaxy S23 series in 2023.

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