Among the numerous changes made by Samsung with last year’s pair of Galaxy S6 flagships, the decision to stick with the Exynos 7420 everywhere the device was shipped stood out particularly. Common practice for the South Korean giant was to manufacture its high-end handsets with Snapdragon chips in the mainstream markets of Europe and the United States, while delivering an Exynos-powered experience in Asia.
Given the Snapdragon 810’s notorious over-heating problems, however, it was probably a good decision; but Qualcomm set to come back in full swing this year, obtaining a deal that sees US-bound Galaxy S7s equipped with their SoC. This, however, seems to have created major discrepancies between the two models’ performances; according to AnTuTu tests, a negligible 5% difference sets the two models apart as far as CPU power goes, while up to a massive 32% gap separates the greatly superior Snapdragon 820 from the seemingly under-performing Exynos 8890 in GPU-related benchmarks…
Now, before a new ‘chipgate’ scandal erupts, a few disclaimers need to be made.
For one, the Exynos chip is still plenty fast. Everything about the Galaxy S7 seems to point towards an incredibly zippy, smooth and consistent experience, which shouldn’t vary much between the two models in day-to-day use. Then we must remember that these benchmarks rarely reflect the devices’ real-life performances anyways.
Where the difference may become noticeable is in gaming; the Snapdragon 820’s vastly superior GPU performances may make the device markedly faster in things like graphics performance and loading times.
Even then, however, unless the two S7s were to be put one next to the other, such imbalance should not hinder the experience for the average user; and were one to wonder how to buy the ‘faster’ Snapdragon variant, chances are that your location will be the sole deciding factor, with the United States representing the only country in which this model is available.