Maybe I'm wrong, and Samsung's Exynos processors make sense

With the release of a new smartphone from Samsung, a wave of public dissatisfaction has rolled again, which believes that they were deceived and “sniffed” by some Exynos instead of the coolest Snapdragon. Snapdragon is really good, but today I won't be as hard on Exynos as usual. In this article, let's try to weigh the pros and cons. And at the same time we will try to understand whether the company should continue to bend its line or whether it is necessary to finally abandon strange processors. At the end of the day, Samsung is not a stupid guy who understands what they are doing. They are unlikely to want to sell smartphones with a notoriously failed processor. Moreover, they will not want to invest in its development. So where is the dog buried then?

Maybe I'm wrong, and Samsung's Exynos processors make sense

Different smartphones on these processors work in different ways, but the differences are still not so critical.

Exynos or Snapdragon

I am increasingly thinking that there is a certain grain of common sense in Samsung's approach to its flagships. In many ways, it comes down to the relationship of companies. Including commercial relations.

On the one hand, Samsung produces chips that are generally worthy of being installed in the latest smartphones. But at the same time, it is one of the key distributors of chips of its own competitor. In at least a few cases, Samsung has played a central role in the implementation of Snapdragon chips. As a result, the situation can be called extremely complex and confusing.

Yes, Samsung's Exynos chips are really a nuisance for its phone users. But Samsung shouldn't ditch its Exynos chips entirely in favor of Snapdragon for at least a couple of reasons.

Samsung has been using a combination of chips in its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note devices for quite some time now. They are split according to the sales region: the US, China and some other regions receive Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm. These are usually the freshest chips available at launch. Everyone else, including the home market (Korea), is getting Exynos chips.

One can argue for a long time about whether there is a serious difference between the chips, but the biggest differences between smartphones on them are found in the new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series 5G. The fact is that the novelty received not just Snapdragon 865, but its improved version, which was presented literally a month before the release of the new smartphone.

Maybe I'm wrong, and Samsung's Exynos processors make sense

This is the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and its processors are more different than ever.

Why the Snapdragon-powered Galaxy Note 20 is better

The Samsung Galaxy S20, introduced earlier this year, received the Exynos 990 and Snapdragon 865. The Galaxy Note 20 uses the same Exynos 990, and the Snapdragon is much cooler. As a result, if at that time Samsung's solution could somehow still compete in some modes, now it becomes more and more difficult for it to do it.

As a result, we get not only an abstract larger drop in performance, but also problems with some games, compatibility errors, old sores of the camera's autofocus and, as a bonus, overheating and less battery life. The latter is due to the fact that the Exynos processor will have to work in a more extreme mode. As a result, residents of European countries and Russia will have to pay the same money, but for a lower quality product. Not nice …

However, as strange as it may sound, this does not mean that Samsung chips are bad. Yes, they are inferior in flagship models, but for the middle class they are very decent. At the same time, the company spends much less money on them than on the purchase of external chips. This makes mid-budget smartphones cheaper. At the same time, the difference between the lines of processors from Samsung will not be as big as from Snapdragon. As a result, users of cheaper smartphones based on Exynos chips only benefit from this state of affairs.

Maybe I'm wrong, and Samsung's Exynos processors make sense

The specifications of Snapdragon and Exynos are not so desperate, but the fact remains.

Samsung as a processor manufacturer

Samsung is one of the leaders in both memory and processor manufacturing and needs to consolidate its advantage. True, it turns out that he does it at the expense of you and me.

If you look at the situation without reference to the fact that we have an alternative, we can say that Exynos is not so bad. He just has a better alternative and it spoils everything. As the saying goes, the best is the enemy of the good.

If you go back to the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, you can recall that the peak single-core performance of the Exynos 9820 surpassed the Snapdragon 855. It only lagged behind in multi-core performance, and even then not very much.

Competition in mobile processors is a delicate matter. It should be understood that only HiSilicon and Apple can compete with Qualcomm and Samsung. MediaTek is also making processors and trying to make them more powerful, but it is far from flagship devices.

Maybe I'm wrong, and Samsung's Exynos processors make sense

Or maybe it's good that we have a choice?

It turns out, if we discard MediaTek, which do not pull, and Kirin, which does not have a long time left because of the American sanctions, then there are not many processor options. Apple produces chips for itself only and will not sell them for use in Android. OPPO is just embarking on the path of producing its own chips. As a result, only Samsung can be a competitor to Qualcomm, and such a chance should not be missed.

How Samsung affects the smartphone market

Samsung's power in the processor market cannot be underestimated. In addition to the fact that at some point it can completely switch to its chips if necessary, it can greatly ruin Qualcomm's life. To do this, simply start selling chips to third-party smartphone manufacturers in large quantities. If everything goes well with the price, many will want to switch to them. That's when Qualcomm can get into trouble.

An additional weakening factor can be that Qualcomm is constantly involved in antitrust proceedings, and I already talked about this. As a result, if a competitor appears and manufacturers switch to him, the American company will have a hard time.

Maybe I'm wrong, and Samsung's Exynos processors make sense

So similar, but so different.

To go this way, Samsung needs to improve its chips and make them more competitive in the high end segment. In this case, users will no longer have such claims to the company about the lack of new items on Snapdragon in any particular region. If this fails, the price of the model with Exynos should be at least slightly reduced. It would be much more honest at this stage.

When companies begin to compete directly and are able to produce chips of similar quality, the price will have to decrease by itself, since it is much cheaper to produce your own than to buy someone else's. Moreover, the company will be able to spend less on memory and other components, which it also produces itself. Selling chips to the outside will also help increase the company's income, which it can “share” with customers.

Of course, the path of producing good processors is very expensive, but Samsung is not a one-day company either. She works for the future and has been a leader in her field for decades. She is interested in the production of her processors and she herself is well aware of this.

In the end, it is possible to take the path of least resistance by switching entirely to Snapdragon processors, but only Qualcomm will benefit from this. Everyone will benefit from the Exynos being better than Snapdragon, including Samsung and you and me.

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