The Samsung Galaxy S25 Dilemma: Navigating The Exynos vs Snapdragon Conundrum

The Samsung Galaxy S25 series is set to launch later this year, and it will be the first chance for the tech world to continue its longstanding Premier League-style battle between the Exynos and Snapdragon titans. And even though the events of next year are still months away, the debate is only heating up. There are rumours of an explosive announcement on the horizon, as two recent announcements from Arm about its CPUs and GPUs give us an early sneak peek that Samsung might be facing a serious crossroad in the future of its own smartphone chips.

Exynos vs Snapdragon: The Heart of SAMSUNG's Conundrum

One factor that sets the Samsung Galaxy lineup apart from many others is the choice of silicon powering it: there are two chipsets, Snapdragon and Exynos. For many years, Samsung has alternated between the two depending on the market, as the Galaxy S24 series demonstrated. Globally relevant regions like the US and China got the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in their Galaxy S24 devices. In the rest of the world, the phone ships with the Exynos 2400. It’s a split decision that for years has meant that the spec sheets will often show very different benchmarks for battery life and processing power both on paper and in real-world tests.

The Impending Divergence

But it could get even worse, as the Galaxy S25 series is still a few years off, and Qualcomm is starting to move away from Cortex CPU core designs. With the purchase of Nuvia, the company is switching to Phoenix CPUs, which are bespoke designs instead of a licensed version of Arm’s IP. That means that, unlike Samsung Exynos, which is still using a Cortex CPU design, Qualcomm could experience radically different performance figures. The Exynos vs Snapdragon debate could get its widest separation yet.

Pricing Strategies and Global Rollout Implications

And if Snapdragon does indeed move to in-house custom core architecture, we may also see additional costs. It’s possible the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will come at a premium, and you may ask yourself how Samsung will price the Galaxy S25 series across the different regions? Will Samsung attempt to standardise the price, or will the world-variant Exynos SoC flagships become even more of a value proposition than they are today from a cost perspective?

The Technological Chasm: AI and Security Features

Beyond simple raw performance and efficiency, both AI and security are a second frontier the next chipsets face, with Qualcomm’s use of an older architecture possibly making it less comparable to Exynos for these improvements in the future. Arm’s new offerings on its newer v9.2 architecture include improved machine learning performance and further advanced Memory Tagging Extensions (MTE) to bolster security – areas that Snapdragon’s anticipated next iteration could potentially trail.

Graphic Prowess and Modem Reliability

The difference is unlikely to end there, however, since GPU and connectivity performance are typically as important as CPU performance, and (rumour has it) Samsung intends to stick with AMD for the Exynos GPUs. Qualcomm has had a strong position in modem reliability and that’s another area Samsung will probably want to talk up if it’s going to call Exynos a match or better.

Samsung at a Crossroads

Whatever path Samsung chooses at this fork in the road will send ripple effects through the wider Android space. If the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 drives up prices, Samsung could go all-in on a global rollout of its Exynos variants to mitigate the expense to the consumer. But it risks growing the feature and performance gap between its models as a result.

Samsung: A Legacy of Innovation

Samsung has a long history of leadership in mobile technology, beginning with developing the first Android smartphone, continuing with delivering powerful benchmark-setting Galaxy S devices, and evolving into being the leader in the global smartphone market by offering the most advanced experience possible.

And you’re back in an Amazon review, gearing up all over again for an Exynos vs Snapdragon debate that will most definitely come into play the moment Galaxy S25 shows up. And so Samsung’s choices this year will not just set the future of its own flagship series – they will also dictate the direction of Android at large. Sit back and enjoy the show, as Samsung is about to show once again what peak smartphone quality truly looks like.

Jun 03, 2024
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