Samsung Galaxy Note 20 getting this big upgrade to rival iPhone 12

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 front and back
(Image credit: Windows United)

The Galaxy Note 20 will pack a powerful new processor, if the latest in a recent string of leaks regarding Samsung's upcoming phablet comes true. 

Rather than outfit the Galaxy Note 20 with the Snapdragon 865, 865 Plus or Exynos 990, Samsung is working on an upgraded Exynos 992 chipset for its next phone. A report from ZDNet Korea says it's "highly likely" the company is eyeing an Exynos chip for the Note 20 due to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus's uncertain release.

A leaked Geekbench 5 performance listing last month for the Note 20 showing it tops 3GHz suggested that it'll sport the Snapdragon 865 Plus variant of the mobile processor found in the Samsung Galaxy S20 series.

But according to Chinese technology news site MyDrivers (via Android Authority) a Meizu executive confirmed the Snapdragon 865 Plus will not be released this year. 

Compared to the Snapdragon 865, a competitive chip that powers some of the best phones right now, the 865 Plus offers an improved CPU and GPU. That said, leaker Ice Universe implied the Galaxy Note 20 will draw on the S20 heavily when it comes to specs, leading us to believe the upcoming phablet could just as well sport the standard 865.

Samsung has largely switched away from Exynos chips for its flagships, but we could the company return to it if it can boost the Exynos 990 through its 6nm fabrication process. As Samsung's ARM-based SOC, a better Exynos could benefit the Note 20's performance the same way Apple's A13 Bionic complements the iPhone 11 (and the A14 will complement the iPhone 12.)

The 992 would need to provide significant upgrades to out-perform its Snapdragon counterpart, though. 

And if it can't, again, we'd be looking at the Snapdragon 865 for the Note 20. Or Snapdragon 865 Plus, if it can enter production in time. Samsung will likely unveil the Galaxy Note 20 alongside the Galaxy Fold 2 at its next Unpacked event in late summer.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.