The Samsung Galaxy S23 rumors so far have had me fairly excited for this upcoming Android flagship phone. But as much as I'm excited for a 200MP camera on the Ultra model, or the new design and larger batteries for the base and Plus versions, it's a rumor about the phone's chipset that's got me grinning.
A new performance rumor for the Galaxy S23 Ultra not only contains some impressive benchmark scores thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but also the claim that Samsung will be using Snapdragon chips in Galaxy S23 units worldwide, including in the UK, where I live.
If you're confused about why this is exciting news, here's the context. For the past several years, Samsung has been offering a strange split in its Galaxy S models. Phones sold in the U.S. have used the latest Snapdragon chip from Qualcomm, while those sold in Europe have used an Exynos chip, made by Samsung itself. Other regions around the world have switched back and forth between chips, but the EU and North American regions have basically been fixed as Snapdragon and Exynos strongholds.
This isn't a problem on its face, but it's become apparent over the past few Galaxy S generations leading up to the Galaxy S22 that the Exynos handsets are the poorer relations. Exynos Samsungs, including the Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra that I got to try earlier this year, are still good, just not as good as their Snapdragon versions found elsewhere.
You can see these chips are lacking performance by looking at the Galaxy S22 Plus' Snapdragon vs. Exynos benchmark results. That gap isn't that large when looking at the Geekbench 5 CPU benchmarks, with the Exynos actually winning on the multicore test. But there's a significant gap in the Wild Life Unlimited and Wild Life Extreme Unlimited GPU benchmarks.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Galaxy S22 Plus (NA)||Galaxy S22 Plus (EU)|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1||Exynos 2200|
|Geekbench 5 (single-core / multicore)||1,214 / 3,361||1,147 / 3,474|
|3DMark Wild Life Unlimited (score / FPS_||10,027 / 60||6,950 / 42|
|3DMark Wild Life Unlimited (score / FPS_||2,449 / 15||1,718 / 10|
A chip is responsible for more than just providing raw power though. It's involved with controlling every other part of the phone, which means a potentially different user experience across things like photo processing or battery life. It makes it harder to judge if a phone's good for users worldwide when any number of details could be different because of the chip running the show.
Hopefully, Samsung does indeed have an all-Snapdragon Galaxy S23 line-up, because this will mean a uniform experience around the world, and hopefully a better one for anyone used to Exynos handsets (like me). If this rumor turns out to be false, and we do end up with another Exynos-powered Galaxy S over here, I can only hope the performance gap between it and the Snapdragon equivalent has gotten smaller since last year. Samsung can insist on using its own chips if it wishes, but all I and other Samsung users really want is the same quality of experience that users in other countries get.