We're just starting to test the Galaxy S6, but one thing is already abundantly clear: Samsung's new flagship phone packs in a lot of processing power. On a couple of major performance benchmarks, the new Galaxy is light years ahead of competitors like the iPhone 6, Google Nexus 6 and Samsung's own Galaxy Note 4.
In a bold move, Samsung decided to power the U.S. Galaxy S6 with its own 14nm Exynos Octa-core processor rather than Qualcomm's latest CPU, the Snapdragon 810. In prior years, the Korean company used Qualcomm's chips in the U.S. versions of its handsets while installing the Exynos in models it sold in Asia and Europe.
Now, Americans are getting a taste of Samsung's silicon and they're going to like it. On Geekbench 3, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance, the Galaxy S6 scored a strong mark of 5,120, more than double the smartphone category average (2,286). It's also about 70 percent better than both the iPhone 6 and its Apple A8 CPU and last year's Snapdragon 801-powered Galaxy S5. Even the Note 4 and Google Nexus 6, both of which have Snapdragon 805 CPUs, fail to come close.
The Galaxy S6 is no slouch when it comes to graphics performance, which should bode well for gaming and media playback. On 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, a synthetic test which determines overall graphics prowess, Samsung's new handset scored a strong 21,193, about 50 percent higher than the category average (14,756). The iPhone 6 and Nexus 6 were both above average but thousands of points behind the Galaxy S6 while the Snapdragon 805-powered Note 4 (20,126) was much closer.
We're still testing our Galaxy S6, so we'll have to wait and see if these strong numbers translate into real-world performance. We also want to see how the Galaxy S6 stacks up to the Snapdragon 810-powered HTC One M9. Stay tuned for our full review.