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What is the Difference Between Snapdragon and Exynos?

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If you’re purchasing a new smartphone, chances are you’ve heard of Snapdragon and Exynos processors before. Both companies make incredibly powerful mobile processing chipsets that enable performance and features that smartphones simply wouldn’t be able to have without them. But what is the difference between these two models?

Snapdragon and Exynos are two of the world’s most popular mobile processor manufacturers, producing high-end mobile chipsets for some of the most powerful phones on the market. However, while they offer similar features, there are a few key differences between Snapdragon and Exynos to consider when buying your next smartphone device. We will discuss these differences in further detail below:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon vs Exynos

If you’re looking to buy a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, you may have encountered two different processor types, Snapdragon and Exynos. Both of these processor models are available in the device and are used by Samsung to power its devices.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the differences between Snapdragon and Exynos processors, so that you can make an informed decision when buying your next smartphone.


Snapdragon is a family of mobile systems developed by Qualcomm, designed to enable a smoother and richer mobile computing experience. This combination of hardware and software technologies is designed to provide a high performance and power optimised platform for different devices. It includes ARM Cortex-A CPUs, Adreno GPUs, Hexagon DSPs, GPS receivers, modems like LTE, Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth and other communications radios.

Snapdragon’s processor lineup ranges from low-end to mid-range to high-end, generally found in lower-end to premium flagships proudly worn by Samsung Mobile devices. Snapdragon’s flagship processor lines are known as the “805” series which are fitted into the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones; the 810 series featured in flagship LG and Nokia phones; while the 600 range powers more budget friendly models (i.e. Samsung A series).

Furthermore, Snapdragon processors come with integrated biometric technology such as fingerprint sensors made possible through their “Digital Signal Processor” (DSPS).

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This feature is one of their key selling points compared with Samsung’s Exynos chipsets, which require an external sensor for authentication purposes. In addition, Qualcomm provides a 3D face recognition feature called “Secure Space” made available through its Snapdragon processing platforms for added security on handsets devices as well as a 128 bit encrypted system for longer data protection life span when used with certain ARMv8 supported chipset platforms in their mobile products.


Exynos is a series of mobile system-on-chips and single-board computers developed by Samsung Electronics for its Samsung Galaxy line of flagship smartphones, tablets, laptops, computer monitors and other electronic devices. It was first introduced in the Galaxy S II in 2011, succeeding the Hummingbird SoC that powered the original 2010 Galaxy S.

Exynos chipsets are based on ARM processor cores and are known for their high performance and providing additional features such as dual-SIM support, wireless charging and mobile data speeds up to 3Gbps. While Exynos processors used to be exclusive to Samsung devices, they’re now being used in other manufacturers’ products, such as some Vivo phones.

Exynos chipsets vary significantly depending on the particular variant. While some might just have one or two core clusters with clock speeds of 2.0GHz or even lower (such as those in some mid-range smartphones), others can have up to eight cores with clock speeds reaching up to 2.9GHz (such as those found inside certain high-end flagships). They also feature varying GPU designs (Mali for low end models and PowerVR for high end models) and support different memory types such Exynos M1 (LPDDR4X) or LPDDR5 (for higher end options).


When discussing the differences between Snapdragon and Exynos, it is important to look at the performance of each processor. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, both the Snapdragon and Exynos variants are equipped with 8GB of RAM and offer top-notch performance.

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To better understand each chip’s performance, it is important to look at the benchmarks and other specs of both the processors.

CPU Performance

CPU performance is one of the most important factors when choosing between Snapdragon and Exynos processors. CPUs (central processing units) are the brains of your device and responsible for executing instructions, managing power, and controlling other components.

Snapdragon processors offer excellent overall performance focusing on efficiency and battery life. Snapdragon is made by Qualcomm, one of the most trusted and respected names in mobile technology. These processors are found in various high-end devices and have earned widespread recognition for their performance. Exynos processors provide similar levels of performance but with a focus on high-end gaming applications and media content creation. These chips also tend to be more power-efficient than their Snapdragon counterparts.

In both SnapDragon and Exynos processors, cores are arranged in a cluster configuration that allows devices to take advantage of multi-core architectures while improving power efficiency dramatically compared to single core set up platforms. Combined with advanced optimization techniques, this ensures that devices powered by these processors perform at optimal levels regardless of task complexity or workloads.

GPU Performance

One key difference between Snapdragon and Exynos is their GPU (graphics processing unit) performance. To understand this difference, it’s necessary to understand the technology behind each brand.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors have been developed in partnership with Adreno mobile GPUs. These GPUs are based on technologies ranging from custom geometry shaders, tile-based commands, vertex shader programs, and frame or display buffer optimizations. They are designed to provide improved graphical power efficiency, offering low latency and an optimised 3D pipeline to give apps that run on the SoC a performance-focused boost. The Adreno mobile GPU also offers fast texture processing capabilities by leveraging advanced geometry shaders for texture filtering and quick pixel transformations.

In contrast, Exynos processors rely heavily on ARM Mali GPUs which offer support for some baseline image quality and GPU related features. Like the Adreno mobile GPUs, ARM Mali processors are built off of custom architecture command sets but offer better memory bandwidth for faster image processing requirements. ARM Mali also offers its hardware tessellation engine which provides smoother textures and gradations along curved surfaces with less memory usage optimization than the traditional multi-tile rendering pipelines used by Adreno mobile GPUs.

Ultimately, when comparing Snapdragon versus Exynos concerning GPU performance capabilities it comes down largely to personal preference in terms of what features you prioritise most— graphics performance or memory usage optimization going forward into high end device design/development in 2021 and beyond.

Battery Life

Battery life is an important factor when considering a new device and the type of processor used can play a big role. For example, Exynos chipsets are known to have very good power efficiency, although this may vary between devices. On the other hand, Snapdragon chips usually offer better battery life than Exynos due to their ability to scale down processing power when not needed. For this reason, Snapdragon processors are preferred for devices with smaller batteries or ones trying to maximise battery life.

On the other hand, Exynos processors are more likely to be used for devices with larger batteries as they often offer more powerful performance than their Qualcomm counterparts.


With the battle of the processors between Snapdragon and Exynos, it is important to understand that both processors affect the overall user experience of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. One of the key differences is their connectivity. Specifically, the Snapdragon processor on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is equipped with Wi-Fi 6, allowing faster download and upload speeds than the Exynos processor.

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Let’s look at some other differences between the two processors in terms of connectivity:

5G Connectivity

The fifth generation (5G) of wireless technology is becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers, providing greater speed and quicker connections than the fourth generation (4G). This makes activities easier, like streaming HD video, playing games, downloading music and apps, and searching the web without noticeable lag.

When it comes to smartphone processors and 5G connectivity, these activities depend on your device using either a Qualcomm Snapdragon or Samsung Exynos chipset. Both these chipsets are designed for high-speed applications. However, each has distinguishing features that make them better suited for different smartphones.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon offers enhanced capabilities such as faster download speeds over LTE networks and faster streaming on Wi-Fi networks. In addition to this is its integrated 5G cellular modem – allowing for higher-speed data throughout multiple frequencies – that makes it a good choice for phones with 5G coverage.

The Samsung Exynos processor comes in two models: one with an onboard modem supporting 5G networks while the other variant only supports 4G networks but has better graphics processing power than its Snapdragon counterpart. In addition, the Exynos’s larger bandwidth along with discrete components allows lower signal loss while ensuring faster data rates – utilising both mmWave and sub6 GHz frequencies together with intense signal optimization that yields a greater overall experience than a Qualcomm chipset alone could provide. For this reason, devices equipped with the Exynos can offer improved picture quality playing games or watching videos compared to phones using Snapdragon chipsets.


Wi-Fi technology is the standard way to connect devices and peripherals such as speakers, printers, and external drives to your computer. Mainly used in homes and offices, you can use Wi-Fi to access the internet from any room in your house. Regarding mobile devices such as smartphones, the Snapdragon and Exynos processors commonly contain a built-in Wi-Fi chip for connecting to wireless networks without needing an additional device.

Whether you’re browsing the web, downloading apps or streaming music or video content, both Snapdragon and Exynos processors feature a range of Wi-Fi capabilities which come with their own feature set. These include support for dual-band 802.11ax Wifi 6 technology that can provide up to 2 Gbps connection speeds with compatible routers. There’s also support for beamforming which lets the processor send signals along specific pathways according to radio waves frequencies present in the environment; thus extending range while improving throughput speeds when close by objects interfere with radio signals on wireless frequency band.

Android and iOS devices that have either Snapdragon or Exynos processors within them offer almost every form of Wi-Fi dependency one might come across these days, be it media streaming over airplay or device hotspot sharing – all without needing any third party hardware alongside!


Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard used for exchanging data between short-distance digital devices via radio signals, allowing multiple devices to communicate with each other within a range of up to 10 metres. Bluetooth is used in everyday consumer electronics such as headphones, speakers, fitness trackers, smartwatches, and smartphones and tablets. Bluetooth technology optimises the power consumption of connected devices while still providing excellent data transmission speed.

The corresponding Snapdragon and Exynos processors use different Bluetooth standards for device connectivity. Snapdragon processors come with Qualcomm’s version of the protocol called Snapdragon Smart Technology (SST), which supports various features such as audio codecs and dual-mode support. On the other hand, Exynos chips are based on Broadcom’s versions of the Bluetooth standard, with support for the new version 4.1 or 4.2 Low Energy specification. Both versions offer near-identical features in terms of connectivity, range, power consumption and data transmission speed. However there may be some minor differences between each platform in terms of how well supported certain features are natively by their respective manufacturer.

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