Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 will power the fastest Android smartphones in 2020, including the Samsung Galaxy S11. Upcoming SoCs will be manufactured using the advanced 7nm UEV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography process, which allows for accurate placement of very small transistors. Samsung’s Exynos 990 will also use the same manufacturing process. Recently, specs of Snapdragon 865 have been leaked out and these allow us to make a comparison with Exynos 990. It is expected that the Galaxy S11 will be about 20 percent faster compared to the fastest Android smartphones today.
Based on specs leak, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is built around a three-cluster, octa-core processor with a high performance 2.84GHz A77 core, three moderately fast 2.42GHz A77 cores and four power-efficient 1.8GHz A55 cores. For 3D rendering, the Snapdragon 865 SoC includes the Adreno 650 GPU running at 587MHz. Its Qualcomm X55 modem supports 5G connectivity with up to 7Gbps speed rate and 2.5Gbps on 4G LTE network. There’s support for LDDR5 RAM and up to 8K HDR display resolution. This SoC is likely destined for the US version of Galaxy S11.
The International version of Galaxy S11 will use Samsung’s own Exynos 990 SoC. It’s also based on a three-cluster processor with two Exynos M5 cores, two Cortex A76 cores and four Cortex A55 cores. The GPU would be the Mali-G77 MP11 for high performance gaming and 3D rendering. For 5G connectivity, the Samsung Exynos 5123 modem supports 7.3GHz speed rate at mmWave frequency and 5.1Gbps at sub-6GHz band. As usual, its 4G LTE speed could reach about 3Gbps. The Samsung’s SoC supports 4K HDR display resolution at 150fps and 8K HDR at 30fps. With UFS 3.0 storage, the Galaxy S11 International version could allow local data transfer at 2.9GB per second and it may also have LPDDR5 RAM. Exynos 990 delivers up to 120Hz display refresh rate and 108MP camera resolution.
As shown above, the performance of Snapdragon 865 isn’t radically faster compared to the Snapdragon 855 Plus. However, it has an added value of 5G support and LPDDR5 RAM capability. It is rumoured that the Samsung Galaxy S11 will have five different models, some with or without 5G support. It may mean that the X55 modem may not be a fully integrated component of Snapdragon 865 and can be removed when needed.