We were able to get our hands on a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 to measure it, through benchmarks, with the European model under Exynos 2100 that we tested in January. The opportunity to see that the power gap is not as deep as expected.
We have already tested the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra . The latter has established itself as an excellent device, versatile, enduring and efficient. We note in particular that the Exynos 2100 on board European models succeeds in making people forget the Exynos 990 and its poor energy management from which the past generation suffered.
However, the Exynos 2100 is inevitably compared to the overpowering Snapdragon 888 which other versions of the Galaxy S21 Ultra benefit from, notably in the United States. Some tests already showed that European models were less powerful . However, we wanted to check this out for ourselves. Qualcomm thus lent us a model equipped with the S888 so that we could do benchmarks.
Benchmarks and real life
Let us recall that benchmarks are exercises evaluating the power of smartphones by subjecting them to a battery of tests. Some want to be complete like AntuTu (arguably the most famous benchmark on mobile), others focus on computing power or graphics performance.
In any case, it should be kept in mind that the scores recorded on these benchmarks must be considered for what they are: elements which give an idea of the power of a smartphone, but which are not sufficient to summarize the experience offered on a daily basis. So keep these caveats in mind by consulting the comparison table below.
|Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra USA (Snapdragon 888)||Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Europe (Exynos 2100)||Xiaomi Mi 11 (Snapdragon 888)|
|PC Mark 2.0||14045||15282||12746||9104|
|3DMark Wild Life||5753||5565||5805||5729|
|3DMark Wild Life average framerate||34 FPS||33 FPS||34 FPS||34 FPS|
|GFXBench Aztec Vulkan High Tier (onscreen / offscreen)||43/29 FPS||36/27 FPS||44/31 FPS||28 / 32 FPS|
|GFXBench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen)||57/65 FPS||51/60 FPS||60/70 FPS||36/71 FPS|
|GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (onscreen / offscreen)||116/146 FPS||116/152 FPS||118/170 FPS||60/168 FPS|
|Sequential read / write||1465/763 MB / s||1988/1307 MB / s||1490/733 MB / s||1673 / 725 Mbps|
|Random Read / Write||72741/63958 IOPS||80528/74811 IOPS||63547/65922 IOPS||62838/62869 IOPS|
What we can see is that the model with Snapdragon 888 is overall slightly better than the Galaxy S21 Ultra under Exynos 2100, yes, but the difference is not huge.
A Tight Fight
On AnTuTu, the difference is particularly important on the graphics part. The Snapdragon 888 dominates in this exercise and this is confirmed in particular in GFXBench with the Aztec benchmark which uses the Vulkan engine.
However, look at the exercises as a whole, the fight is close. On PCMark – which simulates a set of common everyday uses – the Exynos version does even a little better. When it comes to read and write speed, the European model beats the Snapdragon 888 by a fairly large lead. This may be because Samsung controls the production line for multiple components and certainly takes the trouble to optimize their compatibility with its in-house SoC.
And against competitors under Snapdragon 888?
You will note in passing that the Galaxy S21 Ultra with Snapdragon 888 does not particularly stand out from the Xiaomi Mi 11 and Oppo Find X3 Pro with the same SoC. Xiaomi’s flagship is also the one with the most power in this table overall.
For science, we also launched two games on Fortnite which ran very smoothly in Epic quality and 60 FPS. Two or three hiccups were still manifested, without spoiling the game that said.
On a much more negative note, despite this fine stability, the first session crashed for no apparent reason. Hopefully for affected consumers outside of Europe this is an isolated bug.
Finally, also know that we do not advise you to get a Samsung device equipped with a Snapdragon chip, you will expose yourself to operational problems on the French 4G network .