Galaxy S20 could be crazy-fast. We tested the Snapdragon 865 chip said to be on Samsung’s phone

Testing Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 865 chip offers us a peek at speedier telephones to return this 12 months.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Signs recommend that Samsung’s upcoming flagship phone, rumored to be referred to as the Galaxy S20 and not the Galaxy S11, could possibly be the primary in 2020 to run its photographygaming features5G-ready data connection and stay maps navigation off the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip. What does that imply? Up to 35% extra energy effectivity and as much as 25% extra highly effective speeds general. I acquired an opportunity to check the brand new Snapdragon chip on a working reference gadget. The outcomes? Impressive.

Considering how briskly telephones have been in 2019 at processing power-intensive video streams and superior pictures on prime of day-to-day duties, getting double-digit enhancements from an already supercharged chipset is an enormous win. While the working prototype mannequin I examined with wasn’t a “real” phone, it is actual sufficient to present us an concept of what we’d get with Samsung’s upcoming telephones.

Scroll right down to see the benchmarking check scores beneath, and specs for Qualcomm’s reference phone.


Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chip is for premium telephones.


Speed enhancements on chipsets are at all times welcome. How many pictures have you ever missed as a result of the digital camera will not launch in time? A zippier chip can pace up how lengthy it takes to finish a process and transfer on to the following one. The quicker you’ll be able to take that image, the earlier you’ll be able to keep it up with the following second.

But a quicker processor may handle a bigger or extra sophisticated process in a shorter time frame than a slower chip, which could make it doable to do one thing you would not have been in a position to do or wished to do on final 12 months’s gadget. 

Back to our pictures instance, you would possibly lose endurance ready 10 seconds to course of a sophisticated night time mode shot, but when it takes solely 5 seconds, it’s possible you’ll end up snapping extra of these photographs. That will enrich your expertise and get you extra photographs you’ll be able to take pleasure in and share. For gaming and movies, that would add as much as larger element, or a smoother picture.

So, simply how briskly is the Snapdragon 865?

Qualcomm says its 865 chipset brings speeds about 25% quicker than final 12 months’s already blazing Snapdragon 855 CPU. In reality, a lot of our check outcomes far exceeded this determine, with one benchmark outcome leaping up so far as 77%. But earlier than you blast the confetti cannons, there are some things it’s best to know.

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The check was run on reference gadgets that Qualcomm handed out to journalists at its annual Snapdragon Summit in December. These are working gadgets that come preloaded with benchmarking apps. They run on Snapdragon 865, with a number of cameras and sharp screens (once more, see the specs beneath in the event you’re curious). Reference gadgets are helpful for testing apps and options, however they are not branded telephones that you simply would possibly sooner or later purchase.

Since there are such a lot of components that go into making a marketable gadget, there could possibly be a niche between the check outcomes right here and what you get in your phone. 

Keep in thoughts, too, that benchmarking exams are artificial — they attempt to approximate a real-world state of affairs, however aren’t measuring real-world outcomes. So your expertise is perhaps totally different whenever you really open the app and course of the photograph, or play an actual recreation slightly than operating by a sequence of managed pictures. 


The again of Qualcomm’s reference gadget exhibits off antennas and the digital camera sensors.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

In the tip, the share of efficiency acquire on a completed phone might not matter to you as a lot as what you are able to do with the gadget. So why even use benchmarking exams? Because they are often helpful for making a baseline which you can examine to the outcomes from present gadgets. It’s a solution to attempt to normalize all of the variables that include a tool, from the function set to the software program that every phone-maker makes use of to tune the handset. 

For this check, I in contrast the 865 reference phone with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, which runs Snapdragon 855, and the OnePlus 7T, which makes use of Qualcomm’s souped-up 855 Plus chipset and has extra RAM than the Note 10 Plus. This combo makes the 7T (and 7T 5G McLaren edition) theoretically the quickest Android telephones you should buy at the moment. 

Because Qualcomm’s pace declare applies to the Snapdragon 855 and never the 855 Plus, you may see a smaller hole between the 865 and the quicker 855 Plus mannequin. In one check, the 865 really scored decrease than the OnePlus 7T with the 855 Plus, even when averaging two exams.

Finally, my reference gadget got here with one thing referred to as Performance Mode turned on. This would yield even increased scores, nevertheless it additionally takes a larger toll on the battery. My testing associate and I turned off Performance Mode to convey our outcomes nearer to the real-world expertise.

Here are the scores from widespread benchmarking exams that measure CPU efficiency, graphics processing and so forth.

Snapdragon 865 benchmarking check outcomes

Snapdragon 865 reference gadget Galaxy Note 10 Plus with Snapdragon 855 OnePlus 7T with Snapdragon 855 Plus Percentage acquire over Snapdragon 855 Percentage acquire over Snapdragon 855 Plus
GeekBench 5 single-core 926 635 790 46% 17%
GeekBench 5 multi-core 3,452 2,414 2,828 43% 22%
GeekBench compute benchmark RenderScript 2,882 2,446 2,712 18% 6%
PCMark – Work 2 10,203 9,999 10,595 2% -4%
GFxBench ES 3.1 1080 Manhattan offscreen 1 89 fps 69 fps 79 fps 29% 13%
GFxBench ES 3.1 1080 Carchase offscreen 1 51 fps 42 fps 47 fps 21% 9%
JetStream 2 116.62 65.928 66.729 77% 75%
AnTuTu 557,906 457,954 489,194 22% 17%

What these Snapdragon 865 processor exams actually imply

If you purchase a brand new phone in 2020 that makes use of Qualcomm’s new chip, you may not load up these benchmarking apps to see how shortly it renders gaming graphics or simulates a posh workload. That’s not a foul factor.

Each branded phone has its personal set of particular elements that make it carry out quicker or slower than others, even when they use the identical chip.

What issues is that telephones that run this chipset must be considerably quicker than telephones utilizing the 855. That makes it extra superior, nevertheless it does not imply that 2019’s fashions are solely good for the trash heap. They’re nonetheless loads quick, and may be a superb cheaper different to telephones coming in 2020.

That mentioned, in the event you’re at all times looking forward to the following development, these 865 benchmarks recommend you’ll course of extra imagery and duties quicker with out draining the battery, a mix that, together with ultrafast 5G speeds that may pull down nice quantities of information, may open up new methods for us to make use of our telephones in 2020 and after.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 reference design specs

  • 5.9-inch display screen with 2,880×1,440-pixel decision
  • Two rear cameras, one front-facing
  • Storage: 128GB
  • CPU: 4xA77 plus 4xA55
  • Memory: 12GB LP5 twin rank

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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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