SoC showdown: Snapdragon 810 vs Exynos 7420 vs MediaTek Helio X10 vs Kirin 935

by: Gary SimsNovember 6, 2015

Which is the best Android smartphone SoC? We test the Snapdragon 810, the Exynos 7420, the MediaTek Helio X10, the Kirin 935, and the Snapdragon 801. But before looking at these chips, let’s start with a high level look of mobile processor technology.

What is a SoC?

The SoC defines what a smartphone can and can't do.

Traditionally, the “brains” of a computer were found in the CPU (Central Processing Unit), and other necessary peripherals were found in auxiliary chips which were dotted around the CPU. These auxiliary chips included things like the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), the memory controllers, and any specialized video or audio chips (like DSPs). In fact, way back when the Intel 386 and 486 CPUs were the talk of the town, even the FPU (Floating Point Unit) was considered an optional extra. Since then, more and more stuff has been included on the same silicon as the CPU, first the FPU, then various memory controllers, and now the GPU and DSPs as well.

A single chip, which includes lots of different functions,  is known as a SoC or a System-on-a-Chip. The chips which power our smartphones are no longer just CPUs, but a CPU plus a GPU plus a memory controller plus a DSP plus a radio for GSM, 3G and 4G LTE comms. But it doesn’t stop there, on top of all that lot, you will find discrete bits of silicon for the GPS, USB, NFC, Bluetooth and for the camera.

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In many ways, the SoC defines what a smartphone can and can’t do, plus it determines the device’s performance and battery efficiency. In other words, it is important to know what SoC is in your smartphone.

At the moment there are four major smartphone SoC makers: Qualcomm, with its Snapdragon range; Samsung with its Exynos chips; MediaTek with its MT and Helio processors; and Huawei’s Kirin chips made by its subsidiary HiSilicon.

ARM SoC Fabrication Wafer Processor

Each of these manufacturers produces a variety of chips for the low-, mid- and high-end smartphone markets. And it is at the high-end that the competition is the toughest, at least in terms of perceptions. In terms of actual units shipped, the low- and mid-range SoCs are just as important, however, the glory is in the flagship devices.

So that leads us to our question, what is the best SoC? To try and answer this question we will take a look at five key processors: the Snapdragon 810, the Exynos 7420, the MediaTek Helio X10, the HiSilicon Kirin 935, and the Snapdragon 801. I have included the last one for comparison. Released in 2013 and 2014 respectively, the Snapdragon 800 and 801 SoCs are almost legendary in terms of their performance and reliability.

 Snapdragon 810Exynos 7420MediaTek Helio X10 (MT6795)HiSilicon Kirin 935Snapdragon 801
CPU4x Cortex-A57 + 4x Cortex-A534x Cortex-A57 +
4x Cortex-A53
8x Cortex-A538x Cortex-A534x Krait 400
CPU clockA57 - 2.0GHz
A53 - 1.5GHz
A57 - 2.1GHz
A53 - 1.5GHz
Up to 2.2GHz4x A53 - 2.2GHz
4x A53 - 1.5GHz
Up to 2.45 GHz
ArchARMv8-A (32 / 64-bit)ARMv8-A (32 / 64-bit)ARMv8-A (32 / 64-bit)ARMv8-A (32 / 64-bit)ARMv7-A (32-bit)
GPUAdreno 430 @ 630MHzARM Mali-T760 MP8 @ 772 MhzPowerVR G6200 @ 700MhzMali-T628 MP4Adreno 330 @ 578 GHz
MemoryLPDDR4 1600MHz 64-bit1552MHz LPDDR4LPDDR3 933MHzLPDDR3 1600 MHzLPDDR3 933MHz 32-bit
Process20nm14nm FinFET28nm28 nm28nm

Core count

Octa-core is the norm today, but things may change next year.

Look across the table above and you will see that octa-core processors are the order of the day. With the exception of the Snapdragon 801, which is here for comparison, we can see that every major SoC uses 8 CPU cores. To support 8 CPU cores, these chips use a technology from ARM called big.LITTLE. The idea behind big.LITTLE is that not all the cores are equal. You generally find a cluster of Cortex-A57 cores and a cluster of Cortex-A53 cores. The A57 is a high performance core, while the A53 has greater energy efficiency.

When tasks are run on the LITTLE cores they use less power, they drain the battery less, however they may run a little slower. When tasks are run on the big cores, they finish sooner but they use more battery to do so.


The only exceptions to this among the octa-core processes in our lineup are the Kirin 935 and the MediaTek Helio X10, both of which use one cluster of Cortex-A53 cores clocked at a higher clock speed than another cluster of Cortex-A53 cores clocked at a lower speed.

Processor chip on circuitboardSee also: Why the quad-core Snapdragon 820 won’t bring an end to the core wars27

Although this is the way things are today, the core count is going to change. The next generation CPU from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 820, will go back to using four cores, with a core design cooked up by Qualcomm’s engineers rather than using the core designs from ARM. At the other end, MediaTek will be releasing a SoC with 10 CPU cores, the Helio X20.


Samsung's latest flagships all sport the formidable Mali-T760 GPU

Samsung’s latest flagships all sport the formidable Mali-T760 GPU

There are three major designers of mobile GPUs: ARM, Qualcomm and Imagination. ARM’s range of GPUs are known as Mali and includes the Mali-T760, as found in the Exynos 7420, and the Mali T628, as found in the Kirin 935. Qualcomm’s GPUs are branded under the Adreno name with the Snapdragon 810 using an Adreno 430 and the Snapdragon 801 using a Adreno 330. The third player in the GPU space is Imagination with its PowerVR range. Imagination has had the most success on mobile with Apple, as every iPhone since the 3GS has used a PowerVR GPU. However, Imagination has also had some success on Android, and the MediaTek Helio X10 uses the PowerVR G6200.

It is difficult to make a comparison between these GPUs just from the specifications. They all support OpenGL ES 3.1, they all support RenderScript, and they all boast high gigaFLOP numbers. The real test comes when running actual 3D games.

Fabrication technology

ARM Silicon CPU SoC HiSilicon-2

Processors are fabricated out of silicon wafers such as this HiSilicon one

The fabrication of “silicon chips” isn’t easy. In fact it is a highly complex process that involves a lot of expensive machinery. To make a chip from silicon wafer to chips ready to sell, it takes several weeks. One of the parameters of fabrication system is known as the “process node” and it defines how small the transistors are and how small the gaps are between transistors. The Helio X10, the Kirin 935 and the Snapdragon 801 are all built using a 28nm (nanometer) process. The Snapdragon 810 uses a 20nm process, while the Exynos 7420 uses a 14nm process, known as 14nm FinFET.

intel 4004

The original, from 1971, the 4-bit Intel C4004 CPU

As you can imagine, the smaller you make a chip the harder it gets. The original Intel 4004 CPU, which was launched in 1971, was manufactured using a 10 µm (10,000 nanometers) process. By 1989, that had dropped to 800nm, the process used for the Intel 486 and the lower speed Pentium CPUs. By 2001, the process node was down to 130nm and was used by companies like Intel, Texas Instruments, IBM, and TSMC for a variety of processors including the Pentium III, the Athlon XP and back when Motorola made chips, the PowerPC 7447.

By the time the smartphone revolution was underway, chips like the Samsung Exynos 3 Single, used in the original Google Nexus S, were made using 45nm technology. Today, that number is down to between 28nm and 14nm (FinFET). The key thing about process nodes is that, although it gets harder to reach these smaller and smaller targets, the benefit is that the chips need less power and produce less heat, both of which are very important for mobile devices.

However there is one caveat, the process node is just one factor in many which defines the performance and power usage of a SoC. Although it might seem that a chip made using a 28nm process node will be half as efficient as a chip made using a 14nm FinFET process, it isn’t, things are just more complicated than that!

Snapdragon 810


The Snapdragon 810 is Qualcomm’s flagship 64-bit processor. It has eight cores in total, four Cortex-A53 cores and four Cortex-A57 cores. The SoC uses ARM’s big.LITTLE technology, which means that the more power efficient Cortex-A53 cores are used for easier tasks and the Cortex-A57 cores are activated when some heavy lifting is required. Bundled with the CPU is the Adreno 430 GPU, the Hexagon V56 DSP, and an integrated X10 LTE modem.

The history of the Snapdragon 810 has been rocky at best. Samsung didn’t pick it for the Galaxy S6 range, nor for the Note 5, instead opting for its home-grown Exynos 7420. The chip has also been dogged with stories of overheating and CPU throttling. Qualcomm tried to fix the chip’s perceived image by releasing a new stepping known as V2.1, however, with the 4K video overheating issues of phones like the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, the Snapdragon 810 is still seen negatively by some consumers.

Having said that, my testing of the Snapdragon 810 has shown it to be a fast and reliable SoC for the most part, and it has been picked-up by several top smartphone makers including Huawei for the Nexus 6P, OnePlus for the OnePlus 2, HTC for the One M9 and LG for the LG G Flex 2.

Exynos 7420

Exynos 7 Octa
This is one of the most popular smartphone processors at the moment, mainly because it is the processor used by Samsung for its current range of high-end devices including the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge +, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Like the Snapdragon 810 it uses four Cortex-A53 cores and four Cortex-A57 cores. But rather than the Adreno 430, we find a ARM Mali-T760 MP8.

The Mali-T760 has 8 shader cores while boasting a 400% increase in energy efficiency over the ARM Mali-T604. One of the tricks in the Mali-T760’s architecture is the use of bandwidth reduction techniques, which minimizes the amount of data shifted around and hence reduces the amount of power used by the GPU. Such techniques include ARM Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC), which compresses the data as it is passed from one part of the SoC to another; and Smart Composition, which only renders the parts of the frame which have changed.

Jurassic World: core usage on Samsung Galaxy S6.See also: Up close and personal: how the Samsung Galaxy S6 uses its octa-core processor22

Thanks to the smaller 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, Samsung has been able to up its clock speeds by 200MHz on the CPU side and by 72MHz on the GPU side, when compared to the Exynos 5433. It is also Samsung’s first SoC with LPDDR4 memory support, which runs in a 32-bit dual-channel configuration with a clock speed of 1552MHz. Peak bandwidth reaches 25.6 GB/s.

MediaTek Helio X10


Earlier this year MediaTek launched its new Helio brand of SoCs. Unlike the bland sounding MTxxxx range of SoCs, the Helio branding brings MediaTek into line with Samsung and Qualcomm with their Exynos and Snapdragon brands. The first MediaTek Helio SoC is the Helio X10, an octa-core processor with four 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 cores and four 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 cores, backed by a PowerVR 6200 GPU. If that setup sounds familiar it is because that was also the specs of the MediaTek MT6795 and, as far as I can tell, the Helios X10 is in fact just a rebrand of the MT6795.

The multimedia features of the X10 are quite interesting and include video recording at 480 frames per second with 1/16th speed slow-motion playback, support for 120Hz smartphone displays, and H.265 Ultra HD 4K2K video encoding at 30 fps.

Kirin 935

Huawei HiSilicon Kirin

Smartphones using the Kirin range of SoCs started to appear during mid-2014, almost exclusively from Huawei. HiSilicon is a fully owned subsidiary of Huawei and its first Kirin processors were quad-core Cortex-A9 based, as found in phones like the Huawei Ascend P7. Since then, HiSilicon has produced increasingly more powerful processors including 32-bit octa-core processors with Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 cores, and 64-bit processors using Cortex-A53 cores. The company has also just announced its new SoC: the Kirin 950. The Kirin 950 uses four Cortex-A72 cores (the successor to the Cortex-A57) and four Cortex A53 CPU cores, combined with a Mali-T880 GPU.

The Kirin 935 uses four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 2.2 GHz, and another four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5 GHz. The GPU is the ARM Mali-T628 MP4.

Snapdragon 801


The Snapdragon 801 is quite different to the other SoCs listed here. First, it is a 32-bit processor using the ARMv7 instruction set architecture (ISA), rather than the 64-bit ARM v8 ISA. Second, it is a quad-core processor rather than an octa-core processor. Third, it uses Qualcomm’s own ARM compatible core design (Krait) and not a core design from ARM.

The reason I have included it is as a baseline reference. The Snapdragon 800 and the Snapdragon 801 SoCs were very popular and marked the heyday of Qualcomm’s reign at the top. You can find the Snapdragon 801 in devices like the Sony Xperia Z3, the LG G3, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8 and the OnePlus One.

The Phones


For these tests, I got hold of different phones using these SoCs. The phones are:

Before looking at the test results, there is one caveat: there are likely other handsets available that could utilize these SoCs better than the handsets I have used. In other words, maybe the RedMi Note 2 isn’t the best performing Helio X10 handset, or maybe there are better Snapdragon 801 devices than the ZUK Z1, etc. However the variations between models shouldn’t be so large as to alter the overall results.

It is also worth noting that the screen resolution plays a big factor for benchmarks that include GPU tests. Pushing around those pixels on a phone with a Full HD display is less taxing for the CPU and GPU than on a phone with a 2K display.

Performance tests

Performance testing is a complex science in that it is hard to replicate the exact same conditions for each test run. Even variations in temperature can alter test results. One popular way to test the performance of a phone is to use benchmarks like AnTuTu and Geekbench. Another is to simulate real world scenarios like launching a game while monitoring the performance. As a third way to test the performance I have written a couple of apps. The first one tests the SoCs processing power by calculating a large number of SHA1 hashes, performing a large bubblesort, shuffling a large table and then calculating the first 10 million primes. The second app uses a 2D physics engine to simulate water being poured into a container and measuring the number of droplets that can be processed in 90 seconds. At 60 frames per second the maximum score is 5400.


AnTuTu is one of the “standard” benchmarks for Android. It tests both CPU performance and GPU performance and then presents a final score. AnTuTu is good for getting a general feel for how well a SoC can perform, however the test loads used by the benchmark are completely artificial and don’t reflect real life scenarios at all. However, as long as we take that into consideration then the numbers can be useful.

I performed two tests with AnTuTu. First, I just run the test on the device from a fresh boot, then I run the 3D demo game Epic Citadel for 30 minutes (in the hope of heating up the phones a bit) and then I re-ran the benchmark. The results are below:

AnTuTu - Higher is better.

AnTuTu – Higher is better.


As you can see the Exynos 7420 comes out on top followed by the Snapdragon 810. Third is the Kirin 935, and fourth is the Snapdragon 801 beating the Helio X10. After running Epic Citadel for 30 minutes the performance dropped for all of the devices except for the Mate S and its Kirin 935. However the order remains the same.


I performed two tests with Geekbench. First I just ran the test on the device from a fresh boot, then I ran the 3D demo game Epic Citadel for 30 minutes for the AnTuTu test (see above). Straight after re-running AnTuTu, I then re-ran Geekbench. Here are the results, one graph for the single-core tests and one for the multi-core:


Geekbench single-core - Higher is better.

Geekbench single-core – Higher is better.

The single core tests show the speed of an individual core, regardless of how many cores there are on the SoC. The Exynos 7420 comes in first with 1504, followed closely by the Snapdragon 810. The other three are fairly evenly matched which shows the difference in core level performance between the Cortex-A57 and the Cortex-A53. It also shows us that the Krait core in the Snapdragon 801 is faster than the Cortex-A53 cores of the Kirin and Helio.

Geekbench multi-core - Higher is better.

Geekbench multi-core – Higher is better.

The multi-core tests run the benchmark across all the available cores. As such the Snapdragon 801 is bound to come in last as it only has four cores. At the top we find the Exynos 7420 again, this time followed by the Helio X10, quite a jump from its last place in the single-core tests! After running Epic Citadel for half an hour the Snapdragon 801 and the Kirin 935 actually perform slightly better, however the overall positions remain unchanged.

CPU Prime Benchmark

As with the previous two benchmarks, I ran CPU Prime Benchmark twice. The first run was performed when the device was cool and had no other apps running. Then I set each phone to record Full HD video (not 4K) for 10 minutes. After than I re-ran the benchmark. The results are surprising:

CPU Prime Benchmark - Higher is better.

CPU Prime Benchmark – Higher is better.

In first place again we find the Exynos 7420, followed by the Snapdragon 810. Next the Helio X10, the Kirin 935 and the Snapdragon 801 respectively. After recording Full HD video for 10 minutes, the Exynos manages to achieve the same score, as does the Snapdragon 801. Interestingly the Kirin 935 manages a better score, which pushes it above the X10, while the Snapdragon 810 takes quite a hit dropping from 20771 to 18935.

Real world

For the real world tests I picked two scenarios. The first is how long does it take to startup the Need For Speed No Limits game, and secondly how well do the phones handle the Kraken Javascript benchmark. Kraken was created by Mozilla and measures the speed of several different test cases extracted from real-world applications and libraries. In each case, I used the same version of Chrome downloaded from the Play Store. But first, the Need for Speed startup times:

Need For Speed No Limits - Lower is better.

Need For Speed No Limits – Lower is better.

The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact makes quite a poor showing in this test, coming in last. First place is tied between the Exynos 7420 and the Kirin 935, while the X10 and the Snapdragon 801 are only one second apart. It is worth mentioning here that there are likely other factors which influence the outcome of these tests including the speed of the flash memory, so the poor performance by the Z5 Compact might not be due to the Snapdragon 810.

And now for Kraken:

Kraken- Lower is better.

Kraken- Lower is better.

Things return to “normal” with the Kraken test: First the Exynos 7420, then the Snapdragon 810, and in third the Snapdragon 801. The two Cortex-A53 based devices perform quite poorly here with scores over 9500.

Hashes, bubble sorts, tables and primes

The first of my custom benchmarks tests the CPU without using the GPU. It is a four stage test that first calculates 100 SHA1 hashes on 4K of data, then it performs a large bubble sort on an array of 9000 items. Thirdly, it shuffles a large table one million times, and lastly it calculates the first 10 million primes. The total time needed to do all those things is displayed at the end of the test run. The results are below:

Hashes and sorts - Lower is better.

Hashes and sorts – Lower is better.

This is the one test that the Exynos 7420 didn’t win. If it didn’t win the second of my benchmarks as well then I would start to suspect foul play, however it does win the next test (see below) and its second place here is acceptable. However, a great performance by the Snapdragon 810, as well as a strong result for the Snapdragon 801.

Water simulation

The second of my two custom benchmarks uses a 2D physics engine to simulate water being poured into a container. The idea here is that while the GPU will be used slightly for the 2D graphics, most of the work will be carried out by the CPU. The complexity of so many droplets of water will exercise the CPU. One drop of water is added every frame and the game is designed to run at 60 frames per second. The benchmark measures how many droplets are actually processed and how many are missed. The maximum score is 5400, a number which the Exynos 7420 almost hits, but not quite. The full results follow:

2D Physics - Higher is better.

2D Physics – Higher is better.

The Exynos 7420 scores 5359, just slightly shy of the maximum score. Surprisingly, the 32-bit, quad-core Snapdragon 801 comes in second followed by the Helio X10 and the Snapdragon 810. Last was the Kirin 935.


In a nutshell, the Exynos 7420 is the best Android SoC at this time, the Snapdragon 810 comes in a close second, while the Helio X10 and Kirin 935 are good for high mid-end phones. Finally, the Snapdragon 801 still has plenty of life in it.

Before we look at the 64-bit processors, it is worth applauding Qualcomm for the Snapdragon 801. The 801 consistently scored well in the benchmarks and was on average equivalent to the Kirin 935 or to the Helio X10. Like I said during my ZUK Z1 review, I would rather have a quad-core 32-bit Snapdragon 801 than a slower quad-core Cortex-A53 based SoC, like the Snapdragon 410. The Snapdragon 801 also gives us a good baseline from which to judge the results from the other processors.

Overall, the Exynos 7420 is the clear winner. It performs well across all of the tests and it doesn’t seem to be affected much by overheating or throttling. Close behind it is the Snapdragon 810. Both the Exynos 7420 and the Snapdragon 810 use the same Cortex-A57/A53 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration, however they use different GPUs. Although the performance of the Snapdragon 810 is close to that of the Exynos, the 810 is affected more by heat. The drop in performance for the 810 was 8% during the CPU Prime Benchmark test after recording Full HD video for 10 minutes.

As for the other two processors, there seems to be little to choose between them. Sometimes the X10 was faster than the Kirin 935 (e.g. for the CPU Prime Benchmark and the 2D water simulation), while for other benchmarks like AnTuTu and the Geekbench single-core tests, the Kirin 935 was the faster of the pair.

Ash_History_of_Nexus (78)Now read and watch: History of the Nexus family94

In a nutshell, the Exynos 7420 is the best Android SoC at this time, the Snapdragon 810 comes in a close second while the Helio X10 and Kirin 935 are good for high mid-end phones. Finally, the Snapdragon 801 still has plenty of life in it.

Now, watch the reviews!

  • Mohammad Hussain

    I gotta be honest this was a nice comparison but you should have included Apple’s A9 cores, they’re really powerful and worth a comparison.

    • Evangelos Aktoudianakis

      Probably are, but the main question is : Which is the best Android smartphone SoC?

    • Rat

      Yes “Android” is the key word.

      • Marty

        Very true. Though the A9 is a high scorer in iOS, that might not be the case in Android.

    • ChicoJulius XD

    • ksavai

      and all these tests are not available on iOS platform… so difficult to get all result

    • PC_Tool

      Remind me what Android flagships are the A9s in again?

    • Ki Shin

      Well, they ARE getting sued for stealing technology for their A9 chip.

    • DanG

      There are plenty of benchmark results comparing A9 to other APUs. Just do your Google search. A9 wins on most. It loses on multi-task benchmarks due to lower number of cores.

  • Manor

    Why didn’t you test the SD808 instead of the 801?

    • Duck Knight

      Shortest version: SD808 isn’t exactly a 2015 flagship SoC as it only has 6 core and Adreno 418 is quite comparable with 2014’s SD801 Adreno 330

      • PC_Tool

        While what they include or exclude is none of my business, I am lovin’ the LG V10 flagship with the 808 SoC.

      • Angela Moore

        So far this year I have made 69,000 dollars with my pc and I am a full time student . I am attached with a business entity that outsource online jobs . I heard about it last year and I have made a great cash . It is just great and I am just so happy to have that option …..Look here for more info ..

      • Karly Johnston

        SD808 doesn’t have the throttling issues of the 810 so it is definetly in the same league. 801 is still good but ARMv7 32bit really holds it back.

        • Ericson

          Well, that’s on iOS. Imagine a iPhone using android with those 2 cores… it won’t come close to a 4 cores snapdragon chip lol

      • mobilemann

        lol you don’t need 8 cores to be awesome. A9X spanks all these with 2 cores.

        • Ericson

          Well, that’s on iOS. Imagine a iPhone using android with those 2 cores.. it won’t come close to a 4 cores snapdragon chip lol

          • mobilemann

            you don’t understand how multi threading works. No. I’ve run android natively on really old iphones by the way:D (idroid project)

          • mobilemann

            also, cause you’re extra stupid, compare 8 core multi threading to the multi threading scores on dual core iOS chips. You again, have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • paul

        “its not a flagship soc”??? If I remmber correctly both the g4 and v10 utilize the 808…im sure they are both flagships and spanked Samsung and apple products in 2014-2015

    • eilegz

      i would add 805 there.

      • Hussein Abdullah


    • fitnesspro22

      Good question

    • Peter

      Android fanboys, NEVER happy with anything lol.

      • umer

        Same with apple fanboys

  • Marty

    Why no A9? The 2-core A9 would wipe the floor with almost all of them. The 7420 is a powerful chip, but not as powerful as the 2-core A9.

    • 1213 1213

      Both antutu and multicore are higher than the a9’s peak even with the throttling. Not really wiping the floor. Also that would be a faulty comparison to begin with, not just because different os, but because of product cycle (new SOCs just round the corner)

      • Marty

        Yeah, it just came to me that the scores would likely be much different if the A9 was running Android.

        • coldspring22 .

          What’s your point? Android SOC score higher than A9 on multicpu benchmark. So A9, even having 6 months extra development over other Android SOC cannot be the best. What happenes next year when next gen Exynos and Snap 820 is released? Yet to be release Krinn 950 for example is benching at antutu 82000, way over iphone 6S score. Meanwile Exynos 8890 going into production next month has Geek multicpu bench of ~7000, again, way way over iphone 6S. Any sorry excuse if A9 can’t keep up when all these are out? Oh yea and Apple lost lawsuit to University of Wisconsin for CPU enhancement ip infringement. Way to go Apple.

          • Chester

            I will note that the scores aren’t everything. Even though the Android SOC beat the A9 in several aspects, can’t ignore real-world experience with the iOS software being optimized for the hardware it’s run on. Ultimately that’s what all these test boil down to. We’re trying to gauge which processor will generate the best real world experience for us. As much as I loathe the Apple platform, I have to admit they do provide a really smooth experience. Now, putting all of the above aside, the A9 has no business in this discussion. :) This particular thread is Android country and we want to discuss our SOC comparison. lol

          • Marty

            Consider the games. iOS plays the same games as Android and plays them better. Games are separate software that signifies the hardware as capable. It’s one thing to consider iOS as less demanding than Android, but the apps and games testify that isn’t the case since the hardware capably runs the same demanding apps and games as Android.

          • Nick B.

            The point still stands: The iPhone objectively does not have better hardware, at least SoC-wise, but the software it runs is better optimized. Apple has much tighter control over what goes into their app store, and developers can focus on optimizing their apps for a much smaller set of devices. If iOS was more open source like Android, in that any manufacturer could use it on their own devices, the lower specs would show.

          • Marty

            I’m sure you meant to make iOS seem less attractive, but you had the opposite effect. A system that is well optimized and the apps are well coded.

            Sounds nice to me.

          • Nick B.

            I wasn’t trying to make Apple less attractive, I was just saying that comparing the A9 chip to the other SoCs is useless because they do not run any of the same software. Apples better optimization is nice, as long as you like the products Apple makes. In order to have a tightly integrated ecosystem Apple does not offer a lot of options, whereas Android phones make the opposite trade off: So many options (Hardware, UI, etc.), but that means there is no standard for coders to refer to. Personally, I’d rather have full control over my device so I love Android (Using a Nexus 4 running CM12.1 right now), but not everyone wants to tinker with their phone to make it work as well as it can.

          • Marty

            ” because they do not run any of the same software. ”

            Not sure what you mean by that but, iOS does run a lot of the same software that Android does. Saying it’s meaningless isn’t fair because the system works well. Apple is able to do more with less. All the end user wants is for the system to work well. Having specs for the sake of specs is useless. The system works well enough and any software a developer might want to put on the system has to meet Apple’s approval for quality.

            I get it now. It just came to me…Apple makes developers do a good job to be allowed to put their apps on iOS. They can be lazy on Android. Yeah, it’s clear now. Typical Apple hater mentality. They hate Apple because they have to work.

          • Nick B.

            No, programs for iOS may have the same name but they need to be developed separately (Different programming language, OS, and hardware). What I said is meaningless is the comparison between Apple’s A9 and the other SoC’s available: On paper, the A9 is severely underpowered (1.8 GHz dual core vs 2+ GHz octacores in the comparison above). As you said: what really matters is the end performance, such as UI animations, and that can’t be objectively measured when they are running completely different UI’s. Apple’s system works well for their philosophy of “It Just Works,” but, as I said before, that comes at the cost of options: If you don’t like the flavor of iOS and/or the current iPhone model, you’re going to have to go to Android.

            I really don’t hate Apple, though I certainly do have criticisms as I do of any manufacturer. Apple can do more with less, you’re right, and they choose to do so at the expense of options and control for the end user. iOS apps are actually easier to develop since there’s only one OS+Hardware combination to worry about (iOS and A-chip), and developers can spend more time making that one version work well. If an Android app is going to be popular and polished it requires a lot more work and testing, though it’s easier to publish in the end.

            For the users, it all comes down to preference: If you like iOS and iPhone, then you’ll have a great user experience without needing to make any bigger decision than screen size. If you want something that iOS can’t do, then you can get an Android device to do it. You can even get a flawless experience similar to iPhone, you just have to wade through a lot of crappy devices. And then there are some people like myself, who enjoy tuning it themselves making Android the only choice.

          • Marty

            So you don’t subscribe to the idea that the market determines the viability of a product? Because if the market (me, you and all consumers) determines the iPhone and iPad are unacceptable, they still can domonate…or at least be a force to reckon with?

          • Zer0dotexe

            Seriously, though, can you get the fuck out of an Android blog post? Literally no one here cares about the iphone. This post is about Android SoCs. Otherwise we’d be on iphone sites. Go away, troll.

          • speedster911t

            Can I pls pls just ask kind sir what a domonate’ in your said statement means ? If it’s domonate’ pls do explain the term kind sir and if it was a stupid spell check error and the word was dominate then I do get it..

          • Marty

            stupid spell check error. corrected.

          • Nisa P

            When I was planing to buy a smart phone , there was these things in my consideration,
            1. Dual SIM support (One for my business purpose and one for personnel)
            2. Able to identify the unknown incoming calls (Like true-caller app)
            3. OTG support, so that I can connect pendrive or Laptop, etc and manage my files easy with my phone
            4. 32GB minimum Memory & expandable and capable to store,manage & Open any type of my personnel files with this.
            5. Able to recharge from any where fast, like from devices like Laptop (with standard 1A usb output)
            6. All apps what I am dreaming should be freely available.
            7. should be capable to copy files to and fro from anywhere without any Heavy app like itunes.
            8. I am not ready to spend more than 25k just for a smart phone but I want all above features

            Is there any apple phone? But there many in Android confused which one to chose?

          • Lochheart

            Just look at real world, A9 score 1700 at Kraken, more than twice faster than the most powerful Android one. Qualcomm, Samsung or Mediatek can cheat in bench, not in real world :)

    • Ki Shin

      You mean the chip that has stolen technology?

      • Marty

        Nah. Not talking about Intel chips. This is about Apple chips.

    • The-Sailor-Man

      Note 5 with A9 couldn’t even boot, iGnorant.
      Just because iOS is not supporting as much features, goes good with weaker SoC.
      Same do the feature phones BTW.

      • Marty

        Yeah, it cant play all those high end games iOS has. Strange that those games work better on an iPhone than an Android. Strange that iOS and Android gamers hold iOS as the go-to system for the best games…considering it isn’t strong enough to play them, huh?…even though it plays them perfectly…damn iPhone.

      • Karly Johnston

        The A9 is the equivalent of a dual Core i5 Haswell, it could run your PC much less a phone. Its those little batteries that are the problem.

  • MatthewPDX

    Umm this isn’t iPhone Authority.

    • coldspring22 .

      Exactly – isheeps think everything should be iphone first.

      • Peter

        You guys keep using the term “isheep” yet you are actually worse than them in terms of how close-minded you are.

  • Zach Chen

    Pointless to do this comparison now when the SD820 and the new flagship Exynos processor are about to be released.

    • Cakefish

      You mean released next year, in 2016. After Christmas, the busiest shopping period of the year. And this article makes for an interesting comparison regardless.

      • Zach Chen

        2016 is 2 months away…

        • Cakefish

          After Christmas, the busiest shopping period of the year. Also, there’s no guarantee an 820 powered device will crop up on the 1st January 2016. Most mainstream flagships will be released months into 2016.

          • Zach Chen

            Why so impatient? The Galaxy S7 is going to be announced in January, just hang in there buddy!

          • Cakefish

            Until a 2016 phone with a form factor matching my current Z5 Compact (or previous Nexus 5) containing one of these new shiny SOCs is released I’ll be sticking with what I’ve got :)

          • Karly Johnston

            You still only have a 720p screen, if you can live with that more power to you. i on the other hand can’t stand foodstamp screens.

          • MatthewPDX


          • PC_Tool

            You got it. March-ish should be pretty hectic around here. HTC’s final swan song should hit about then. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for that one.

          • Karly Johnston

            There is also no guarantee the 820 will come correct. Rumours have it with similar problems to the 810.

      • 1213 1213

        Well technically, huawei and xiaomi are rumoured to be using kirin 950 and SD820 respectively just before that. But I agree the article is interesting.

        • Cakefish

          Likely with limited availability worldwide. I’d be surprised if anyone in the UK could order one and have it delivered this side of the new year. Same with US. Importing from abroad doesn’t count!

  • Cakefish

    Snapdragon 810 holding its own. Evidently not as bad as people like to claim. My Z5 Compact is doing fine and will get even better with Marshmallow.

  • Ryan Nunley

    Great comparison! It is convenient to see some of the most popular benchmarks compared in the same location and the custom benchmarks give additional value. I would like to see this kind of video done regularly.

    • justyfier

      true but than a fair showdown. all we learned is how important ram is

  • Pamela Doe

    808s can’t handle 1440p screens, they run hot and drain battery fast due to this aka the g4 and moto xpe. No company should use the 808 for a phone with a 1440p screen anymore.

    • PC_Tool

      Huh. My V10 seems to rock the 808 and 1440p. Most of the posts I’ve seen on xda regarding the device also seem to agree it does quite well re: battery life.

      (Disclosure: I *hated* my G4. It was slow, hot, ugly…just the worst Android device I have ever owned. Was very skeptical of the V10, but it really surprised the heck out of me. It’s support of fastboot commands and unlockable bootloader, at least on T-Mo, was just icing on the cake)

  • I think you should have used the LG G3 with the Snapdragon 801 since it has a Quad HD display. That would make things more fair with this comparison

    Same with the 810. You should have picked a device with a Quad HD display

  • Kunal Narang

    Thank you so much for the this. Very informative!!

    • justyfier

      test proves how important ram is

  • Hakan Fondo

    who shares their android kernels with developers? thats a big question, better than stupid benchmarks

  • sdgdsgfg

    why flash

  • No game No life

    Please share your custom benchmark apps. They are really amazing.

  • How about the 805 from the Nexus 6? Still seems pretty fast to me

    • Lindle

      Progress has stagnated over the years. Last year’s flagships are still beastly in specs all things considered

      • Brad Burbank

        I have a Note 3 with the SD800 and it’s still amazingly capable considering how old the phone is now as far as phones go.

  • Pez Smith

    The Kirin 935 is a mid-range, not flagship like the others. Hardly a fair fight. :-)

  • monkey god

    I wish they would compare more commonly available phones for each respective SoC. The Galaxy Note 5 is the only one in the roundup that is available worldwide.

    • PC_Tool

      Yeah, pretty odd choices of phones…

    • 1213 1213

      …its not available in Europe :P

  • Lindle

    Where is the Intel representative?

    • Puspendra Singh

      cooling soc with liquid nitrogen while Charging their mobile battery :v

      • sub_zero

        former owner of zenfone 6, an x86 32 bit SoC powered android

        heat issue is still there, but no where near or needing such liquid nitro to charge, heck it heat up just as much any other android phone

        though the phone is crap and services is crap from asus, finally move on to better phone

  • Michael Ludden

    Thank you for this! The only thing you never factored in is the screen resolution. Your on-screen tests didn’t account for this – your 810 phone pushes a 1080p screen whereas the Note 5 is qHD. But yeah it’s clear the Exynos is way better

    • justyfier

      and ram, and andriod version.

      • Damak9

        and clock speed. X10 in particular can be clocked from 1.7 to 2.2 Ghz on different phones.

  • Bob Marley

    So much for Huawei and Mediatek’s bold claims about their SoCs’ performance.

    • justyfier

      and now a fair test would be nice. 2gb vs 4gb ram. this test showed us how important ram is. that’s all

  • Ronald Ball

    Fwiw I did a quick load test of need for speed on my G4, it took around 34 seconds. Did the same test on my iPad, around 18 seconds. Also tested iPod touch 6 which took around 29 seconds.

  • Shaurya Kalia

    Wait a sec is that xperia z5 compact. Atleast you should have tried to normalise the screen resolutions and ram. The z5 compact with its 720 p screen will no doubt show better in any test other than pure cpu benchmarks. A better alternative would have been xiaomi mi note pro or lg gflex2. Z5 compact also has lesser ram but it is more than compensated by its low screen resolution. For mediatek best choice would have been htc m9+.

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  • #Note5 IsBoss

    Samsung clean SWEEP 2015 so easily it’s comical.

  • justyfier

    x10 has only 2gb ram the others 3 or 4. that’s like testing the fasted
    running shoes and putting a runner with a sprained ankle in the race.
    WTF!!!! the only thing this showdown proves is how important ram is. next
    time take phones with same specs and same andriod version. cm11 or
    something and you will have a valid test!!!

    • Andrew

      RAM has nothing to do with SoC performance… go and learn some basic computer science. You android fanboys are really pathetic, you think you’re all such technology experts yet all most of you do is stupidly compare specification numbers without actually knowing what’s behind them… pathetic.

      • justyfier

        really!! so your saying that that a phone with minimal ram and the exact same phone with max ram that the soc can use will have the same benchmarks and performance!!! good for your. now go take a sippy and of to bed

      • 1213 1213

        RAM does affect benchmarks. Antutu explicitly says it does (but it might just be read/write speeds).

      • erd

        Jaaaaa, yeap we’re Android , all of us, sooooo wtf r u doing here lol , who’s the pathetic and stupid, The End . x2lol , right right,
        PS: FCKFF none android viewers.

      • meh

        TF man, so Snapdragon 810 will score the same with 2gb ram?

        you need to read the NFS no limit loading time

  • metronome

    SD801 is a good baseline to test from especially when you have to compare it to the X10. Get in quick for the ultimate TV stick, more powerful than intel and more than double the spec of the budget chinese brands!

  • Hussein Abdullah

    In my books the 805 is better and faster than the 808 but little slower compared to the 810 but why? The 810 was supposed to be the badass chip of 2015 the 805 was really good

  • Baffled

    Oh my… fandroid technology “experts” compare SoC using phones with different resolution, eMMC controllers and memory speed and various other differences and “judge” the chip based on that. How totally ridiculous lol

  • Runcorn Physio

    please add other popular 64bit SoC like 808 and Z3580 !!

  • Boy Palaka

    whos the best in terms of radio performace

  • Kamalnath

    nice review. you’ve used some cool day to day usage datas in the review….

  • Brock

    Glad I got the Note 5. It is pretty quick.
    Someone needs to do a real world roundup comparison test with the same benchmarks as above of all the top 2015 flagship phones that are out now in one article. Note 5 vs 6P vs V10 vs 6S vs Priv vs Turbo2 vs X Pure vs OnePlus2 vs Zen2 vs One M9 vs Lumia950 vs Z5 vs ….

    • bichar

      Yeah they did… Note 5 won the Editor’s Choice as the Best Smartphone on the Market and the Nexus 6P welll you guessed it won the Reader’s Choice Award. Samsung dominated in every category by coming 1st. And the 2 cases it wasnt first it became 2nd. So obviously Note 5 is the best android phone on the market from Battery, Performance, Display… etc.

  • You messed up the clocking of the RAM modules in your table. Either you write the single clock speed or the double clock speed, but never mix both. Due to the DDR nature the Exynos 7420, Snapdragon 810 and Kirin 935 only have half of the stated clock speed. Either you correct those 3 or you use the common designation like DDR3-1866 for the MediaTek and 801, DDR3-1600 for the Kirin, DDR4-1552 for the Exynos and DDR4-1600 for the 810. Currently your table is misleading for non-techies.

  • Praful

    Nice decision for me to purchase 801 phone.

  • Alexandros Vourlakos

    correct me if I’m wrong but the helio x10 is a “true” octacore, there are no cpu clusters like in s810 or kirin 935.

  • Joaquín

    These real life situations area a bit pointless, no? I mean the phones have different resolutions and run different versions of android…
    *Also note worthy, is that the Helios X10 makes the phone MUCH cheaper.

  • Ran

    What about MTK6755?

  • Lokesh.C

    801! WoW!

  • DrScope

    Very interesting thanks!

  • Ramakrishna Narayanagiri

    This is an awesome article. An in depth research and presented in an understable way.