Following the unveiling of its upcoming flagship class chip – the Exynos 9810 – earlier in the month, Samsung has just revealed details about its new mid-tier Exynos 7872. The processor was mentioned alongside the announcement of the new Meizu M6s handset, and Samsung has talked more about the chip over on its website.
Right out of the gate we can note a more muted performance target with the Exynos 7872, making it clearly mid-tier. The CPU boasts a hexa-core rather than familiar octa-core design, ofting for two high performance Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.0 GHz, combined with four energy efficient Cortex-A53 cores at 1.6 GHz. Although users may not receive the fastest multi-core performance around, the inclusion of two Cortex-A73 cores will offer up notable better single core performance than low end octa-core A53 chips. Samsung claims up to a 2x boost to single core performance, so it’s a well balanced middle ground for users.
As for the GPU, there’s a last generation Arm Mali-G71 configured with just a single graphics core. In order to offer some level of gaming performance, this core is clocked up to a huge 1.2 GHz. For reference, the 20 core Mali-G71 GPU inside the old Exynos 8895 which powers the Note 8 is clocked at just 546 MHz, although clearly we’re not going to see anywhere near that level of performance from just a single graphics core. Given that this is a more cost effective processor, the chip is built on Samsung’s 14nm process, rather than its cutting edge 10nm technology. Even so, this will provide notable efficiency gains over other mid-range chips built on older processes.
The Exynos 7872 boasts a couple of important firsts for Samsung too. The chip’s Category 7 LTE modem is the first in an Exynos SoC to boast integrated CDMA capabilities. Samsung is finally transitioning over to a world-modem solution, making the chip a viable part for launching products in the Chinese and US markets, as well as on more common GSM networks. There’s also built-in support for an iris scanner, suggesting that Samsung is planning to bring its face unlocking technology to mid-tier products in 2018.
In terms of connectivity, you’ll find WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 5, and FM radio support integrated on chip. There are some compromises though. The Exynos 7872 is only compatible with LPDDR3 rather than faster LPDDR4 memory and there’s no UFS storage, the maximum display resolution is locked at 1920 x 1200, and there’s no support for dual cameras. However both the rear and front cameras can boast resolutions up to 21.7 megapixels, and users will be able to record 1080p video at up to 120 fps.
Overall, the Exynos 7872 looks like sensible, well rounded mid-range SoC that fits nicely into Samsung’s portfolio, below its high-end Exynos 9810 and intriguing 2+6 CPU core Exynos 7885 inside the latest Galaxy A8, and lower end octa-core chips like the Exynos 7880. The chip will likely find a home in some of Samsung’s mid-range launches later in 2018, as well as the newly announced Meizu M6s.