OPINION: After months of leaks and teases highlighting numerous features of Samsung’s latest phones, there’s only one standout addition that, for me, will make this year’s crop a lot more tempting than before.
For years now, Samsung has offered variants of the flagship S-series line that differed depending on the region. Buy the phone in the States and you’d get a version powered by the latest Qualcomm silicon, however if you pick up the same phone in the UK then there would be no Snapdragon chipset to speak of.
Instead, Samsung’s top phones came with an Exynos chipset in many European and Korean markets, and as a result, we’d often see noticeably different marks in performance and battery life.
From personal experience, I always found the UK versions of these devices to be inferior to their US Qualcomm cousins. Battery life was usually the biggest issue, with the Exynos version lasting for a shorter period of time in various tests. Considering the phones were marketed as being the same, it always felt like we were getting shortchanged by buying the phone in the UK.
It’s about time
With the introduction of the Galaxy S23 series – which includes the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra – Samsung is finally going in a different direction, ditching the multi-chip approach and giving everyone – including us Brits – the same Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. It’s about time.
Samsung says that this isn’t just any off-the-shelf chip, and it’s not the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 model you’ll find in competing Android phones. This decision makes sense, as it allows Samsung to still tout a degree of exclusivity over some of the features.
Samsung and Qualcomm are calling the chip Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, and they claim that it offers higher clock speeds than you’d find on the standard model, making it the “fastest Snapdragon ever”. There’s also supposedly a more efficient and powerful Adreno GPU, which could result in these phones being fantastic choices for gamers.
Aside from these exclusive benefits, the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy features the usual array of 8 Gen 2 features, like hardware-accelerated ray tracing and wide 5G support. Performance here should be generally very good, if the other 8 Gen 2 chips are anything to go by but we’ll need to put it through our usual suite of tests to know for sure.
Every time I have reviewed an Exynos-toting phone my feelings have always been the same – it’s good, but it would be better if Samsung had one platform that allowed for all the same features and performance for everyone, and with the arrival of the Galaxy S23 it looks like that is finally going to happen and it makes the Galaxy S23 a whole lot more tempting in the process.