- AnandTech, a publication known for its technical analyses, has put the device against Apple’s latest iPhones, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845, and Samsung’s own Galaxy S8 in a series of benchmark tests.
- The iPhone has won in virtually every test against the newer Galaxy S9, sometimes with huge margins, but the S9 has performed worse than many other devices’ chipsets, too.
- But Samsung suggested that the poor test results could just be down to the current software on the phone.
Samsung announced the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, the latest entries in its flagship line of smartphones, at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress – but benchmark results are awkwardly showing the devices scoring significantly lower than many of their competitors.
Benchmarks are synthetic tests that give numeric, quantifiable results. They are generally applications programmed to make the devices’ systems-on-a-chip (SoC) run a series of tasks and determine how long it takes them to complete.
AnandTech is a site that specialises in running rigorous tests like these, and its early findings on Samsung’s latest devices are curious to say the least – particularly compared to the latest iPhones, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 – which will power most of the Android flagships this year – and even Samsung’s own Galaxy S8 from last year.
In a number of tests – such as web browsing, writing, data manipulation, and photo editing – the Galaxy S9’s Exynos 9810 consistently delivered worse results than the aforementioned chips and devices, which is bizarre considering that tests run on the chip itself showed significant improvements over 2017’s Exynos chip (that powered the S8, S8+, and even Note 8 smartphones).
“What seems clear is that there is something is very very wrong with the Exynos 9810 S9+ that I tested,” AnandTech’s report says. “It was barely able to distinguish itself from last year’s Exynos 8895, let alone the Snapdragon 845 in the Qualcomm Reference Device which we previewed earlier this month.”
There might be an explanation, however, as a Samsung spokesperson told AnandTech that the phones it tested were running special firmware specific to the demo units deployed for Mobile World Congress (MWC), and that retail devices might take full advantage of the SoC’s capabilities.
Samsung corroborated this to Business Insider, confirming that the Galaxy S9s present at MWC were indeed “demo devices.”
“I did get confirmation that Samsung is planning to ‘tune down’ the Exynos variant to match the Snapdragon performance,” AnandTech’s post reads, “however the current scores which I got on these devices make absolutely no sense, so I do hope this is just a mistake that will be resolved in shipping firmware and we see the full potential of the SoC.”