In a reversal in strategy from its Galaxy S7 and S7 edge counterpart, Android Central has learned that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will ship with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor in Canada instead of the Exynos 8890 that powered all Galaxy S7 variants outside the U.S.
In a statement to Android Central, and as first reported by MobileSyrup, Samsung Canada said the decision was made to "better align with the U.S. market," which has been the case in previous generations of Galaxy S and Note launches. A representative went on to say that the Snapdragon 820 has been carefully optimized for the Canadian market — it powers many in-market products, including the HTC 10 and LG G5 — and is ready to facilitate carrier aggregation schemes by carriers like Bell and Rogers.
While the quad-core Snapdragon 820 benchmarks slightly better in GPU-intensive 3D games, and slightly slower in CPU tests, it is also known for being slightly less efficient than the Exynos, which could negatively impact overall battery life of the Canadian Note 7. Samsung Canada assured Android Central that users will see little to no difference between a Note 7 running a Snapdragon 820 and a Galaxy S7 edge powered by Exynos.
Some Reddit users decried the decision as being anti-consumer, since the Exynos chip has traditionally been easier to root, in addition to having slightly longer uptime (though rooting has become considerably less important to many Android users over the past few years).
The worst part for U.S. users? They no longer have the option of importing an Exynos-powered flagship from north of the border.