For some reason this was a tightly held spec — but now we know which processors run the Galaxy S7.

Mobile World Congress

After a year of relying on just its own processors on its top-end phones, Samsung is back to using two competing processors, depending on the region, in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, and now we know for certain that those will be the Snapdragon 820 and the Samsung Exynos 8 Octa. The information was finally offered to the public officially in press releases from Samsung and Qualcomm.

As was the case in earlier Galaxy S releases, models released in the U.S. will be running Qualcomm's processor. Elsewhere in the world you're most likely to see the Exynos version, with China and Japan being big exceptions getting Qualcomm chips.

The Exynos 8 Octa processor was announced late last year and is a relatively known quantity. It's the second processor from Samsung built on a 14nm FinFET process, is 64-bit and has the latest integrated LTE modem. Samsung says it's 30 percent more powerful and also 10 percent more power efficient than last year's Exynos 7 in the Galaxy S6.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 is of course the latest top-end mobile chip for the company, and since it was unveiled late last year we've been waiting for this year's flagships to integrate it. It's powering the LG G5, and we'll be seeing it in many other phones throughout 2016. It's a quad-core processor also built on a 14nm FinFET process, and touts dramatic graphical performance increases as well as the latest LTE speeds.

If history has told us anything, we don't expect to see a notable difference in performance or battery life between the variants.

Source: Samsung

Press release:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Processor Powers Next Generation Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge Integrate Qualcomm TruSignal Technology for Improved Call Reliability, Network Coverage and Data Speeds

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., is powering Samsung's newest and most advanced flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge for select regions. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge feature the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor with integrated Snapdragon X12 LTE modem for up to 33 percent faster 4G+ LTE download speeds and up to 200 percent faster LTE upload speeds compared to the previous generation. Additionally, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge integrate Qualcomm® TruSignal™ multi-antenna boost technology to intelligently compensate for signal impediments, improving call reliability, data speeds and call coverage while reducing radio power consumption.

"Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung have a long history of working closely together in redefining mobile experiences and we are pleased to be powering the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge," said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "With integrated 4G+ LTE connectivity, TruSignal multi-antenna boost technology, as well as new immersive multimedia capabilities as supported by the Snapdragon 820 processor, Samsung customers can enjoy truly next-generation mobile experiences."

"Qualcomm Technologies' advanced, diverse technology portfolio provides us with the connectivity and processing solutions to power our latest flagship Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge," said Taemoon Roh, executive vice president and head of mobile hardware, R&D and product strategy team, Samsung. "Our Samsung Galaxy customers can now enjoy the latest in user experiences, including the fastest 4G LTE connections backed by Qualcomm Technologies' leading LTE solutions."

As Qualcomm Technologies' premium flagship mobile processor, the Snapdragon 820 processor has been completely custom designed to power the next generation of premium mobile devices. This is achieved by refining every major IP block to extract the utmost in processing and power efficiency, delivering unprecedented speed, battery life and the following features:

Immersive multimedia experiences are supported by the Qualcomm® Adreno™ 530 GPU for amazing graphics and the new 14-bit Qualcomm Spectra™ image signal processing (ISP) unit that supports DSLR-quality photography and enhanced computer vision for ultra-clear, vivid photos with accurate color. Coupled with the immersive audio capabilities that allow for surround sound from your mobile device, the Snapdragon 820 processor delivers unmatched multimedia experiences in the palm of your hand.

Fast and seamless connectivity virtually anytime, anywhere is enabled by the integrated X12 LTE modem, supporting up to 33 percent faster 4G+ LTE speeds compared to the previous generation so that users experience lightning-fast download speeds (up to 600 Mbps) and superior network coverage. For even faster sharing of photos and videos, the X12 LTE modem provides upload speeds up to 150 Mbps – up to three times as fast as typical LTE devices. The modem uses Qualcomm Technologies' comprehensive suite of TruSignal multi-antenna processing technologies to intelligently compensate for signal impediments such as a hand grip, improving call reliability, data speeds and indoor and outdoor call coverage and reliability without the need to increase transmit power consumption.

Leading overall system performance and power efficiency is delivered via the Snapdragon 820 processor, specifically featuring the Company's first quad-core custom 64-bit Qualcomm® Kryo™ CPU at up to 2.2 GHz per core in the most advanced 14nm FinFET LPP process, as well as a custom Adreno 530 GPU for up to 40% better graphics and compute performance compared to the previous generation and a new custom Qualcomm® Hexagon™ 680 DSP architecture with Hexagon Vector eXtensions and a low power island for always-on sensor processing. These key processing engines have been efficiently integrated to deliver superior processing performance.

The Snapdragon 820 processor is available now and is expected to be shipping in devices in the first half of 2016. More information can be found at For more information about the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, please visit:

About Qualcomm Incorporated

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm's licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm's engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 30 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm's website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.