I'm cautiously optimistic about an Exynos-powered Galaxy S24

Back view of Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus on white background
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

I was excited when Samsung announced last year that it would use Snapdragon chipsets globally with the Galaxy S23 series. I predominantly used the manufacturer's Exynos-powered flagships for the better part of a decade, and they were distinctly underwhelming — it wasn't until I started using the Snapdragon variants that I realized just how much of a gulf there was between the two.


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In Hardwired, AC Senior Editor Harish Jonnalagadda delves into all things relating to hardware, including phones, storage servers, and networking.

Samsung's LSI division sunk billions of dollars into its in-house Exynos program, and it tried a lot of different strategies over the years. It introduced custom Mongoose cores to deliver much better single-core performance than the equivalent Snapdragon chipsets, but these chipsets had a tendency to run hot, so Samsung ultimately had to aggressively throttle the designs to ensure they don't overheat in daily use.

In recent years, Exynos chipsets switched to using off-the-shelf Arm cores, and that made a difference — at least in terms of performance. But battery life issues remained, and this was the case with the Galaxy S22 series as well, where the Qualcomm-powered models lasted noticeably longer.

In that context, it made sense that Samsung chose to use Snapdragon chipsets globally with the Galaxy S23 series. But for 2024, Exynos is set to make a comeback, with the latest leaks pointing to the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus using the Exynos 2400 in select global markets. This was bound to be the case; Samsung invested too many resources into its Exynos unit for it to fall to the wayside, and the in-house chipsets were always going to return to the Galaxy S line.

That said, things may be different this time. The Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus are said to feature the Exynos 2400 platform, and the chipset has a lot going for it. It offers a sizeable 70% performance uptick in CPU workloads over the two-year-old Exynos 2200 and sees the introduction of the Xclipse 940 GPU, which is based on AMD's RDNA3 architecture.

Samsung Exynos 2400

(Image credit: Samsung)

Like just about every other mobile chipset, the Exynos 2400 has plenty of AI potential, using a new neural engine that is 14.7 times faster than the one on the Exynos 2200 — which is a good thing, as it looks like Samsung is leaning heavily on AI with the Galaxy S24 series. Leaked benchmarks show the Exynos 2400 closing the gulf to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, but that's not what I'm interested in.

With the Exynos-powered Galaxy S24, I just want to see two things: better battery life and no overheating issues. These two problems plagued Exynos versions of Galaxy S flagships, and if Samsung is serious about using the Exynos 2400 in the S24 and S24+, it absolutely needs to make sure the chipset doesn't have any thermal management issues.

I have already tested several phones with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, and it is much more energy-efficient than last year's 8 Gen 2 — the Exynos 2400 somehow needs to measure up to this standard. Samsung LSI had a two-year window to fine-tune the design of the Exynos 2400, and it needs to deliver the same battery figures as the Qualcomm model this year. 

That said, we'll have to wait and see if Samsung actually decides to go the dual-sourcing route and introduce Exynos-based models. An interesting point could be pricing, with another leak stating that the Exynos models could be more affordable than the Snapdragon versions — that could be a big enough differentiator. 

As someone who has used all the Exynos flagships over the last six years, I'm eager to see if Samsung is finally able to deliver a chipset that can measure up to Qualcomm.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • fuzzylumpkin
    I am not really even cautiously optimistic to be honest, even if the Exynos 2400 is good Samsung has shown consistency issues. The 2100 was actually not a bad chip, not as good as the competing Snapdragon, but it was definitely good enough... although I definitely don't think the Ultra phones should have a "good enough" SoC in them. but the 2200 was a well documented shirt show. I personally wouldn't even consider an Exynos device until they've had a few consistent years of very good performance.

    That said, I agree with you that if they reduce the pricing, that is a very big if, then the rumoured models for us Rest of Worlders make a lot of sense. Get a nice experience with a nice price with the Exynos S24 and S24+ and then if you really want to spend more and blow the doors off, you can get the Snapdragon S24 Ultra. The problem is I've got no faith that they will do this, I fully expect to see the UK S24 being more money than the superior US version.