This Galaxy S21 Ultra speed test between the Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100 might surprise you

Galaxy S21 Ultra Colors
Galaxy S21 Ultra Colors (Image credit: Samsung)

What you need to know

  • The Galaxy S21 Ultra performs a speed test with two different chipsets to see how they perform.
  • Samsung's Exynos 2100 manages a slightly surprising result in the first half of the test.
  • The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888's GPU puts it ahead, but not by much.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphones are about a week out from reaching customers, but despite all that we've learned both at the Galaxy Unpacked event and the plethora of leaks leading up to it, there are still plenty of things we don't know. For example, how do the different chips stack up against each other? Qualcomm and Samsung's latest chips haven't exactly reached the masses yet, so the Galaxy S21 series will showcase how these chips perform and whether or not Samsung has made any notable improvements to its in-house chip.

While benchmarks suggest Qualcomm's chip will perform better, you can't gauge smartphone performance on benchmark numbers alone. So YouTuber SpeedTest G has taken it upon himself to pit one Galaxy S21 Ultra against another to test how the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and Samsung Exynos 2100 perform relative to each other, and the results are a little surprising.

The first half of the test focuses on CPU performance, and the Samsung's chip managed to edge out the Qualcomm processor throughout. Given both have similar architecture and the Exynos has a slightly higher clock speed, this might have been expected.

Things changed when the mixed test came around, which utilizes both CPU and GPU. The Snapdragon 888 powered through a smoke particle test not only quicker but with a higher overall frame rate than the Exynos 2100. It wasn't until the GPU test when things took a hard turn towards Qualcomm. The Galaxy S21 Ultra with the Exynos chip showed major hiccups throughout the first Unity test and slower performance in the Unreal Engine test.

As a result, the Galaxy S21 Ultra with the Qualcomm 888 performed better overall, at least when it came to mixed-use and GPU performance. The Exynos still managed to hold its own in the CPU test, and overall did pretty well when stacked up against the latest and greatest from Qualcomm.

The Galaxy S21 series will be available on January 29th. The U.S. and a select few other regions will get the Qualcomm chip, which is set to power many of this year's best Android phones, while most international versions of the Galaxy S21 will have the Exynos chip.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.