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The more powerful Galaxy S10 still won’t be as fast as an iPhone

Published Jan 16th, 2019 9:49AM EST
Galaxy S10 Plus vs. iPhone XR
Image: Samsung

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A few days ago, a benchmark for the cheapest Galaxy S10 that Samsung is about to launch revealed incredibly disappointing scores for a phone that should have the same processor as all the other Galaxy S10 models. Those numbers were nowhere near what we expect from Snapdragon 855-powered devices. They were also nowhere near Apple’s 2018 iPhones scores, including the iPhone XR, which is the phone the Galaxy S10 Lite will compete against. We now have a brand new benchmark discovery that delivers scores for the most expensive 4G Galaxy S10 version, the Plus. While they’re much better than what we saw from the Lite version, these new benchmarks still suggest that the Snapdragon 855 isn’t nearly as fast as the A12 Bionic that powers Apple’s latest iPhones.

Found on Geekbench, the benchmark for the Samsung SM-G975U model reveals scores of 3413 and 10256 for single- and multi-core tests, respectively. That’s very much in line with similar results posted for the Snapdragon 855 chip, and Qualcomm’s newest flagship mobile platform does power this Galaxy S10+ version.

Image source: Geekbench

The listing reveals that the phone will have 6GB of RAM, which is somewhat unexpected for this particular Galaxy S10 version. Like before, however, we’ll remind you that any benchmark tests released before a phone is launched do not tell the full story. We may be looking at a prototype, or it’s possible that entry-level Galaxy S10+ models will have 6GB while more expensive models ship with 8GB of RAM.

Rumors do say that the best Galaxy S10 version this year will be a 5G variant expected to hit Korean carriers in late March. That phone will have at least 10GB of RAM to work with and may perform even better in real-life tests than the 4G models. However, that 5G Galaxy S10 won’t be available in all the markets where Galaxy S phones are usually sold.

Since we did mention the iPhone XR before, we’ll remind you that all of Apple’s 2018 phones run the same powerful A12 Bionic chip as Apple’s pricier iPhones, which means they all offer roughly the same performance. The iPhone XR’s only “disadvantage” compared with the XS models is that it has 3GB of RAM instead of 4GB. That said, its Geekbench 4 scores are well over the Snapdragon 855, at more than 4700 in single-core and over 11200 in multi-core tests.

In other words, Qualcomm’s newest chips won’t be as fast as Apple’s, and it’s likely that real-life speed tests will tell the same story. But more memory and software optimizations could help Samsung deliver a Galaxy S10 phone that will feel almost as fast as the newest iPhones. If Samsung doesn’t make the most of the Snapdragon 855, we already know a company that will.

Speaking of Samsung’s flagship hardware for the year, you should also know that not all of Galaxy S10 versions will have Snapdragon chips inside. Some of them will run on Samsung’s newest mobile processor, but the Exynos 9820 likely won’t be any faster than the Snapdragon 855.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.