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Why the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 will be the only phones that matter this year

February 23rd, 2017 at 11:09 PM
Galaxy S8 Processor Specs

We’re about to see a variety of Android device makers introduce their best new smartphones models at MWC 2017, but many of these devices will have a huge disadvantage when it comes to competing against the best of the best. According to current rumors, some of the top Android devices that are about to be unveiled will not be powered by flagship 2017 mobile processors.

The Galaxy S8 (April) and the iPhone 8 (September) will feature chips that aren’t just faster than their predecessors, but are also a lot more efficient. While Apple never announces its silicon innovations ahead of the products they’re supposed to power, Samsung does it with some regularity. Right on schedule, the company just unveiled the mobile chip that’ll be found inside the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

Just as expected, Samsung unveiled the Exynos 9 chips well ahead of the Galaxy S8’s arrival. Specifically, we’re looking at the Exynos 9 Series 8895 processor.

The Exynos 8895 is Samsung’s first chip built on 10-nanometer FinFET process technology. The 8895 is an octa-core chip featuring four Samsung second-gen custom cores meant to improve performance and power efficiency and four Corex-A53 cores. The new chip consumes 40% less power than 14nm equivalents, featuring up to 27% higher performance.

The Exynos 8895 is the first Samsung chip to embed a gigabit LTE modem that supports download speeds of up to 1Gbps (Cat 16.) with 5CA (carrier aggregation) and upload speeds of up to 150Mbps (Cat. 13), with 2CA.

The chip supports video recording and playback at a maximum resolution of 4K at 120fps, and is supposed to deliver “video processing technology that enables a higher quality experience by enhancing the image quality.” Samsung insists on the Exynos 8895’s “realistic and immersive VR video experience at 4K resolution,” seemingly indicating what the Galaxy S8 might be good at.

The company notes that the chip will support multi-format codec and next-level 3D graphics performance thanks to the integration of the brand new Mali-G71 GPU.

The chip has a separate CPU that handles security solutions for mobile payments that use iris or fingerprint authentication, and an embedded Vision Processing Unit (VPU) that can deliver “improved video tracking, panoramic image processing, and machine vision technology.”

The Exynos 8895 won’t be the only chip powering the Galaxy S8. The Samsung-manufactured Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 is also a 10nm chip capable of similar feats, a chip that should power various other Android smartphones later this year.

Even if Apple never announces its A-series chips ahead of new iPhone launches, it’s also likely that Apple’s upcoming A11 chip, which TSMC is building on the same 10nm process, will offer similar performance gains.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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