Flagship processor in a top of the line android phone? If the Snapdragon 800 series comes to your mind, you are absolutely correct. Qualcomm has managed to beat every manufacturer in the Android high-end processor equation. Literally every flagship phone in 2018 has a Snapdragon 845 and such is Qualcomm’s goodwill that a phone with a Snapdragon processor is generally considered a plus point.
But to a huge extent they deserve it, Apple’s ARM mobile processors have always been generations ahead from their Android counterparts and Qualcomm has really worked hard to close this gap. There are other vendors like Mediatek, Huawei’s Kirin and Samsung’s Exynos but none of them have been able to dethrone the top end Snapdragon chips in performance. For reference the Snapdragon 845 on average gets a single core score of 2402 and a multi-core score of 8931on GeekBench, the Kirin 970 gets a single core score of 1900 and a multi core score of 6206 on GeekBench
Note: These scores might differ slightly due to the model of the smartphone.
Although it might not be a fair comparison as the Snapdragon 845 is Qualcomm’s flagship chip for 2018 and Kirin 970 for 2017. But this comparison was only for reference.
Snapdragon might lose it’s crown to the upcoming Kirin 980 which was announced recently and it looks amazing. But here we will mostly be looking at the gaming performance of the Kirin 980 chip, which Huawei did show off at the announcement and made direct comparisons to the Snapdragon 845.
Gaming on the Kirin 980
Here the Kirin 980 gets an average of 59.32 fps while the Snapdragon 845 gets an average of 51 fps.
In PUBG the Kirin 980 gets locked at 60 fps but the Snapdragon 845 averages at around 47 fps.
If these tests are verified in independent benchmarks then it will be a huge win for Huawei, the difference here specifically in PUBG is staggering. That’s almost a 20% difference in fps. Not only that, even the average frame rates were better on the Kirin 980, with lower power consumption.
Not only this, Huawei has officially announced the world’s first 7nm mobile processor beating Qualcomm. Huawei Kirin 980 has four Cortex A76 cores distributed in two loads, medium, and high-performance.
This is what powers the graphical performance on the Kirin 980, it’s the new Mali-G76 GPU. You can see the massive increase in efficiency and thats expected due to the shift to new 7nm manufacturing process. The flagship Exynos processors always use flagship Mali GPUs for graphical workloads, so it’s highly probable that the next chips from Samsung will be powered by the new Mali-G76, as even Samsung’s upcoming Exynos will be coming with the 7nm FinFET standard. The Huawei Mate 20 will probably be the first phone with the Kirin 980, which will be launching soon.