In short, the most important feature in any smartphone or smart device, in general, is the processor that is inside its body, since it is what makes them work the way they work and with the speed and efficiency with which they do it. Today we are going to make a comparison between three of the best processors that Huawei has, and this is the strong and powerful war between Kirin 820 vs Kirin 810 vs Kirin 980. In this article, we will show some of the characteristics that these two processors provide, and we will tell you which the best choice is.
About release dates, it is obvious that the Kirin 820 has a great advantage. This processor was shown to the world a couple of days ago, on March 30 of this year, thus surprising users. Having said that, and although the Kirin 810 was not presented long ago, it does have time hanging around the market, since it was presented almost a year ago, on June 21, 2019. Lastly, the Kirin 980 was released on August 31, 2018.
First off let us start with the process technology which determines the power consumption and performance of the SoC. Keep in mind the lower the number the better is the performance as well as battery life efficiency. Starting with the Kirin 820, we have the 7nm TSMC process which is also seen in the last year’s high-end Snapdragon 855 and 855+, but instead is N7P, DUV-based like the recent Snapdragon 865.
Next, we have the Kirin 810 who works with the same 7nm TSMC lithography and, lastly, the Kirin 990 uses the process 7nm FF+ TSMC.
It is time to start this great comparison of processors, and we will start talking about the CPUs that are inside. The Kirin 820 uses a tri-cluster layout on the octa-core design with the 1+3+4 core distribution. First, we have one high-performance Cortex A76 core running at 2.36GHz. Then, we have the three mid-performance Cortex A76 cores at 2.2GHz. Last but not least are the four power-efficient Cortex A55 cores running at a maximum frequency of 1.84 GHz.
On the other hand, speaking about the core configuration of the Kirin 810, we have an octa-core configuration with four Cortex A76 cores clocked at 2.27GHz and another set of Cortex A55 cores clocked at 1.88GHz. It also shows it has a dedicated NPU made by Huawei.
That being said, the Kirin 980 is presented with an octa-core configuration in tri-clusters 2 + 2 + 4. There are 2 Cortex A76 cores, which work at a speed of 2.6GHz with one of the latest ARM lithographs; 2 other Cortex A76 cores, this time at a speed of 1.92GHz, are essential for energy-saving or less demanding tasks; and finally, we have 4 Cortex A55 cores at a speed of 1.8GHz which are low-powered
Although these three processors have A76 and A55 cores, the winner will depend on the way in which these are distributed. In this case, the Kirin 980 comes in last place, and all because of the speed at which its upper cores work. Having said that, and guided by these speeds, the 810 comes second, while the 820 is the winner in this category.
Turning to talk about the GPUs that are inside these two powerful processors, in terms of GPU performance, the Kirin 820 features the new 6-core Mali-G57 MP6. The G57 is a mid-end GPU series with the new Valhall architecture. It has 30% better graphical performance, 30% better energy efficiency, and up to 60% performance improvement for ML workloads when compared to the previous generation which is Mali-G52. It is based on a 16 nm process and has a maximum frequency of 850 MHz.
With that said, the Kirin 810 uses a customized Mali-G52 GPU to take advantage of the AI features of the Smartphone in which it is installed. It has also been promised that HD games will always work at a minimum of 60FPS.
Lastly, the Kirin 980 has the Mali-G76 GPU; this GPU is one of the best ones in the market, and improved the performance of graphics execution, with an increase in performance of 46% and an energy efficiency of 178% compared to other generations of chipsets.
We are now going to talk about the Benchmark scores that these three processors have. In AnTuTu, in the first place we have the Kirin 820 who scored a total of an amazing 375,270 points, being followed by the Kirin 980 with 356,918 points and, lastly, we have the Kirin 810, who got a score of 305,540.
Now, talking about AI, in 2019, Kirin 810 topped the AI scoring chart, and looks like Kirin 820 will again top the chart this 2020 for the mid-end because the Da-Vinci AI Engine has received a major improvement. Apart from the one big + two small cores, they have added another big core making it a quad-core design. Due to this, the AI performance is a freaking 73% better over the AI of Kirin 810, which its hidden weapon is the DaVinci NPU based on the Rubik’s Cube Quantitative Stereo Arithmetic Unit.
That being said, the Kirin 980 uses the old NPU (2 x Cambricon).
Regarding the ISP (image signal processor) of the processors, the Kirin 5.0 Image Signal Processing Unit (ISP) in the Kirin 820 supports 4K video recording at 60fps as well as image capture with less noise. On the other hand, the Kirin 810 has its own ISP (Image Signal Processor) to improve the photographic quality result and HiAi 2.0 to improve the voice recording.
Finally, the new dual ISP inside the Kirin 980, its image processor, can take pictures 46% faster, improving energy efficiency by 23%. And the video also improves by reducing delay by 33%, which brings us closer to recording in more real time.
As for connectivity, the Kirin 820 features the same network modem as the Kirin 990 5G which is the Balong 5000 5G Modem. This modem supports both the SA-NSA 5G Mode and Multi-Mode 5G networks.
The Kirin 810 supports dual VoLTE or VoLTE and 4G at the same time. That is, it will allow Huawei to offer mid-range mobiles with dual SIM where the two slots have good connectivity.
That being said, Kirin 980 is the first to support LTE Cat.21, which in turn supports the fastest 1.4Gbps downlink and offers a stable connection in congested areas such as the subway or high-speed trains. With Hi1103, it supports a theoretical maximum download speed of 1.7 Gbps and a bandwidth of 160 MHz, which exceeds 1.7 times the industry level. Also, GPS is backed by industry-leading L1 + L5 dual frequency ultra-precise positioning to further pinpoint your desired location when using map navigation, even in rough terrain.
Finally, to see what is the best option among these processors at the budget level, we have to know the price of the phones they are on. In this category, the Kirin 810 gets the first place, and that’s because it’s the cheapest of them all, being in the Honor Play 4T Pro that has a price of $213 – $241.
The Kirin 820 will most likely be limited to Huawei flagships. The mid-end flagships from Huawei are much cheaper than Samsung, Vivo, OPPO, Sony and other famous manufacturers. Huawei Honor 30S will be the first phone to feature Kirin 820 with a starting price of $462. And lastly, being the most expensive of all three, the Kirin 980 present in the Huawei Mate 20 comes with a price of $646.
Concluding this Kirin 820 vs Kirin 810 vs Kirin 980 comparison, we must say that it depends on the user to select the processor that best suits its needs. That being said, and guided by this comparison, it can be seen that the Kirin 820 is the winner of this great competition, and all thanks to its powerful CPU, the AI technology it has, the fact that it has the prestigious and necessary 5G technology and because it comes with features that provide the cameras of phones great effects, plus having amazing benchmark scores.
In a really close second place we have the Kirin 980, which has great specifications as well as its fast process and an incredible GPU. Finally, in the third place we have the Kirin 810, which in addition to working in a great way, is also in a device with a very low price.