We previously compared the Qualcomm SoCs with the new Kirin 985 in the Kirin 985 vs Snapdragon 855 and Kirin 985 vs Snapdragon 855 Plus comparisons. Now it’s time to move to the Samsung SoCs. Let’s start with one of Samsung’s high-performance Exynos 9820. This one-year-old SoC is the ancestor of the new Exynos 9825. So, how does it perform against the upgraded Kirin 985? Let’s find in this Kirin 985 vs Exynos 9820 SoC comparison.
Also Read: Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Kirin 980 vs Exynos 9820 – Overclocked!
3 x Cortex A76 (2.4 GHz)
4 x Cortex A55 (1.84GHz)
Download: 2000 Mbps
Upload: 316 Mbps
Video playback: 8K @30 fps
LPDDR4x support @ 2133 MHz, UFS 2.1
LPDDR4x support @ 2133 MHz, UFS 3.0, UFS 2.1
Kirin 985 was released on April 15, 2020 with the Honor 30 series. The standard variant of the Honor 30 series incorporated this SoC. Moreover, because of the integrated modem introduction in 2020, Kirin 985 also features an integrated 5G modem which is one of the major differences between itself and its older brother.
Exynos 9820 was announced on November 14, 2018, and later officially released in January 2019. It featured the first integrated AI NPU, 8K video capturing, UFS 3.0, and a 12 core Mali-G76 GPU.
Starting the Kirin 985 vs Exynos 9820 comparison with the process, the Kirin 985 features the TSMC’s 7nm LPP FinFET+ process. It’s not N7P based like the Snapdragon 865.
Meanwhile, Exynos 9820 has a slightly older process which is the 8nm LPP FinFET+ made by Samsung.
So, with the process difference, we will see a large difference in terms of performance per watt, as well as power-efficiency per watt. Indeed, the 7nm process of Kirin 985 is better compared to the 8nm process of Exynos 9820.
In terms of CPU configuration, Kirin 985 5G has a tri-cluster design with the octa-core design (1+3+4). The high-performance core is Cortex A76 core running at a speed of 2.58 GHz. There are three Cortex A76 cores at a speed of 2.4GHz clock speed acting as mid-performance clusters. Last but not least, we have four power-efficient Cortex A55 cores at a speed of 1.84GHz for less demanding tasks. Compared to its ancestor, the high core performance has been decreased and the mid-core performance has been increased drastically.
Meanwhile, Exynos 9820 also has a tri-cluster octa-core design. It has 2 x high performance, fully customized M4 cores (Cortex A76) running at 2.73GHz, 2 x mid-performance Cortex A76 running @2.31GHz, and 4 x power-efficient Cortex A55 running @1.95GHz.
As you can see that under high-load, Exynos 9820 will perform better because of two high-end cores that are running at a higher frequency when compared to the single high-end core which is running at a lower frequency. Even the single-core performance will be much higher of Exynos 9820 because of those customized M4 cores. However, in terms of multi-core performance, Kirin 985 will be much better because of 3x mid-end cores with higher frequency.
Another aspect we can look at is the performance over time. Because of higher frequency and an older process, Exynos 9820 might have a good start but over time the performance will drastically decrease. However, Kirin 985 with a lower clock speed, better process, and only one high-end core, will generate lesser heat, save more power and deliver better performance over time. Even the old Kirin 980 was better in terms of CPU performance compared to Exynos 9820.
Moving to the GPU part, Kirin 985 has an octa-core Mali-G77 GPU MP8. The frequency is not revealed at the moment. Though the cores aren’t that much when we compare it to Kirin 980 (Mali-G76 10 cores) and Kirin 990 (Mali-G76 16 cores), still, the updated generation of Mali-G series is much power efficient and yield more power per core. That is why it’s slightly better than Kirin 980’s GPU despite having 2 less cores.
Equipped with Mali-G76 MP12 GPU, the Exynos 9820 delivers one of the ultimate gaming experience. The GPU features wider execution engines with double the number of lanes, resulting in better performance and efficiency for graphics. Of course, this version is above the Mali-G76 MP10 GPU includes in the Kirin 980.
From the benchmarks we can see that the Kirin 980 and Kirin 985 GPU performance isn’t that much different. The gap is small and Kirin 985 leads because of the latest Mali-G77 GPU. However, compared with Exynos 9820, the 8 cores of Kirin 985 do get beaten by the 12 cores of Mali-G76 GPU of Exynos 9820. So, this also states the limit of Mali-G77 vs Mali-G76 that 8 cored Mali G77 can beat 10 core Mali-G76, however, it can’t beat either the 12 cores G76 or the best 16 cores Mali G76 in Kirin 990. Moreover, frequency also plays a role but it is unknown for Kirin 985 at the moment.
Let’s see the AnTuTu benchmark score of Kirin 985 on the Honor 30. With the Honor 30 (8GB + 128GB), Kirin 985 scored 413,621 points, including:
Comparing the result with other famous SoCs, Kirin 985 surpassed Kirin 980 with a lead of about 4%, and a lead of about 10% compared to the Kirin 820, and about 28% higher than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G.
Now, let’s move to the Exynos 9820 AnTuTu Benchmark score. On AnTuTu v8 it scored around 415,028 points with the Samsung Galaxy S10+.
Although, Kirin 985 might be good in UX, MEM, and CPU, but the GPU difference is too much.
Since Kirin adopted the DaVinci AI engine, it’s topping the charts in ai-benchmark.In 2019, it was Kirin 810. In 2020, it is Kirin 990 5G. However, Kirin 985 didn’t perform badly at all. There’s the dual-core NPU (2 big cores) of the famous DaVinci architecture categorizing it in the top 4 of AI-benchmark. ISP 5.0 is the same as the Kirin 990’s ISP. It’s ranked at the third-best AI SoC after the Kirin 990 and Kirin 990 5G phones. It scores around an impressive 73,866 points and 73,679 points on Nova 7 5G and Honor 30.
Speaking about Exynos 9820, the first APU of Samsung in Exynos series can’t really do anything. The Ai score is around 15805 points only. It even gets beaten by Snapdragon 845.
Kirin 985 highlights its integrated single-chip 5G baseband solution without a plug-in. It supports 2G / 3G / 4G / 5G network standard and NSA / SA 5G dual-mode. The theoretical maximum download rate is 1277 Mbps and the upload rate is 173 Mbps. For 4G LTE, it supports Cat.21 with a download speed of 1.4 Gbps and an upload speed of 200 Mbps. Compared to the combination of Snapdragon 865 + Snapdragon X55 it is about 40% and 75% faster, respectively.
It is specially optimized for high-speed scenarios. For example, at a speed of 90 km/hour, the download rate and upload rate can still reach 589 Mbps and 63 Mbps, respectively, which is 31% and 37% faster than the combination of Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon X55. Since the capacity isn’t that much, the energy efficiency of Kirin 985 5G appears to be high. According to the officials, the power consumption under 5G heavy load and light load scenarios are only 504 mA and 291 mA, respectively, and the energy efficiency ratio is about 1.5 times that of Snapdragon 865 + Snapdragon X55.
Meanwhile, Exynos integrates the Shannon 5000 Integrated LTE (Category 20/13) modem. It doesn’t support 5G and has a 4G LTE speed of 2000 Mbps (download) and 316 Mbps (upload) speed. It can support 5G, but by using an external 5G modem.
Comparing the 4G speed, Exynos 9820 has way better download and upload speed. However, Kirin 985 supports 5G networking and has an integrated 5G mode. Moreover, Kirin 985 has a better coverage distance.
Talking about other minor features, Exynos has much better features compared to Kirin 985. This includes the UFS 3.0 storage support, 8k video capturing, and the Penta-camera setup. However, Kirin 985 only supports UFS 2.1, 4k video capturing, and Quad camera setup.
Kirin 985 phones include Honor 30 and Nova 7 5G which are both around $424 (standard variants). Moreover, these are the 5G supported phones. However, for Exynos 9820, it’s also limited to Samsung phones which are most expensive among all smartphone manufacturers. The Samsung Galaxy S10 appears to be the cheapest one with the price of $500+ and the most expensive Exynos 9820 is Galaxy S10 Plus priced at $950. This is the price given after a year of its release.
Since Kirin 985 will be limited to Honor and Huawei phones, and the Kirin 990 used in flagship-level phones, the price of all phones featuring Kirin 985 will be somewhere around $380 to $500. For now the Snapdragon 855 Plus phones, especially the 5G ones aren’t going to be cheaper at all.
Summarizing the whole Kirin 985 vs Exynos 9820 comparison, selecting an SoC depends on the choice of the user. If you want a phone with high graphical performance and you have a choice between these two SoCs, go for Exynos 9820. The gap is enormous that because of the GPU it has better scores in AnTuTu on Geekbench. However, if you are concerned with the price, 5G connectivity, and AI features, go for Kirin 985.
We hope you loved our Kirin 985 vs Exynos 9820 comparison. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!