Final Thoughts

Today’s preview focused solely on the performance metrics of the new chipset, which only cover a very small subset of the new features that the chip will be bringing to devices next year. A lot of the talking-points of the new SoC such as 5G connectivity, or the new camera and media capabilities, are aspects for which we’ll have to wait on commercial devices.

For what we’ve been able to test today, the Snapdragon 865 seems very solid. The new Cortex-A77 CPU does bring larger IPC improvements to the table, and thanks to the Snapdragon 865’s improved memory subsystem, the chip has been able to showcase healthy performance increases. I did find it odd that the web benchmarks didn’t quite perform as well as I had expected – I don’t know if the new microarchitecture just doesn’t improve these workloads as much, or if it might have been a software issue on the QRD865 phone; we’ll have to wait for commercial devices to have a clearer picture of the situation. System performance of the new chip certainly shouldn’t be disappointing, and even on a conservative baseline configuration, 2020 flagships should see an increase in responsiveness compared to the Snapdragon 855.

AI performance of the new chip is also improved – although our limited benchmark suite here isn’t able to fully expose the hardware improvements that the S865 brings with it. It’s likely that first-party camera applications will be the first real workloads that will be able to showcase the new capabilities of the chip.

On the GPU side, the improvements are also quite solid, but I just have a feeling that the narrative here isn’t quite the same anymore for Qualcomm, as Apple’s the elephant in the room now here as well. During the launch of the chipset the company was quite eager to promote that its sustained performance is better than the competition. While we weren’t able to test this aspect of the Snapdragon 865 on the QRD865 due to time constraints, the simple fact is that the chip’s peak performance remains inferior to Apple’s sustained performance, with the fruit company essentially dominating an area where previously Qualcomm was king. In this regard, I hope Qualcomm is able to catch up in the future, as the differences here are seemingly getting bigger each year.

Overall, the Snapdragon 865 seems like a very well-balanced chip and I have no doubt it’ll serve as a very competitive foundation for 2020 flagships. Qualcomm’s strengths lie in the fact that they’re able to deliver a complete solution with 5G connectivity – we do however hope that in the future the company will be able to offer more solid performance upgrades; the competition out there is getting tough.

GPU Performance & Power


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  • ThreeDee912 - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    I feel you Andrei. I'm sitting here facepalming at these comments. I think a lot of people truly do not understand what SPEC was designed for or how energy efficiency works. Reply
  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    To an average Joe or Jane, SPEC is a worthless basis of comparison.You can tell the sheep his phone has the fastest SoC on the planet and he will prolly believe you.

    If you can show an iPhone can finish a bunch of tasks in half a day and bunch of tasks on Android phone in a whole day then I will believe you that iPhone has twice the performance versus competition. But if you are just showing a nanosecond difference between two phones and thousand difference in benchmark scores then keep your palm on your face. =D
  • s.yu - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    I think Andrei has made it clear enough, perhaps not for you, but then Anandtech is not the site for you. Go visit Engadget or something you'll fit right in. Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Same here. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♂️ Reply
  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    You must have spent thousand of dollars on expensive phones because the SPEC result is higher on those phone? LOL

    You buy them to run SPEC? LOL
  • milli - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    I remember reading an article a couple years ago, where it was mentioned that a couple key BitBoys staff members left the company. The writing has been on the walls for years and recently Adreno architectural development has slowed down to a halt. Reply
  • trivik12 - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    While Apple cores are faster, Android flagships will come shitloads of memory and so when it comes to daily tasks it will still keep in pace. S11+ will supposedly start at 12GB LPDDR5 ram vs 4GB ram for Apple flagships.

    At this point performance is not the issue for these android flagships considering the workloads of mobile phone. I would prefer them to make it more efficient working with Google at OS level. iphone's big advantage is how efficient it is relative to battery size of its phone.Key metrics are web browsing on Wifi and LTE plus video playback(streaming on netflix).
  • NetMage - Friday, December 27, 2019 - link

    iPhone is also efficient at RAM usage - native code versus JIT bytecode gives iOS a 1.5x to 2x less RAM advantage over Android. Reply
  • cha0z_ - Friday, December 27, 2019 - link

    As already said - ios is a lot less RAM hungry and it's efficient. 4GB is quite enough + most android phones with a lot of memory loves to drop apps from there too. Not to mention that you will not notice that speed difference till you try to do something demanding power... and buying a phone for 1k euro just to browse FB is a bad buy decision anyway (for anyone except those who have money to burn ofc).

    But you will notice the efficiency difference. My iphone 11 pro max will last twice and more times the exynos note 9 I got in light workloads. The same iphone will last x3+ times more in heavy workloads while giving smooth and fast performance/gaming in contrary to the note 9.
  • quiksilvr - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    I will wait until they develop later processors with 5G built in. Reply

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