We asked, you told us: The Galaxy Note 20 Exynos debate is only just beginning

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus face down 2

There are some fierce topics for debate in the smartphone world, but perhaps the hottest right now is if Samsung should ditch Exynos chips from its flagships entirely.

The Korean firm currently uses flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon silicon in its North American devices. For those in Asia and Europe, you’re stuck with Exynos chips. The latter has a reputation of being inferior to its Qualcomm-made alternatives, a view that has only grown worse over the years.

In April, rumors suggested that the Galaxy Note 20 would scratch the Exynos 990 in favor of a beefier, more efficient Exynos 992. It would be a rare performance boost for Samsung’s new Note, which usually inherits the chips fitted to the current Galaxy S line.

Considering this, we wanted to know just how much the likely presence of the current Exynos chipset would affect your potential Galaxy Note 20 buying decision. Here’s what you told us.

Reserve your Galaxy Note 20

Would you buy a Galaxy Note 20 if it had an Exynos 990 chipset?

galaxy note 20 exynos 990 poll results

Full questions are as follows:

  • Yes, a flagship is a flagship
  • Maybe, it depends on benchmarks/reviews
  • No, I prefer Snapdragon-powered devices


Well, this result is surprisingly close. We received more than 2,600 votes on this one, but all three answers are within 300 votes of one another.

Let’s investigate the Exynos-related comments first. Just under 27% of respondents are planning to buy a Galaxy Note 20 even if it uses Samsung’s chipset. More than 700 readers believe that a “flagship is a flagship� regardless of the silicon used.

For these people at least, the quality of the silicon is less important when compared to the other developments made on the device. Rumors have pointed to abundant feature additions, including Wireless Dex, xCloud support for Xbox gamers, and a quicker S-Pen. The Exynos 990 should be plenty powerful for these features.

That said, it’s unlikely we’ll see the return of the headphone jack or a flat display on both the rumored Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. Even a faster chip can’t quite compensate for some omissions.

Skepticism trumps loyalty?

However, a surprising number of users are adopting the wait-and-see approach ahead of the phones’ launch. Just over 35% are considering buying a Galaxy Note 20 even if it has an Exynos version, but their choice will be governed by reviews and benchmarks.

Benchmarks perhaps aren’t the ultimate judge of a phone’s performance, but this does suggest users aren’t turned off by the mere mention of Exynos. Nevertheless, it’s likely that a majority of these users are holding out to see if the Exynos 992 does make an appearance. As we’ve discovered from previous head-to-heads using the Galaxy S20, the Exynos 990 really isn’t up to scratch when pitted against rival silicon from Qualcomm.

Finally, more than a third of respondents said it’s the Exynos chipset that’s holding them back, even if there were a mid-year upgrade. A solid 38% of respondents answered “No, I prefer Snapdragon-powered Samsung devices,� which is a fair answer if performance is paramount.

What’s clear is that Exynos has as much a perception issue as it does with performance. While it’s growing increasingly unlikely that the Galaxy Note 20 will see a revised Exynos chipset, it would be interesting to see if users’ opinions change should future Exynos chips challenge the Snapdragons.

Here’s what you had to say

  • Whatever5000: I wouldn’t want the Note 20 Ultra with the 990 Exynos but the smaller version maybe ok.
  • VJ: Only if Exynos is 25% cheaper at all times than the Snapdragon variant.
  • Rato Ketu: Exynos anything is a downgrade, not an upgrade. Benchmark scores do not tell the whole story. The primary purpose of Exynos is to lower the costs of handsets in certain markets by using an inferior product. That is all.
  • DBS: I don’t give a flying flamingo about benchmarks and artificial scores. The size and lack of a headphone jack are the reason why I won’t buy a Note 20. Not a silly processor disparity that only a niche group of tech nerds care about.
  • sachouba: If I get 15% less battery life, 30% less sustained performance and worse looking photos on the Exynos version compared to the Snapdragon version, then I would be happy with an Exynos version that’s 200€ cheaper than the Snapdragon version. Otherwise, no thanks.
  • Mick J: I wouldn’t mind if it was for sale cheaper than the SD version. Worse performance should mean lower price. But this is Samsung, the new Apple, they’d rather crawl over broken glass than lower the price.
  • Tvtbhd: If I am paying so much money for a flagship phone then I should get the best possible performance that is available, as simple as that.

That’s it for this poll! Thanks to those who voted and commented. If you have any additional thoughts be sure to drop them in the comments below.

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