December 15, 2018
Samsung Exynos 9810 Vs. Kirin 970 Vs. Apple A11

Samsung Exynos 9810 Vs. Kirin 970 Vs. Apple A11 Specs Comparison

Every year we get to see the big tech companies compete on the semiconductor side from smartphone industry giants like Samsung, Apple, and  Huawei. In 2018, Samsung has its own Exynos series 9810, Huawei has Kirin 970 and Apple’s A11 Bionic chip. Though all these three processors are powerful enough to give you the full smartphone experience without any lag or hangs, still, we want to know which one is best out of all three and by what margin. So let’s start the comparison of Samsung Exynos 9810 Vs. Kirin 970 Vs. Apple A11.

Samsung Exynos 9810 Vs. Kirin 970 Vs. Apple A11

We know, without a doubt that Apple’s software and hardware optimization will make the best performer against its competition. However, the Samsung and Huawei’s parts are not slow in any way. So how do they compare? Let’s find out!

Apple A11 Vs. Samsung Exynos 9810 Vs. Kirin 970
SoC A11 Bionic Chip

Samsung 9810

Kirin 970

CPU Architecture 64-bit ARMv8 64-bit 64-bit
CPU Cores Hexa-core (2× Monsoon + 4× Mistral) Max up to 2.34 GHz Up to 2.9GHz Quad-core (Custom CPU) +
Up to 1.9GHz Quad-core (Cortex-A55)
4x Cortex-A73 at 2.4GHz
4x Cortex A53 at 1.8GHz
GPU Apple designed 3 core Mali-G72 (MP18) Mali-G72 MP12 at 850MHz
RAM 3 GB of LPDDR4 up to 8 GB LPDDR4x  up to 8 GB 4x LPDDR4
Manufacturing Technology 10 nm FinFET 10nm LPP FinFET 10nm (TSMC FF)
Camera Dual rear camera 12 MP, 7 MP front camera Rear 24MP, Front 24MP,
Dual Camera 16+16MP
Dual 14-bit ISP
front 24 MP
Rear up to 40 MP
Video encoding 4K HDR at 60fps 4K HDR at 60fps 4K HDR at 30fps
Modem Qualcomm X16 or Intel XMM7480 customized, up to 600 Mbps downhill LTE Cat.18 6CA 1.2Gbps (DL) /
Cat.18 2CA 200Mbps (UL)
LTE Cat.18 (5xCA)

Up to 1200 Mbit / s downstream and up to 150 Mbit / s

Display Up to 2436×1125 pixels resolution WQUXGA (3840×2400),
4K UHD (4096×2160)
4K UHD (4096×2160)

If we talk about the benchmark reports, it is undoubtedly the Apple’s A11 which wins the battle followed by the Samsung Exynos 9810 and at last HiSilicon Kirin 970. But price also plays an important role here. You can get a Kirin 970 powered smartphones at just half the cost of the Apple A11 Bionic chip powered device.

Samsung Exynos 9810 is so far the best SoC developed for the Android smartphones. All the three processors are built on the 10 nm FinFET process. Apple’s A11 is a Hexa Core CPU with 2x Monsoon cores clocked at 2.39GHz + 4x Mistral cores for better power efficiency.

The Samsung Exynos 9810 is an octa-core processor is equivalent to the Snapdragon 845 regarding performance and design too. It uses four Exynos M3 cores clocked at 2.9 GHz and four Cortex A-55 cores clocked at 1.9 GHz. On the other hand, the Huawei’s Kirin 970 is also an octa-core processor with a different configuration having 4 x Cortex A-73 clocked at 2.36 GHz and  4 x Cortex A-53 clocked at 1.84 GHz.

If we keep aside the Apple A11 for a moment, you can have an idea that Samsung Exynos 9810 is more potent than the Kirin 970. Moving ahead to the RAM, both Samsung Exynos 9810 and HiSilicon Kirin 970 supports up to 8 GB LP-DDR4X memory, while the Apple A11 supports up to 3 GB of RAM. But Apple iOS has a different story with the RAM. Even with 2 GB of RAM, iOS works smoothly. So we can not compare the amount of RAM in Apple device with the Android one.

Moving ahead, Apple A11 uses Apple made Tri-Core GPU. The Exynos 9810 comes equipped with the Mali-G72 MP18 GPU. While the Kirin 970 packs Mali-G72 MP12 clocked at 850 MHz. Regarding the graphics and animations, Samsung’s Exynos 9810 and Apple A11 gives the neck to neck competition. And the Kirin 970 does not lag much behind them.

All these processors come with dual 14-bit ISP and support dual camera, which is an old trend now. Also, the camera performance depends a lot on the sensors, lens, software, and others. So we can’ compare the processors based on that. The Apple iPhone X with just 12 MP dual rear camera and 7 MP front camera can take way better pictures than most of the Android devices with 20 MP or high MP camera.

Samsung Exynos 9810 and HiSilicon Kirin 970 uses integrated LTE cat 18 modem that delivers download speeds up to 1.2 Gbps and upload speed up to 150 Mbps. But the Apple uses non-integrated Intel XMM7480 modem that provides downhill speeds up to 600 Mbps.

Now, moving to the display and video encoding capability. Samsung Exynos 9810 and Apple A11 bionic chip both support 4K HDR at 60fps while the Kirin 970 again loses here with 4K HDR at 30fps video encoding capability. The Exynos supports up to WQUXGA (3840×2400) and 4K UHD (4096×2160) display. The Kirin also supports 4K UHD (4096×2160) display. But the Apple A11 supports 2436×1125 pixels resolution display. But that much is more than enough for the screens of such size. Even the smartphones with the Exynos 9810 and Kirin 970 does not feature a 4K display.

Overall, these three SoCs are excellent in their category and shares almost the same specs on paper. So, what makes the difference is these three SoCs? It is the approach regarding machine learning and performance tweaking of the CPU and GPU. While Samsung is focusing more on the core performance, HiSilicon is more into the neural processing unit. Also, the Apple A11 Bionic chip includes an enclave dedicated to artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the real points that will make the difference. A lot of tasks like Face ID, Google or Siri Assistant, Animoji all these things requires artificial intelligence. Overall to be the best processor, it is a lot more than just high-speed cores configuration. As we have to conclude, Apple A11 is the best of all but belongs to a different ecosystem, while the Samsung Exynos 9810 and Kirin 970 comes under the same category. It is evident from the benchmarks report and specs, Exynos 9810 is undoubtedly better than the other one.

Disclosure: We are a professional review website that sometimes receive compensation or free units from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

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