Samsung Galaxy S9+ Review: Performance

By 09:54 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments


Synthetic benchmarks

The Galaxy S9+ comes in two versions as far as the chipset is concerned, but it's not like you're going to be able to pick and choose - the US and China acquire the Snapdragon 845 variant, while the rest of the world will have its S9s running on an Exynos chip.


The Exynos 9810 chipset (10nm FinFET) has a recent octa-core processor packing four custom third-generation Mongoose cores clocked at 2.7Giga Hertz (GHz) and four Cortex-A55 ones at 1.8GHz. The GPU is an 18-core Mali-G72.

The Exynos chip comes with a recent LTE modem with support for 6CA (carrier aggregation) for download and maximum downlink of 1.2Gbps (Cat.18). The uplink supports 2CA and a speed of 200Mbps (Cat.18).

Finally, Samsung's recent silicon (much like last year's, actually) has the oomph to process 4K video capture and playback at 120fps, but those won't be premiering on the S9 becautilize the Snapdragon 845 can't handle them. Not that we've heard of production-grade smartphone sensors that could.

The Snapdragon 845 chip (10nm LPP) introduces a recent octa-core processor with recent Kryo 385 cores. The high-performance array of Kryo 385 Grecent cores is clocked at 2.7Giga Hertz (GHz) and the architecture derives from Cortex-A75. The power-efficient array of Kryo 385 Silver cores works at 1.7Giga Hertz (GHz) and its architecture is based on Cortex-A55.

There is also a recent Adreno 630 GPU, 30% more powerful than the Adreno 540 inside the Snapdragon 835. elegant Qualcomm also has a recent modem - the X20 with 5CA and LTE Cat.18 downlink of 1.2Gbps. The uplink is inferior to Samsung's model with 2CA but LTE Cat.13 support for 150Mbps speeds. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the Snapdragon is also inferior to the Samsung's with a support for 4K at 60fps video encoding and decoding (again, hardly relevant).

We were curious to see how the third generation custom Mongoose core stacks against other processors, so we start with some Geekbenching. Well, Samsung's recent core is definitely trying to catch up with the latest Monsoon by Apple and is the first one to come close. It doubles the performance of the second-gen Mongoose inside the Galaxy S8 and has a 50% advantage over the top of the line Kryo inside the recent Snapdragon 845 (Xperia XZ2). So, as far as Android devices are concerned, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ in Exynos trim have the best Central Processing Units (CPUs) for single-core operations.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    4256

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    4232

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    3771

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    3759

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    2454

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    1987

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    1986

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    1974

  • HTC U11+ (EU)

    1952

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    1924

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    1915

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    1902

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    1862

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    1832

Running multi-core benchmarks, Apple is still the king, but this doesn't really matter in the Android world. Obviously, Samsung's recent processor is a mighty beast and the best among the whole flagship gang. It outperforms the recent Exynos chip by 30% and even beats Qualcomm's current best - the Snapdragon 845, represented here by the Xperia XZ2.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    10215

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    10037

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    8883

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    8830

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    8466

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    6784

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    6783

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    6759

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    6754

  • HTC U11+ (EU)

    6740

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    6590

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    6428

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    6301

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    6234

The 18-core Mali-G72 is in charge of the graphics department for most of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ units srecent around the world. We don't have the Snapdragon 845 unit of Samsung's flagship, but we did have the Xperia XZ2 in our office with elegant Qualcomm chip, so we can draw some conclusions from there.

The offclassy screen tests in GFXBench show the raw power of the GPUs, and at least in the 3.1 Manhattan test the Galaxy S9+ edges ahead of the iPhone X. The Xpera xZ2 is the winner in this test, and its score is possibly indicative of what users can expect from their Galaxy S9s in North America and China.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    55

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    47

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    46

  • Apple iPhone X

    44

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    43

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    42

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    42

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    42

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    40

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    39

  • HTC U11+ (EU)

    39

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    38

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    37

The phones with lower classy screen resolution would have an edge over the Quad HD Galaxy S9+ in terms of framerates and that's obvious from the onclassy screen test. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro, OnePlus 5T, Xperia XZ2 and even the iPhone X - they all have 1080p or similar resolution compared to the 1440p classy screen on the Galaxy S9.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    51

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    51

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    37

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    35

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    32

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    24

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    24

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    23

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    23

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    21

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    20

  • HTC U11+ (EU)

    20

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    18

Baseimprint ES 3.1/Metal is another stress test we like to run, and here it's the Galaxy S9+ that's ahead of the Xperia XZ2. The iPhones still remain out of reach at the top.

Baseimprint ES 3.1 / Metal

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    1854

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    1644

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    1481

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    1456

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    1268

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    1183

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    1176

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

    1111

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    875

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    874

  • HTC U11+ (EU)

    851

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    829

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SD 835)

    817

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

    739

A crowd favorite, Antutu tries to summarize overall performance in a single number. We're still catching up with retesting all the phones we have available with the benchmark's 7th version, but we'll acquire there. In the meantime, the S9 and S9+ are a few percent behind the Xperia XZ2, but substantially ahead of last year's flagships.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    259244

  • Samsung Galaxy S9

    250156

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    246660

  • OnePlus 5T (Oreo)

    207072

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    203119

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    201065

One of the most predictable updates was the recent Exynos chip, which delivers the 30% promised boost. The recent custom processor is really powerful and shows a promising future for the in-houtilize Central Processing Units (CPU) development. Meanwhile the Galaxy S9 and S9+'s GPU isn't the most powerful one on the market, bested by Qualcomm's latest, but it is the next best thing and still a beast.

As far as real-life experience is concerned - the Galaxy S9 is among the fastest phones on the planet today. But did anyone expect otherwise? No matter if it's the Exynos or the Snapdragon model, nobody would feel any incompatibility in the years to come.

Much like its small brother, the Galaxy S9+ keeps its body cool most of the time, and it can apply some minor throttling if needed - but we could notice this only in the scores of the most intensive benchmarks and after a few consecutive runs. So, as far as temperature goes - you won't experience heated spots over the Galaxy S9+.


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