Galaxy S8 with Snapdragon 835 still a bit faster than Exynos-equiped units
For several years now Samsung has produced two variants of the standard model of Galaxy S lineup, one with Samsung's own Exynos SoC (GSM Modem) and the other with a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC (CDMA Modem). This trend continues with the Galaxy S8 where the CDMA variant (e.g. US market) runs the Snapdragon 835, and the GSM model (most other countries) uses the Exynos 8895.
After the Galaxy S7 released in early 2016, benchmarks of the two variants (Exynos 8890 and Snapdragon 820) found that although the CPU score was only slightly in favor of the Snapdragon 820, the GPU found in the Qualcomm chip was significantly stronger than the Samsung chip. Undoubtedly this would have been a frustrating situation for those who had an Exynos SoC and wanted the best mobile gaming performance they could get.
Fast forward to today and Anandtech has performed a detailed benchmark comparison between the Galaxy S8 Exynos 8895 and the Galaxy S8 Snapdragon 835. In the CPU based benchmarks, the two SoCs traded blows for which was faster in each test. However, for those who are frustrated by the small overhead that full disk encryption brings the Exynos 8895 was slightly faster at AES encryption (6.7%).
When running benchmarks that are less focused on testing a component operating at 100% capacity, such as PCMark, they found that Qualcomm's firmware optimizations were able to perform better when simulating more "real world" usage. Memory performance also has an impact on how the phone feels during use; the Snapdragon 835 was able to create a small lead in two key areas of latency and bandwidth.
The GPU dominance that the Snapdragon 820 had shown in the Galaxy S7 has been lost from the Snapdragon 835. For graphics benchmarks, the Exynos 8895 won seven categories, tied one, and only lost four putting it ahead of the Snapdragon 835.
Finally, in battery life, the Exynos 8895 lasts a few minutes longer when browsing on WiFi, but any activities that kick the GPU into life show that the Adreno 540 (Snapdragon) is much more power efficient than the Mali-G71 (Exynos). Battery life under graphics load was slightly over four hours for the former, and a little over three hours for the latter.
It seems that with the Galaxy S8 there is another generation of Samsung flagships where markets with the Exynos SoC will feel like they are missing out a bit. At least this time around it doesn't seem as significant.