Samsung Galaxy S7: Speedier than iPhone, hotter than Hell (and lower priced)

One of those three statements may be slightly hyperbolic

Samsung Galaxy S7 rumors Qualcomm 820
Credit: Petr Kratochvil (cc0)

Next year’s Samsung Galaxy S7 flagship will be powered by a chip that benchmarks faster than the Apple A9 SoC. But the South Korean phone maker is working hard to ensure heat isn’t an issue.

We’re also told by rumor-mongers that it’ll be 10% less expensive than the current S6. That’s an aggressive pricing move from the market leader, perhaps brought about by the recent leadership reshuffle in Seoul.

In the USA and China, the Samsung Galaxy S7 will get the new Qualcomm 820 system-on-a-chip. And it’ll be clocked at some sort of ludicrous speed, we’re told, equipped with a heat-pipe-based cooling system to stop you burning your fingers. 

That’s instead of the more obvious SoC choice, which would be from Samsung’s own Exynos line. 

That’s odd. Why? Let’s read rumor reportage ’round the world. [You're fired -Ed.]

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers don Lucifer’s asbestos gloves. Not to mention: Puddles and Haley: How awesome are their voices?...

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Developing story: Updated 8:45 am and 2:01 pm and 2:42 am PST with more comment]


Let’s get international! This rumor comes from China, via a blogger in Dubai. Zoheb Ansari, to be exact—Samsung Galaxy S7 scores over 2400 in Single-core with Snapdragon 820:

A reliable Chinese leakster...reported that Samsung will use a high frequency version of the Snapdragon 820 Chip in its Galaxy S7, and...that this version may be exclusively for Samsung.

He reported that Snapdragon 820 with Galaxy S7 scored 2456 in single-core performance, and 5423 in multi-core performance.

The single-core score...is quite close to Apple A9 benchmark, and the multi-core is much better.

Qualcomm is expected to start supplying its high-end chip from January 2016. However, not all the Galaxy S7 users will be able to taste [it], because some regions will get the device with an Exynos 8890.


Wait, “score”? Which actual benchmark is this? Indian blogger Ashish Yadav figures it out, in Samsung Galaxy S7 Sporting Snapdragon 820 Scores 5423 in Multi-Core Geekbench Test:

A new Weibo post from a Chinese leakster suggests that the Snapdragon 820 SoC will be optimised...for lower power consumption and better thermal management. [It] will be running at a higher frequency than the regular variant [so] Samsung will add a heat pipe in the phone to keep a check on the temperature.

The leak also states that a new Geekbench test was performed.

We can’t prove the authenticity of this leak and would suggest you take this news with a pinch of salt.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is rumored to launch on 21st February.


OK, but why would Samsung nix its own Exynos SoC in favor of a Qualcomm? Explaining from the Philippines, Juan Carlos offers Galaxy S7 Snapdragon 820 tipped clocked at max, will need cooling:

Although Samsung has...a winner in Exynos 7420 which powers its latest flagships...there are rumors that...the Galaxy S7 next year...might actually be back to using Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip for some models.

Why would Samsung want to go back to a Snapdragon...after all the work [on] the latest Exynos? [It] might be because...Apple's A9 and A8X are at the top of the CPU performance charts.

In single-core performance, [it] scores 2456, almost comparable to the...A9's 2537. ... But in multi-core, it blows Apple...out of the water with a 5423 grade, versus...4454.

Considering how Samsung has reportedly been helping Qualcomm with its 14nm FinFET process for the Snapdragon 820, [it’s] understandable that it might have a few aces.


And now let’s fill in the blanks. From Qatar, Sina Beigi obliges—A Glance at the Rumored Specs...and More:

The 6013 aluminum which was used to build up the S6 may be replaced by a magnesium alloy in the S7 which will...make it more durable.

Sources are stating that Samsung is more focused in bringing improvements to the hardware of the device rather than it a design overhaul.

The Exynos 8890 is definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with. [But] rumors are suggesting that...different processors will be used [in] different regions...in China and America [it] will come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. ... The rest of the world will get...the Exynos 8890.

The microSD card [slot] was badly missed in the S6. ... The company has reportedly decided to bring this feature back.

[It] might get a major overhaul in the camera department. A 20-megapixel rear camera could be a part of the device along with a large ½ inch sensor.

Speculations are currently hot [that it] will be announced at the Mobile World Congress [and] will finally be launched within the first quarter of the next year.


Meanwhile, you might be wonder how spendy the device will be. This anonymous Indian scribbler channels a Chinese analyst—Samsung Galaxy S7 may cost 10% less than the Galaxy S6:

The South Korean smartphone giant’s next flagship...will reportedly be 10 percent cheaper than the [S6] said analyst Pan Jiutang.

The company recently reported a profit growth for the first time in four quarters. Samsung...still enjoys the lead in the smartphone market. ... A reduction in the pricing of the Galaxy S7 should...gain Samsung a heavy increase in sales.

While the iPhone competes at the flagship level, phones like the OnePlus 2 [and] Honor 7...present flagship level features and specifications, at much more affordable prices.


Update 1: But what about this cooling issue? Alexander Maxham has also been reading Chinese fora—Samsung Engineer talks on Cooling System Rumored for Galaxy S7:

Over on Weibo, a Samsung Engineer decided to explain why they are using a passive cooling system [and] that it doesn’t mean the Snapdragon 820 gets hot.

[He] states that thermal design is an art. He does also state the the operating temperature can affect the chipset’s performance [and that] it means...the manufacturer wants to take that extra precaution to make sure the device stays cool.

After last year’s big redesign, it’s now time for Samsung to refine that design and make it the best smartphone on the market.

Rumors are pointing towards a January announcement. It’s not confirmed...but Samsung have sent out press invites for a press conference...January 5th.


Update 2: Let’s hear from Patrick Moorhead, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. He talked to Matt Hamblen, for Galaxy S7 expected to have faster processor, return of storage slot:

Many people were angry about Samsung removing the SD card in the Galaxy S6, but I believe we will see that come back...with the S7.

It was particularly dumb to remove the slot in the S6 given the emergence of 4K video on smartphones.

[The 820] is not just a classic improvement in the next-generation smartphone feeds and speeds, but a dramatic improvement and Qualcomm talked about doubling the performance per Watt. ... It is really a big deal. ... Competition is good in the mobile chip market because it means increased innovation and lower prices.

[Samsung] need help in connecting the dots between the capabilities of technology and what people want. ... Curved screens, as in the Galaxy S6 Edge, are cool, but didn't solve a user problem. I give them credit for putting in some technology like wireless charging.

They are a very inconsistent [marketing] company that makes Apple look like a very safe choice. ... Apple is very consistent.


Update 3: What of the recent upheaval in Seoul? Here’s Tom Dawson, with Is J.K. Shin’s Stepping Down A Reset for Samsung?:

For many years now, Samsung has been floating atop the smartphone ladder. ... While that crown is still sitting pretty, it’s been wobbling ever-so-slightly for the past few years. ... With the announcement that J.K. Shin is being replaced...it could be time for a genuine change.

His full name is Jong-Kyun Shin and since 2012 he has been the President of Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications Business. Shin was integral to the launch of the Galaxy... smartphone[s] that really propelled Samsung to the top.

The old saying, ‘the harder they fall…’ rang true for Samsung with the launch of the Galaxy S5. ... This saw...a drop in profits...of 60%.

Recently, Samsung announced that J.K. Shin would be stepping down...to be replaced by Dong-Jin Koh. It’s said that Koh was instrumental in...the development of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 line.

Koh could be just what Samsung needs. Which is arguably a look ahead to the future, not more of the same. ... Koh could be the man to help Samsung take risks, hit the reset button and do something brave.

And Finally...

Puddles and Haley: How awesome are their voices?
[don’t miss the bonkers “dance” routine at 2'20]


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