Samsung confirms Canadian carriers will sell Exynos 8890-equipped Galaxy S7

Igor Bonifacic

February 23, 2016 1:06pm

Since Samsung announced its latest pair of flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, on Sunday, there’s been some confusion over what version of the two phones Canadians will be able to buy when they go on sale in March.

As a refresher, after deciding not to include Qualcomm’s then latest chip, the Snapdragon 810, in its S6 lineup, Samsung announced this week it will sell two different variants of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

When the phone goes on sale next month, the majority of consumers around the world will be able to buy a S7 or S7 edge that runs on Samsung’s latest Exynos 8890 processor. In the U.S., however, the two phones will come with Qualcomm’s latest SoC, the Snapdragon 820. Samsung’s decision to dual source the processor for its two latest devices is the result in part of the fact that are still several carriers in the U.S. that operate extensive CDMA networks. The company’s Exynos line does not support the standard, whereas Qualcomm’s latest chip does.

While national carriers like Bell continue to operate CDMA networks, they do so for subscribers who are content with their old feature phones, making the CDMA concern a moot point here in Canada. There was reason to believe Samsung may have decided to treat Canada and the U.S. as a single North American market. With the U.S., wireless market being significantly bigger, Samsung could have just shipped its extra Qualcomm stock to Canada in the interest of keeping things simple for itself.

Indeed, when we did a hands-on with the two phones in New York, our writer there was lead to believe Canada would get the Qualcomm variant.

We’ve since asked Samsung Canada to confirm what we were told in New York. In an email statement, a Samsung spokesperson today told us that the Exynos 8890-equipped S7 will be sold in Canada.

Moreover, several of the major national carriers, including, Bell and Telus, has since gone live with their S7 pre-orders, and they list the Exynos 8890 as the included processor in the phones they plan to sell.

In some way, the initial interest in what version of the S7 we’ll get in Canada was mostly academic. Neither processor has made its way to a smartphone that’s available to buy right now, making it impossible to compare and contrast the two chips.

With the S6, though, Samsung’s decision to use only its own processor turned out to be a wise one. The Exynos 7420 outperformed the 810 in benchmarks and real world testing, and suffered none of the overheating issues that came to define the latter processor. We’ll have to wait and see if that trend repeats itself this year, but it’s not unreasonable for Canadians to want the best version of an upcoming device.

  • Skippypaccino

    Yuk!

  • jay

    Worst news of the day/week. Almost bought one but no cyanogenmod no Galaxy. Never liked my galaxy s6 for that.

    • Andy

      Why? The Exynos 8890 is faster than the SD820, per all benchmarks so far. The 820 is the FIRST time Qualcomm is trying 14nm fab technology, while 14nm is a mature technology for Samsung – last year’s 7420 used 14nm, and so we can expect they have optimized it massively since then. Greater reliability, less heat, faster, etc etc.

      Of course, if you mean you can’t use custom mods, well then you are in the 0.01%…99.99% of customers would be happy to get the faster SoC.

    • jellmoo

      Actually it’s exactly the same process. Samsung is doing the manufacturing of the 820 using the same process as they do for the Exynos. It’s a little early to say which chipset will come off as stronger, but initial benchmarks seem to show the expected: Snapdragon wins single core tests, Exynos wins multi core tests.

    • TheRealGovernor

      you sir are wrong the gpu on the 820 performed 32% faster! that is a almost a deal breaker for me.

    • Alexter Kiri

      nope. benchmarkings shows exynos 8890 is few seconds faster than snapdragon 820. plus in real life use, its really noticeable.

    • Alexter Kiri

      hahaha agree, plus why need custom rom with this phone? all specs are top of the line. well maybe his looking for a specs of a laptop on a phone hahaha. not today but maybe someday.

    • Benoit Bourdua

      Same here. I lean on the side of this being a deal breaker for what otherwise looks like a superb phone.

  • Century Gum

    Moot point, not mute point.

    • Igor Bonifacic

      Fixed! Thanks!

    • grantdude

      You mean moo. It’s like a cow’s opinion. It doesn’t matter. It’s moo.

    • Peter

      Yes, I remember the old “Friends” episode; however, the word is still “moot.”

    • Zachary W

      I always say ‘moo’ point, and I’ve only been called out on that once.

  • James

    What’s with all the hate with the Exynos 8890, the S6 runs extreamly well with the Exynos 7420. So well that I bought my mom an S6 AND there has been no lag even after 7 months since I got this phone.

    • southerndinner

      It’s a very small, veryy vocal minority who want to modify their software.

    • Mo Dabbas

      Yes. I agree. The exynos of last year was leaps ahead the Snapdragon. I don’t know why people are sad about it. I think it’s a better choice considering it has high chance to be faster and more efficient than the SD820. Also, I think updates will be dropped a bit faster since it’ll share the global S7 hardware.

    • James

      Neathertheless the S7 will be a huge success and the GP are going to love it

    • Zachary W

      *Nevertheless

    • Erwin_Ign

      I really hope that Samsung will do that. Updates for the S6 Marshmallow is still not out in Canada while it’s been out in Europe. Even if it is a little slower than the Snapdragon, as long as we get speedier updates, that is worthed.

  • Max Fireman

    The exynos7420 in the note 5 and S6 was extremely peppy and useless. I really don’t have any issues with the exynos chip. The snapdragon had heating issues and all that jazz, no thanks.

    • vn33

      “peppy and useless” …
      Can you elaborate on the useless part?
      Useless for what? Genuinely curious

    • Max Fireman

      Hahaha dammit. I meant peppy and useful.

    • vn33

      Ahhh … a world of difference between those two words 🙂

  • lemawe

    The problem is not the fact taht S820 is better than Exy8890 or vice-versa. The problem is Samsung does not relase the sources so the custom rom are few and very buggy, and there is almost no way to have an AOSP rom. I have a S6 edge since june and well I will simply not get another samsung phone with an exynos processor.

    • Peter

      Same here. I modify my phones significantly, and the Exynos does not allow for this without tremendous challenges. I’ll stick with Qualcomm.

    • Mo Dabbas

      Custom roms are buggy by nature.

    • Jim Thibault

      True that is why I hate Samsung ROMs by adding all their useless bloat

    • Nivek King

      For those of us with 2+ year old phones, we have no choice but to go the custom ROM route to get the latest android software.
      My nexus 10 is living proof of this 🙂

    • jay

      I load the xtrestolite and everything was good. I also tried out the note 5 rom and that was cool. There are really nice roms but I like cyanogenmod a lot but they won’t make it for the chip.

  • Malek

    Im not certain but i think the gpu on the s820 is more powerful

    • Brad Fortin

      No real way of telling until people get their hands on both models and run some benchmarks.

    • TheRealGovernor

      Its official, it has a slightly faster cpu but the gpu is 32% faster!

  • John Mcarty

    Do they even have an actual unit of S7 with SD820 to show?
    Looks like they will just go for the same as last year (NO Snapdragon at all)

    • lbwc

      US variants of S7/S7 Edge will use Snapdragon.

  • deltatux

    I think Samsung is trying to use their in house chip where ever possible and since only the US market is stuck with CDMA, they decided to keep the US market and I think the Japanese market as well as the only markets with Qualcomm chips.

    Plus, Samsung was never custom ROM friendly ever since the Galaxy S3 days, so people whining about lack of custom ROM support for Exynos chips in itself is a rather moot point since Samsung discourages people from doing so even on their Qualcomm-powered devices. Most of the people who buy these devices will never root or ROM their devices anyways.

    If you want to root and ROM your device, look elsewhere like OnePlus, Sony, LG and etc.

    • rgl168

      or Nexus

    • Max Fireman

      I’ve rooted every Samsung I’ve had without issues.

  • kingsclear

    I think it’s a dumb move as if a user roams in the US they won’t be able to roam on Verizon or Sprint or any of their MVNOs. Did they think of that?

    • deltatux

      Many smartphone sold in Canada cannot do that anyways as it stands regardless if they are Qualcomm-powered or not. Most people roam on AT&T or T-Mobile’s network.

    • Andy

      I roam extensively in the US, and always get a signal from the nearest GSM provider – AT&T, T-Mobile, etc. Let’s put it this way, I’m not crying because the signal I get is from AT&T, and not from Verizon or Sprint.

    • Erwin_Ign

      All Canadian carriers roam with AT&T or T-Mobile, even Roam Mobility and Know Roaming. Unless you’re planning on buying sims from Verizon or Sprint.

  • SmellyFingr

    Yup, they can keep it!

  • manpreet singh

    what about the edge variant?

    • levoila

      They have the same hardware other than the screen and battery size

  • TheShinraCorp .

    So does that mean I expect some benchmark performance between the Snapdragon vs the Exynos versions of the S7 to see which is better between the two?

  • blzd

    A bit disappointing since all the development will be for the Snapdragon 820 model. It can be useful to flash your own software after a year or 2 when the device stops receiving official updates from the manufacturer.

    With all the issues with security now it’s more useful than ever to keep a device’s system up to date. For instance, any devices still running Kit Kat are vulnerable to exploits that have been made public and fixed in newer versions of the OS.

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  • Luke Perry Glover

    Mother f’er. Seriously? …sigh

  • Nehad Ul Islam

    I just hope they don’t trick us and use a different camera sensor in some models like they did with the s6

    • Erwin_Ign

      I know right, especially for the price in CAD, it is comparable to USD exchange. So we should get same specs. I support Exynos though than Snapdragon in the US and Japan variant but the rest of parts should be premium and not the cost-effective variant.

  • Eric Marciniak

    Wow that sucks

  • Turanga Leela

    The S7 Edge camera is so dope that I wasn’t gonna ruin it with a custom ROM anyway. Yay for Exynos.

    • Xman2014

      Plus if you want to use the Gear VR and Gear VR 360 Camera, you don’t want to root that phone.

    • Gear VR won’t work on rooted phones?

    • Turanga Leela

      Root yes, custom ROM installation no. I still need to make tweaks and use Titanium Backup.

  • Richard Bettridge

    Reports are surfacing that the Exynos is 15% slower for CPU and 32% slower for GPU than the qualcomm. I have one on pre-order, kind of annoyed.

    • TheRealGovernor

      Ikr, I was about to go and order one tomorow.
      To say that I’m disappointed would be an understatement.
      I think I might wait for G5 but I am looking for the best camera phone so I might buy the s7 since I don’t think the G5 will beat it, and times running out to get the Gear VR for free…

    • Erwin_Ign

      I’m on the same boat as you. I’ve contemplated about it but in the end the saying goes, “the best camera you have is the one you bring.” Will it be more power efficient is it is slower?

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