Kirin vs SnapDragon | Which one is the better pick?

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Just the other day I was discussing a topic related to the PC processors with a friend of mine. Especially, the Intel’s i5, i7, i9’s and the AMD ones. Moving topic by topic we landed on the argument for smartphones and their specific chipsets. Being geeky on these topics we started comparing the ones in the market. After a long discussion, we arrived at the rare comparison between Kirin and Snapdragon. There has been questioning where everyone would like the comparison between Kirin and Snapdragon. So we thought to put an article to have a quick overview of Kirin and Snapdragon.

What is a SOC?

Before we start and dive deep into the comparison. Let’s first understand what a chipset or SoC is in a nutshell.

It’s a single chip, which performs lots of different functions, a SoC or called as a System-on-a-Chip. These chips which power our smartphones are more than just a traditional CPU, like what we have on a basic computer system. It’s a CPU plus a GPU plus a memory controller plus a DSP. Grouped up with a radio for GSM, 3G, and 4G LTE comms. Lastly, you will find discrete bits of silicon for the GPS, USB, NFC, Bluetooth and for the camera.

There is currently some handful of leading Soc’s from the brands namely – Exynos, Mediatek, Kirin, and Snapdragon.

Kirin VS Snapdragon | kirin processor

The Comparison

Note that here we are taking Snapdragon 625 and Kirin 655 for the conclusion and documentation purposes. The 625 is based on the 14nm processor and 655 on 16nm. Smaller the no. is better the battery life and efficiency will be, hence the 625 will lead to a better battery life (slightly better) than the device with 655. Also, the 625 has Adreno 506 GPU which has more GFlops than the mali t830 GPU in the 655. This makes the GPU on 625 better.

Now, the number of cores remain same here i.e 8, although the clock speed varies. Yet both will perform almost the same in day to day usage with a noticeable difference in heavy graphics demanding tasks with 655 slowing down a bit.

Talking about the flagship SOCs’, Qualcomm and HiSilicon (Kirin SOC’s) both manufactures powerful processors with 835 being the flagship from Qualcomm and Kirin 960 from HiSilicon. Both perform extremely well and the GPU on both are beastly powerful, however, 835 is based on the 10nm process whereas the 960 is based on the 16nm.

(So, the efficiency is better with 835 than the 960.)

Overall, the Snapdragon SOCs’ are better when compared between Kirin and Snapdragon. (without taking anything else like manufacturing costs etc into account). Just only when compared fairly with 600 and 800 series we can spot a clear winner here. However, Huawei’s devices are well optimized and their SOC’s are not so far behind. Both the manufacturers are coming up with new SoC’s from time to time to up their game.

Kirin VS Snapdragon | Snapdragon processor

Which is better?

In the face-off between the Kirin and the Snapdragon SoC’s, the Snapdragon SoC’s is definitely ahead of Kirin SoC’s. The primary reason as discussed already, i.e the GPU equipped is being Adreno which is of Qualcomm. Also, it has a higher number of GFlops and has better processing capacity. Thereby making heavy tasks and intensive gaming like a breeze on those devices. So big games like PUBG, Asphalt, Vainglory and other heavy games will run like a butter on a hot knife. Especially killing the very hdr plus option in the graphics settings yet to come in future updates.

The Final Verdict!

OK so as far as smartphone SoCs’ go, I would say the SnapDragon still rules the League (excluding Apple’s A11 bionic chip here in the above-compared series) as their Adreno graphics solution is way up and superior.

So snapdragon is a more powerful chip and their flagship 845 is one of the best for the smartphones as of now in 2k18.

However Kirin is Huawei’s SoC so obviously, it is more optimized for their phones including the honor lineup and their Mali GPU gives a good fight in benchmarks with Adreno. Power consumption is a mixed bag and takes a few numbers for being the same. The best thing about Huawei’s Kirin processor is that it houses the performance and is light on the budget too as well. That is why their honor lineup is preferred by many customers due to the cost-effective devices they produce.

Talking about the thermals, it looks better for the Kirin chip. Huawei makes great smartphones each year and it is as good as the other one it owns. However, Qualcomm seems to have included a visual processing feature for their flagship chips, which seemingly increases a phone’s DxOmark score (pixel 2). But honor smartphones also have one of the craziest camera setups out there (like the P20). Not mention the Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro which scored a whopping 116 in Dxo Camera benchmark. The Google Pixel 3 on the other hand scores 107 which is same as the Huawei’s Mate 20 released earlier last month.

That’s all we have for now on the discussion between Kirin and Snapdragon. If you guys need a more comprehensive test on the Snapdragon vs Kirin comparison, please let us know in the comments. We will bring out the head to head comparison of the Kirin and SnapDragon processor here at with a video tutorial too on our YouTube Channel.

A jack of all trades who has a keen interest in technological developments and also a part-time creative human. Loves to read, write and discover the new.

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