Samsung’s decision to ship the Galaxy S23 with a “special” version of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, with higher operating frequencies than competing products, could have unintended consequences.
According to rumors circulated from sources close to the South Korean manufacturer, the Galaxy S23 will be more prone to overheating than other SD 8 Gen 2 phones. Well-managed enough not to degrade the performance achieved in normal use, the “hotter” nature of the Samsung-optimized chipset could pose problems in intensive applications such as Android games.
What is certain is that in the Geekbench catalog, none of the Galaxy S23s tested manage to break the 5000-point threshold in the multi-core test. In contrast, phones shipped by brands like Xiaomi and Vivo, equipped with the “standard” version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, easily achieve scores above 5000 points.
At best, the performance penalty is merely the consequence of unoptimized firmware on the S23 phones, with Samsung expected to correct this before the official launch. But if the rumored information is true, then the performance shortfall could be a consequence for the too-rapid rise in temperatures, with throttling manifesting itself earlier and more aggressively on S23 phones.
A less credible variant would be that Samsung intentionally limits peak performance to ensure that devices do not heat up to an uncomfortable level, with S23s only reaching increased operating frequencies for short durations of time (e.g. when starting apps). Also speculated are potential cost savings, with the Galaxy S23 opting for a less elaborate cooling system, which under certain conditions proves insufficient.
With a launch planned for February 2023, stocks of Galaxy S23 phones are probably already populating Samsung’s warehouses. With no option to change anything else on the hardware side, it only remains to hope that the firmware patches prepared for launch day will balance the performance scales in favor of the South Korean manufacturer.