A14 Bionic vs Snapdragon 888
The latest times have been very busy for smartphone producers as there have been many new devices launched this year. Despite the new entries on the smartphone market, the two well-known rivals are still fighting each other. Samsung and Apple have been making significant progress in matters of smartphone technology while trying to become the best in business. In order to create a better device, producers must lean their attention towards the small components that form the base of their product. One of the most components is the chipset used. So let’s see which one performs better between Samsung and Apple.

Snapdragon 888 vs. A14 Bionic: An in-depth Comparison

The new Snapdragon 888 chipset is about to be released on the market by the famous company Qualcomm. On the other side of the road, the A14 Bionic processor is a serious competitor for the newly launched Qualcomm chipset. The race is tight so that is why we have chosen to make an objective and well-researched comparison between the two adversaries.

This article will compare Snapdragon 888 against A14 Bionic, focusing on the following aspects:

  • General Specifications
  • CPU
  • GPU
  • ISP
  • AI and ML
  • Modem and Wireless Technologies

At the end of the article, you will find a conclusion that will help you determine the final answer to the long-discussed question: Is Snapdragon 888 better than A14 Bionic?

Compare Snapdragon 888 vs. A14 Bionic

Let’s begin with a general overview of the two chipsets so that you will get a better understanding of their technological background. The previous version of the Snapdragon 865 chipset was not able to overcome the amazing technology used by Apple A13 Bionic. Thanks to the rapid development of the New Technology department from Qualcomm, Snapdragon became a more serious competitor this year. But those are just assumptions based on the overall progress claimed by Qualcomm. An actual conclusion can only be drawn based on real numbers. So let’s move to the in-depth comparison of the two chipsets.

General Specifications

What we should analyze first and foremost are the official numbers claimed by the two chipset producers. To make things even easier for you, we have prepared a table that gathers all the relevant data related to Snapdragon 888 and A14 Bionic. We suggest spending a fair amount of time checking out the numbers to get a preliminary opinion on the general capabilities of the two chipsets. Please note that the overall performance of the Snapdragon 888 and A14 Bionic may vary depending on the task performed. This is why, besides analyzing official data issued by the producing company, you should always look into more detailed comparisons. In the following sections, you will find in-depth information about how two chipsets perform compared to their previous generations and what each of them lacks.

  Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Apple A14 Bionic
CPU Octa-core Kryo 680 Hexa-core
CPU Cores 1x Cortex X1 (2.84 GHz)

3x Cortex A78 (2.4 GHz)

4x Cortex A55 (1.8 GHz)

2x Firestorm (3 GHz)

4x Icestorm (1.8 GHz)

Process Technology 5 nm (Samsung) 5 nm (TSMC)
GPU Adreno 660 Apple Quad-core
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning AI Accelerator (6th generation)

Hexagon 780 DSP

16-core Neural Engine
Image Signal Processor Spectra 580 Apple Image Signal Processor
Camera 200 MP

28 MP triple camera

Zero Shutter Lag

3x 14-bit ISPs

 

Unspecified

Video 8K (30 fps)

4K HDR Dolby (60 fps)

720p (960 fps)

 

4K HDR Dolby (60 fps)

Charging Quick Charge 5 (> 100 W) Fast Charge
Modem Qualcomm X60 5G Modem

Peak Download 7.5 Gbps

Peak Upload 3 Gbps

Qualcomm X55 5G Modem

Peak Download 7.5 Gbps

Peak Upload 3 Gbps

WiFi 6E-ready 6-ready
Bluetooth 5.2 5.0

Now that you got a general idea of the number associated with the two chipsets let’s jump in and make an in-depth comparison of Snapdragon 888 and A14 Bionic.

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 features a very different CPU compared to the previous versions (Snapdragon 865 and older). The overall architecture has been significantly enhanced by the Qualcomm team and is now based on an Octa-core Kryo 680. This CPU works on the 5 nm process node from Samsung. The eight cores include a well-known ARM Cortex X1, being one of the most powerful central processing units on the market. It was originally designed to compete with the high-end Apple chips. It is the primary core of the Snapdragon 888 and is clocked by default at a value of 2.84 GHz.

Besides Cortex 1, Snapdragon 888 also features 3 Cortex A78 clocked at 2.4 GHz plus 4 less-performant Cortex A55 cores. You might be wondering why are the A55 cores labeled as low-performance cores. Well, during the last three years there have been no updates to this core type. Also, in terms of power efficiency, it is not a serious competitor for the 2020 chipsets.

A14 Bionic VS Snapdragon 888
A14 Bionic VS Snapdragon 888

Apple A14 Bionic is also based on a 5nm process node, but this time it is designed by TSMC. The architecture of this chipset is similar to A13, maintaining the Hexa-core tendency. The two Firestorm cores are clocked at 3 GHz each. What is more, the four Icestorm cores are excellent in terms of power-efficiency and are clocked at 1.8 GHz each. We can see a tendency of power-efficiency improvement in the Apple approach to creating new central processing units. On the other hand, Snapdragon 888 focuses more on coming up with new and more performant CPUs rather than making the existent ones more efficient.
A14 Bionic VS Snapdragon 888 Bench Score
Benchmark Scores A14 Bionic VS Snapdragon 888

Apple A14 Bionic is 25% faster than Snapdragon 888.

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)

Snapdragon 888 comes with the newly-launched Adreno 660 graphics processing unit. Considering the data published by the producing company, it experiences up to 35% increased speed compared to the previous Snapdragon processor. Besides the enhanced rapidness, it also comes with a 20% increased power-efficiency compared to the same old chipset. This way you can now enjoy amazing gaming sessions thanks to the significantly higher refresh rates available. It is now compatible with 144 Hz displays. What is more, it includes quite interesting additional features, such as the new VRS capability (Variable Rate Shading) and the advanced  HDR Gaming function.

A14 Bionic features a four-core graphics processing unit that has been greatly improved. According to the company’s claiming, its efficiency has improved by over 20% compared to the previous version. Although the Apple chipset has developed a lot in terms of GPU, company officials said that the general tendency is to maintain the increased development rhythm. The graphic processing units’ capabilities are assessed using the Geekbench algorithm. It shows up that the score obtained by A14 is considerably higher compared to the one obtained by the previous industry-leader A12Z. What is more, A14 is obviously better than the immediately previous generation of A13.

Apple A14 Bionic GPU is considered to be one year ahead of Snapdragon 888.

ISP (Image Signal Processor)

Snapdragon 888 has amazing premises when it comes to Image Signal Processors. It is clear to everyone that Qualcomm literally excels in the ISP field. Experts say that they have skipped an entire generation when they have released Spectra 580 ISP. This processor enjoys a 35% increased processing speed compared to the previous version.  It is one of the reasons why the new Snapdragon 888 is able to capture an amazing 2700 MP in one second. And it does so without cracking its circuits. An impressive number of 3 photos can be captured in only a few milliseconds. Also, a burst containing 120 different frames can now be taken in only 1 second. Thanks to the enhanced image stabilization you can now take well-focused photos while on the move with your Android phone.

A14 Bionic does not have much previously-published information regarding its image signal processor. The producers said that it is able to capture enhanced details and amazing textures without having to worry about image noises and blurs. However, we should keep in mind that iPhone devices are simply amazing when it comes to recording video files. Yet, Android smartphones now take a big leap toward improved video quality.

Snapdragon 888 has way better ISP than A14 Bionic.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

More and more people nowadays talk about how AI (artificial intelligence) is about to overtake most of the time-consuming jobs we have to perform. This is why smartphone producers have to put a great emphasis on making their devices capable of learning user’s habits and making automated decisions.

Snapdragon 888 can be described using many adjectives when it comes to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities. Yet, a number is definitory: 26. This chipset is capable of processing 26 trillion operations each second without having to break a sweat. Also, it features the sixth generation of A.I. accelerator combined with a Hexagon 780 DSP.

A14 Bionic is only able to complete 16 trillion operations each second and that says a lot about its capability of making A.I. evolve. Hopefully, Apple will spend a greater amount of time improving their devices’ Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capacity.

Snapdragon 888 is clearly 2-3 years ahead of A14 bionic.

Modem and Wireless Technologies

Connectivity is one of the most important aspects of today’s’ world. Therefore, all the industrial segments have to lean their focus toward modem connections and wireless technologies. Apple and Qualcomm are, without any doubt, some of the companies that understood this futuristic need.

Snapdragon 888 features an integrated 5G-compatible modem entitled X60 that is already attached to the SoC. In terms of peak speed, we see an obvious improvement. The peak download went up to 7.5 Gbps while the peak upload got up to 3 Gbps. When it comes to WiFi connectivity, this chipset supports 6E (up to 6 GHz wireless). Last but not least, it includes a Bluetooth 5.2 adapter that also comes with NavIC compatibility. The housing of the modem and wireless technology is integrated into the SoC. This way, the battery efficiency is enhanced and the overall cost of production is diminished.

A14 Bionic is one of the Apple chipsets that have switched to Qualcomm technology. It is equipped with an X55 modem produced by Qualcomm that allows the new iPhone 12 to use 5G networks without draining the battery. Also, the preinstalled WiFi adapter is the amazing WiFi 6. What is more, Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility allows you to connect your Apple device to other Bluetooth-compatible devices. In terms of download and upload speed, A14 performs similarly to Snapdragon 888.

iPhone 12 teardown reveals Qualcomm X55 5G modem and 2,815 mAh battery
iPhone 12 teardown reveals Qualcomm X55 5G modem and 2,815 mAh battery

Snapdragon 888 enjoys improved modem and wireless technology compared to A14 Bionic.

Conclusion: Which one is better

To put it in a nutshell, there is no clear winner between Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and Apple A14 Bionic. Each of them has both advantages and disadvantages. It worths mentioning that there have been great improvements compared to the previous generation of chipsets.

Qualcomm stepped up its game on CPU architecture but still has to find a better way of making its cores more power-efficient. This is a field where Apple has always performed excellent services. Their Hexa-core design beats most of the chipsets available on the market at the current time.

However, when it comes to connectivity (through modem or wireless) Qualcomm shows its strengths. The new and enhanced WiFi 6E system is now able to provide you stable and rapid wireless connection. What is more, having the improved Bluetooth 5.2 protocol you can now count on your Android smartphone when connecting to a compatible device, such as a car kit or a smart home adapter.

Looking on the perspective, the following year looks like a productive one for the companies that produce smartphones and their associates. Both Qualcomm and Apple invest an important segment of their money into finding new and revolutionary technologies. Moreover, the competition is very acerbic in the smartphone selling market. That is why all the producers have to keep their devices at the highest levels and find ways to overtake their competitors.

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