Samsung Galaxy S21 is expected to be one of the first flagship phones of the year 2021, unless Xiaomi precedes it with its now-announced flagship, the Snapdragon 888-powered Mi 11. As is the norm with all phones today, there are plenty of leaks out in the open, claiming to speculate on what the Galaxy S21 may offer to users. However, a recent Geekbench entry from December 3 has sparked conversations around whether the smartphone may be too “weak”, and might not offer adequate performance for a flagship phone. The reason for such speculation is its benchmark scores, which has squarely fallen in the Geekbench multi-core scores seen from sub-flagship phones this year.
In truth, it’s rather wrong to assume so, and the Galaxy S21 may most likely be as adequate as you’d expect any flagship phone of 2021 to be at performance. It is, after all, expected to continue using the Qualcomm chipset in USA and the new Exynos chipset in remaining markets, both of which should offer 5G connectivity, higher efficiency thanks to a 5nm core architecture, power AI computing and background task power, superior camera abilities, better fast charging and other ancillary abilities, and more. Qualcomm, which has already unveiled the Snapdragon 888, shows exhaustive technical increments in the new flagship SoC in comparison with its previous edition, which suggests that benchmark scores for any phone using the Snapdragon 888 should be comfortably higher than devices running Snapdragon 865.
What may have gone wrong, then?
The most obvious explanation here is that the Galaxy S21 variant that appeared on Geekbench is likely running pre-commercial software. Optimisation of the firmware plays a massive role in defining how well a smartphone can work, and it is regular practice for brands to test devices by running pre-launch software versions. These versions are often not optimised with the hardware inside, and as a result, lead to inadequate performance levels. Given that the Galaxy S21 launch is expectedly at least a month away, it is likely that the device was put through the paces on an internal test software build, which led to such scores being posted on the Geekbench browser.
It would hence be prudent for users to take the benchmark scores with a pinch of salt, and not make pre-emptive decisions based on such initial reports. For all intents and purposes, the Galaxy S21 may just be as adequate a flagship smartphone as you’d expect it to be. If you truly cannot wait for the launch date to find out more, keep an eye on the Geekbench browser for a device named ‘Samsung SM-G991U’ with motherboard codenamed ‘Lahaina’, to see how the benchmark scores improve over time.