With Qualcomm pretty clearly out of contention for the title of last year’s fastest and most reliable smartphone SoC, due to Snapdragon 810’s highly publicized overheating woes and SD808’s sub-flagship capabilities, you have to figure Samsung and Apple ultimately disputed the crown.
Technically, Nvidia could have posed a threat too, but its otherwise impressive Tegra X1 silicon only saw daylight inside an Android TV set-top box, with the Google Pixel C tablet nowhere to be found on store shelves yet.
As for MediaTek, the budget-first Chinese chip maker remains too small a player for such a big war, so in the end, the Exynos 7420 prevailed, at least as far as the Linley Group is concerned. The “leading supplier of independent technology analysis and strategic consulting in semiconductors” revealed the recipients of its 2015 Analysts’ Choice Awards a while back, but somehow, the news went largely unnoticed.
Apparently, the “combined advantages in power, performance, features, and cost of each device for their target end application and market” are evaluated before proclaiming the winners, with the Exynos 7 Octa being handed over the baton by the Tegra K1, which scored the gold medal for 2014.
In a consolation victory, Qualcomm earned top honors in the mobile chip section, with the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem that will be baked into the Snapdragon 820 processor expected to get the San Diego giant back on track altogether later this year.
Of course, Samsung isn’t going to sit idly by while its arch-rival (and partner) reclaims the crown, cooking up an Exynos 8890 successor for the 7420 that already looks unbelievably fast in pre-release tests.