HiSilicon Kirin 990 vs Snapdragon 855 Plus, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Kirin 990
HiSilicon Kirin 990 vs Snapdragon 855 Plus

HiSilicon Kirin 990 vs Snapdragon 855 Plus

Huawei officially launched its latest high-end mobile SoC Kirin 990 in IFA 2019. It is the latest and strongest chipset of the Kirin 900 series. Before it, Kirin 980 was the strongest chipset of Kirin 900 series which was launched in 2018. Now the Kirin 990 has come with many major improvements over Kirin 980. We don’t need to compare it with Kirin 980 because we have already done it in the past posts. Here we are to compare HiSilicon Kirin 990 vs Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset.

The Snapdragon 855 also has an overclocked variant which calls Snapdragon 855 Plus. It has only a little bit of improvement in the CPU as well as the GPU while other features of both chipsets are the same. So we are comparing the Kirin 990 with Snapdragon 855 Plus. By comparing these chipsets we will try to find out that which one is a better chipset between Kirin 990 and Snapdragon 855 Plus. If you have any doubts regarding these chipsets then read this comparison completely. Let’s start knowing about them by starting the comparison.

ProcessorHiSilicon Kirin 990Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus
CPU2 x Cortex-A76@2.86GHz
2 x Cortex-A76@2.36GHz
4 x Cortex-A55@1.95GHz
1 x Cortex-A76@2.96GHz
3 x Cortex-A76@2.42GHz
4 x Cortex-A55@1.80GHz
GPU16 Core ARM Mali-G76Adreno 640@700MHz
Manufacturing Process7nm EUV+ (TSMC)7nm
CameraDual - up to 40MP + 24MP
Single - Up to 64MP
Dual - Up to 20MP@30fps with MFNR and ZSL
Single - Up to 48MP@30fps with MFNR and ZSL
Single - Up to 192MP without with MFNR and ZSL
RAMLPDDR4X@2133MHz16Bit, Quad Channel LPDDR4X Up to 16GB@2133MHz
StorageUFS 3.0UFS 2.1 and UFS 3.0
DisplayDetails not availableUp to 4K UHD
AIQuad-Core NPU based on Da Vinci architectureQualcomm Hexagon 690 Processor
Modem5GSnapdragon X24 LTE
Download - 2.55Gbps
Upload - 1.28Gbps
Download - 1.4Gbps
Upload - 200Mbps
Download - 2Gbps
Upload - 316Mbps

Kirin 990 vs Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU and GPU


First of all compare their CPUs, here both Kirin 990 and Snapdragon 855 Plus have an octa-core CPU based on 64-bit architecture. Speaking of Kirin 990 then its CPU cores are divided into three groups. The first group calls a big core group that includes 2 ARM Cortex-A76 big cores clocked at 2.86GHz while the second group calls the middle core group which also houses the same 2 Cortex-A76 big cores with a different speed which is 2.36GHz. At the same time, the third group calls little core group which has 4 Cortex-A55 little cores running at up to 1.95GHz clock speed.

While on the other side, Snapdragon 855 Plus also has a 64-bit octa-core CPU named Kryo 485 CPU that has two groups of its cores – high-performance cores group and the high-efficiency cores group. Its high-performance group also divides its cores into two groups. The first group features 1 ARM Cortex-A76 Gold Cores clocked at 2.96GHz while the second group includes 3 Cortex-A76 Gold Cores clocked at 2.42GHz. The high-efficiency cores group houses 4 Cortex-A55 Silver Cores operating at up to 1.80GHz clock speed.

Here Kirin 990 has a better clock speed of the little cores while one big cores have better clock speed in Snapdragon 855 Plus. So in terms of CPU performance, the Snapdragon 855 Plus is a better chipset than Kirin 990 because the combination of all cores delivers a better CPU performance than Kirin 990.



Now let’s compare their GPU department, here the newer Kirin 990 ships with ARM Mali-G76 GPU which has 16 Cores. While on the other side, Snapdragon 855 Plus features the Adreno 640 GPU with a minimum clock speed of 250MHz and a maximum clock speed of 700MHz.

Here the GPU of Kirin 990 is coupled with the Kirin Gaming+ 2.0 technology which helps it to deliver a better experience in gaming and other graphical tasks. In addition to it, it also has improvements in its GPU. So in terms of GPU, the Kirin 990 is a better chipset than Snapdragon 855 Plus.

Manufacturing Process

Now compare the manufacturing process of both chipsets. Here Snapdragon 855 Plus works on the 7nm manufacturing process while Kirin 990 is built using the 7nm EUV+ (TSMC) which is an upgrade over the process technology of Snapdragon 855 Plus. Having a better manufacturing process the Kirin 990 will consume less power than Snapdragon 855 Plus and it is a more powerful and power-efficient chipset than Snapdragon 855 Plus.

Artificial Intelligence

To perform all AI tasks, Snapdragon 855 Plus brings the company’s Hexagon 690 Processor coupled with Hexagon Tensor Accelerator, Hexagon Voice Assistant, Hexagon Vector eXtensions, and Qualcomm All-Ways Aware technology. With a combination of these features, it delivers a decent AI performance at the flagship level.

While on the other side, Kirin 990 brings huge improvements over Kirin 980 in the case of AI. It features a quad-core NPU based on Da Vinci architecture which is the first time in an SoC. Before it, the company offered Da Vinci architecture in the Kirin 810 chipset which overtakes the Snapdragon 855 and the Helio P90 in terms of AI. The NPU enables low power efficiency, better photography on this SoC. The NPU’s big cores work for AI-demanding tasks and the little cores work for not as intensive AI computation. The overall AI performance of Kirin 990 is much better than the AI performance of Snapdragon 855 Plus.

So in terms of AI, HiSilicon Kirin 990 is a much better chipset than Snapdragon 855 Plus. There is no any chipset available in competition Kirin 990 in terms of AI.

Kirin 990 vs Snapdragon 855 Plus Camera, RAM and Storage


Here Snapdragon 855 Plus features computer vision Spectra 380 image signal processor which is a 14 bit dual ISP. Using this ISP, Snapdragon 855 Plus supports a dual camera up to 20MP with MFNR and ZSL at 30fps, single camera up to 48MP with MFNR and ZSL at 30fps and up to 192MP single camera without MFNR and ZSL.

While on the other side, Kirin 990 brings improvements in this part also. It features a 5th Gen. ISP that offers a 15% better power efficiency, 30% better Image Noice Reduction, and 20% better Video Noice Reduction. It also has a feature of DSLR which is BM3D (Block Matching and 3D Filtering) which offers DSLR-level Image Noice Reduction to the smartphone. It is the first time on any smartphone. In terms of camera support, it has support for a single camera up to 64MP and up to 40MP + 24MP dual camera sensors.

RAM and Storage

Here Kirin 990 has support for LPDDR4X RAM clocked at 2133MHz while storage type of UFS 3.0. The size of its supported RAM is unknown.
On the other side, Snapdragon 855 Plus supports Octa-Channel 16 Bit LPDDR4x RAM up to 16GB operating at up to 2133MHz and storage types of UFS 2.1 and UFS 3.0.


Here the details of the display section of Kirin 990 are unavailable while Snapdragon 855 Plus supports up to 4K Ultra HD HDR10+ displays.

Connectivity Features

Connectivity-wise Kirin 990 has an integrated 5G Modem while in Snapdragon 855 Plus, you have to use an external modem to use the 5G network. For the 4G network, Snapdragon 855 Plus has a Snapdragon X24 LTE modem that delivers a maximum downloading speed of 2Gbps using LTE Cat.20 and an uploading speed of 316Mbps using LTE Cat.13. For fast charging, it has support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ technology.

At the same time, Kirin 990 can provide a maximum downloading speed of 2.55Gbps and an uploading speed of 1.28Gbps on a 5G network while on the 4G network it can capture a maximum downloading speed of 1.4Gbps using LTE Cat.21 and an uploading speed of up to 200Mbps using LTE Cat.18. While other connectivity features like WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio, etc. are the same in both chipsets.

Conclusion :-

As you seen in the comparison, the Kirin 990 brings many major improvements over its predecessor Kirin 980 and its competitors. It has improved CPU, GPU, AI, ISP compared to Snapdragon 855 Plus. In overall comparison it is a clear winner over Snapdragon 855 Plus. It will power Huawei flagship Mate and P series as well as affordable flagships of Honor. The devices powered with this chipset will available from next year.

Read also :-

HiSilicon Kirin 990 vs Exynos 980 Chipset Comparison

HiSilicon Kirin 990 Top Features Explained


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here