Samsung Galaxy S21 leaked benchmark is the TERRIBLE news we didn't want to see

Uh oh, this was not how it was supposed to go with the Samsung Galaxy S21, no not at all...

Samsung Galaxy S21
(Image credit: Ice Universe)

As T3 reported on the other day, competition for the Samsung Galaxy S21 in 2021 is really hotting up, with the OnePlus 9 Pro 5G already looking like a rapid and powerful Android phone titan.

And, as reported by GSMArena, if a new leaked benchmark for the phone proves to be accurate, then it sure looks like the Samsung Galaxy S21 is going to lose the best Android phone for most people throne that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G currently occupies.

That's because a new Geekbench 5 score has appeared on the famous phone benchmarking site that has the rumored specs and codename slated for the Samsung Galaxy S21 – and they are underwhelming to say the least.

The device, which is entitled SM-G991U, posted a single-core score of 1,075 and a multi-core score of 1,302. In comparison, the already released Apple iPhone 12 posts scores of 1,585 and 4,676 respectively.

The multi-core score of the SM-G991U is actually even lower than the OnePlus 8 Pro, too, which was released six months ago.

Samsung Galaxy S21

(Image credit: GSMArena)

Clearly, then, if these benchmark scores are for the Samsung Galaxy S21, and respected phone website GSMArena says they are, then it looks like at least on paper users will not be getting a big leap forward in flagship power and performance.

Now, as T3 has said numerous times in the past, benchmark scores are definitely not the be all and end all of judging a mobile phone, with real-world usage and performance far more important. Optimisation also plays a huge part in a finished phone's benchmark scores, too.

However, if this is the performance delivered by, as GSMArena note, a Galaxy S21 equipped with 8GB of RAM and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 chipset, then not only questions of how much the phone is optimised right now rise to the fore, but also questions on just how the Snapdragon 888 is going to stand up to Apple A14 Bionic, as well as last year's flagship Android processor, the Snapdragon 865.

After all, if that is the best return from the Galaxy S21 with a flagship new processor and strong allotment of RAM, it looks like other Android makers like OnePlus, as well as Apple, who already has a marked lead thanks to its super rapid A14 Bionic chipset, could pull away dramatically from Samsung in terms of raw performance.

Here at T3 we've been really, really excited for Samsung's new S21 range, and were recently bowled over by its leaked new design (see below video for our best look yet), so we're praying that these benchmark numbers aren't accurate or come from a phone that still has a lot of Android 11 optimisation ahead of it.

Robert Jones

Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology, toys (specifically Lego and board games), smart home and more for over 15 years. As the editor of PC Gamer, and former Deputy Editor for, you can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket his two favourites.