Every year, a new flagship Snapdragon processor is released with improvements to the previous and new features as well.
The story isn’t different this year (2018) and just this week, Qualcomm was at the Hawaii Tech Summit this week to unveil the new Snapdragon 845 processor that will succeed the highly successful Snapdragon 835 that powers lots of high-end phones released this year. Numerically, the jump from 835 to 845 seems quite small, but the story is not really the same when it comes to improvements and new features.
In this article, we’ll highlight the top 5 biggest changes the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor brings to the fold in comparison to the outgoing Snapdragon 835. Read on!
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is faster – not the usual “processor speed” faster
As pointed out, every year brings a new Snapdragon 800 series processor that is always faster and more powerful than the previous. However, Qualcomm has shifted its focus more on other aspects of the chipset and not just the speed of the CPU, for instance, the GPU and the trending AI.
Similar to Huawei’s Kirin 970, the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor also boasts AI capabilities and to ensure that the technology works perfectly, the American chipmaker says the Snapdragon 845 promises 3x the performance for AI tasks as compared to the 835. There’s also a new Adreno 630 GPU that the company says is 30% faster and 30% more energy efficient.
Of course, there’re also some improvements to the raw power of the CPU, where the new Kryo 385 performance cores are now 25% faster whereas the power-efficient cores are 15% better than the 835 processor. What this means is that with the Snapdragon 845, you can be sure of getting a few more hours of battery life or higher clock speeds, depending on the smartphone OEMs.
Better photos and videos
We all know how important the camera has become on any smartphone. Today, most smartphone reviews are 75% about the camera and it’s all because people want good photos and videos to share on social media. To ensure this happens, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is getting a massive upgrade, especially on the video aspect of cameras.
The Snapdragon 845 comes with hardware-accelerated support for UHD premium capture (a 4K HDR standard) at an impressive 60 frames per second. In short, you will be able to record some slow-motion 4K videos. In fact, the 845 should allow users to capture 16MP stills at 60fps, but the camera hardware must also support this. If you feel like going a little slower, the 845 will still be at your service with 720p videos at a super slow 480 frames per second.
There’s also hardware-accelerated image stabilization that will step up low-light performance of Snapdragon 845-powered smartphones. The processor is also good enough to support single-lens portrait modes, which can be attributed to the native AI capabilities.
Superior wireless connectivity
Wireless connections are getting better with the Snapdragon 845, where the SoC is expected to provide 20% higher peak and average LTE speeds thanks to the new X20 modem that can manage speeds of up to 1.2Gbps. The chipmaker also says Wi-Fi performance is now much better than before, especially when in crowded networks.
The chipset also comes with a TrueWireless Bluetooth 5 system that will allow smartphone users to beam audio to multiple speakers at once, thus leading to a massive 50% improvement in battery life. Unfortunately, not so many headsets are equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, but of course, it won’t be for long.
According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 845 comes with a new Secure Processing Unit that works as an independent unit for handling personal information. The unit has its own microprocessor, cryptographic decoder, memory, random number generator and its power is also isolated from the rest of the SoC. What this basically means is that the Secure Processing Unit will remain untouched in the event that the phone is compromised, thus leaving your personal info safe.
Since VR went mainstream, each year comes with its own improvements and usually, the chipsets are behind these changes. The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is no different, where VR fans can now expect more flexibility thanks to improved processing power and graphics performance. The 845 comes with support for Room-Scale VR where users will be able to move around virtual boundaries that emulate real-life rooms instead of moving and looking around randomly.
With the new Adreno 630 GPU, VR graphics will now look much better thanks to the chipset’s Adreno foveation and support for eye-tracking that make it possible for the VR headset to render details based on where your eyes are looking. VR fans will also be able to perform gestures without a controller thanks to the included support for hand tracking.