Qualcomm announced its next-gen flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 855, at the Snapdragon Tech Summit 2018 in Hawaii. The new chipset will be powering the flagship smartphones in 2019, such as the Galaxy S10 and the OnePlus 7 among others. The new chipset brings a lot of improvements over the existing Snapdragon 845 SoC, and here are seven ways how it will enhance your smartphone experience.
45 percent faster CPU and GPU
Every new chipset sees a performance boost, and the Snapdragon 855 is no different. Qualcomm is claiming that the new Snapdragon 855 delivers up to 45 percent faster performance. It is made on 7nm process, which also helps in offering better efficiency.
Snapdragon 855 comes with a three-cluster design featuring Kryo 485 CPU – you get one prime core Cortex A76 clocked at 2.84GHz, three Cortex A76-based performance cores clocked at 2.42GHz, and four Cortex A55-based efficiency cores clocked at 1.8GHz. Qualcomm also said that the new Adreno 640 GPU offers 20 percent performance improvements over the predecessor.
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Faster Wi-Fi and LTE
Today, most of us end up consuming a lot of mobile data, be it for surfing, streaming videos or playing games, and it makes sense to have faster connectivity solution. The Snapdragon 855 comes with X24 LTE (Cat.20) modem with support for up to 2Gbps speeds.
Even the Wi-Fi modem gets an upgrade. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 855 is the world’s first chipset to feature Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and 60GHz Wi-Fi 802.11ay offering peak speeds up to 10Gbps.
We are all set to embrace 5G connectivity that promises to bring 1 gigabit a second wireless data to our smartphones. Of course, due to a bit of complexity, not every Snapdragon 855 powered smartphone will get 5G connectivity, but we will see some special edition smartphones that will get the next gen connectivity solution.
The Snapdragon 855 SoC can be paired with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 5G modem, and mmWave module to enable 5G. We saw a demo of Moto Z3 with 5G Moto Mod, and it was able to download a 1GB file in less than 18 seconds, which is impressive. Xiaomi is working on a 5G phone, OnePlus has also announced that the next flagship smartphone running on Snapdragon 855 and featuring 5G will be launched in 2019.
Even Samsung is reportedly working to bring a 5G capable Galaxy S10 model. But don’t get too excited, 5G isn’t coming to India anytime soon, and countries like the US, China, South Korea, UK and Australia will be among the first ones to embrace 5G.
4K video recording in portrait-mode
Today, a lot of us click photos and record videos on our smartphones. With dual cameras, portrait mode where the background gets blurred and subject is in focus, became popular. Now, the Snapdragon 855 powered smartphones will also be able to record 4K videos with live portrait mode. This will be an experience similar to what we get on DSLR cameras, smartphones having this capability will be a nice addition, especially for mobile filmmakers.
Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner
With the new edge-to-edge displays, smartphone makers are moving the fingerprint scanners either to the back or the sides. Then there are the likes of Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Huawei that are offering under-display fingerprint scanners on their flagship smartphones.
However, these are optical scanners that are accurate, but not as fast as the physical scanners. Qualcomm announced the 3D Sonic Sensor, a faster and more secure solution for screen unlock. It is designed to fit under the smartphone screen, and will use sound waves that bounce off your skin to offer faster and more secure screen unlocking. Rumors hint that the new tech will be seen in action on the Samsung Galaxy S10, and later many other may adopt it too.
Store more high-quality photos
With iOS 11, Apple introduced HEIF (High-Efficiency Image Format), which not only squeezes the size of your photos by half compared to JPEG, but also maintains the quality. The format will be supported on Snapdragon 855 SoC, and it will offer a number of benefits.
Take an example of the LG V40 that comes with three cameras at the back. While other smartphones only use one or two cameras simultaneously, the V40 uses all three cameras to click the photos. So, in one click, you get a standard, ultra-wide-angle shoot, and 2X zoom shot. But all three files are saved separately, thus increasing the space. With HEIF codec, all the data such as burst photos, HDR, depth map, and computer vision can be saved in one file.
This will help in saving some space on your storage. This will also enable OEMs to implement features such as bokeh, color pop, and more.
AI noise cancellation
Some of us own active-noise canceling headphones, which are very helpful in flights to block the engine noise and listen to music peacefully. Now, imagine a scenario where you are in a crowded place – say in a pub with loud music playing in the background. When you get a call, the recipient cannot hear your voice clearly, but with the new AI feature, you can block out the ambient noise, and the recipient will only be able to hear your voice, with minor background noise. Snapdragon 855 also comes with support for two voice assistants, so you can have both – Google Assistant and Alexa in your phone, with voice wake command working for both keywords.
There are also other areas too where the Snapdragon 855 sees improvements, this comes in the form of AptX Adaptive audio codec for seamless Bluetooth connectivity, support for mobile VR in 8K resolution and 120fps, HDR10+ video playback, to name a few.