Following months of testing, Qualcomm has finally made the decision of what is to entail its upcoming flagship Snapdragon chipset.
The new Snapdragon 820 comes in to take the place of the much criticized Snapdragon 810 and with it comes quite a number of capabilities as well as features that will improve your experience with Android devices. One weird aspect of the new processor is that it comes with half the number of cores that its predecessor comes with; nonetheless, you will enjoy a fast and efficient phone experience.
So, what is special about this Snapdragon 820?
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 features a brand new Kryo CPU that the chip maker describes as the first custom-made 64-bit quad-core processor that makes use of the establishment’s Symphony System Manager that spreads control of power and task management across the entire chip.
This quad-core processor, though it has fewer cores than its predecessor, can clock up to 2.2GHz and given the additional features it comes with, the 820 will be much faster and more efficient when compared to the 810.
The inbuilt 64-bit Kryo CPU was designed via a process known as 14nm FinFET, and it also features an all new Hexagon 680 DSP that lets the CPU get rid of any low-power processes to enhance processing. Furthermore, there are “always-on” low power sensors as well as ultra-low power advanced imaging. Based on Qualcomm’s description, it seems as if the main Kryo CPU will offload any low-power task to the 680 DSP so as to make sure its main focus remains on the most demanding tasks that need more power.
To make matters even sweeter as far as graphics and imaging performance is concerned; there is an inbuilt Adreno 530 graphics unit that Qualcomm touts as its best performer ever. This GPU is capable of delivering photorealistic computer-generated graphics as well as an improved performance of up to 40% when compared to the current Adreno 430. There is also an Advanced Spectra Camera ISP that will ensure that the snaps taken using an onboard smartphone snapper are much better.
The Snapdragon 820 chipset also comes with support for Cat 12 LTE that offers a maximum download speed of 600Mbps. To spice things up, Qualcomm has included support for LTE-U, which means it can access LTE networks on unlicensed spectrum. LTE-U comes in as a backup measure to the main LTE network in a bid to provide data connections that are faster and more consistent using frequencies that are similar to Wi-Fi.
Speaking of Wi-Fi, the new Snapdragon 820 supports 802.11ad as well as 802.11ac MU-MIMO, which delivers speeds that are 2-3 times faster than the current Wi-Fi at. Qualcomm went further to include support for Quick Charge 3.0 for faster charging. You will also come across security features such as the Snapdragon Smart Protect that was recently announced by the chipmaker.
Unlike Apple’s A9 that supports the latest Bluetooth 4.2, Qualcomm has included support for Bluetooth 4.1 in the latest processor as well as NFC support.
As of now, there is no official news of the devices that will ship with this new Snapdragon 820. However, rumor has it that Samsung might turn back to this American chip maker for its next iteration of Galaxy S series, but only for specific regions.
Whether this chipset is the one to save the slipping Qualcomm from falling or not is something that can only be determined by time.