The Snapdragon 820 is expected to bring improved performance while addressing the issues of its predecessor, the Snapdragon 810. While the processor will power the next-gen smartphones, it’s not expected until early next year.
A high-end processor designed for next year’s flagship smartphones, it brings in new features such as increased performance, better battery life, cooler performance and better low-light photography. It is also VR ready to offer immersive experience.
- Improved CPU and GPU: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 will feature a quad-core processor with 64-bit Kyro cores, with clock speed of up to 2.2GHz. According to Qualcomm, the CPU offers twice the performance compared to Snapdragon 810. Also, the Adreno 530 GPU is said to be 40 percent faster while consuming 40 percent less power than the Adreno 430 on Snapdragon 810 processor. There is also a new Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP, which brings significant improvements to overall performance and battery life.
- Zeroth cognitive computing: With Zeroth, the chipmaker is aiming to build processors that can simulate the working on human brain, thus improving the way present mobile processors work. It will learn from user’s actions in knowing what you are about to do next and offer recommendations based on that. The Zeroth intelligence will gradually scale across platforms such as wearables and automobiles.
- Faster connectivity (Wi-Fi and LTE): The Snapdragon 820 SoC packs X12 LTE modem that supports Cat.12 LTE downloads (tri-carrier aggregation with maximum peak speed of 600Mbps) and Cat.13 uploads (two-carrier aggregation with peak speed of 150Mbps). While these speeds will depend how much your service provider offers, Snapdragon 820 can be future proof for the next couple of years of so. In terms of Wi-Fi, the chipset supports 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac and 802.11ad, which was earlier known as ‘WiGig.’ With spectrum support of 60GHz, it supports high-speed transfer rate of up to 4.6Gbps on short range.
- Display and camera support: While Snapdragon isn’t the first processor to support 4K resolution displays, the company has made some under the hood improvements to improve clarity and reduce any noticeable lag. In terms of camera, Qualcomm has added the new Spectra Image Signal Processor (ISP) and support for up to 25-megapixel sensors through 14-bit dual-ISP. It also supports zero shutter lag. The chip maker has also made some improvements to low light photography, claiming to remove noise from low light photos while increasing details.
- VR ready: Virtual Reality has been the latest buzz with Samsung’s Gear VR headset and the Oculus Rift among others. Combined with 4K screen, powerful Adreno GPU and Kyro CPU, the components of Snapdragon 820 are designed to offer immersive VR experience. It can also render high-res 3D-environemnt in real-time.
- Better support for fingerprint scanners: Besides the added layer of security, the fingerprint scanners are also relatively convenient and easy to use. While the current scanners may not accurately work for someone with slightly sweaty hands, Qualcomm has made some changes to the latest processor. Together with the new SenseID sensor that will be launched along with Snapdragon 820, it can take advantage of ultrasonics to accurately scan the fingerprint. It will also allow manufacturers to place the sensor any where underneath the metal chassis or within the capacitive buttons.
- Cooler performance and longer battery life: While Snapdragon 810 was popular for overheating issues and battery drain, the Snapdragon 820 processor is said to come with significant improvements to its thermal efficiency. The new SoC is also said to be 30 percent more efficient than its predecessor. With thermal improvements, the processor will run cooler and also make the battery last a little longer. The Snapdragon 820 processor also includes QuickCharge 3.0 technology that can charge the battery four times faster than the conventional charging technology.
- Smart Protect for real-time malware protection: With the risk from malware and vulnerabilities increasing, Qualcomm has added a new feature called Smart Protect to combat these issues. It’s an on-device machine learning function that will look for any kind of abnormal behavior and warn users about the same. This can be anything from an app trying to send an SMS without interaction or take a photo when the screen is off. This feature will only work with Android smartphones and on select devices. Qualcomm will offer manufacturers with API’s and reference interface for those who would want to integrate this feature.