I’m here in Hawaii for Qualcomm’s tech summit and if you’ve maybe heard they’ve just announced their successor to the super popular Snapdragon 835, the new 845 and frankly, while it might be hard to get super into a piece of silicon without being able to see what it’ll do in a device, I’m kind of excited about it.
The list of features on this thing are pretty impressive and there are a few standouts that I think we should discuss.
Firstly, and of course, something I’m particularly excited about considering my line of work is the capturing capabilities.
This new chipset will allow devices to handle not just HDR playback like we’ve seen some 835 devices but it’ll allow proper 10-bit HDR capture from the camera. Without getting too technical, basically, this means there’s a lot more data for videos and photos to work with. Instead of just having 8 bits like we’re used to there’s now 10 and that means each color now has a lot more shades that can be shown, this reduces banding in images and makes for a more life-like image. In addition to the color depth, there’s just more colors to work with. Instead of the rec 709 space, we’re used to that has about 16 million colors, this new chip will be able to handle rec 20/20 which has over a billion colors to choose from.
This type of color gamut and depth isn’t even on most cameras costs thousands of dollars and now it’ll be in our phones.
Beyond that, the chipset will also be able to handle 720p at 480fps for crazy slow-motion shots, and they even showed off built-in tech to help handle the creation of cinegraphs–those photos with an animated portion of the shot built in. And, of course, built-in depth-sensing technology for portrait type shots all easily handled by the chipset.
They’re also pushing AR/VR with the chip as well. Some capabilities like handling room-scale untethered tracking so you can have XR experiences with the device handling all of the data to keep an accurate location in the world as well as put AR items accurately around you and it’ll be able to do this at up to 2K per eye at 120fps. Which is better than Oculus Rift and Vive right now. There was real-time hand-tracking without the need for remotes, too and they also showed off a cool feature that the chipset can do that is called Foveation where it’ll be able to do real-time eye tracking and sharpen footage where ever you are looking, like how your real eye works, and be able to free up resources by lessening things you aren’t because, you know, you can only focus on one thing at a time anyway so why not?
On the connectivity front, faster gigabitLTE with their new X20 modem that’s on the chipset, as well as 802.11ad multi-gigabit Wifi support, and Bluetooth 5.0 direct connections to each device without a gateway. Think of this in terms of the device sending a stream of audio to each wireless earbud separately instead of what it does now by sending one to one earbud and it then sending it to the other (the thing at least partially to blame for wireless earbuds being so bulky and unreliable).
There’s also the usual boosts in performance with Qualcomm claiming 30% more performance with a 30% reduction in power consumption thanks in big part to a system cache they’ve implemented. They listed sometimes including 4 hours of 4K HDR capture, 3 hours of VR playback, and 2 days of UltraHD audio calls. On top of that, it’ll support Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 and get a device from 0-50% in 15 mins.
Now, there was a lot more including a super secure processing unit, the usual talks of AI processing (with Qualcomm being quick to point out that this is their third generation AI chipset by the way) and a ton more but I figured these were the big highlights that I got kinda excited about. Now, of course, OEMs need to make the devices and decide whether they’ll be able to use all of these features but it’s still super impressive to me to see how quickly the mobile world of tech is progressing and I, for one, can’t wait for this new generation of devices to start shipping.
Let me know what you guys think below!