Qualcomm Snapdragon 855: Why You Should Be Excited

So we were just in Hawaii for Qualcomm’s annual Snapdragon summit. And you’ve probably already heard by now, but they launched their new flagship chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. Now considering Qualcomm’s flagship chipset is what basically powers all of next year’s flagship Android devices, we got to see some things here that are a really good indication of what is going to be available in next year’s flagships. And I have to admit, I think we all walked away a little excited.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is a 4th Gen AI Engine

So whether you know this or not, Qualcomm has actually been making AI engines in the last three of their chipsets. This is actually their fourth generation of doing some type of AI engine. This year though we have three times the AI performance which brings it to greater than seven trillion operations per second. We also have a nice power increase because of the new Tensor accelerators, we’ve got more Vector accelerators, all these things used for all of that AI math. And when you can move things to those accelerators, it stops the CPU and the GPU from having to need to handle all of that, which just means more efficiency.

4K HDR10+, Video Portrait Mode, and More

Cameras. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 has the world’s first computer vision ISP. This lets you capture cinema grade video and photos with over one billion shades of color. Now I love shooting portrait images on my smartphone just as much as the next person. This is where you have the blurry background, with the bokeh effect. And the 855 takes portrait mode to a whole new level with real-time object classification and tracking with depth sensing at 60 frames a second, which enables the world’s first portrait mode in video with 4K HDR capture. The 855 is also the world’s first mobile platform that supports HDR10+ capture. And it’s also 30% more power efficient compared to last year, meaning you can capture better quality video for longer. The 855 now also supports H-E-I-F, High Efficiency Image File Format. This not only gives you up to 50% smaller file sizes but also stores additional information, such as a depth map, burst images and video, all within the same file container.

Snapdragon Elite Gaming

Mobile gaming is bigger than ever and the Snapdragon 855 processor takes things to the next level. Bringing true HDR gaming, with elite gaming powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset. What that means is you’re getting Volcom 1.1 support, physical base rendering and support for optics adapted. What that means is that you get higher than CD audio quality playing at a lower frequency. So you’re getting clean audio, great gaming, and combining all that with the power of the 855 processor, you can’t go wrong.

5G Ready

For me, it’s really all about connectivity. I’ve spent all year proving Qualcomm’s superiority in keeping your phone always connected. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 along with the Snapdragon X50 modem will be the first most complete and multi-gigabit 5G mobile platform. I’m talking both sub-6 and mmWave on a phone, along with two gigabit LTE. We’re talking about 802.11ay Wi-Fi and even Wi-Fi six capabilities. It’s the first with 7X carrier aggregation. Qualcomm even went as far as to create it’s own 14 nanometer RF chip to enable OEMs to make all of this possible on a device. This killer combo is seriously the best solution out there, way ahead of its time.

Largest CPU Performance Bump in a Snapdragon Ever

And of course, there’s been some performance enhancements. So as we mentioned we have 3X the AI performance uplift over the Snapdragon 845, and they’re claiming a 2X AI performance uplift over their competitors. Now, we also have a 45% improvement in the Kryo CPU performance, which is the biggest leap in Snapdragon history. We have an Adreno 640 GPU that delivers up to 20% faster graphics rendering, all with less power consumption.

First Ever 3D Sonic Sensor

And lastly, Qualcomm showed us their new 3D Sonic Sensor, which is the world’s first ultrasonic sensor. Now what that means is it actually uses sound in the same way that like sonar works to map the ridges within your fingerprint. Now that means that it can sit under a thicker piece of glass, it’s much more secure than your optical solutions that we’re used to seeing, et cetera.

And there you go, some of the new standout features from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. Again, this is a really good indication of what features I think we’re going to see next year in all the top flagship Android phones because that’s just the way that works. I for one am excited about the camera features. That, bokeh in video, I want to see how well that works when it’s real. They also had a phone there that they were showing off some of that HDR footage, using an unnamed new sensor for the camera and it looked good. Like none of us believed that the thing was from a phone. So, that’s got me really excited. And of course performance enhancements. Battery life, please more of that, always forever.

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