Performance and battery consumption have both been improved with the most recent Snapdragon processor.
The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 has been unveiled by Qualcomm, so huge Android phones in the second part of the year should expect a performance jump. Qualcomm’s next system-on-chip, the Snapdragon 820, replaces the Snapdragon 821, which was released in 2016.
Just how well the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 performs in some of the top Android phones will be known soon enough. By the end of the month, Qualcomm expects its latest top-of-the-line silicon to arrive, and new devices to be released within a few weeks.
There are a number of smartphone manufacturers who have committed to using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, although Qualcomm did not name any specific models. Today’s introduction of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 coincides with the debut of some big Android devices expected in the second half of 2022.
In that time frame, we should expect to see Samsung’s new foldable phones, including the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Fold and Flip’s predecessors were driven by the Snapdragon 888, thus it’s likely that the latest models will be powered by either the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or 8 Gen 2 processors.
An event in China today saw the unveiling of a number of notable Qualcomm products, including the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. Additionally, Qualcomm showcased the new Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset, which inherits a few features from the 8 series. With Qualcomm’s new 7 Series chipset, premium phones that aren’t quite flagships will be able to take advantage of Qualcomm’s enhanced gaming features.
To better understand the capabilities of Qualcomm’s future Snapdragon 8 Plus and 7 generations, let’s take a deeper look at the chips themselves.
Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1: What to expect
As with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 that powers the Galaxy S22 family (at least outside of Europe), the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 should deliver similar performance. Same 18-bit ISP, Snapdragon Elite Gaming capabilities, and Qualcomm’s 7th Gen AI Engine that were all announced late last year, but now you can get all of this on a one device.
So, what’s different now? There’s extra oomph under the hood of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 with a CPU that can reach 3.2GHz. In terms of performance, that’s a 10% gain over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 model. In addition, the 10 percent increase in GPU clock speeds is also welcome.
The improved power efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 could be the true benefit of this chip. According to Qualcomm, the new silicon’s CPU and GPU use 30% less power. In other words, you can “do all the things you love longer,” according to Qualcomm vice president of worldwide product marketing for mobile platforms Mike Roberts, thanks to a 15% boost in total system-on-chip efficiency.
You should expect to get an extra hour of game time out of a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1-powered phone compared to a phone with Qualcomm’s then-leading chip earlier this year. In addition to an additional 80 minutes of video streaming, 5G-enabled WeChat video chats can last an additional 25 minutes.
In view of what we witnessed from some Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered phones, better power efficiency would be a good advance. When we put the Galaxy S22 models through their paces, they all performed below average on our battery test. If the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 both use the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, we expect better battery life from Samsung’s forthcoming foldables. Foldable phones have struggled with power management, so it would be nice if a chip could save as much energy as possible.
Snapdragon 7 Gen 1: What to expect
The Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is the latest example of Qualcomm moving features from its 8 Series CPUs down to the 7 Series. The 7th Gen AI Engine debuts with the Snapdragon 7, and there is a 14-bit triple ISP exactly like there was on the Snapdragon 888. In addition, features such as 200MP image capture and deep learning face detection are enabled.
Qualcomm is integrating some of its Elite Gaming capabilities to the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, which could help it stand out in the gaming arena. Adreno Frame Motion Engine, which doubles the framerate of visuals without increasing battery consumption, and Qualcomm Game Quick Touch, which makes touch controls in games more snappy, are only two examples.
Adreno GPU has a 20 percent gain over the Snapdragon 778G, which was formerly the best 7 Series processor in terms of graphics rendering. The Snapdragon 778G was seen in phones including the Honor 50 and Motorola Edge 5G UW.
The Snapdragon X62 modem on the SoC is capable of data transfer rates of up to 4.4 Gbps. Audio capabilities including anti-howling echo noise cancellation for decreasing feedback when you’re gaming with friends are incorporated in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1.
In the same manner that the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 is launching this quarter, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 should be showing up in new phones very shortly.