Qualcomm is looking to end the year with the launch its latest and greatest SoC, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Coming after months of endless speculation and leaks, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 brings a bevy of improvements over its predecessor, the Snapdragon 8 plus Gen 1. Many of these changes are enormous, so let’s dig deeper into the SoC’s specifications to see what’s in store for the future.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Shows off a Hefty Boost to Performance and Efficiency
The brand new Kryo CPU inside the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 brings back the “three-cluster” design Qualcomm introduced with Gen 1. We have a single ARM Cortex X3 Prime core running at 3.1 GHz, along with two Cortex A710 and A715 Performance cores clocked at 2.8 GHz. Finally, we’ve got a trio of Cortex A510 Efficiency cores running at 2.0 GHz, a setup Qualcomm claims makes the SoC 35% more powerful and 40% more power efficient than its predecessor.
When it comes to graphics, Qualcomm’s latest Adreno GPU heralds in support for Unreal Engine 5 and the Metahuman framework. We’re also getting hardware-accelerated ray tracing, OpenGL ES 3.2, and Vulkan 1.3 API support, all of which are firsts in the mobile world. These features will undoubtedly result in some of the best graphics we’ve seen on a Smartphone.
In terms of raw statistics, Qualcomm claims the new GPU is 25% more powerful and 45% more power efficient than their last one. Add to this support for LPDDR5X memory of up to 4,200MHz and UFS 4.0 storage, and you get some monumental developments. Considering the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 was no slouch, to begin with, the Gen 2 SoC is shaping to be a powerful and worthy successor.
Qualcomm Trumpets Game-changing Improvements in the AI Department
If there’s one area Qualcomm seems most enthusiastic about with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, it’s their new improvements in artificial intelligence. With their latest Hexagon processor allegedly doubling the tensor accelerator size and having its own system for dedicated power delivery, Qualcomm’s been claiming an absolutely massive 435% performance improvement from its predecessor. Great strides in the efficiency department too, with a 60% per watt power improvement.
Thanks to these monstrous upgrades, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 now supports Integer 4 Precision (INT4). Now, in sync with its ability to run more complex neural networks, the chipset can run even more AI models simultaneously. On top of all this, Qualcomm adds one more AI processor to the Sensing Hub, which easily doubles performance and introduces 50% more memory to the mix.
So, what does this mean for us users? Essentially, machine operations like translating words in real-time will be much faster on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 devices. On top of that, with dual AI processors for audio and sensors and support for an always-sensing camera, your new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Smartphone can do things like detecting QR codes without turning on. Cool stuff!
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Brings Best-in-class Visual and Audio Fidelity
Newer generations of SoCs always bring support for even more impressive visuals on smartphones, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is no different. Qualcomm’s finest can drive displays with refresh rates of up to 144Hz at QHD+ resolutions. It can even support 4K display panels, though it locks the refresh rate at 60Hz in these cases. In this case, it’s not too dissimilar from Gen 1.
So, what else is new? Well, Qualcomm’s finest now has AV1 support, which is a big deal for media consumption. With this, video streaming quality on mobile sees a big improvement. Along with this comes 8K video playback at 60FPS, which is staggering to see.
Speaking of media playback, music lovers can rejoice as Qualcomm introduces a slew of audio-oriented features. We now have spatial audio with head-tracking and ultra-low latency Bluetooth streaming with sub-48ms lag. Rounding out the audio deal, we finally have support for lossless music streaming, a feature that’s been a long time coming.
Impressive Improvements in Photographic Capabilities
Qualcomm rarely, if ever, disappoints with its camera processing units, and we’re happy to see the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 continue this. The new silicon carries a triple 18-bit Image Signal Processor (ISP). It’s capable of handling up to three 36MP primary cameras at once, allowing for even greater multi-camera setups. Or, if you want to go overboard, it can also support a single 200MP camera sensor (*cough* Samsung *cough*).
Regarding video recording, we’re getting 8K HDR footage in 10-bit HDR at 30FPS, a marked improvement from last year’s 24FPS. If you want some higher frame rates, however, you can also capture 4K footage at 120FPS for buttery smooth recordings. Frame rates go even higher as the resolution decreases, capping at 960FPS for regular 720p video. Qualcomm’s AI processing also aids, in making video recording and photo capturing faster and smoother than before.
Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 Brings Wi-Fi 7, 10Gbps Download Speeds and More
Rounding everything off, we’ve got the new improvements Qualcomm’s bringing in terms of connectivity on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Unsurprisingly, we’re seeing the Snapdragon X70 5G Modem launched earlier this year at MWC, and we’re pretty happy to see it. Compared to the last generation Snapdragon X65 5G Modem, there are some rather excellent enhancements everywhere.
With support for mmWave and sub-6GHz networks, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is already off to a good start. Throw in peak downlink speeds of up to 10Gbps and uplink speeds of up to 3.5Gbps, and the deal’s even sweeter. Wi-Fi 7 support is here too, along with FastConnect 7800 as a standard. Finally, we get the latest Bluetooth 5.3, as one would come to expect.
List of Smartphone Manufacturers On-Board the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Ship
Along with all these technical specifications, Qualcomm also reveals a list of companies already set to launch devices with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. We’ve got the list below, so feel free to look through it if you’re hoping to see a device from your favorite manufacturer.
- ASUS ROG
- Red Magic
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Launch: Final Thoughts
Qualcomm has certainly outdone itself with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It’s by and far the best SoC we’ve seen recently, with best-in-class performance in every facet possible. Practically the only other Android chipset that can somewhat match it is the MediaTek Dimensity 9200 we saw launch last week, so it’ll be interesting to see how they match up.