Features, news, compatible phones, and what it can do for Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

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If you like Android phones, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is significant since it will almost probably power many of the finest Android phones in 2022.

Qualcomm’s latest invention is already available, thanks to the company’s announcement of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform at its annual Tech Summit event. This is the next chipset that we anticipate seeing in many high-end phones in 2022 and beyond.

It’s the successor to the Snapdragon 888 (and its sister, the Snapdragon 888 Plus), which debuted in 2020 and was used in devices such as the Galaxy S21, OnePlus 9 Pro, Oppo Find X3 Pro, and Xiaomi Mi 11.

That implies we can anticipate it to be incorporated in future generations of those phones from companies like Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Motorola, Realme, and many others.

This is high-end power, thus only the most expensive devices have it. If you’re a smartphone user, you’ve probably noticed that the new chipset has a different naming scheme. We were expecting it to be dubbed the Snapdragon 898, but Qualcomm has opted with a “simplified” naming scheme.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next top-end Android chipset from Qualcomm
  • When is it out? Expect it in phones very soon

Which phones will be equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor?


Many phones are expected to employ the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, and many have already been rumoured. The Xiaomi 12, a new Motorola Edge handset, and Oppo’s next flagship are the three products that have been confirmed thus far.

The Xiaomi 12 will be the first phone to use the processor, while the upcoming Oppo phone is expected to be the rumoured Find X4 series. The new Motorola Edge is a little trickier, and we have reason to suspect it will only be available in China.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is one of the rumoured handsets that will supposedly employ this processor in most or all countries of the world. Normally, Samsung divides its Galaxy S models between the latest Snapdragon and the latest Exynos processors.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is expected to be released in February, however the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 could be seen in the Xiaomi 12 in December (though that launch will probably only be for China, with the rest of the world getting it later).

The successor to the Xiaomi Mi 11 could be one of the first Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones

This processor may possibly be used in the Huawei P60 series, according to leaks. That’s a little odd given Huawei’s history of producing its own, but the US trade embargo has complicated matters. Finally, at least one Vivo phone appears to be using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor.

Aside from leaks and rumours, we expect the OnePlus 10 and Sony Xperia 1 IV, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, and a slew of other phones, to feature this processor.

In 2022, don’t anticipate Pixel phones to use this, since Google is likely to stick with its own Tensor chipset. One anomaly is a suggestion that Samsung will not use its Exynos chipsets in some Galaxy S22 versions.

Basically, if you buy a high-end Android smartphone in 2022, there’s a good chance the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will be at its heart.

What exactly does it do?


The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is intended to provide a flagship-level experience. However, keep in mind that not every manufacturer will use all of the characteristics listed below.

Many of the new features we’ve discussed are now available for manufacturers to incorporate, although not every phone maker in 2022 will choose to implement each of the features listed below. As a result, don’t expect these features in your smartphone when you open it in 2022.

How powerful is it?

Qualcomm

During a conference, Qualcomm’s Ziad Asghar, VP of Product Management, told TechRadar that the new chipset delivers “the biggest changes that we’ve ever brought about in a product.”

That’s a bold claim (and one we’d expect Qualcomm to make), so we’ll go over each feature we’ve discovered so far.

First and foremost, the CPU has been enhanced by being 20% faster than the previous generation while also saving 30% on power. This should result in improved overall performance and maybe longer battery life on your smartphone.

The CPU (central processing unit) is your phone’s brain for everyday functions like loading up and launching apps, as well as navigating the operating system. Because of improvements in CPU performance, your phone should be slicker and faster than prior generations.

Those aren’t the most impressive results we’ve seen from a new Qualcomm platform, but the Snapdragon 888 Plus was already one of the most powerful chips on the market, so we weren’t expecting much.

Qualcomm is also focusing on artificial intelligence technologies, and the company has partnered with Google Cloud to integrate Cloud Vertex AI Neural Architecture Search into the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform.

“It allows [manufacturers] to employ Neural Architecture Search methodologies, and it would allow [manufacturers] to improve the model to the fullest degree to be able to achieve the most ideal models for best accuracy,” a Qualcomm representative stated.

Essentially, this latest Snapdragon platform should provide the best artificial intelligence features conceivable. Incorporating Google Cloud’s features should only enhance things here, but it’s unclear what exactly that will entail.

New camera features

The camera is where the majority of the intriguing advancements for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 are, which opens up a whole new range of functions for manufacturers to add to your smartphone’s snapper.

This chip’s image signal processor (ISP) has been upgraded, with 4,096 times more camera data introduced than prior models. The Snapdragon 888 had a 14-bit ISP before, but this one has an 18-bit one.

With those four extra bits, you’ll be able to shoot images with brighter brilliant parts and darker dark areas, which should result in better dynamic range.

In burst mode, you may now shoot faster, and Qualcomm has doubled the number of photos you can take in a short period of time. For example, with the burst mode features, you can now snap 240 12MP images in one second.

Your next phone may also boost wide-angle photos. Here, a new de-warp technology and Chromatic Aberration Correction are introduced, both of which are aimed at improving wide-angle photos.

The latest Snapdragon’s facial recognition technology has been upgraded, according to Qualcomm, and is now faster and more accurate than ever. However, we haven’t yet received any actual data to back up that allegation.

The business claims that it will be able to better track the position of your nose, mouth, eyes, brows, jawline, and other facial features. The platform presently uses over 300 face landmarks, although it’s unclear how many were used in previous iterations.

For the first time, the platform allows you to shoot in 8K HDR, including HDR 10 and HDR 10 Plus. Although few smartphones presently support 8K video recording – and it’s much more uncommon to find a screen that can display the film – it’s a useful capability for future handsets.

Sticking with video, a new feature dubbed Video Super-Resolution for Extreme Zoom should improve the video quality of your phone’s telephoto camera. It’s unlikely that you’d want to take video from a vast distance, but future smartphones may be able to do it.

Qualcomm

The third video feature is a new bokeh engine, which allows for a blurred background in portrait photos. This will work similarly to how Portrait mode works on many high-end smartphones, but with the added capacity of up to 4K video.

This was previously introduced on the iPhone 13 series, but it was dubbed Cinematic Mode. It will be fascinating to watch which Android manufacturer is the first to implement this feature.

Another notable camera feature is the ability to simultaneously record video and capture photographs. The camera can shoot up to 8K HDR video and 64MP still images. Although it’s unclear how this will be accomplished, it’s a feature you might find useful when shooting particular times that you also want to picture.

Finally, for the first time, you’ll be able to shoot in 18-bit RAW. This is most likely a feature that true camera experts who want to modify raw photographs would appreciate.

What does it mean in terms of gaming?


Another significant increase is in gaming, with an AI engine that is 4x quicker than the Snapdragon 888 in terms of artificial intelligence capabilities. It’ll be fascinating to see how this plays out in practise.

The Adreno GPU is 30% faster than the previous-generation chipset, while Vulkan is 60% quicker. That means you’ll be able to get into your games faster, and they’ll perform smoother than on earlier smartphones.

Adreno Frame Motion Engine is a new feature that allows you to double the frame rate in games while maintaining the same power levels. Qualcomm also verified that the functionality will allow you to maintain the same frame rate while using half the amount of electricity.

There will be more gaming capabilities on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but we haven’t heard anything about them yet. There will be more to come in this topic in the future.

So far, we’ve heard about every other feature.


With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 comes a new always-on camera, which is a welcome addition. The idea is that your phone’s camera will be able to run indefinitely, allowing software developers to create new applications to take advantage of it.

Qualcomm, for example, indicated that you may unlock your phone without pressing a button to initiate the facial recognition process.

For security concerns, another example, and arguably a more interesting implementation, would be. When you’re using specific apps, the camera can detect if someone is staring over your shoulder. If you’re looking at sensitive documents, it will be able to lock your phone so no one else can peer over your shoulder.

That would only be viable in specific situations (for example, someone staring at the camera from an angle would most certainly be missed), but it’s an intriguing feature that could be beneficial.

There are also audio enhancements. Qualcomm, for example, has for the first time integrated CD lossless audio and Bluetooth LE audio into the platform.

In addition, Android Ready SE is a new feature that allows you to save identification documents on your smartphone. This would make it possible to carry out this process in a secure manner, but there isn’t much information about how it would work for the typical person.

The platform also includes the most advanced Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, so your next smartphone might have a little faster Wi-Fi connection.

Finally, 5G improves on Gen 1, although we haven’t heard many details regarding the features yet. According to Qualcomm, this platform supports up to 10Gbps, which means you’ll be able to stay connected without worry.

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