This year’s Snapdragon Technology Summit took place in the Hawaiian island of Maui, and guess what? We have news for you! Qualcomm’s announced their new flagship – Snapdragon 865 (SD 865). It is the natural successor to last year’s 855 chipset, and surprise, (not that much of a) surprise… it does NOT have an integrated 5G modem built right into the chipset. What does it mean? It means it’ll still need a separate 5G modem to enable 5G. Instead, Qualcomm is pairing the SD 865 with its X55 5G Modem-RF system. The use of two separate components usually results in a slightly higher overall energy consumption than in modem-to-processor integration. In consequence, SD 865 means more expensive, power-hungry phones than the ones with an integrated solution. But that’s the end of the less good news. It’s time for great news.
So, what kinds of new improvements and features Qualcomm packed into its shiny new chip – the one that will power some of the highest-end smartphones to be released in 2020? Let’s see.
Shiny new chip from Qualcomm – show us what you have got!
The Snapdragon 865 includes support for both mmWave and sub-6Ghz networks in both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes. The new chip provides better wireless network performance. In addition, Qualcomm says the chip is also the first mobile platform to offer Super Wide Band (SWB) voice over Bluetooth for better sounding calls when using wireless headphones. Other improvements (with long, complicated names we don’t want to bore you with) are designed to reduce latency, provide longer battery life and overall better sound. The new Snapdragon 865 features an updated AI processing engine and Qualcomm says it’s twice as powerful as the previous chip. What’s more, we also have good news for gamers. They will also see a performance boost! The new graphics processing unit (GPU) is promised to be 20 percent faster than before.
5G is not the future anymore; it is the now.
Qualcomm started the presentation with a reminder of the potential of 5G.
“One year ago, we were talking 5G future. In 2019, we’ll be talking about 5G,” said Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s president.
He also added that currently forty operators and forty Original Equipment Manufacturer manufacturers worldwide are investing in 5G. By 2021, we expect more than 2.8 billion subscribers, and perhaps even more.
5G is clearly a major focus for upcoming mobile gadgets.Qualcomm says that phones using the latest Snapdragon chip will be ready to take full advantage of 5G as soon as the system is implemented and fully utilized. The company says that 865-powered devices and the accompanying X55 modem can achieve a maximum download speed of up to 7.5 Gigabits per second. Will this dizzying speed be available in 2020? No one can promise us that. It can’t yet. 5G standards are diverse, and phones capable of connecting to a 5G network are still rare.
Camera and screen upgrades – when impossible becomes possible
Here, a real dream awaits us, fulfilling before our eyes. Can you imagine a 144 Hz screen on your phone? When Samsung announced to release the Galaxy S11 with a 144Hz display, few believed that this was the case in the near future.
Qualcomm’s release of its support for such screens makes the impossible possible. Qualcomm ensures that Snapdragon 865’s Spectra 480 ISP works at speeds up to 2 gigapixels per second. This allows you to record 8K video (or 4K video with full HDR color)! Such videos recorded on the phone is something that a few years ago seemed impossible to achieve. As promised, it will also be possible to take pictures at speeds up to 200 megapixels.
Now it’s time for another move, this time from companies such as Samsung, LG, OnePlus, Xiaomi producing phones with Android. They need to incorporate all these SD 865 functions into the new devices. In addtiion, we have to wait until the devices equipped with Snapdragon 865 reach the market. The planned date is early spring 2020. Only then will we know how the new chip works in real retail devices. One thing is for sure… whatever Qualcomm announces is also a foreshadowing of what is expected from the phones that will be launched in 2020, such as Galaxy S11, OnePlus 8, Pixel 5, Galaxy Note 11, LG G9; and we can’t wait to see it!
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