Qualcomm has recently stated it would change the Snapdragon branding and naming scheme, starting with its new flagship SoC. That time has now come, with Qualcomm announcing the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, based on the 4nm process node and using the ARMv9 instruction set.
Like many of its predecessors, the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is powered by 8x cores but still offers about 20% more performance and consumes up to 30% less than the Snapdragon 888. The primary core is a Cortex-X2 running at 3.0GHz, accompanied by 3x Cortex-A710 cores clocked at 2.5GHz and 4x efficiency-oriented A510 cores operating at 1.8GHz.
The GPU was also improved, now featuring a new Adreno GPU that promises to be 30% faster and 25% more efficient. This new GPU will pack new gaming-oriented features like Variable Rate Shading, volumetric lighting and Adreno Frame Motion Engine, capable of doubling the frame output while maintaining power consumption.
Featuring an X65 5G modem, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 supports sub-6 and mmWave frequency bands, delivering a theoretical maximum speed of 10Gbps. For local connectivity, there's Wi-Fi 6/6E and Bluetooth 5.2 (with BT LE Audio) support.
The camera subsystem received a noticeable upgrade too, now featuring the first commercial 18-bit mobile ISP capable of capturing over 4000x more camera data than its predecessor and an Always-On ISP for always-on facial recognition. This SoC is capable of recording 8K HDR videos in HDR10+ format, which can be further enhanced thanks to the new Bokeh Engine (Portrait Mode for video capture).
The first phones featuring this SoC are expected to release before this year ends. Some brands that might launch a phone using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 include Black Shark, Honor, iQoo, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Redmi, Sharp, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE.
KitGuru Says: The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 looks set to bring a decent performance boost to next year's Android flagship devices. Will you be upgrading your phone soon? Will you be looking to get one with the Snapdragon 8 under the hood?