Although the Snapdragon 820 SoC was officially confirmed to exist some months ago, the chipset was fully unveiled only yesterday during an event held in New York.
The Snapdragon 820 will be available on the consumer market sometime in the first part of 2016. As for which OEMs will have the opportunity to use it first, the matter is not (or not entirely) in Qualcomm hands so the chipmaker wasn’t able to shed any light on the subject.
But with the wraps off the new model, we can now take a closer look at what it has in store for us, aside from a handful of Kryo 64-bit cores and an insanely fast LTE modem.
More details below.
Snapdragon 820 – Main Features
First things first, the Snapdragon 820 is being built on a 14nm FinFET process and is equipped with a new 64-bit processor based on custom Kryo cores, able to output 2x the performance of the Snapdragon 810, while remaining twice as efficient.
In the graphics department, the SoC houses an Adreno 530 GPU, which delivers a 40% increase in graphics performance, power usage, and compute capabilities compared to the Adreno 430.
Speaking of efficiency and battery life, the new Qualcomm 14-bit Spectra ISP (Image Signal Processor) works along with the Hexagon 680 DSP (Digital Signal Processor) in order to deliver both high performance and low power requirements when using the camera. It also supports sensors with up to 28 megapixels.
The last, but not the least impressive highlight, is the inclusion of an X12 LTE modem. It offers three times faster peak upload speeds compared to X10 LTE chips, and download speeds of up to 33% higher.
Once again, Qualcomm along with several smartphone manufacturers are expected to push the Snapdragon 820 to the consumer market beginning with 2016. An early report from September revealed that – at that time – there were 30 smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 820 in the works for an eventual release. Among the OEMs who took an interest in the chipset so far reside ZTE, Xiaomi, HTC, Sony, LG, and, of course, Samsung, whose Galaxy S7 might very well become the world’s first Snapdragon 820-powered flagship.