5 Reasons Why the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Matters

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Header

During the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit in Hawaii, Qualcomm announced its latest flagship processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. This processor will be at the heart of Android flagships in 2022. Expect Xiaomi, realme, OPPO, and others to launch phones with this new chip as soon as the end of 2021. With that in mind, I’m sharing the 5 reasons as to why this latest and greatest from Qualcomm matters.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 close up.
Source: Qualcomm

Better Cameras with Snapdragon Sight

Qualcomm has been pushing its image signal processors (ISPs) to bring better camera quality to smartphones. That doesn’t change with this new processor thanks to Snapdragon Sight.

This enables phones with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 to gain even more imaging chops thanks to its first-ever 18-bit ISP. All that power allows phones to record video up to 8K resolution with HDR! The new triple ISP captures over 4,000x more camera data than the 14-bit ISP. It also allows capture speeds up to 3.2 gigapixels per second.

Expect phone makers to take advantage of this new ISP to develop new camera features.

Mobile Gamers Will Be Happy with Snapdragon Elite Gaming

Besides all the improvements for camera quality, there are also improvements that will surely help mobile gamers out there. The Qualcomm Adreno GPU in the 8 Gen 1 now has 30% faster graphics and 25% better efficiency. You also get that full suite of Snapdragon Elite Gaming features (shown above). This processor is first one to use Audiokinetic technology for more immersion and console-quality sound.

Even Better 5G and Wireless Connectivity!

Thanks to its leadership in 5G, Qualcomm packed its latest Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. This new modem is the world’s first 10-Gigabit 5G Modem-RF solution. It’s also the first one to implement the 3GPP Release 16 5G solution. The new chip also features support for both Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, and better Bluetooth audio with Snapdragon Sound and LE Audio support.

Competition and Politics are Heating Up Around Them

In spite of Qualcomm’s success, some phone makers are starting to slowly do their own custom chips. With geopolitical and cost factors getting bigger, I don’t really blame them at all. Qualcomm doesn’t want to lose all that any time soon. The launch of this new processor coming off the new Snapdragon brand will hopefully keep them for the time being.

Gearing Up for The Bigger PC Market

Qualcomm hopes to do the same thing they did in phones with the PC industry. Thanks to a certain fruit company and their custom silicon, the company feels validated with the concept of having ARM chips in laptops. Its experience in smartphone chips and its recent acquisition of Nuvia will hopefully bring a capable competitor in the near future (probably by 2023).

There are other features such as the enhanced AI capabilities with the 7th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine and a fourth ISP in the 3rd Gen Sensing Hub that enables always-on smartphone cameras. Those just aren’t that interesting compared to what it all means for Qualcomm today and in the future. Expect the new processor to appear in flagship phones from brands like Xiaomi, OPPO, realme, Sony, and more.

What do you think of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1? Is it a significant step for Qualcomm? Sound off in the comments!

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