During its annual Snapdragon Summit, Qualcomm unveiled the next-generation Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile chipset. Interestingly, Qualcomm describes this chip primarily in terms of AI and camera performance, although it should deliver incremental improvements in graphics and power efficiency.
The first smartphones with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 are expected to arrive later this year. According to Qualcomm, brands like Motorola, OnePlus, Sony and REDMAGIC are said to be using this flagship chipset. Additionally, Qualcomm notes that the 200MP Samsung ISOCELL HP3 camera sensor is optimized for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – this sensor has previously debuted in a Motorola phone and we expect it to be a popular option for flagships in 2023.
In terms of performance, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 should deliver a 60 percent improvement in AI processes, including natural language processing. This is largely thanks to new INT4 support, as well as an updated Qualcomm Sensing Hub and a more AI-focused Hexagon processor.
These AI improvements affect a phone’s cameras. With new Snapdragon Sight technology, your phone automatically optimizes and enhances photos so subjects look sharp and color-accurate. Interestingly, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 also introduces an AV1 codec with support for 8K 60FPS HDR video playback.
Other improvements include a boosted Adreno GPU for 25% faster gaming performance. The Kryo CPU also gets an upgrade, although Qualcomm only claims 40% more power efficiency. (You should still see an improvement in the performance benchmarks as the more energy efficient CPU reduces the need for throttling.
Of course, this new chipset supports all current Qualcomm standards. There’s the FastConnect 7800 platform for Wi-Fi 7 support, Snapdragon Sound for lossless audio (with select speakers and headphones), and the latest Snapdragon Secure technology for enhanced security.
Qualcomm says the first Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones will launch in late 2022. But curiously, Qualcomm doesn’t mention Samsung in its list of early adopters – this discrepancy happens every few years but will fuel rumors that Samsung is going all-in on its Exynos platform (just like Google abandoned Snapdragon for Tensor) .
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