The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset is official, and if you’re looking to upgrade to your top-tier Android phone next year, you’ll likely find the chipset powering your new flagship device.
We’re learning about what the new chip is capable of, and you’ll find everything you need to know about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 elsewhere in our coverage.
Just want to know the major changes? We’ve put together this list of what might change in your next Android phone. There are six key features you need to know about, and these will give you an idea of what you can expect in upcoming flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S22, OnePlus 10, Xiaomi 12 and more.
- Which phone is getting Snapdragon 8 Gen 1?
1. Always On Camera Could Bring Big New Features
Let’s start with arguably the biggest change. The new chipset will allow your smartphone’s camera to be always on. Don’t worry, it won’t take frequent selfies – it’s designed to allow other features to take photographs instead.
Why would this benefit you? This will allow developers to incorporate features that are specifically designed to allow you to use your phone’s camera without touching your device.
One example Qualcomm provided is that it will allow you to unlock your phone without touching it. Think about how you’ll be cooking with the ingredients on hand, and how it will allow you to unlock your phone without having to go through it.
Some have cited security concerns about the feature, and it may concern you as well. Qualcomm insists that it is doing this in a secure way to ensure that no one can take your data from your phone’s cameras, but it will be interesting to see how people can take advantage of the feature.
- Qualcomm believes its new camera for phones doesn’t pose a security risk
2. There Are Many, Many Camera Upgrades
Apart from the always-on camera, there are many other upgrades that you will find coming to the camera of your smartphone. An 18-bit image signal processor (ISP), better Night Mode photography, better wide-angle shots, stronger facial recognition technology, 8K HDR video recording… The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is focused on its camera upgrade.
While the always-on upgrade is the key feature here, there are several other small improvements you can see on your next phone’s snapper that will improve the overall experience.
However, there aren’t many game-changing features here. Camera phones are great already, but these small upgrades may slightly change the performance you get from your smartphone’s shooter, rather than overhauling the entire experience.
3. Calls will eliminate background noise
Qualcomm’s Voice Suite technology has been upgraded in 2021, and it aims here to reduce background noise as you record. For example, if you’re on a video call, this new technology will use artificial intelligence to try to reduce noises like sirens or typing.
We’ve seen a demo of the technology, and it worked surprisingly well in Qualcomm’s examples. This was on a reference device in a demo set up by Qualcomm, so we’re most interested to see it on a real-life device to see how it works in practice.
If it works as well as the suggested demo, it could change how you are recorded on calls and how you are heard by your colleagues, friends and family.
4. You Can Access 10Gbps Internet
This won’t be useful to everyone, but if you have an exceptionally good 5G connection you may find that you can reach higher speeds than ever before.
Last year’s Snapdragon 888 was capped at 7.5Gbps, which is also fantastically fast. It’s nearly impossible to reach these speeds on an average day, but it’s useful to know what your 2022 flagship phone will be capable of for the foreseeable future.
5. Bokeh Video Coming to Android
The bokeh effect is where you can blur a subject’s background, and it’s common across the Android region in portrait mode. If you want to achieve that effect in a video recording, you haven’t been able to do so yet.
Similar technology debuted in the iPhone 13 series with Apple’s Cinematic Mode feature, and will now come to Android phones via this new chipset.
We don’t know yet which manufacturers will include this feature, but it’s likely a lot of upcoming Android phones will have it installed in the camera apps for you to play with. It is also capable of recording up to 4K.
6. Naturally, it’s faster than ever
As expected, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is the company’s fastest chipset, so that should mean your smartphone is faster at loading apps, playing games, and anything else you throw at it.
According to Qualcomm, the CPU here is 20% faster than the Snapdragon 888 and it offers 30% power savings on that chip’s results as well. The Adreno GPU is 30% faster, which means games load faster and look better than ever.
We won’t know how well the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 actually performs until we see it in a new smartphone (and whatever hardware makers decide to pair it with) but it could be one of the biggest phones of 2022. Looks like a big upgrade.
- Why Qualcomm’s next flagship chip isn’t called the Snapdragon 898