Qualcomm had a rough year, as the Snapdragon 810 processor didn't perform as expected and it had issues handling its temperature. The company finally announced today their most powerful processor yet and it's called Snapdragon 820. It's supposed to be completely redesigned to improve its performance and its multimedia capabilities while consuming less power. Qualcomm surely would want their latest and greatest processor to be integrated into some phones as soon as possible to show its capabilities, and while that's not happening until next year, here are some of the most important features to expect from this processor.
First of all, the company made sure to improve the thermal efficiency of the Snapdragon 820, so besides keeping the devices cooler, less power will be consumed as a consequence. Speaking of power efficiency, the new processor will be 30% more efficient compared to the previous version, they achieved this by improving the performance of the CPU, GPU, DSP and modem, plus the processor supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology so devices can charge faster. The X12 LTE modem integrated into this processor allow download speeds up to 600 Mbps and uploads up to 150 Mbps. While most devices probably won't be able to reach such speeds because that depends on the service of the available networks, it is good to know that they will be supported in the future.
As for multimedia capabilities, the Snapdragon 820 not only supports displays with up to 4K resolutions, but it improves the overall experience reducing lag, displaying more realistic colors, lighting and shadows. Displays with such resolution seem to be an overkill right now, but thinking of VR headsets that put the screen very close to the eyes, the experience could be vastly improved. Speaking of which, the custom Kyro CPU and Adreno GPU should provide enough power for an immersive VR experience, displaying lifelike renderings and less lag from the sensors. The audio should also help to create this experience, and the Snapdragon 820 features 3D audio for a surround effect from any kind of headphones, additionally, users will now be able to record 3D audio and reduce background noise with the directional recording option.
The camera will also get benefitted from the Snapdragon 820, it features Heterogeneous Signal Processing, which analyses the image block by block and provides a similar result to HDR mode without stitching two images. Qualcomm is confident that the pictures will depict the reality as it is, and the processor will recognize the subject of the photograph without sending information somewhere else, whether it is an inanimate object or a person. Software enhancements will improve low light photography by reducing noise and increasing the level of details.
Finally, the Smart Protect feature will detect threats before they get a chance to infect the device. It will also analyze every file and provide information in case a threat has been detected and what it can do, so users can completely remove them from their devices.