As it currently stands, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset is the most powerful mobile processor to date that Qualcomm has been able to get inside of any existing smartphone, however, it seems that things are about to change as Qualcomm officially announced the Snapdragon 821 processor earlier this morning. It's been rumored before that the company would be looking to put out an improved version of the Snapdragon 820, and by all accounts that's just what the Snapdragon 821 happens to be. It's also been rumored before that the upcoming Nexus smartphones from HTC that are set to launch later this year, which are rumors themselves, will be running with the Snapdragon 821. Of course, at the time neither of the products were official, and the rumor only pertained to the Nexus device codenamed Marlin as the device was spotted in Chromium last month.
A new rumor today suggests that it's highly likely that both new Nexus smartphones will launch with the Snapdragon 821 this year which, if true, would be a slight departure from the approach Google took last year by placing a more powerful Snapdragon 810 inside of the Nexus 6P while giving the Nexus 5X a slightly less powerful Snapdragon 808 CPU to help keep the cost lower.
If both devices end up coming powered by Qualcomm's newest chipset, it may stand to reason that Google and HTC could have to make a compromise somewhere on the smaller of the two devices, which is supposed to be Sailfish, if they intend to sell the phone at a lower price. That's assuming that is Google's plan to begin with. Hardware compromises aside, it's noted that the timing of the Snapdragon 821 announcement has a little bit of a role to play in strengthening the belief that both devices will be manufactured with this processor inside, as no phones have yet been announced sporting the CPU and the announcement for both Nexus phones is thought to be coming up before the end of the Summer. For now these are just rumors, but it is also worth noting that the rumored specifications which surfaced for both phones towards the end of last month pointed out that the processors would be Quad-Core CPUs and the Snapdragon 821 is a quad-core CPU, however no specific CPU was mentioned at that time. Having said that, the Marlin specs listed that the CPU in that particular device would be from Qualcomm, while the brand was unlisted for the specs that showed up for Sailfish around a week earlier. It's a little bit of information to chew on until official announcements come from Google on these upcoming devices.