Back in July Qualcomm officially announced their latest Snapdragon 800 series processor as the Snapdragon 821. The follow-on from the Snapdragon 820 which can now be found in a number of current Android flagship smartphones. During the initial announcement Qualcomm detailed some of the benefits of the Snapdragon 821, including how it has built on the success and features of the Snapdragon 820. Today Qualcomm released another blog post which looked to further explain the benefits of the Snapdragon 821, as well as confirm its readiness for the 2016 Holiday season smartphone releases. The first of which will be the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe which had already been confirmed to be the first Snapdragon 821-powered smartphone.
As part of today’s announcement, Qualcomm explains three key areas where the Snapdragon 821 is going to offer additional benefits above and beyond the Snapdragon 820. These include (1) an enhanced overall user experience, (2) improved levels of performance and power consumption and (3) new features and functionality. In terms of the overall user experience, Qualcomm notes that the Snapdragon 821 offers improvement (over the 820) by being better tuned to the end user experience. Examples given to highlight this include a 10-percent improvement in faster boot times, a 10-percent decrease in app load load times (resulting in applications launching faster) and UI improvements in optimization and performance.
Which neatly leads us on to the ‘improved performance and power consumption’. Once again, Qualcomm highlight three areas in particular, with the 821 seeing a 10-percent improvement to CPU speeds (thanks to the inclusion of the Qualcomm Kryo CPU), 5-percent faster GPU speed times (thanks to the inclusion of the Qualcomm Adreno GPU) and improvements to the power saving capabilities of the 821, offering smartphone owners an extended level of battery life and OEMs a way to continue designing smartphones that are slimmer without having to compromise on battery levels.
Focusing more on the new features that are included with the Snapdragon 821, Qualcomm notes that by using the Snapdragon 821, OEMs are able to offer their consumers a far more immersive and engaging experience. A prime example of this is the highly talked about virtual reality (VR) scene. This is primarily achieved by the Snapdragon 821 being equipped with support for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon VR SDK. Which in itself is able to provide developers with an ideal toolset for mobile VR, as well as support for high-level audio and visual content. Other new features include support for Dual PD (PDAF), more commonly known as 'dual phase detection' for mobile cameras, which means that smartphones equipped with the 821 are able to realize increased autofocus speeds (compared to single PDAF). In addition to, improvements to the actual quality of focusing with the focusing range being extended, compared to the Snapdragon 820.