Qualcomm Snapdragon 855: 5G, more performance, new camera features and other key details you need to know

ualcomm Snapdragon 855: This is a phrase you will hear again and again in 2019, for this is the processor that will go inside most of the top Android phones. Samsung Galaxy S10, OnePlus 7, Google Pixel 4, Xiaomi Mi 9… all of these phones are likely to be powered by the Snapdragon 855, which has been announced by Qualcomm at its third Snapdragon Summit in Maui, Hawaii.

So, what all we know about this processor? A lot actually, although how well the processor performs and how cool it runs we will know fully once the phone with it starts appearing in 2019. But if the Snapdragon 845 is any indication, you can expect the Snapdragon 855 to be another superstar.

The Snapdragon 855 uses new chip architecture built on 7nm process technology. Such has probably helped Qualcomm put more hardware-specific features in the chip. Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon is designed to offer users long-lasting battery life and superior camera performance, better audio quality and improved gaming performance. Let’s take a quick look at what all is new in the Snapdragon 855.

5G connectivity

The Snapdragon 855 supports 5G connectivity and is right now the first processor — mobile or desktop — to do so. It offers this connectivity by using an integrated Snapdragon X50 5G modem.

With Snapdragon X50 modem the Snapdragon 855 supports 5G for both Sub-6 GHz and mmWave frequency bands, which will overall provide a “blazing-fast responsiveness and unprecedented speeds”. With the help of mmWave frequency bands, Qualcomm says users will get up to 20x faster average performance compared to some of current networks. The Snapdragon 855 also offers next generation Wi-Fi performance via the Qualcomm Wi-Fi 6 mobile platform, which comes with features like 8×8 sounding to serve more devices more efficiently (up to 2x improvement over 4×4 sounding devices), Target Wakeup Time for up to 67 per cent better power efficiency, and the latest security with WPA3.

Snapdragon 855 performance

The Snapdragon 855 comes with Qualcomm’s custom Kryo 485 CPU built on Arm Cortex Technology. It offers up to a 45 per cent performance improvement over the Snapdragon 845. The new chipset also comes packed with a new Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU that is tailored to provide up to 20 per cent faster graphics than the previous generation chipset. Actual performance in phones will be something that we will see only in 2019, but recently a few benchmarks were leaked and in those benchmarks, the Snapdragon 855 was seen beating Snapdragon 845 and Huawei Kirin 980 handily.

Camera improvements

With the Snapdragon 855, Qualcomm is trying to improve the way images are processed and the speed at which these images are processed. The Snapdragon 855 comes with the new Qualcomm Spectra 380 ISP that integrates several hardware accelerated computer vision (CV) capabilities, “enabling the world’s first announced CV-ISP to provide cutting-edge computational photography and video capture features while at the same time offering up to 4x power savings.”