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Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Next-gen chipset will power your next flagship phone

Qualcomm boosts performance by up to 35% with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, while adding ray tracing capabilities and Wi-Fi 7 connectivity

We’ve known about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – Qualcomm’s upcoming flagship mobile chipset due to replace this year’s 8 Gen 1 – for quite some time, but we finally know what to expect with regard to performance, efficiency and connectivity improvements when it inevitably begins to power flagship smartphones in 2023 and beyond.

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Promising a list of upgrades across the board, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will first appear in handsets from the beginning of next year, with brands such as Sony, Honor, Oppo, Motorola and OnePlus already announced.

Built on a 4nm fabrication process, Qualcomm has focussed heavily on power efficiency for this generation. The Kryo CPU is apparently 35% faster than the 8 Gen 1, and the embedded Adreno GPU is also said to benefit from a 25% speed bump as well. It does all this while simultaneously allowing for a power efficiency improvement of up to 40% or 45% in CPU and GPU-related tasks.

The technical makeup is roughly the same as it was last year, comprising a total of eight processing cores with a maximum clock speed of 3.2GHz via the single ‘Prime’ core. The arrangement of the rest of the cores is slightly different this year, however, with four ‘Performance’ cores running at 2.8GHz and a further three ‘Efficiency’ cores at 2GHz.

Outside of the new Adreno GPU’s processing improvements comes the support for real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing. This allows next-gen smartphones to render more realistic lighting, shadow and illumination effects and it can do all this at up to 4K resolution at 60Hz, or QHD+ at a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz.

Local connectivity is handled via the new Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 system, which can now connect to Wi-Fi 7 networks. The integrated Snapdragon X70 modem can also handle both Sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G roaming connections, with a maximum quoted download speed of 10Gbits/sec and a 3.5Gbits/sec upload.

As for cameras, the new triple 18-bit Spectra Image Signal Processor (ISP) can capture up to three 38MP images at once, or a single 200MP photo. Video is captured at a maximum 8K resolution at 30fps with 10-bit colours and HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision-supported formats.

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