Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Detailing the 2022 flagship mobile platform

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HAWAII, USA (Pocket-lint) - It's each alteration for Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon mobile platform: 2022 sees the extremity of the company's incremental numbering system, ditching the would-be Snapdragon 898 top-ender for what's alternatively called Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

As you tin spot from the all-new name, the incremental quality volition alternatively absorption connected generations twelvemonth connected year, with Gen 1 moving from 2022 and, presumably, Gen 2 incoming for 2023, truthful connected and truthful forth. It streamlines the naming system, portion maintaining that "8" represents Qualcomm's top-tier powerfulness for mobile.

But beyond conscionable the name, what does Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 person to connection flagship handsets of the contiguous future? Here's our breakdown astir its specification, however that volition subordinate to circumstantial features, and wherefore that's thing to beryllium excited about.

How almighty is Snapdragon 8 Gen 1?

  • 4nm system-on-chip (SoC)
  • Qualcomm Hexagon Processor with Fused AI Accelerator
  • Kyro CPU: Arm Cortex-X2 to 3.0GHz
  • LPDDR5X representation support, to 16GB
  • Qualcomm Adreno GPU

Following connected from the Snapdragon 888, which is based connected a 5nm process, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 debuts Qualcomm's 4nm entry. Ultimately that smaller fig means a shorter question for existent wrong the CPU and truthful greater ratio and powerfulness redeeming potential.

That besides goes hand-in-hand with enactment for LPDDR5X RAM, which is approaching 25 per cent faster than the erstwhile generation, and is peculiarly utile for accelerated processing of computational tasks - the benignant of back-and-forth that happens with artificial quality (AI) processing and the like.

In presumption of earthy power, the Qualcomm Hexagon processor embodies an Arm Cortex-X2 (to 3.0GHz) astatine its astir powerful, which is the aforesaid "ultra core" that MediaTek utilises successful its Dimensity 9000 flagship. Qualcomm says its Hexagon processor has doubly the shared representation of its 888 predecessor, again to payment the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine - present successful its seventh procreation format.

What features does Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 support?

AI is so a large portion of Qualcomm's merchantability successful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but what different halfway features tin you expect from flagship handsets that volition utilise this caller platform? Here's a breakdown of the cardinal areas.

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  • 200-megapixel camera solution support
  • Triple 18-bit representation awesome processors (ISP)
  • H.265 & VP9 decoder

With the instauration of Snapdragon Sight Technology - Qualcomm's archetypal 18-bit representation awesome processor - the 8 Gen 1 volition beryllium capable to enactment a full big of imaging imaginable connected flagship handsets.

There's enactment for 200-megapixel resolution, which isn't really an summation procreation connected generation, and isn't arsenic high-res susceptible arsenic MediaTek's Dimensity 9000 either (the second with 320MP support).

That said, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1's trio of 18-bit ISPs mean the level tin seizure an alleged 4000 times much camera information than earlier 14-bit processors of erstwhile platforms. So portion there's nary much solution - which you don't really request - there's a batch much accusation wrong images, which translates to greater precocious dynamic scope (HDR) and colour potential.

There's besides a caller Leica Leitz Look mode, utilized for recreating the classical bokeh (background blur) effect, a collaboration that should marque for absorbing results.

A 3.2Gigabit pipeline means tons of information processing: for burst shooting there's enactment for 30 frames per 2nd seizure astatine a monolithic 108-megapixel output; for video you tin sprout 8K HDR portion taking up to 64-megapixel stills simultaneously.

Speaking of video, codec enactment for H.265 and VP9 means the latest (and progressively smaller) bundle information tin beryllium decoded for apical notch streaming possibilities.


  • 144Hz show refresh complaint enactment astatine QHD+ resolution
  • 60Hz refresh astatine 4K solution (incl. outer display)
  • HDR10 & HDR10+

Many manufacturers person backed distant from pursuing Ultra HD (4K) surface resolutions successful flagship devices, fixed however draining they tin beryllium connected artillery life. That doesn't halt Qualcomm supporting 4K displays with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, though, including for outer displays.

It's successful the step-down solution wherever astir volition deploy this platform's strengths though: with enactment for QHD+ solution to tally astatine up to 144Hz refresh complaint maximum. That'll mean super-smooth visuals astatine a important resolution. It's not got 180Hz astatine FHD+ capabilities, arsenic per MediaTek's Dimensity 9000, but we uncertainty galore volition adjacent announcement that subtle difference.

High dynamic scope (HDR) leaves astir nary chromatic unturned, too, with enactment for HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision formats. If a show has a precocious grade of brightness past visuals volition nary uncertainty pop.


  • Adreno GPU, 30% faster than predecessor
  • Vulkan 1.1 API support

Gaming is an progressively large concern connected mobile - and Qualcomm intelligibly knows it. While Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has plentifulness of imaginable present - arsenic you tin spot from the accelerated refresh complaint handling, LPDDR5X RAM enactment and CPU powerfulness - the institution besides has a abstracted platform, called Snapdragon G3x Gen 1, which the institution has showcased successful a 'Nintendo Switch Pro' rivalling handheld Android device.

But backmost to Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The latest Adreno GPU is said to bring with it a 30 per cent velocity summation implicit its outgoing predecessor, coupled with 25 per cent little powerfulness consumption. Which ought to equate to amended gaming experiences with little strength connected the battery, truthful you tin crippled for longer.


  • Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System
  • 5G mmWave and Sub 6GHz support
  • Wi-Fi 6E/ax up to 3.6 Gbps
  • aptX Adaptive & Lossless
  • Bluetooth 5.2

Of each the areas wherever Qualcomm truly leads the pack, however, its with its 5G connectivity. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 utilises the X65 modem, which is the archetypal 10-Gigabit Modem-RF solution.

While MediaTek besides revealed a 'Release 16' modem successful Dimensity 9000, it's little susceptible wide - offering up to 7Gbps compared to Qualcomm's 10Gbps - which means Qualcomm has the theoretical precocious manus erstwhile it comes to the fastest speeds and lowest latency.

Qualcomm besides supports some mmWave and Sub-6GHz 5G technologies connected the 1 platform, whereas MediaTek doesn't enactment the erstwhile successful immoderate regard. That's apt to beryllium much important for customers successful the USA, wherever mmWave adoption is suspected to increase.

In short: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is each astir super-fast speeds portion connected the go, with an unparalleled 5G offering.

Much of the time, of course, you'll apt beryllium utilizing Wi-Fi erstwhile indoors. Here the level supports Wi-Fi 6E, conscionable similar the 888 level did previously, for speedy connectivity - if, that is, the connected router tin enactment this.

Bluetooth 5.2 handles wireless connectivity, portion Snapdragon Sound Technology supports the company's aptX Voice, aptX Adaptive, aptX Lossless, and LE audio protocols. That means with the close high-quality root and a susceptible capable headset, you'll beryllium capable to execute Hi-Res Audio playback - and the adaptive quality of the tech means you'll ever beryllium getting the champion connected connection depending connected what you're using.

When volition Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 devices launch? 

That's the cardinal dollar question: which handsets volition diagnostic Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform? Given its high-end nature, it'll nary uncertainty beryllium the reserve for premium flagships successful 2022.

Pocket-lint is astatine the Snapdragon Tech Summit wherever we're expecting further announcements from assorted manufacturers, including rumoured handsets from Xiaomi and Motorola, on with preliminary demo devices from Qualcomm itself to showcase the assorted technologies outlined above.

Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 30 November 2021.

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