The Snapdragon 820 includes a new Qualcomm-made Kryo CPU that is said to have twice the performance and efficiency of the Snapdragon 810’s CPU. The quad-core Kryo is made using a 14nm FinFET process and can be clocked up to 2.2GHz.
Qualcomm is also touting the Snapdragon 820’s Hexagon 680 digital signal processor (DSP), which performs tasks that can be done faster or with less power than the main Kryo CPU. This enables “significant improvements to performance and battery life.”
The Snapdragon 820’s GPU is the Adreno 530, which is said to offer a 40 percent improvement in graphics performance, compute capabilities, and power usage when compared with the Adreno 430 GPU that’s included with the Snapdragon 810. Also included with the Snapdragon 820 is an X12 LTE chip that supports downloads up to 600Mbps and uploads up to 150Mbps as well as carrier aggregation, LTE-U, 4x4 MIMO, and VoLTE, and it uses a Zeroth computing platform to analyze Wi-Fi quality to determine when to switch a call from LTE to Wi-Fi and back again.
One other notable feature of the Snapdragon 820 is support for Quick Charge 3.0, the latest version of Qualcomm’s fast charging technology. When used with a matching charger, a device equipped with Quick Charge 3.0 can charge a device from 0 to 80 percent in just 35 minutes.
Smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 820 are expected to begin appearing in the first half of 2016. We’ll have to wait until then before we can actually put the Snapdragon 820 to the test, but not paper, Qualcomm’s flagship chipset sounds impressive. The Snapdragon 810 was the subject of a lot of heat in 2015 because of claims that it caused devices to run hot, so Qualcomm is probably working to make major OEMs forget about the 810 and put the 820 into their flagship mobile devices.