After giving us a taste of the Snapdragon 855 and its features yesterday, Qualcomm today shed more light on its new flagship mobile processor.
The Snapdragon 855 is built using a 7nm process and includes an octa-core Kryo 485 CPU and Adreno 640 GPU that offer 45 percent and 20 percent performance improvements, respectively, compared to their predecessors. With the Adreno 640 GPU, Qualcomm calls out its support of Vulkan 1.1, HDR, and physically based rendering for mobile gaming.
Speaking of gaming, the Snapdragon 855 is the first platform to include the Snapdragon Elite Gaming Experience. Qualcomm touts that its processor includes custom algorithms that'll reduce dropped frames by more than 90 percent. Gamers also have reduced latencies for multiplayer games to look forward to, as well as the Qualcomm aptX Adaptive audio codec and TrueWireless Stereo Plus for audio improvements.
Another focus of the Snapdragon 855 is camera performance. Included in the chipset is the Qualcomm Spectra 380 ISP, which utilizes computer vision capabilities to give you computational photography and video capture features while offering up to 4x power savings. These features include hardware-based depth sensing in 4K HDR at 60fps. The Spectra 380 ISP also boasts video recording using HDR10+ and support for HEIF file format encoding to reduce file sizes by 50 percent.
One feature that Qualcomm has been touting heavily along with the Snapdragon 855 is 5G support. With the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, the Snapdragon 855 supports both millimeter wave (mmWave) and sub-6GHz bands for 5G, with the ability to offer multi-gigabit speeds. The Snapdragon 855 can also offer the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem, which offers multi-gigabit 4G connectivity.
The Snapdragon 855 makes improvements to Wi-Fi performance as well. With the Qualcomm Wi-Fi 6-ready platform, it's got features like 8x8 sounding to serve more devices more efficiently, up to 67 percent better power efficiency using Target Wakeup Time, and WPA3 support for better security.
Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 855 is currently sampling to customers and that it should begin appearing in commercial devices in the first half of 2019. Expect to see it in a variety of flagship Android devices next year, especially with many wireless carriers promising 5G network rollouts in 2019. We already know that OnePlus will launch a Snapdragon 855-powered device with 5G in the U.K. next year, and AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon have all committed to launching 5G phones from Samsung early next year that'll likely be powered by the Snapdragon 855 as well.