Qualcomm today introduced the single most critical hardware component of all the major flagship phones arriving next year. The chip marker detailed its new high-end processor — the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform — at its annual tech summit in Hawaii. Like always, the upgrade brings a flurry of performance and efficiency improvements which push the boundary of what your tiny handheld is capable of achieving.
In addition to these principal refinements, the 845 processor also comes with a multitude of supplementary features which are bound to make the next wave of smartphones a lot smarter and advanced. Here, we discuss a bunch of such traits.
Supreme Quality Videos
One of the biggest highlights of the new 845 chip is its ability to record 4K videos in HDR at up to 60 frames per second. In addition to that, it is capable of capturing slow-mo 720p clips at a staggering 480 frames per second and 240 frames if you opt for 1080p. While this is still not on par with what Sony offers on its Xperia flagships, it’s an important breakthrough and will allow every OEM to add it on their future phones.
TrueWireless Bluetooth 5
Qualcomm has also enabled something called a “TrueWireless Bluetooth 5” system. This will essentially let the phone stream audio to multiple Bluetooth devices like headphones and speakers at once. It’s worth noting companies such as Samsung and Motorola have bundled a similar feature on their phones in the past year.
Secure Processing Unit (SPU)
The Snapdragon 845 features a dedicated hardware space for securely storing sensitive and private information such as biometrics, digital payment data and more. Called the Secure Processing Unit or SPU, it has its own processor, memory, algorithms for generating random numbers, what have you. It essentially acts an isolated secure island on the chip and provides a third level of security on top of the two existing layers.
Alexa! or Okay Google or Both?
The new Snapdragon 845 is also the first processor to support dual hotwording. It basically lets you configure two always-listening phrases. Hence, you can set up both Alexa and Google or even Cortana for seeking answers hands-free.
Quick Charge 4+
OnePlus’ Dash Charge technology might finally have a competent competitor. It’s called “Quick Charge 4+” and it’s capable of topping up your phone to 50% in merely 15 minutes. Of course, real life results will vary depending on the manufacturer’s implementation but this is still quite promising.
Razer’s Phone highly acclaimed 120Hz display will be soon no longer exclusive and unique. The Snapdragon 845 allows for a 2K×2K screen at 120Hz thanks to its 2.5x faster throughput.
The Snapdragon 845 chipset features a technology called “Ultra HD” color capture. Jargon aside, it basically means your phone’s camera will be able to collect more color shades. The updated Spectra ISP (Image Signal Processor) is what makes this all possible. There are three primary processes responsible for this headway — a shift from 8-bit to 10-bit color, color gamut expansion from Rec 709 to Rec 2020 and increasing the brightness of objects (up to 10,000 nits).
Extended Reality (XR)
With the 845 processor, it’s a lot easier to track the open-world due to the added 6-DoF and SLAM technologies. This is somewhat similar to full-fledged headsets like HTC Vive can do. In retrospect, the Snapdragon 835 is only compatible with 6-DoF tracking which is limited to a few axes.
Render per View
To preserve power consumption and decrease overhead, the Snapdragon 845 employs a new Adreno Foveation technology. This method renders only the parts of the screen you’re viewing at the moment in high resolution. The rest gets blurred which essentially translates to a lower resolution.