The Snapdragon 845 is Qualcomm’s highly-rated chipset announced last year to spearhead 2018’s premium phones. The processor succeeds Snapdragon 835 SoC and incorporates several big and small enhancements like AI hardware and 4K HDR video capture, in addition to performance and power-consumption upgrades we see each year.
Samsung inaugurated the chipset with the launch of its next-gen Galaxy S9 and S9+, and Sony soon joined the party with the launch of its Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact at MWC 2018. By the second-quarter of this year, we will see more devices rocking Snapdragon 845 SoC including Xiaomi Mi 7, Mi Mix 2S, and OnePlus 6.
So what does Snapdragon 845 has to offer and how is it better than its predecessor, the Snapdragon 835?. Here’s everything that you need to know about the Snapdragon 845:
Snapdragon 845 vs Snapdragon 835 Comparison
|Chipset||Snapdragon 845||Snapdragon 835|
|Production Process||Second-Gen 10nm (LPP)||First-gen 10nm (LPE)|
|Processor Cores||4x Kryo 385 @ 2.8GHz + 4x Kryo 385 @ 1.8GHz||4x Kryo 280 @ 2.45GHz + 4x Kryo 280 @ 1.90GHz|
|GPU||Adreno 630||Adreno 540|
|Modem||Snapdragon X20 LTE (5xCA)
(download: Cat 18, up to 1200 Mbit/s; upload: Cat 13, up to 150 Mbit/s), 4×4 MIMO
|Snapdragon X16 LTE (4xCA)
(download: Cat 16, up to 1000 Mbit/s; upload: Cat 13, up to 150 Mbit/s)
|AI Core Processing||Hexagon 685||Hexagon 682|
|Video Encode||4K HDR at 60fps||4K at 30fps|
|Image signal processing||Qualcomm Spectra 280||Qualcomm Spectra 180|
|Security||Secure Processing Unit (SPU) isolated subsystem||Qualcomm Processor Security|
|Others||Quick Charge 4+, Dual SIM dual VoLTE support, Multi-frame Noise Reduction (MFNR), and Slow Motion video capture (720p@480fps)||Quick Charge 4|
1. Snapdragon 845 Improved Performance
A very obvious but an important topic to look into. The new Snapdragon 845 is clocked 14% faster than its predecessor, Snapdragon 835 (2.8GHz vs 2.45GHz). Besides, the presence of new, improved cores and new architecture will result in an added performance boost. Qualcomm claims 25-30 percent improvement over Snapdragon 835.
Qualcomm has designed the Snapdragon 845 with the same 10nm process but adopted ARM’s new DyanmIQ architect, instead of the earlier big.Little model. We have covered DynamIQ and its advantages in details in a separate post, but the shorter version is that unlike Snapdragon 835, all cores are present in the same cluster and can communicate better. Qualcomm claims that it has been able to reduced memory access bandwidth by 40-70 percent.
As for graphics, Qualcomm claims 30-percent performance and 30-percent more power efficiency.
2. Snapdragon 845’s Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the cornerstone of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset. With the new Hexagon 685 DSP, Qualcomm claims 3X improvement in AI performance compared to Snapdragon 835.
The chipset will support a variety of popular AI frameworks like Google’s TensorFlow, Facebook’s Caffe 2, as well as the newer Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX).
Unlike Apple’s A11 bionic chip and Huawei Kirin 970, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 doesn’t have a separate neural engine. The Hexagon DSP on the 845 will have to do both image processing and image analysis on its own and that puts SD 845 at a disadvantage compared to SoCs with dedicated NPU.
3. Snapdragon 845 has Enhanced Image Processing
This is another field which the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset enhances. If you recall, the Snapdragon 835 had a weak spot in ISP, which forced the OEMs to either sacrifice camera performance or develop their own ISPs.
The new Snapdragon 845 will somewhat solve that issue. The chipset is integrated with a Spectra 280 – an Image Signal Processor(ISP) that will bring a slew of camera improvements on your smartphone. The ISP is supposed to collect more color than before – from 8-bit to 10-bit color, for a sharper and better-quality image.
The main highlight is multi-frame noise reduction (MFNR) feature. Using MFNR, SD 845 phones can capture multiple pictures in succession and then reduce noise using algorithms without compromising much on quality. This should give a big boost to the camera of upcoming flagship phones like OnePlus 6.
The technology opens the gate for the 4K HDR video recording at 60 fps, slow-mo video recording at 480fps in 720p, enhanced low-light photography, and “deep” depth portrait mode.
4. Snapdragon 845 is More Secure
The Snapdragon 845 is Qualcomm’s first SoC to come with a separate security chip, called the Secure Processing Unit (SPU). The SPU is an isolated subsystem in the 845 processor that brings enhanced privacy with personal data being stored on the device. It will work like a vault to guard user’s biometric authentication like fingerprint, iris, voice and face ID.
5. Snapdragon 845: Sublime Connectivity
Last but not the least, the connectivity on Snapdragon 845 is going to be one of the fastest. The chipset comes with the company’s second-generation gigabit LTE modem, called the X20, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi band. The former brings up to 2Gbps carrier data speed to the device, which means it will be 25percent faster than 835 SoC.
Moreover, the new chipset relies on two antennas, instead of one, which means that your device will connect to the network with lesser interruption.
Other than this, the chipset will enable VoLTE support on both the SIMs simultaneously and brings some incremental upgrades to Bluetooth 5.0 to send content to multiple devices.
6. Dual Hotwords – Call two assistants
Until now, the AI assistant whether it is Googles’ or Cortana could only be summoned with only one hot word like Ok Google (Ok Google and Hey Google are actually the same hot word) and Hey Cortana, respectively. With Snapdragon 845 System on Chip, your phone will be able to keep its ear open for two hot words. This implies you will be able to summon both Google Assistant and Alexa or Google Assistant and Bixby interchangeably using voice prompts