Here is the detail of what Snapdragon 865 is capable of. It’s, of course, faster than any current Android chip out there. Even if you just bought a phone two weeks ago you could expect this to have graphics and CPU about 25% quicker but the actual gains will often feel like more than that.
The 865 expands the existing suite of Snapdragon Elite gaming features you have things like game color plus. Which mean with no hit to performance and nothing needed from developers, all games just have richer graphics.
There’s something called forward rendering which means games can use sophisticated lighting effects that would have only been possible on PCs before.
The Snapdragon 865 also has updatable graphics drivers. Which means you can update your phone’s graphics the same way you would update your other applications. So as new games come out get specific updates that tweak performance for them.
Gaming is only one of the goals of Snapdragon 865. There is more for camera also. You might have noticed that the cameras on smartphones are becoming a bigger focus than ever. Phone makers are using 48, 64 and even 108 megapixel sensors. This new chipset let your phone better process all of that information.
Improvement in camera includes upgrades that make existing features better and some straight-up new features. You’re already used to being able to record videos at 4k resolution. Some phones can do this at 30 frames per second, some can even do it at 60. But it’s Snapdragon 865 powered phones can do this at 120 fps. 120 frames per second means you can slow the video down afterwards and effectively get slow-motion footage in this full fat 4K resolution. If you wanted to take super slow motion it also supports 960 fps like we’ve seen on some phones already but instead of just recording short bursts of this you’re able to record it continuously. You can literally do this for 10 minutes straight and it’s just thanks to better chip architecture which keeps the whole thing running cooler.
There’s also a subtler benefit from having a more powerful chip you can take photos and videos at the same time. Let’s say you were recording a 4k HDR video but then you realize you actually want to capture a still image from a part of it instead of just saving what is effectively one still frame from this video you can have the power to simultaneously snap full 64-megapixel photos.
The Snapdragon 865 also creates a few new camera opportunities. It means you can now optically zoom in without that weird juddering that we’ve seen in past generations. Really smooth zoom means that when you’re recording these videos you can call a Dolby vision which is considered by many the current benchmark for color science. Most big-budget movies you see in the cinema are shot in a flat RAW format and then they’re taken to Dolby so that Dolby can implement their colors bit by bit for every single scene. This Snapdragon chip lets you directly record with this color science.
Another cool feature is that when you take portrait mode shots. You will be able to save it as a single file containing not just the final portrait mode photo but the same shot without the portrait mode effect data on where the photo was taken and the actual depth map your phone captured. So even ten years later you could readjust that portrait mode effect.
You can take 200 megapixel resolution photos and 8k resolution video at smooth 30 frames per second.
The snapdragon 865 has about two times the AI performance versus current gen. Generally the idea of this is to make your life easier without you needing to think about what’s happening. For example when taking a photo this AI engine enables semantic segmentation or in other words the ability to identify each object in a photo separately and correct them accordingly. It’ll literally look at each individual pixel in your shot and decide whether it’s a hair and it needs sharpening or a skin tone that could do with softening and it happens almost instantly.
You might have noticed another big smartphone trend is the more to more aware devices. Google’s pixel 4 for example uses radar to know when you’re near. The 865 aligns with that idea quite nicely. It has a completely new sensing hub part of the chip is just dedicated to making your phone more contextually aware of what’s happening around.
Background tasks like continuously checking GPS location or listening out for your voice can now be done with not just less power consumption but also better. Your phone will more effectively not just pick up what you’re saying but also understand it.
You might know about Google lens, which can translate what it sees but now with Snapdragon 865 your phone can translate not just written text but your voice with no internet connection with zero delay all whilst retaining your natural way of speaking
Another coolest AI feature is the evolution to the augmented reality emojis you’re probably used to this next generation phone was able to track micro expressions on my face in real-time. Things like a slight smirk or even an eye roll.
There’s 5G speed improvements. A theoretical download speed of 7.5 gigabits per second and for context that is fast enough to download an HD Netflix movie in just a few seconds. The chipset is built for consistent connectivity and better coverage. It is also made to deliver the best-in-class 4G signal and because this one solution handles both 4G and 5g it can seamlessly use both of them with little power draw.
Battery and Display
This new generation of chips also comes with a lot of all-round improvements. Here are some other Snapdragon 865 features,
- It supports even higher quality displays. There’s been a push recently towards fluid 90s and even 120 Hertz screens in the last couple years. We can now stretch that all the way to e quad HD plus display at 144 Hertz.
- Better battery life, the way the 865 is built, almost everything on your phone is with better power efficiency. There’s a 16% battery saving while recording video, on standby it’s even greater.