There are lots of activities that goes on in your Android Phone even when you perform the smallest and what you might see as the easiest of tasks. All this operation is handled by a small but powerful chip in your Android phone known as the “Mobile Platform” (also known as the System on Chips (SOCs)). And the Snapdragon 865 is the latest Mobile Platform released by Qualcomm in December 2019.
It is important to note that there are other network companies that produce Mobile Platforms (SOCs). The likes of MediaTek, Samsung, Huawei all produce System on chips like Qualcomm. However, this article is about the Snapdragon 865 produce by Qualcomm and what the release of this chip means for android phone users 2020 and beyond.
Quick Note: In this article, when you see the term SOCs, System on chips and/or Mobile Platform we are referring to the Snapdragon 865.
To begin let’s get you to understand what this new Mobile platform actually means and some of its key features. It is important to note that here at Tech Arena24, we focus more on users and we won’t be talking extensively in engineering terms. Instead we’ll be focusing on what the terms means for everyday Android phone users.
What is Snapdragon 865
Snapdragon 865 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is an advance 5G and AI Mobile platform developed by Qualcomm company for flagship phones. The mobile platform was released in the Snapdragon summit held in Maui, Hawaii on December 3 2019. This new Mobile platform is an upgrade to the previously released Snapdragon 855.
The Snapdragon 865 will be responsible for every processing of the Android phone. Internet connection, image processing, graphics and animation (games and videos), RAM and Internal Storage, security, AI interaction, text to speech and speech to text etc.
The new SOC is indeed an upgrade of the Snapdragon 855 in every way. It has more than 30% faster processing speed and about 25% battery efficiency. Makes use of newer cortex processors and more powerful GPU. Below are some of the key specifications of the new Qualcomm SOCs.
Key Specifications of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
- 5G reaches peak performance: Up to 7.5Gbps download speed and 3Gbps upload speed.
- Innovative and intelligent on-device AI: Advance gaming, photography and voice interactions such as real-time AI translation.
- Qualcomm Sensing Hub: Standby sensor that ensure highly accurate voice detection, voice to text and translation of language even without internet connection all while using extremely low power.
- Stunning photography at gigapixel speeds: Take incredible photos of up to 200 megapixels. Shoot 8K videos and take pictures of up to 64 megapixels simultaneously as you record videos. Take infinite slow-motion pictures, incredible portrait photos etc.
- Desktop-level gaming features: Play games with the type of graphics and features found in laptops and desktops.
- Resilient power & performance: The CPU of the new SOC boost of 25% faster performance and manage to save your battery life up to 200 days.
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is not only incredibly fast in terms of processing and internet but also runs smoothly, promises better pictures, incredible AI support and reduced battery usage.
Interesting Parts of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
There are some parts of this new Mobile platform that we have singled out and want to tell you more about.
The 5G chipset that accompanies the new SOC is not integrated inside. It is external and by external we don’t mean it is connected via a USB cable. What it means is that, the 5G chipset is standalone chipset inside the android phone board. Qualcomm is using the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X55 Modem-RF together with the new SOC.
Since the 5G chipset will be placed together with the new SOC, it therefore means that any Android phone that uses the new SOC will be a 5G android phone. Keep in mind that currently, the 5G of the new SOC is the fastest in the market. Its 5G boost of 7.5Gbps download speed and 3Gbps upload speed.
The Adreno 650 GPU
The GPU of the SOC which is responsible for processing graphics and animation is a newly released GPU. According to Qualcomm, it is faster than the Adreno 640 found in Snapdragon 855 by some 25% and it is more battery efficient. Now that is not the most interesting thing about the Adreno 650 GPU.
The most interesting feature and perhaps shocking feature of this GPU is, its updates can be downloaded from the Google PlayStore. This is seriously one thing we’d like to see how it works. What this means is that, your GPU driver won’t have to be outdated and abandoned. As more games comes out, you will be receiving GPU driver updates from Qualcomm directly from your Google PlatStore and that will be incredible.
In the CPU sector, Qualcomm also made some incredible changes. Lets just skip all the engineering terms and tell you what they actually did. Qualcomm introduced new Cortex A77 at a clock speed of 2.86GHz. The previous Snapdragon 855 used the Cortex A76 and this new SOC according to Qualcomm is faster and is more power efficient.
So, you can get more things done faster and you won’t have to worry about battery. What the new CPU offers is faster processing and low battery usage which is really great.
5th Generation AI
We can write a whole article detailing the 5th generation AI present in the Snapdragon 865. But we won’t do that, what we’ll do is tell you the things you should expect when you eventually get a phone that makes use of the SOC in 2020.
- You can use the phone to translate written text from one language to another. All you have to do is use the back camera to capture the texts and it will show you the meaning in the language you have selected.
- Translation from speech to text in a different language. Speak to the phone in one language and wait as it translates to written text in another language displayed in your screen.
- A phone using this SOC can also related and translate what is been said in your environment.
- Incredible phone assistant. You can wave you hands to next or previous a music etc.
- Multiple security features with a possible dual fingerprint sensor placed on the screen of the phone.
Note that all the features above have been tested and confirmed. And the level of accuracy of the AI technology is very high.
Image Signal Processor (ISP)
The ISP of the new SOC is another talking point. We have seen what advance phone camera is doing to digital cameras. We mean, people no longer have interest in taking photos except of course it’s a photo studio session. Reason because, almost all mobile phones offers great camera with good picture quality. So why spend money when your phone can do the job.
Well the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is about to make things even more difficult for digital cameras. We know that videos have long been shot using digital cameras. But what if there is a phone that shoots videos on the level of digital cameras? Surprisingly, the new SOC can support 8K video.
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This means that phone can have up to 200 megapixels lens as the back camera. And if this becomes more in coming years, then people might just prefer to start using their Android phone to shoot videos instead of using a digital camera. Seems everyone will become a movie producer or video director in coming years.
While we are still stunned by the 200 megapixels and 8K video, Qualcomm added something even more interesting. According to the live test, with the new SOC one can easily take pictures of about 64 megapixels as he is shooting a video. I mean it can be done simultaneously and save both the video and photo.
An ISP that is capable of shooting 8K video and processing 200 megapixels is also capable of taking infinite slow-motion videos. In the camera department, there are lots of exciting features that this SOC is bringing to live.
- Supports global roaming and global multi-SIM
- Supports all key regions and frequency bands including mmWave, sub-6, TDD, FDD and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS)
- Compatible with both standalone and non-standalone modes
- 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine is 2x more powerful than its predecessor
- 15 TOPS AI performance while using lower power
- All-new Qualcomm® Hexagon™ Tensor Accelerator
- New CV-ISP operates at 2 Gigapixels per second
- No limit HD slow-motion video capture at 960 FPS
- First Dolby Vision for video capture on mobile
- Qualcomm® Adreno™ 650 GPU delivers up to 25% performance boost from its predecessor
- • Full suite of brand -new Snapdragon Elite Gaming features including: Desktop Forward Rendering, Qualcomm® Game Color Plus v2.0, Qualcomm® Game Smoother
- True 10-bit HDR gaming and first-ever updatable GPU drivers on mobile
- Kyro CPU provides 25% faster performance
- New Qualcomm Sensing Hub
- Low power AI voice assistant support with contextual awareness
- Supports voice, audio and sensors
- Hexagon Voice Assistant Accelerator for advanced voice use cases
- Qualcomm Aqstic™ Audio Technologies offer native DSD support, PCM up to 384 kHz/32-bit and customizable “Golden Ears” filter
- Qualcomm® aptX™ Adaptive audio for robust, low-latency and high-quality wireless audio
What the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 means for Android Phone Users in 2020 and Beyond
With the likes of Xiaomi and Samsung already linked with using the SOC for their next flagship phones, it means that more android phone companies will likely jump in on this SOC. This in turn means that Android Phone users will experience not only the blazing speed of the 5G in 2020 but also the 5th generation AI technology.
Playing games will become more fun and easier as this new SOC promises to offer seamless processing and increased battery efficiency.
Android phone users will get more job done at a relatively short time with less battery usage. Phone battery will last longer and will take less time to recharge due to the fast charge enabled in the SOC.
The new SOC supports and can process 200 megapixels. This means better picture quality and better video quality.
Supports 4K and 8K videos. Android Phone users can also take pictures of 64 megapixels simultaneously during video mode.
Download speed of 7.5Gbps and upload speed of 3Gbps. With this new SOC, Android users can download large files in milli-seconds.
Increased interaction with Android phone in 2020. In 2020, Android Phone users can interact more with phones that is making use of this new SOC.
Highly accurate AI translation. Translation from text to speech, speech to text and even from one language to another even without internet connectivity.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is a game changer. The SOC have no doubt raise the bar for other SOCs to come in 2020 and beyond. If the current SOC have this much to offer, imagine what its upgrade will look like. It is also important to point out that this new SOC runs on the 7nm processor what if the upgrade is built on 6nm? How fast and efficient will it be?
In 2020, we are going to see more 5G phones, more camera phones and more gaming phones. Beyond 2020 there will be even more SOCs that will compete with the Qualcomm 865 and this will mean introduction of faster and more efficient SOCs.