5 things to know about the Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845

Qualcomm may have announced its Snapdragon 845 platform at its Hawaii Tech Summit yesterday, but it didn’t really reveal any new details until today.

Though the jump from 835 to 845 might seem small, but there are a number of significant advancements in the company’s next-gen processor. Here are some of the biggest changes you need to know.

It’s faster, and not just in processor speed

Of course, every generation processor is faster than the last, but Qualcomm seems to be focusing less on raw CPU speed and more on the other aspects of the Snapdragon platform, such as the GPU and AI. In fact, the new Adreno 630 graphics chip is 30 percent faster and 30 percent more efficient. Qualcomm also says the 845 will provide three times the performance for AI tasks as its predecessor.

That’s not to say the CPU hasn’t improved though. Qualcomm says the Kryo 385’s performance cores are 25 percent faster, while the power-efficient cores are getting a 15 percent boost. That means you’ll either get a few more hours of battery life, or manufacturers will be able to run their chips higher clock speeds while maintaining current battery life.

That said, at first glance, it looks like the 845 still won’t be enough to catch up to Apple’s beastly A11 bionic in raw processing power, but there’s more to modern smartphone chipsets than CPU speeds.

There are numerous camera improvements, especially for video

Video is getting a big boost with the Snapdragon 845. There’s now hardware-accelerated support for Ultra HD Premium capture — a 4K, HDR standard — at 60 fps, meaning you can actually do a bit of slow-mo 4K capture. Technically, the processor will can even support capturing 16MP stills at 60 fps, assuming the camera hardware can keep up.

But if you want to go even slower, the Snapdragon 845 will actually be to capture 720 video at a super slow 480 fps.

Low light performance has been improved thanks to hardware-accelerated image stabilization and a new algorithm that is able to maintain more detail when applying noise reduction in low light and/or shadowy areas.

AI contributes to some of the improvements. The Snapdragon 845 is now powerful enough to natively support single-camera portrait modes – though Google manged to make that work on an 835. It remains to be seen how well it actually works, but another potential benefit is being able to use portrait mode with different focal lengths on phones that choose to keep…

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