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What is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2? All about the new mobile platform

Last year, Qualcomm freshened up its flagship mobile platform by rolling out a completely new naming convention. Now, the successor to that chipset has arrived with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. 

Last year, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a mobile platform that delivered faster performance, more advanced AI capabilities and an all-new name. Later came the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which promised even speedier performance across the CPU, GPU and AI. 

Now, the American chip maker has unveiled the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. 

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the second generation update to the mobile platform, including what it is, what improvements it’ll bring over the previous generation and when you can expect the first set of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered smartphones to be announced… 

What is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2? 

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is Qualcomm’s newest flagship mobile platform, taking over from 2021’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The chipset has a particularly strong focus on AI, with its mobile photography, 5G and Sensing Hub all further leveraging artificial intelligence in 2022. 

It also marks some large improvements to CPU and GPU performance. 

The chipset is expected to power some of the best smartphones around, with the first set to be announced later this year. 

What upgrades can you expect from the platform? 

As always, Qualcomm has delivered improvements across the board for its flagship mobile platform. 

This includes its camera, audio, gaming, connectivity and security tech, though AI is arguably the biggest feature here with the benefits of artificial intelligence seeping into almost every aspect of the chipset. 

AI

First up is AI. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 contains the fastest and most advanced AI Engine ever created by the company. 

Not only does this mean the platform sees a 4.35x uptick in AI performance, but the upgrade also enables features like multi-language translation and transcription, AI Cinematic video and direct-to-app voice assistance. 

Camera

Next, there’s mobile photography. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is kitted with the Spectra 18-bit triple Cognitive ISP – Qualcomm’s first AI-powered camera processor. 

One of the key benefits of this is support for real-time Semantic Segmentation, a feature that allows your phone’s camera to detect and parse different layers of an image – such as faces, clothes and backgrounds – and optimise them individually. 

Mobile cameras powered by the chipset will also be capable of capturing up to 200-megapixel images, along with 8K 10-bit HDR video. 

Audio 

Snapdragon Sound now supports spatial audio with head-tracking for improved, more immersive surround sound regardless of how you move your head. 

There’s also support for lossless music streaming and ultra-low latency Bluetooth streaming to help limit lag. 

Gaming 

Qualcomm has announced some huge performance upgrades in mobile gaming, with the Kryo CPU offering a 35% improvement in performance and the Adreno GPU up to 25% faster performance. Both the CPU and the GPU have also seen upgrades in power efficiency. 

There’s also support for real-time Hardware-Accelerated Ray Tracing, Unreal Engine 5 and the Metahuman framework for photorealistic human characters. 

Connectivity 

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is currently the only mobile platform to sport a dedicated 5G AI processor. The 8 Gen 2 also supports Wi-Fi 7 for a lower latency connection and speeds more than double that achieved by Wi-Fi 6. 

There’s also support for the simultaneous use of two 5G SIM cards, or one 5G and one 4G card. 

Security 

Finally, there’s been a security update, with Enhanced Face Unlock now including liveness detection. 

What phones will the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 power? 

Qualcomm has yet to confirm exactly which smartphones will be powered by the new platform, but the company has said we can expect OEMs to start announcing devices by the end of 2022. 

Its predecessor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, was found inside the Xiaomi 12 Pro, Oppo Find X5 Pro, and OnePlus 10 Pro, to name a few major launches. 

Considering the fact it’s already November, we shouldn’t have to wait long at all to get a glimpse of the first Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered smartphone.

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