Could Huawei’s new Kirin chipset rival the Snapdragon?

The Huawei Nova 5 launched today in China and its Hisilicon Kirin 810 chipset might be even better than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon.

The news was revealed after rumours circulated about the new SoC yesterday and was confirmed at the launch for the Nova 5, Nova 5 Pro and Nova 5i today.

Related: What you need to know about the Snapdragon 855

Huawei shared a poster for the chipset on Chinese social network Weibo ahead of the launch, teasing the Kirin 810 as a “key to the future”. It also confirmed that the chipset would be announced at the launch on June 21.

Premium Kirin chips are known for their additional AI core giving their phones much better image recognition than their competitors and it seems likely that the 810 could experience a similar boost in camera performance.

Huawei had already confirmed that the new Kirin chipset would be based on the 7nm node. This makes Huawei the first smartphone manufacturer to have two 7nm chipsets in its portfolio. The chipset is also the first processor in the HiSilicon Kirin 800-series.

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This also means that the Kirin 810 will likely include two Cortex-A76 cores at 2.27GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores at 1.88GHz with a stepped up Mali-G52 GPU for better graphics.

From the Nova 5 series, only the Huawei Nova 5 itself will be powered by the octa-core Kirin 810. The Nova 5 Pro will come with the Kirin 980 and the Nova 5i, the Kirin 710F.

GSMArena reported that the Kirin 810 promises 11% better single-core and 13% better multi-core performance than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 730 and that the DaVinci NPU should be capable of outperforming the Snapdragon 855 in AI-related tasks.

Read our review of the Huawei Nova

At the Nova 5 launch, Huawei also revealed that it had shipped over 100 million smartphones this year. If the company continues to sell devices at this rate, the Kirin 810 could prove a serious rival for Qualcomm’s mid-range Snapdragon 700 series.

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