Ever wondered what new features will be coming to Android smartphones in 2022? Well, Qualcomm has just given us a sneak peek by launching its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, which will be powering a number of new phones next year.
Of course, not every smartphone launched in 2022 will feature this new chip, but given this is Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor, you can expect it to be packed inside plenty of high-end phones from the likes of Xioami, Samsung, Oppo, Sony, OnePlus and more.
But what new features can you expect from smartphones with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip? We’ve listed the six most exciting features that will be coming to select future high-end Android phones next year, so check them out below.
One of the most intriguing features that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 enables is what Qualcomm calls an ‘always-on camera’. This means you’ll be able to use multiple camera features without needing to wake your phone.
The most obvious benefit of this innovation is the ability to use facial recognition to unlock your phone without having to touch it. Current Android phones require you to press a button or pick up the phone in order to wake it from stand-by mode, but future phones won’t require that extra step. If your phone is lying next to you on a desk, you’ll be able to simply look at the camera to make the homescreen flash up on the display.
Qualcomm has also revealed that the new ‘always-on camera’ will allow you to scan QR codes without unlocking your phone first. This should speed up the process of scanning a QR code, whether you want to load up a digital menu at a restaurant or download a new app.
8K HDR video shooting
A number of new improvements will be coming to future Android phones in terms of the camera, including enhanced low-light photography and burst capabilities. But it’s the new 8K HDR video capture that’s arguably the most exciting feature.
Phones with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip will be the very first capable of recording video in 8K HDR. Even Apple’s iPhone Pro is limited to 4K video recording, so upcoming Android phones will be capable of shooting in a superior resolution.
Qualcomm also confirmed that the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip will be using the HDR10+ format, which should boost the contrast of your video.
Video Bokeh effect
The Bokeh camera mode has become incredibly popular for smartphone snappers, allowing you to use AI to automatically blur the background of an image. This makes your subject standout more clearly, which is particularly useful for selfies.
Future phones with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip will be able to automatically blur the background of video thanks to the new Bokeh engine.
This feature will of course be optional, but it allows users more options to make video look exactly how they want to.
This may be an obvious one, but new smartphones packing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will be faster than any Android phone that precedes them.
Qualcomm claims the CPU will be getting a 20% performance boost compared to the previous generation, while the GPU will benefit from an even greater 30% improvement. This means future Android phones will not only be faster when running apps or browsing the web, but also see a smoother performance when playing games natively.
Speaking of gaming, Qualcomm suggests the new Adreno Frame Motion Engine feature will boost a game’s frame rate while also seeing a reduction in power consumption so you can keep playing for longer before the battery life hits zero.
Lossless audio over Bluetooth
New phones with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip will feature Qualcomm aptX Lossless Technology for CD-quality lossless wireless audio. This means you shouldn’t see a compromise to the audio quality of music when listening via Bluetooth headphones, which will be music to the ears of audiophiles.
However, there’s a major catch here in that this feature will only work with headphones that support Snapdragon Sound Technology. There currently isn’t a huge list of Bluetooth headphones that are compatible with Snapdragon Sound Technology, but with Qualcomm only revealing the technology earlier this year, we expect that list to grow in the next couple of years.
When pairing a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with headphones that support Snapdragon Sound Technology, you’ll also be able to reduce the latency, which is particularly important for gaming.
Even faster 5G connectivity
Future Android smartphones will be able to see 5G speeds up to 10Gbps, enabling the highest downloads speeds yet for a mobile. Such speeds will allow you to download 4K video in seconds, or even video chat with an 8K resolution without your stream lagging.
Unfortunately, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 uses 5G mmWave in order to hit these high speeds, and that new technology currently isn’t available in the UK. 5G mmWave is currently rolling out in the US, China and Japan, but it’s going to take more time in order to be implemented in additional countries.
It’s not all bad news though, as future Android phones will also support Wi-Fi 6E to improve your internet connection at home. You’ll need a compatible router to make the most out of Wi-Fi 6E, but they’re available to buy right now, even if you live outside of the US.