Qualcomm announce Snapdragon 821, their new best SoC


Chip maker Qualcomm announced their latest high-end chip today: the Snapdragon 821. This chip supplants the 820 at the top of the totem pole, boasting 10% better performance than its predecessor while retaining the same features and standards (e.g. Quick Charge 3.0).

Here are the specifics. The new processor has two Kyro cores clocked at 2.4GHz (up from 2.2GHz) and two Kyro cores clocked at 2GHz (up from 1.6GHz). The GPU has also been upgraded, and now runs at around 650Mhz (up from 624MHz). These aren’t massive changes, but as Anandtech attests, ‘while these changes seem to be small, improvements in the implementation of an SoC can have a dramatic effect on performance and power.’

The 820 has been used in flagship phones all year — including the Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge, HTC 10, LG G5 and OnePlus 3 — and so we’d expect this new chip to appear in high-end phones when it launches in the second half of this year. The first may be the Galaxy Note 7, which should arrive in about the right period: August to September. Other contenders include the two new Nexus phones, codenamed Marlin and Sailfish, which are also expected to appear towards the end of the year.

The Snapdragon 820 escaped many of the performance and thermal problems that dogged the Snapdragon 810, so with any luck the Snapdragon 821 will do the same until it’s eventually replaced by a next-generation Snapdragon 830 chipset next year.

What do you think of the news? Do you want Snapdragon 821 for your next phone, or does it not matter as long as it plays Pokémon Go? Let us know in the comments below!