Mobile

Qualcomm's newest mobile chips offer a glimpse at 2015's killer gadgets

qualcomm snapdragon tablet
Image Credit: Qualcomm

Just how much faster and feature-rich can smartphones and tablets get? A look at Qualcomm’s latest mobile processors offers some answers.

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 810 and 808 mobile processors today, two 64-bit chips that are even faster than the recently announced Snapdragon 610 and 615. That’s especially notable since the 610 and 615 will be faster than anything currently on the market when they show up in the third quarter.

The eight-core Snapdragon 810, in particular, features just about everything a gadget geek would want: support for 4K smartphone screens and video; the ability to shoot 4K video at 120 frames per second; and the fastest graphics, memory, and processing capabilities yet in a Snapdragon chip. Additionally, the chip will include advanced camera capabilities (like fast focusing in low light) and support for new interaction features like voice activation (perhaps something similar to the Moto X’s voice commands).

Indeed, the Snapdragon 810 seems so powerful that it’s likely meant more for tablets and low-power laptops rather than smartphones, though of course that won’t stop phone makers from trying to push the chip on their flagship devices. 4K resolutions are best-suited for bigger screens — even the sharpest-eyed geeks would have trouble seeing the benefits of 4K on a smartphone screen under 6 inches.

The Snapdragon 808, on the other hand, sports support for 2K displays (slightly higher resolution than the 1080p HD displays we’re seeing today) and six processing cores. It may end up being Qualcomm’s “mid-range” option next year. But given that the 808 is miles ahead of today’s fastest chips, it’ll be interesting to see where the chip ends up.

Qualcomm says both new chips will start appearing in devices early next year. Until then, we’ll have the new Snapdragon 610 and 615 to tide us over when they appear later this year.


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