Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Specifications Lay Out Performance, Power & Graphics Boost

Ramish Zafar
Posted Sep 1, 2016
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Qualcomm’s been seeing mixed fortunes when it comes to processors lately. The US chip giant faced its lowest point in recent history with the Snapdragon 810. The processor, which came with big promises, ended up overheating on almost every device that it featured on. We saw a quick response in the form of the Snapdragon 820 this year. The processor featured a tighter integration of the CPU, GPU and the DSP, coupled with Qualcomm’s custom Kryo cores, based on ARM’s designs. Still, this didn’t provide the level of performance users and industry watchers had come to expect from the company. True to form, Qualcomm was quick to launch the Snapdragon 821 last month. The processor, which is yet to feature on a device improves things by quite a bit on its predecessor.

The Snapdragon 821 Will Support More Features, Offer Improved Performance & Power Consumption

The launch of the Snapdragon 821 in August surprised quite a bit of folks. After all, a mid year flagship processor launch from Qualcomm is quite rare. This led towards speculation that Samsung would equip the Galaxy Note with the Snapdragon 821. But, perhaps wanting to keep things even with the Exynos 8890, the Note 7 came and went without it. Now, it’s HTC Sailfish and Marlin that are expected to come with the processor. Just in time, Qualcomm itself has released some more performance details for the Snapdragon 821.

The company claims to have improved performance in three areas for the Snapdragon 821. The first of these is user experience. The Snapdragon 821, according to Qualcomm, will offer faster boot and app load times, coupled with smoother user experience. On the performance side, we’re now hearing about more upgrades in addition to the 10% expected performance boost for the 821’s Kryo cores. The Adreno 530 on the Snapdragon 821 will also offer 5% speed boosts over the Snapdragon 820 and the processor as a whole will offer increased power efficiency as well.

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The more interesting bit about today’s announcement is the Snapdragon 821’s support for VR, Dual PD and photographic capabilities. The Snapdragon’s Heterogeneous architecture will open up new avenues for developers and users alike and includes support for platforms including Google Daydream. Extended laser autofocus and Dual PD allow for increased range for autofocus and shorter autofocus times when compared to single PDAF systems. It’ll also include support for Androud Nougat, which was expected given that the 820 featured it as well.

As always, these specifications end up sounding quite impressive on paper. Samsung’s been taking the ball from Qualcomm for quite a while when it comes to mobile processors. The Korean tech giant’s Exynos 7420 and 8890 have consistently managed to outperform their American counterparts. Will Qualcomm finally be able to even the playing field with the Snapdragon 821? Its more holistic approach with the processor should bring several gains on board. We’ll find out more when the HTC Sailfish and Marlin areĀ  (hopefully) launched with the Snapdragon 821 on board. Till then, stay tuned and let us know what you think in the comments section below. We’ll keep you updated on the latest.

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