Chip maker Qualcomm has unveiled its next-gen flagship processor. The company says the Snapdragon 820 chip offers twice the performance and the twice power efficiency of the Snapdragon 810 chip used in many of this year’s top-tier smartphones.

The new processor is also said to feature 40 percent better graphics performance, faster 4G LTE, and support for cameras up to 28 megapixels.


The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip is a 14nm, 64-bit processor with 4 CPU cores based on Qualcomm’s Kryo architecture. It also features Adreno 530 graphics, Qualcomm’s Hexagon 680 digital signal processor, Spectra camera ISP, and Snapdragon X12 LTE modem.

It supports CPU speeds up to 2.2 GHz and can handle 4K Ultra HD video capture and playback.

Other features include support for 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, and Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology. the chip supports LPDDR4 1866 MHz dual-channel memory, and eMMC 5.1 storage.

Here’s what some of those things mean:

  • Quick Charge 3.0 should allow you to charge your phone nearly 40 percent more quickly than QC 2.0 and up to 4 times faster than with a traditional charger.
  • Qualcomm says peak LTE upload speeds are up to 3 times faster and download speeds are up to 33 percent faster. Part of the reason for this is support for both licensed and unlicensed LTE spectrum.
  • WiFi speeds should also be better thanks to support for 802.11ad WiFi and MU-MIMO.
  • The new camera ISP supports hybrid autofocus, a wider range of color, and support for 14-bit image sensors.

The Snapdragon 820 is clearly Qualcomm’s most powerful processor to date… but on paper so was the Snapdragon 810 when it was launched. Unfortunately that chip suffers from overheating issues that can affect performance in some situations.

So a natural question is whether the new processor has any heat problems. Qualcomm says no. But that’s pretty much what the company said about the Snapdragon 810, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens once independent users and reviewers get a chance to put the new chip through the paces.

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9 replies on “Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon 820 chip”

  1. I’ve actually never been fearful of a processor, but this 820 makes me nervous. Who here trusts that heat won’t be an issue? Devices with this processor are going to be premium prices. Not sure I’m willing to gamble.

    1. On the plus side, the advance engineering for liquid cooling, heat pipes, etc. that can fit inside a phone that some OEMs are already developing to compensate should pave the way for much higher performance SoCs in mobile devices in the future…

      1. How does better heat conduction helps on (passive cooled) smartphones? Not just in a spot, but the whole device will be hot?

        1. It’s more than just better heat conductance… More efficient heat dissipation spread over the entire area speeds up the overall dissipation rate/efficiency and helps prevent the device from feeling too warm to the touch…

          Feeling too warm is caused by the too slow transfer of heat that allows the temps to rise instead of dissipating and from wasting surface area that also causes it to feel too warm in specific spots and can cause issues with surrounding components as well and not just a issue of how warm it feels externally…

          Many of these options were just too bulky and large to fit inside phones before now but that’s starting to change now…

  2. Does this one come with a frying pan attachment so you can cook your breakfast?

    1. Hopefully 14nm will be kinder to them than 20nm. Kirin 950 leaked their numbers, where are your numbers 820?

  3. I wonder how long they’ll keep this architecture around for, krait was pretty darned long in the tooth by the time it got replaced, performance per clock somewhere between an A9 and A15 yet it only got swapped out when A57s were around.

  4. Qualcomm has been stumbling lately, if the 820 doesn’t measure up, they could
    lose even more market share than they did with the not-ready-for-prime-time 810,
    resulting in even more layoffs.

  5. They keep talking without providing much info, by the time it’s out we’ll be bored of it.

Comments are closed.