Get ready for your next Android smartphone to have super fast 5G connectivity and fingerprint readers on the screen.
They are just some of the features enabled by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 855 processor.
The company this week is hosting its Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, Hawaii. Qualcomm has brought partners such as Samsung, OnePlus, Verizon and AT & T to speak their plans for 5G devices and networks in 2019. Samsung said, for example, that it plans to launch a 5G phone in the United States in the first half of 201
The processor will probably provide the brain and network connectivity for most of the advanced Android smartphones that turn on the market in 2019 (Huawei uses its own Kirin chip for phones). Almost all major handset vendors work with Qualcomm, with a big exception: Apple designs its own chips to run its devices, and now, in a League match with Qualcomm, it relies on Intel's modems for connectivity.
For non-Apple high-end phones, the Snapdragon 855 has a lot to offer. It makes it possible to improve camera handling capabilities, such as being able to shoot videos in 4K HDR and discover who and what is in front of the camera.
It's the first piece that works with Qualcomm's 3D Sonic Sensor, anthat is embedded right into the screen itself. And the Snapdragon 855 is also the first major processor to support 5G wireless connectivity – but in particular, the 5G is not built on the Snapdragon 855 itself.
And while the Snapdragon 855 features sound impressive, it does not matter about handset users using the 855 processor in their premium phones, choosing not to use all Qualcomm features.
Safe Ultrasound & # 39; Fingerprint Sensor Built-in Screen
Snapdragon 855 is the first piece to work with Qualcomm's 3D Sonic Sensor, an ultrasonic fingerprint reader that is embedded right into the screen itself. As smartphone manufacturers have stretched the displays on their devices across the entire front of the screen, they have either completely or partially turned the home button (Apple) or moved the fingerprint reader to the back of the device. 3D Sonic Sensor lets them send the fingerprint reader to the front of the phone, but still has a screen that fills the entire front of the device.
Samsung is expected to roll out a fingerprint reader on screen with the Galaxy S10 early next year. There are probably many others will follow.
Shoot Portrait Videos
You know how portrait photos blur the background while keeping the subject in focus? Portrait mode for video promises to do the same in a moving clip. The Snapdragon 855 is the first to add portrait mode to a 4K HDR video.
The feature tracks the major subject, so you can even change the background to something else, say a tropical island setting. Even with all the computational muscle required, Qualcomm claims that you will still see at least four times the power saving.
And when it comes to video, phones that use the Snapdragon 855 chip can record 4k video at 60fps – while saving power (30 percent) compared to previous 4K video captured at 30fps.
Keep the pictures and videos twice
This is a bit cloudy, but keep in mind because it's snowy. Phones using Snapdragon 855 will be able to take advantage of the technology in the latest iPhones. HEIF or High Efficiency Image Format, squeezes your photos down to half of a regular JPEG without losing photo quality. That means it will take you much longer to run out of space.
In addition, HEIF acts as a container for a variety of images, allowing you to save a traditional frame, a raw file, brast mode images and a depth map all within the same container. For example, on a phone with three rear cameras, you can capture and hold telephoto, wide-angle and overlook perspectives at one time and repurpose them at any time.
The advantage here, apart from space savings, is that Qualcomm designed the 855 chip to process HEIF files quickly and with low power. Read more.
Talk to several AI assistants at the same time
What if you like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa – why should you choose? Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chip will let phone manufacturers support multiple voice directors. Some phones have done this before, but you had to download extra apps and could only use one at a time. It's not clear how this works, but we hope to learn more in an upcoming demo. It supports Google Assistant, Alexa, Baidu DuerOS and more.
Qualcomm also uses AI to combat echoes and background noise that may interfere with speech assistant. The end result is that you should be able to talk with the assistant with less frustration.
AI also strengthens the futuristic voice tuning feature, so your phone only answers you. Someone who tries to wake up the phone with the help of their voice will not be able to access the device. This feature can pave the way for voice management opportunities in the future.
Use less power while watching videos
A new feature of Snapdragon 855, called Cinema Core, gives you up to seven times the power saving while viewing videos from services such as Amazon Video.
Cinema Core will also enable HDR10 + playback for the first time on mobile devices. HDR promises enhanced image quality over standard dynamic range video, with brighter highlights and more realistic colors. The HDR10 + version, created by Samsung, contains dynamic metadata that allows you to view a high dynamic range to adjust the brightness levels on a scene-by-scene or even frame-by-frame, to enhance image quality.
Get More Realistic Games and VR Videos
Snapdragon 855's new Adreno 640 GPU has 30 percent faster performance, enabling HDR to play. As a feature of watching videos, HDR makes the images more realistic. Qualcomm says that HDR games on smartphones will have over one billion shades of color.
And the company also has a new lighting and texture technology called "physically based rendering." It can do things like replicating the effect of sun rays reflecting bricks. The level of detail that was previously unavailable on mobile devices, said Qualcomm.
The games will also run smoother, thanks to Snapdragon 855's custom algorithms that were designed to reduce dropped frames by over 90 percent. Lower waiting time improves multiplayer games.
For VR, Snapdragon 855 enables immersive 8K resolutions at 120 frames per second.
What about 5G?
Next year's high-end phones – the most important devices that want to use Snapdragon 855 – are about 5G. However, 5G is not actually integrated on the Snapdragon 855 itself. Instead, connection to the new superfast network requires more chips from Qualcomm, including the X50 modem.
Handset users are likely to release some devices that only use 4G LTE and save the 5G models for their most important, highest phones. Qualcomms Amon told CNET that by 2019, all Android handset makers using Snapdragon will offer 5G connectivity for their flagship phones in the United States.
If a handset maker selects only Snapdragon 855 but not 5G modem, the phone will be able to download data at up to 2 gigabit per second due to the built-in X24 modem. It's twice the last fastest LTE, which lets you do something like downloading 7GB Ultra HD video on Netflix in 28 seconds.
However, if combined with the X50 modem, users can expect up to 20 times faster average performance compared to LTE today, Qualcomm said.
Snapdragon 855 comes also packed with the latest Wi-Fi technology, called 802.11ay. It allows for low latency and speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
The nitty gritty
Time to become more technical. Snapdragon 855 is built with 7-nanometer process technology, the most advanced technology available today. A central part of semiconductor production shrinks components called transistors – extraordinarily small electronic switches that handle data for everything from microwave clocks to artificial intelligence algorithms running on our phones. The smaller the transistors, the better the battery life and performance.
Apple's A12 Bionic chip, found in the iPhone XS and XS Max, became the world's first 7nm processor when it was launched in September. Now high end Android phones will also have 7nm chips.
New in the Snapdragon 855, the Kryo 485 CPU is built on Arm's Cortex Technology. It increases the performance of 45 percent from last year's Snapdragon 845. And the new Adreno 640 GPU gives up to 20 percent faster graphics.
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