You all know how Qualcomm is! They like teasing us by letting information trickle out of their news room drop by drop. The Snapdragon 820 is to be their most high-end chipset and we want to know all about it, but they simply won’t divulge all the details soon enough! First they announced it and told us a bit about the Adreno 530 GPU. This was followed by a taste of the Hexagon 680 DSP and the introduction of the powerful Kryo CPU happened soon afterwards. What’s next?
Qualcomm swears the latest bit of information is the “final piece of the puzzle” (somehow I doubt that). Today’s announcement is all about connectivity, which is likely the most important part about our mobile devices.
Of course, Qualcomm is not skimping out on its world-class high-end processor. When it comes to data speeds, the Snapdragon 820 is all set to take on the most demanding of tasks. For starters, it supports LTE Cat 12 download speeds of up to 600 Mbps. I am sure I don’t need to tell you that is a lot… but holy molly that’s a lot! That is over half a Gigabit, guys. Pretty crazy stuff. And upload speeds are not bad either, at 150 Mbps (LTE Cat 13).
But what Qualcomm is most excited about is its LTE-U ( LTE in Unlicensed). Qualcomm gives you the whole explanation at their blog, but the general hint is that this process allows network operators to install “small cells” in areas with high data demand. Supported devices can then take advantage of both the network towers and these WiFi router-sized antennas, aggregating the data and using it as a single, faster connection.
In addition to improved cellular data speeds, Qualcomm made sure to work hard on bringing better WiFi experiences to your super phones. The Snapdragon 820 supports 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO, which can double or triple speeds in crowded networks. The chip also includes support for 802.11ad WiFi, giving smartphones the ability to handle multi-Gigabit speeds.
Connectivity – not just faster and stronger, but also smarter
Cellular and WiFi data are usually treated differently, but ultimately they serve the same purpose – transferring all those bits between your phone and the internet. The only issue is that sometimes these technologies don’t merge well in everyday usage, an issue Qualcomm is trying to solve with the Snapdragon 820.
This processor adds the ability to have the smart device choose between LTE and WiFi by first determining which offers the best connectivity. Qualcomm mentions this especially helps during WiFi calls, as the device can jump in and out of your home network to offer you the clearest sound possible. The platform also supports native HD video calls, which makes it possible to switch into a video call straight from a regular voice call.
Get ready for the Snapdragon 820!
I may not believe them, but Qualcomm swears today they wrap up their Snapdragon 820 details and have already told us enough. Are you convinced? Surely, the Snapdragon 820 is to be on the best of the best devices to come during the first half of 2016. You can be sure we will be all over those products when they come. For now let’s just sit tight and wait while Qualcomm and its partners do their thing!