When you think of Hawaii, you probably imagine sandy beaches, loud shirts and floral decoration. Yet for a few days every year, the picturesque landscape is taken over for a tirade of technological innovation. I'm talking about the Snapdragon Summit – where chip manufacturer, Qualcomm, unveils the latest and greatest innovations they have to offer.
If you aren't familiar with Snapdragon by name, you'll almost certainly be aware of the phones they power. Some of the best Android phones, like the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra and the OnePlus 10 Pro, use the current generation Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. Even the best foldable phones, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Motorola Razr 2022 are using the chipset, giving it serious credentials as one of the best processors on the market.
Now, Snapdragon have unveiled their new chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. And if you liked the performance of the 8 Plus Gen 1, you're going to love this.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: key features
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 boasts a host of upgrades and new features over its predecessor. It's the first commercial device to use WiFi 7, meaning you'll get lower latency with WiFi speeds almost double what you can get on WiFi 6.
An updated AI engine means AI processes will be more than four times faster than before. Plus, with updates to the performance-per-watt of the AI engine, processes will be up to 60% more efficient, too.
The new GPU will render graphics up to 25% faster. That's great for the best gaming phones, and will keep you in the thick of the action, without worrying about lag. There's also a massive update to the ray-tracing on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Phone manufacturer, Oppo, shared a useful video on their Twitter, showcasing what that means in real terms, and it's mighty impressive.
Small details, like reflections and light play in water, are far more realistic. The footage almost looks like you're playing on a dedicated gaming console – like the PS5 or the Xbox Series X. And, on the CPU side, performance is 35% faster and 40% more efficient, with speeds of up to 3.2GHz.
What will Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones be like?
Based on the improvements, phones with this chipset should be able to get much better battery life. That's thanks to improvements in the efficiency of the AI engine and the CPU. Snapdragon have sung about the gameplay experience a lot, and I would anticipate the next generation of phones to be substantially better here.
Beyond that, though, I would expect to see some really capable handsets that perform as you'd expect a 2023 flagship to perform. Will it keep pace with the MediaTek Dimensity 9200 or the Apple Silicon chips found in the iPhone 14 range? It's too early to say, but my gut says the fight will be well worth watching.