Whilst heading out to Qualcomm's annual Snapdragon Summit I've been reviewing Google's latest flagship, the Pixel 8 Pro, and while it makes big claims for on-device artificial intelligence (AI), the device's Tensor G3 chip has left me wanting more overall.
Enter Qualcomm to seize the opportunity with its brand new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip for mobile, which pushes an emphasis for on-device generative AI among other advances, from advanced camera capture to high-resolution sound. It sounds like a chip that'll make its way into many of the best Android phones in 2024.
Sure, it'll never end up in a Google phone, as the Pixel devices are now long down the road of using the company's own Tensor, but where that chip's throttling has left me pining for more in the 8 Pro, all signs point to Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 being an ultimate powerhouse.
It boasts a 30% CPU, 20% power efficiency, and 25% GPU boost compared to the previous Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. Normally I kind of shrug at these figures, as phone-makers typically throttle performance to preserve battery life and avoid overheating, but knowing the potential to open the tap is there is something I want from the best phones.
Don't get me wrong, of course, I love many of Google's AI features – and its on-device options, such as real-time transcription – but with the move towards on-device processes becoming more the expectation, Qualcomm's move is in sync with the market trend.
The company claims that its "Qualcomm AI Engine was developed with on-device generative AI in mind. Fueling a new era of generative AI-powered virtual assistants, transform the way you interact and ideate. Text, voice, and image inputs form creative content, intelligent responses, and bring some of the most awe-inspiring use cases to life – with the ability to run on-device for ultimate speed and privacy."
It sounds like there's no holding back for Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 either: in addition to the company's previously confirmed partnership with Samsung, there are already stacks of brands on board for future devices. From Honor to OnePlus, Oppo to Sony, Vivo to Xiaomi, the list is already extensive. I'll be keeping an eye out at Snapdragon Summit to see if any brands will tease future devices in more detail...