At Snapdragon Summit 2022, Qualcomm finally unveiled its next-gen flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. The new mobile chipset has been touted to bring promising multi-fold improvements in performance and power efficiency. Unlike the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and 8+ Gen 1, the CPU and GPU on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 have seen some fresh changes, and we are excited to test them out once OEMs release their next-gen flagship phones. Meanwhile, we have explained everything you need to know about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, including the CPU architecture, GPU, ISP, AI engine, 5G connectivity, and more. On that note, let’s go ahead and find everything you need to know about Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Chipset Overview (2022)
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Specifications
You can check out the complete specs of the 8 Gen 2 chipset in this section. Before we learn about the processor in detail, take a look at this table to get an idea about the next-gen Snapdragon mobile platform.
|Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
|CPU||Octa-core, Kryo CPU|
|CPU Cores||1x 3.2GHz (Cortex-X3)
2x 2.8GHz (Cortex-A715)
2x 2.8GHz (Cortex-A710)
3x 2.0GHz (Cortex-A510)
|Process Technology||TSMC’s 4nm|
|GPU||New Adreno GPU 740; Hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing|
|Machine Learning and AI||New AI Engine, Hexagon Processor|
|ISP||18-Bit Spectra ISP; Cognitive ISP, Snapdragon Sight|
|Camera Capability||Capture photos up to 200MP, 36MP triple shots with ZSL|
|Video Capability||8K HDR, Bokeh Engine 2|
|Modem||Snapdragon X70 5G modem
Up to 10 Gbps Peak Download
Up to 3.5 Gbps Peak Upload
|WiFi Support||Wi-Fi 7|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.3, LE Audio, Dual Bluetooth Antenna, aptX Lossless|
|Others||AV1 Codec Support, NavIC Support|
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Key Features
CPU Design Upgrade
After years, Qualcomm has fundamentally changed the CPU design with the launch of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 this year. Previous-gen 800-series and 8 Gen 1 chipsets offered a 1+3+4 CPU architecture, including 1 prime core, 3 gold cores, and 4 efficiency cores. This time around, Qualcomm has moved to a new Kryo CPU design (1+4+3), comprising 1 prime core, 4 gold cores, and 3 efficiency cores. But there’s a twist, you are essentially getting a new 1+(2+2)+3 CPU architecture, which we have explained in detail below.
According to experts, Qualcomm has made this design switch to compete against the best of the competition and lead in CPU performance tests. And since mid-cores have gotten efficient and performative of late, the company decided to embrace a new octa-core configuration.
Moving to the specifics, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset is built on TSMC’s 4nm process node. It features a single powerful Cortex-X3 core clocked at 3.2GHz, along with two different performance cores. For the first time ever, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 packs 2x Cortex-A715 and 2x Cortex-A710 cores clocked at 2.8GHz. Finally, we have one less efficiency-focused core, i.e. 3x Cortex-A510 cores clocked at 2.0GHz.
Overall, Qualcomm states the CPU on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has seen a performance improvement of 35% as compared to the SD 8 Gen 1. And it’s 40% more power efficient as well, which is huge. Moreover, Qualcomm confirmed to XDA that it has used both the A715 and A710 cores to retain 32-bit support. Note that, with the release of the Pixel 7 series, Google has done away with 32-bit support. And with Android 14 next year, there will be no 32-bit builds in circulation. So Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 might be the last Qualcomm processor to support 32-bit architecture.
Geekbench Score (Leaked)
If we talk about benchmark numbers for the 8 Gen 2, a Geekbench listing of the upcoming Vivo X90 Pro+ 5G smartphone gave us an idea of the performance. Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 scored 1485 in the single-threaded and 4739 in the multi-threaded test on Geekbench. There are other reports saying that Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will breach the 1500-mark in the Geekbench single-core test.
While we need to wait for more benchmark test results, it’s safe to say that the CPU on the 8 Gen 2 is good and its thermal efficiency speaks for itself. We will perform throttling tests and run other intensive benchmark tests to find the performance improvements in Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the coming days, so stay tuned.
Faster Adreno 740 GPU
Moving to the GPU, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 packs the latest Adreno 740 GPU, which is said to perform on par with other flagship SoCs. According to Qualcomm, the Adreno 740 GPU delivers up to 25% faster performance, all the while consuming 40% less energy. Note that, this number is in comparison with the 8 Gen 1, but still, double-digit performance jump and efficiency figures are significant.
Other than that, Qualcomm has finally debuted the hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing feature, as part of Snapdragon Elite Gaming on the 8 Gen 2. With Ray Tracing support, you will be able to play games in an environment similar to real life with realistic light, reflections, and illuminations. Besides that, Qualcomm has added support for Unreal Engine 5 and Metahuman framework to deliver photorealistic human characters while gaming.
Simply put, gaming on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will be an excellent experience. And with improved thermal performance, you will get much better battery life while gaming. Currently, we don’t have any benchmark numbers for the GPU, but we will soon test its performance against the likes of Apple and MediaTek, so stay tuned with us.
As for on-device display support on the 8 Gen 2, the GPU can drive a QHD+ screen at a maximum of 144Hz refresh rate. Apart from that, it can go up to 4K at 60Hz. If you are wondering about the display-out support for external monitors, well, the SoC can power a screen up to 4K at 60Hz. Not to mention, it also supports 10-bit color depth, Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR 10+, and more, but their availability will depend on OEMs.
Up to 200MP Photos
Along with its triple-ISP architecture, Qualcomm has announced something called a Cognitive ISP with the launch of the 8 Gen 2. Using Semantic segmentation, the ISP can automatically enhance photos and videos in real time. It uses an AI neural network to detect the face, skin tone, hair, clothes, facial features, etc. — all in real-time to optimize and deliver the best image results.
Other than that, Qualcomm’s new Spectra ISP can capture 36MP shots from all three cameras with zero shutter lag. And it can also capture photos up to 200MP as well. The company has also partnered with Sony and Samsung to fine-tune the 200MP sensors OEMs will use with the 8 Gen 2 processor. Not to mention, it supports 8K HDR recording and you can also take a simultaneous 64MP photo.
Qualcomm has also upgraded the Bokeh Engine with new enhancements. Plus, the new ISP has added support for the AV1 codec and can play 8K HDR videos at 60FPS. All in all, the new Spectra ISP on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset is plenty powerful, and it will power the next generation of flagship Android devices with unparalleled features.
AI and ML Support
Like always, Qualcomm has done an amazing job in the AI department on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It has come up with a new AI engine, which is powered by an upgraded Qualcomm Hexagon processor. It is built on a new architecture and is said to bring 4.35x better AI performance than the 8 Gen 1. The AI unit is responsible for the Cognitive ISP feature that we discussed above and it can also provide faster natural language processing with multi-language translation.
The new AI engine on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 supports INT4 (an AI precision format), which can deliver 60% better performance per watt. As a result, it consumes less energy and can deliver smart features for a much longer time. As for the new Qualcomm Sensing Hub, it packs dual AI processors that bring support for custom wake words, always-sensing cameras, and more.
As part of Snapdragon Sound, Qualcomm has introduced new features on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It now offers dynamic spatial audio to offer an immersive experience, be it while gaming, music, or during calls. On top of that, the chipset offers a dynamic head-tracking feature to deliver a true surround-sound experience, but for this to work, you will need a compatible Snapdragon Sound product.
Next, the company has added various Bluetooth codecs like aptX Voice, aptX Lossless, and aptX Adaptive to deliver ultra-low latency (less than 48ms) while gaming and rich sound for music streaming. The aptX Lossless codec lets you enjoy CD-quality music over Bluetooth. Basically, you can stream 48KHz lossless music with Qualcomm’s proprietary Bluetooth codec on SD8Gen2-powered phones.
5G Modem and Wireless Tech
Coming to the modem on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, it packs Qualcomm’s latest X70 5G modem, which offers peak download speeds of up to 10Gbps and upload speeds of up to 3.5Gbps. The modem supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz frequency bands in SA and NSA modes. The company has also fused a 5G AI processor to enhance latency, speeds, coverage, power efficiency, and more. Not to forget, it is the first Qualcomm modem to support two 5G SIMs at once.
And with Qualcomm’s FastConnect 7800 connectivity system, you also get Wi-Fi 7 and dual Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity. On top of that, the 8 Gen 2 comes with LE Audio support for audio streaming over low energy. Finally, Qualcomm has implemented India’s NavIC support in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which means all smartphones with this processor will have NavIC support.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Availability
The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile chipset will reach flagship phones by OEMs like OnePlus, Motorola, iQOO, Xiaomi, Asus, Oppo, Sony, Redmi, and more by the end of 2022. We expect the upcoming Vivo X90 Pro+, iQOO 11 series, Xiaomi 13, Samsung Galaxy S23 series, and other high-end phones to be powered by Qualcomm’s new chipset.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Everything You Need to Know
So that is our comprehensive explainer on the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and what improvements it brings to the table. I would say that the latest Qualcomm processor is a well-rounded mobile chipset that has seen improvements in all departments. I’m impressed by the power efficiency figures and cannot wait to test out 8 Gen 2’s thermal performance in real-world usage. Anyway, if you wish to learn about the difference between Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and Apple A16 Bionic, head to our detailed article. And if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.