Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: What’s New?

After much anticipation, Qualcomm has finally announced its next-gen Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 flagship processor for Android phones. While Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was not exactly a success, 8+ Gen 1 brought some much-needed improvements. This time around, the silicon maker is hoping to turn the tide with a new CPU design and much-touted thermal efficiency. So in this article, we bring you an in-depth comparison between the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1. You will find the differences between these two processors and what improvements have been included in the latest chipset. So on that note, let’s jump to our detailed comparison between Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 8 Gen 1.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Detailed Comparison (2022)

In this comparison between Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 8 Gen 1, we have discussed the CPU and GPU improvements, benchmark numbers, ISP enhancements, AI processing, 5G modem, and more.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Specifications

We have compared the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 8 Gen 1, spec-by-spec in each category below. Take a look at the table below to find quick information on both processors.

 Snapdragon 8 Gen 2Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
CPUOcta-core, Kryo CPUOcta-core, Kryo CPU
CPU Cores1x 3.2GHz (Cortex-X3)
2x 2.8GHz (Cortex-A715)
2x 2.8GHz (Cortex-A710)
3x 2.0GHz (Cortex-A510)
1x 3.0GHz (Cortex-X2)
3x 2.5GHz (Cortex-A710)
4x 1.8GHz (Cortex-A510)
Process TechnologyTSMC's 4nm processSamsung’s 4nm
GPUNew Adreno GPU 740; Hardware-accelerated Ray TracingAdreno 730 GPU; Snapdragon Elite Gaming
Machine Learning and AINew AI Engine, Hexagon Processor7th-gen AI Engine; 3rd Gen Sensing Hub; 27TOPS
ISPTriple 18-Bit Spectra ISP; Cognitive ISP, Snapdragon SightTriple 18-Bit ISP; Snapdragon Sight
Camera CapabilityCapture photos up to 200MP, 36MP triple shots with ZSL3.2 Gigapixels per second, 240 12MP photos in one second
Video Capability8K HDR, Bokeh Engine 28K HDR, 18-bit RAW, Dedicated Bokeh Engine
ModemSnapdragon X70 5G modem
Up to 10 Gbps Peak Download
Up to 3.5 Gbps Peak Upload
Snapdragon X65 5G modem
Up to 10 Gbps Peak Download
Up to 3.5 Gbps Peak Upload
WiFi SupportWi-Fi 7Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E
BluetoothBluetooth 5.3, LE Audio, Dual Bluetooth Antenna, aptX LosslessBluetooth 5.2, LE Audio, Dual Bluetooth Antenna, aptX Lossless
OthersAV1 Codec Support
NavIC Support
NavIC Support

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: CPU Upgrade

If we compare the CPU of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 8 Gen 1, there is a vast difference in design and particularly in thermal efficiency. Let’s start with the CPU design first. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was built on Samsung’s 4nm process node, which was not received well due to throttling performance issues, poor battery life, and worse thermals. Qualcomm immediately switched to TSMC’s 4nm fabrication process with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, and it saw stable improvements in both performance and thermal efficiency.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: CPU

The same trend continues with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It’s developed in TSMC’s foundry and fabbed on a 4nm process node. So as far as thermal performance is concerned, at least on paper, you will now face any problems with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Coming to the core architecture, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC had an octa-core design with a single ARM Cortex-X1 core clocked at 3.0GHz, 3x Cortex-A710 cores clocked at 2.5GHz, and 4x Cortex-A510 cores clocked at 1.8GHz. Basically, it had a 1+3+4 CPU cluster design.

With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Qualcomm has tweaked its CPU configuration. Now, you get a mighty Cortex-X3 core clocked slightly higher at 3.2GHz (same frequency as 8+ Gen 1), 2x Cortex-A715 cores clocked at 2.8GHz, 2x Cortex-A710 cores clocked at 2.8GHz, and 3x Cortex-A510 cores amped at 2.0GHz.

As you can see, this year Qualcomm has gone with a 1 main + 4 performance +3 efficiency CPU design, which can further be defined as a 1+(2+2)+3 design. In an official confirmation to XDA, Qualcomm said that the two Cortex-A715 and A710 have been added for 32-bit support. Not just that, the A715 core is much more power efficient (~20%) than A710.

All this results in a 35% performance improvement over the last-gen Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. And what’s more, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 sees a power efficiency to the tune of 40%, which is a massive upgrade for smaller Android phones. Despite packing the powerful Cortex-X3 and Cortex-A715 cores at higher clock speeds, Qualcomm is able to reduce power consumption by 40%. It’s surely no mean feat. It is partly likely due to TSMC’s advanced fabrication process.

If we compare the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with the recent Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the margin reduces to 25% in performance and 10% in power efficiency, which is not bad per se. All in all, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is a meaty upgrade over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1/ 8+ Gen 1 and sees a good bump in performance while keeping the thermals in check.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Geekbench Score (Leaked)

If we look at the Geekbench scores, it becomes clear that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has indeed seen a huge upgrade over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. In a recent Geekbench listing of the Vivo X90 Pro+ 5G (due to release on November 22), the Geekbench score of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 was revealed. It scored 1485 in the single-core test and 4739 in the multi-core test. In a separate listing of the upcoming Galaxy S23 that is alleged to have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 globally, it even crossed the 1500-mark in the single-threaded test.

Geekbench score of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Here, we have extrapolated the Geekbench score of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 8 Gen 1, and 8+ Gen 1, so you can get a good idea about the CPU performance improvements. As you can see, the SD 8 Gen2 is a massive upgrade over the SD8Gen1 and has considerable improvement over the SD 8+ Gen1.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Geekbench Score

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Adreno GPU

Comparing the GPU aboard the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1, we again see a huge improvement. The new Adreno 740 GPU on the 8 Gen 2 delivers 25% faster performance when stacked against SD 8 Gen1’s Adreno 730 GPU. At the same time, it consumes 40% less energy, which is even better. So while playing games on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the device will offer better performance while running cooler and delivering better battery life.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

If we compare the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 against the 8+ Gen 1, the performance difference comes down to 15% and power efficiency by 10%. Apart from that, Qualcomm has introduced hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 as part of the Snapdragon Elite Gaming feature set. The chipset also adds support for Unreal Engine 5 and Metahuman frameworks.

As for benchmark numbers, we haven’t yet performed synthetic tests like GFXBench and 3DMark Wild Life Extreme Stress Test, so we will reserve our full judgment for now. But on paper, the GPU on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 seems promising and is better than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 by miles.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Triple ISP

As for the ISP, Qualcomm introduced its triple ISP architecture with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Building on that, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 brings an AI-powered feature called Cognitive ISP. It uses AI to perform semantic segmentation of a scene in real-time, which includes the face, skies, hair, clothes, facial features, skin tone, etc. And enhances photos and videos in real-time to deliver the best results.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Apart from that, Bokeh Engine 2 has been enhanced for capturing cinematic videos and now you can also shoot 8K HDR videos and do 10-bit HEIF photo capture. Moreover, the ability to shoot 200MP photos and 36MP triple camera capture are all the same on both ISPs. However, Qualcomm has this time partnered with Samsung and Sony to optimize shooting on 200MP sensors.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

One more difference here is that Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 now supports the AV1 codec, which was not available on previous-gen Snapdragon chipsets. Overall, both the ISPs are capable, but 8 Gen2 brings new features to make the camera experience even better on Android phones. But we would like to point out that it’s up to the discretion of OEMs to cherry-pick whether they want to utilize a feature or not.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: AI and ML

In the AI department, Qualcomm has done a solid job and upgraded the AI processor to a new architecture. Powered by the latest Hexagon processor, the AI unit on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is now 4.35 times faster than the AI engine on the SD 8 Gen 1. It also offers 60% better performance per watt while performing INT4 operations. Qualcomm also announced that 8 Gen 2’s new AI engine delivers faster and more accurate results in natural language processing with multi-language translation.

The AI engine on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is also responsible for powering the Cognitive ISP feature, as detailed above. Besides that, the SD 8 Gen 2 packs an improved Sensing Hub with dual AI processors for custom wake words, always-sensing cameras, etc. To sum up, the AI engine on the 8 Gen 2 has received a good performance bump. Most notably, the power efficiency numbers are significantly up. So yeah, the SD8Gen2 brings more AI capabilities than the already great 8 Gen1.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: 5G and Wireless Tech

On the connectivity front, Qualcomm has introduced a new Snapdragon X70 5G modem on the 8 Gen 2. While the peak speed remains the same (10Gbps peak download, 3.5Gbps peak upload) on both X70 and X65 (8 Gen1), this is for the first time, the company has brought support for dual 5G SIMs at once.

Yes, you will be able to use two 5G SIM cards at the same time on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Apart from that, the X70 5G modem has an AI-powered co-processor that helps in enhancing latency, speed, coverage, power efficiency, and much more. Finally, both the 5G modems support mmWave and sub-6GHz bands in SA and NSA modes.

Next, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 brings support for Wi-Fi 7 with many advanced features to offer gigabit-speed up to 5.8Gbps. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and 8+ Gen 1 only had support for Wi-Fi 6 and 6E. For local connectivity, you also have Bluetooth 5.3 support. SD 8 Gen 1 only supported Bluetooth 5.2, but SD 8+ Gen1 had the latest Bluetooth 5.3.

Not to mention, you have dual Bluetooth antennas on the SD 8 Gen 2. Besides that, both the processors have support for Bluetooth LE and aptX Lossless codec for CD-quality audio streaming. Finally, support for India’s NavIC positioning system is present on both chipsets.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Outperforms Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Naturally, newer chipsets perform better and offer advanced features. However, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 brings solid improvements across all categories, particularly thermal efficiency, for which the 8 Gen 1 was wholly criticized. With the release of 8+ Gen1, Qualcomm managed to turn the tide, but it seems the company is back in the race of offering flagship processors to Android OEMs with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s release. Anyway, that’s all from us. But what are your thoughts on the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor? Do let us know in the comment section below. Meanwhile, you can head to our comparison between Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs Apple A16 Bionic for a detailed roundup.

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