Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 revealed: 'Most advanced 5G mobile platform'

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

After announcing a new era of Snapdragon chips, Qualcomm unveils its all-new and rebranded Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the latest 5G mobile platform boasting the world’s first 5G modem-RF that can dish out up to 10 Gigabit download speeds.

Revealed at the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit 2021, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 claims to be the "most advanced 5G mobile platform" to usher in a new standard of premium Android smartphones. From desktop-level gaming to the 7th Gen Qualcomm AI engine featuring double the processing power of its predecessors, expect to see next-generation flagship smartphones from the most popular phone brands. 

According to Qualcomm, we can expect to see a new wave of phones from notable OEMs by the end of 2021; including Black Shark, Honor, iQOO, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Redmi, SHARP, Sony Corporation, vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE. As we now know, the Xiaomi 12 will be the first smartphone to boast the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 upgrades

Android smartphones are gearing up to topple the standard set by the iPhone 13's powerful A15 Bionic — most notably in connectivity. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is equipped with a "4th gen Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System," which can reach an impressive 10 Gigabit download speeds. Wi-Fi speeds are also expected to see a jump in speeds, supporting up to 3.6 Gbps over Wi-Fi 6 and 6E.

Android phones like the Asus ROG Phone 5 always excelled at mobile gaming, Qualcomm claims this new chip will deliver desktop-level gaming experiences. Thanks to the new Qualcomm Adreno GPU, gamers can expect a 30% boost in graphics rendering capabilities and a 25% improvement in power savings when compared to previous models. Plus, users will also experience the mobile-first "Variable Rate Shading Pro" and "Volumetric rendering" for improved fog, smoke and particle effects.

The new Snapdragon tech also delivers upgraded security and Android Ready S", with the latter being used for digital car keys, drivers’ licenses, and more. This is similar to what Apple introduced earlier this year, which means we may also see driver's license support and more down the line.

As for cameras, the chip is equipped with "Snapdragon Sight Technology," which boasts the first commercial 18-bit mobile ISP. This means users can capture over 4000x more camera data than previous smartphone models, including extreme dynamic range, color, and sharpness at speeds up to 3.2 gigapixels per second. Plus, the chip will be able to capture 8K HDR video, along with a special Bokeh engine and an "Always-On ISP."

There are a number of exciting features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 aims to deliver, but we won't know how these all work until we try them out ourselves. Stay tuned for upcoming reviews, and for the best smartphones on the market right now, we've got you covered. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.