After teasing it on day one of the company's Snapdragon Technology Summit yesterday, Qualcomm today unveiled the details of its next flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 845. The new system on a chip (SoC) is an upgrade in just about every way from its predecessor, the Snapdragon 835.
As far as the CPU itself goes, you'll now find eight Kryo 385 cores, four of which can be clocked at up to 2.8GHz. The efficiency cores can be clocked at up to 1.8GHz, for a total of 25% improved performance. The GPU has been upgraded to a new generation, in the Adreno 630m and that promises a 30% increase in performance.
Some of the most impressive improvements though come from the new Spectra 280 ISP, which supports up to a 16MP dual camera or a single 32MP camera. In short, the cameras on Android phones are about to get a lot better. There's support for Active Depth Sensing, multi-frame noise reduction, and ImMotion computational photography. For video recording, you can finally capture at 4K 60fps, along with support for HDR10.
As expected, the new SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 modem, which supports 5x carrier aggregation, License Assisted Access, Dual SIM-Dual VoLTE, and 4x4 MIMO on up to three aggregated carriers. This all adds up to download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps (upload speeds are still 150Mbps), although to be clear, carriers don't support this in most regions.
Just as you'd expect, there are also security improvements. The Snapdragon 845 chipset includes a new Secure Processing Unit (SPU), which is "designed to add vault-like characteristics to existing layers of Qualcomm Technologies’ mobile security solutions."
You can expect to see the Snapdragon 845 start showing up in Android phones in the spring, likely at Mobile World Congress. As for ARM-based Windows 10 PCs, that's unclear, although Qualcomm did say that there will be Windows 10 devices that use it. We know that there's a separate Snapdragon 835 that goes into PCs, and Qualcomm hasn't listed any specs for a Snapdragon 845 Mobile PC Platform.