Innovation in the smartphone space has peaked. We’ve reached the point where display technology has stagnated, anything more than 16GB of RAM is also largely unnecessary, and cameras have become a megapixel race, which unless you’re trying to print billboard-size posters is quite irrelevant.
But that doesn’t mean that improvements aren’t being made. A lot of these improvements take place under the hood, like with the chipset. If you’re planning on upgrading your phone in 2024, then you might be interested to learn that Qualcomm has since announced its next-gen flagship chipset – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
Interestingly enough, unlike Apple, Qualcomm has chosen to use the 4nm fabrication process instead of 3nm. While it wouldn’t be fair to compare apples to oranges, MediaTek is expected to launch their own 3nm chipset in 2024 and those comparisons will inevitably be drawn.
Faster performance, especially for gaming
This doesn’t mean that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is a slouch or disappointment. Hardly. In fact, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is quite a beast of a chipset. According to Qualcomm, it features the use of the company’s Kryo CPUs that can achieve clock speeds of up to 3.3GHz and is said to be 30% faster and 20% more efficient than ever.
While those speeds might not necessarily be felt in day-to-day use, there are some features that users can appreciate, especially when it comes to gaming. The Gen 3 features Hardware-Accelerated Ray Tracing with Global Illumination thanks to the use of Unreal Engine 5.2 Plus, and even supports a buttery smooth 240 fps for devices with 240Hz displays.
Qualcomm also boasts how the new Gen 3 chipset is better at power savings of up to 10%, meaning that users can look forward to improved performance and also potentially longer battery life.
New generative and camera AI features
There are also brand new AI features where the AI Engine will be able to support multi-modal generative AI models, including large language models, language vision models and automatic speed recognition up to 10B parameters purely on-device! The use of AI will also allow the Gen 3 to be smarter at taking and processing photos by the device’s camera.
It will offer features like Video Object Eraser that can remove people and objects from videos with a single tap, quick QR scanning and facial unlocking, and also a neat Photo Expansion that will be able to capture photos beyond what was initially taken, giving users more context and more options when it comes to cropping and editing their photos.
Some of these AI features sound familiar because some of them are already available on Google’s Pixel phones, but with Qualcomm now bringing them onto its own chipsets, non-Pixel owners can look forward to enjoying similar features as well.
Qualcomm isn’t just limiting the use of AI for cameras or generative capabilities. The Gen 3 will offer 5G connectivity thanks to the Snapdragon X75 modem, but will also feature integrated AI tensor hardware accelerator that will apparently offer faster speeds, better coverage, and location accuracy.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is expected to be adopted by a bunch of brands and phones in 2024, so if you’ve been holding out on upgrading, 2024 could be a good year to consider buying that brand new flagship phone.