Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip is here to power the Android flagships of 2022

Qualcomm has a new flagship smartphone processor: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, announced at the company’s annual Snapdragon Tech Summit, giving an early preview at the brains behind the most powerful smartphones of 2022.

The successor to last year’s Snapdragon 888, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is the first chipset to bear Qualcomm’s new naming scheme (which the company had previously teased last week), ditching the triple-digit numbering system that Qualcomm has previously used for new, generation-based monikers.

As is the case every year, Qualcomm is promising some major improvements in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, with better performance, camera technology, AI capabilities, security, and 5G.

Let’s start with the hard specs. As expected, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is the first chip from Qualcomm to use the latest Armv9 architecture from Arm. Specifically, the new eight-core Kryo CPU will feature a single prime core based on the Cortex-X2 at 3.0GHz, along with three performance cores based on Cortex-A710 at 2.5GHz, and a quartet of efficiency cores based on the Cortex-A510 design at 1.8GHz. Additionally, the new chip jumps to a 4nm process, from the 5nm process on which the Snapdragon 888 was built.

All told, Qualcomm promises that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will offer up to 20 percent better performance and up to 30 percent more power efficiency over last year’s model.

Meanwhile, the new Adreno GPU (much like the Gen 1’s Kryo CPU, Qualcomm didn’t give a specific number for the updated hardware here) promises to offer 30 percent faster graphics rendering, in addition to 25 percent better power efficiency compared to the Snapdragon 888. It’ll also offer a new GPU control panel for fine-tuning how games are running on your phone.

Image: Qualcomm

Making its debut on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X65 modem, which promises a whole suite of 5G features and firsts. As Qualcomm’s fourth-generation 5G modem, it builds on the existing mmWave and sub-6GHz compatibility that came before, adding support for up to…