Every year Qualcomm Launches its one Flagship Chipset like for last year it was Snapdragon 845 and in 2019 we saw Snapdragon 855 SoC Capable of 5G support with X50 Modem. Every year we see tremendous bump in technology and performance in chipset that is a reason why every year there comes out new Flagship Smartphone with latest processor.
So, the question arises is the last year flagship is no more worthy, or we should now upgrade to the current latest technology, though it will not be cheap as Flagship models start from around 600$ or 40,000 INR.
Answer for this question is what we discuss here today weather you should upgrade or not. What all new Snapdragon 855 brings over 845 SoC, should you expect a world of difference when it comes to performance? Let’s discuss.
Snapdragon 855 VS Snapdragon 845 SoC
After we see Apple A12 X bionic chip and Kirin 980 based on 7nm Technology it’s now time for Qualcomm to upgrade their manufacturing process. The Snapdragon 855 is Qualcomm’s first 7nm FinFET chip, compared to 10nm FinFET for the Snapdragon 845. This smaller process node means smaller chips and greater energy efficiency, which can be put towards additional performance if desired.
Qualcomm claims 45% improvement in performance over Snapdragon 845
The primary highlight of the Snapdragon 855 is its new Cortex A76-based cores. That, combined with the more power efficient 7nm process, should give Snapdragon 855 a significant performance boost.
The Snapdragon 855 also marks Qualcomm’s first “tri-cluster” CPU design. Rather than a traditional four big and four little core design, the Snapdragon 855 moves to a one huge, three big, and four small design. There are still 4 Kryo Gold (1+3 configuration) and 4 Kryo Silver cores, but they are now arranged in three clusters.
The top-performing Kryo 485 Gold ‘Prime’ core is clocked at 2.84GHz and has a wider 512KB L2 cache (compared to 256KB on other Gold cores), and this should enhance performance under loads like web browsing where there is one large thread to be executed.
The huge core is a highly clocked Arm Cortex A76 based CPU design, with a few Qualcomm tweaks. This core offers a higher peak clock speed and more cache memory than the other big cores, providing a major boost to performance over the Snapdragon 845’s Cortex-A75 based cores.
So, Here the Snapdragon 855 is undoubtedly is a winner as its based on more advanced technology compare to Snapdragon 845 SoC. On our testing we see huge bump in performance comparing to Snapdragon 845 SoC. But in day to day life you hardly feel any difference but in Geekbench and Antutu testing Snapdragon 855 defines itself that it is better performing processor.
The new Adreno 640 GPU is 20% faster than Adreno 630 i.e. on Snapdragon 845. The Adreno 640 graphics supports true HDR gaming and games built around Physically Based Rendering (PBR).
Qualcomm estimates a 20 percent performance boost between generations but doesn’t give anything else away about any other improvements made in the graphics department. Unlike Snapdragon 845, the new Snapdragon 855 also supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision formats. There is also support for 120fps gaming and 8K-360 degree video recording capabilities, along with a hardware H.265 and VP9 video decoder.
This change lowers power consumption when playing back high-quality video files. The chip also boosts AI performance with a new Hexagon 690 vs Hexagon 685 DSP. There are lots of major changes here, including the introduction of a Tensor processor and a doubling of Vector performance.
|GPU||Qualcomm Adreno 640||Qualcomm Adreno 630|
|DirectX||DirectX 12||DirectX 12|
|Technology||7 nm||10 nm|
|Features||OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, DirectX 12, Vulkan 1.1||OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, DirectX 12|
So, Summary comes here if you are gamer if you own Snapdragon 845 SoC device like OnePlus 6T or 6 or Samsung S9, LG Devices etc. We do not recommend you upgrade if you buyed smartphone in 2018, in our testing we did not find much of a difference in Gaming part the Snapdragon 845 SoC is good and pulling very aggressively. We recommend you to Wait for Snapdragon 865 SoC.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 supports 5G using external Snapdragon X50 modem. Snapdragon 855 phones without 5G connectivity will also be available. It’s also the world’s first Wi-Fi6 11ax-ready mobile solution.
On the base line without X50 Modem Snapdragon 855 features Qualcomm’s X24 LTE modem for 2Gbps down and 316Mbps up. That’s a fair bit faster than the 1.2Gbps download speeds on offer from the Snapdragon 845 X23 LTE modem. Although real-world speeds will likely be much closer between the two.
5G support is a bit more complicated. The first 5G smartphones utilize the Snapdragon 855, but there’s no 5G modem included in the processor. 5G phones have to make use on an additional, external Snapdragon X50 5G modem. And before 2020 we will not see 5G all through out the globe working perfectly, and surely in 2020 Qualcomm Flagship processor the 5G support will be in built.
So, Summary comes if you are planning to upgrade just because of its 5G capabilities, we highly recommend you wait as 5G is not yet established and in 2020 Flagship processor you will get huge more lot upgrades in Performance with in-built 5G modem.
Artificial Intelligence and Camera
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is the first Qualcomm chipset with a dedicated AI engine. It has new Voice Assistant module which improve the processing of AI Assistants as in 2019 Google SEO is also shifting to Voice Search So as to give immersive and accurate search result it will be more helpful.
The new Spectra 380 will enable new and interesting camera features like HDR in portrait mode or Portrait mode in 4K videos. Spectra 380 ISP has been designed to be more power efficient with image processing. Qualcomm claims that 4K HDR capture will use 30% lesser power consumption compared to SD 845, Snapdragon 855 phones will also support features like 4K HDR with bokeh mode in videos. Snapdragon 855 also supports High-Efficiency Image Files or HEIF format.
The Hexagon 690 DSP on Snapdragon 855 adds a new ‘Tensor Xccelerator’, which will act as a dedicated Machine Learning inferencing engine. The Tensor unit can work independently to process AI loads, and this makes SD 855 the first Qualcomm chipset with a dedicated NPU (or AI Engine, as Qualcomm puts it).
Benchmark Results of Snapdragon 855 and 845 SoC
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 VS Snapdragon 845 Spec Sheet.
|Processor||Snapdragon 855||Snapdragon 845|
|CPU Core||Semi-custom ARM Cortex – Kryo 485||Semi-custom ARM Cortex – Kryo 385|
|CPU Config||1x 2.84GHz (Cortex A76)||4x 2.8GHz (Cortex-A75)|
|3x 2.42GHz (Cortex A76)||4x 1.7GHz (Cortex-A55)|
|4x 1.8GHz (Cortex-A55)||—-|
|GPU||Adreno 640||Adreno 630|
|DSP||Hexagon 690||Hexagon 685 with HVX|
|Process||7nm FinFET||10nm LPP FinFET|
|Camera support||48MP single / 24MP dual||32MP single / 16MP dual|
|Hybrid AF, HDR video. multi-frame noise reduction||Hybrid AF, HDR video. multi-frame noise reduction|
|Video capture||4K UHD, HDR @ 60fps||4K UHD @ 60fps|
|Video playback||8K, 360 degree, 4K up to 120fps, 10-bit, H.265 and VP9 video decoder||4K UHD @ 60fps, 10-bit H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC)|
|Charging||Quick Charge 4+||Quick Charge 4+|
|Modem||X24 LTE||x20 LTE|
|2000 Mbps down||1200 Mbps down|
|316 Mbps up||150 Mbps up|