The Snapdragon 865 is the latest chipset from Qualcomm, which makes the processors in all the high-end Android phones in the US. The features Qualcomm demoed at its Snapdragon Tech Summit this year are likely to go into phones like the Samsung Galaxy S11.
The coolest feature we saw was live, on-device voice translation, taking everything I said in English and turning it into Chinese. This is all being done in the phone’s AI processor; it doesn’t have to go out to the network.
Dolby Vision Capture
Dolby Vision dynamically adjusts an image’s color settings to prevent images from looking too dim or bright areas too blown out. This is especially visible at night, when lights can blow out a shot. The phone at left doesn’t have Dolby Vision; the phone at right does, with the Snapdragon 865.
The Snapdragon 865 will also support 200-megapixel cameras for awesome digital zoom, 4K video capture with 64-megapixel still capture, and endless 960fps super-slow motion.
Faster Snapchat Filters
Snap came on stage to talk about how the Snapdragon 865’s AI processor will let it speed up the processing of filtered videos from 10fps to 30fps, making smooth videos with advanced filters and lenses more common.
High Frame Rate Gaming
Qualcomm showed a Chinese Mario Kart-like game playing at 120fps, something that will become more common on mobile devices with the Snapdragon 865.
Mobile Driver’s Licenses
The Snapdragon 865 fulfills the security requirements to be part of states’ mobile ID initiatives, which replaces your physical driver’s license with a digital file that can be scanned with a related app. No US state currently has this in practice yet, but Qualcomm says they’re working on it.
Giant Fingerprint Scanner
The 3D Sonic Max under-display fingerprint scanner is 17 times the size of the scanner in the Galaxy S10, allowing for two-finger authentication and a much bigger target for clumsy thumbs.
High-Quality Calls Over Bluetooth
Voice calls over Bluetooth that use wireless carriers’ highest quality systems are now degraded by Bluetooth codecs. The Snapdragon 865 includes a new AptX voice codec with 32Khz voice, which is richer and clearer than the current Bluetooth voice system. Your headset will have to support it as well, though.
Dual-frequency GPS will get rid of GPS wobbles in urban areas, where trouble finding the satellites often forces a phone to rely on less accurate methods of positioning.
The Snapdragon 865 has full fledged Wi-Fi 6 (at left) which is a lot more responsive than Wi-Fi 5 (at right.) This will require a new home router, but it could make the difference between lagging and not lagging in mobile games.
Inside Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 will power the Samsung Galaxy S11 and other leading smartphones next year. We break it down for you.
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