Categories Hardware Review

Facial recognition, bokeh, 4K and more: What the new Snapdragon 845 brings us ahead of the high-end Android of 2018?

Snapdragon 845

The new Snapdragon 845 will be the brain of the high-end Android for 2018. Terminals such as the Galaxy S9 or the Xiaomi Mi 7 will mount the new Qualcomm chip, but they will not be the only ones.

In a deep technical session in Hawaii we have been able to better know the successor of 835. It has helped us to know a little more about the high range that we will see next year and the characteristics that we will see from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Good times come for the recording of contents in 4K, smartphones more “smart” or facial recognition.

Snapdragon 845
Image Source: Google Image

Cameras: Bokeh without double lens and 4K HDR

With a quote from Kandinsky (“Color is a power that directly influences the soul”), Tim Leland from Qualcomm explained the advances that the Spectra 280, the image processor of the Snapdragon 845, incorporates.

  • 4K HDR up to 60 fps: “The Snapdragon 845 will be the first processor capable of recording in Hollywood quality,” said Tim, and referred to the chip’s ability to record 4K HDR videos up to 60 fps. In addition, it will also be able to record slow motion 720p videos up to 480 fps (and 1020p at 120 fps). Definitely, with this the high-end Android will take a step in mass towards the highest quality video.
  • More colors and more realistic: The Spectra 280 is capable of capturing 10-bit images (instead of 8 bits as hitherto), a wider color gamut (going from the Rec 709 to Rec 2020 standard) and more brightness. Led to user experience, Qualcomm ensures that it will move in images with a wider color depth, with more color gradation, more dynamics and better quality pixels.
  • Bokeh without the need for a double camera: Artificial intelligence now also applies to the digital signal processor, the Hexagon 685, which translates into a phone that can apply filters in photos and videos in real time, without having to wait for the post-processing. In addition, thanks to an AI processing capability that, according to Qualcomm, is three times more powerful than that of the 835, it will not take a double camera to apply the famous bokeh or portrait effect to our photos. There will also be advances in editing with the possibility of refocusing the photo after having taken it (something that is already quite common in some high-end smartphones).

Without going too deep, they also gave us touches about technologies that will theoretically make the photos look better on the screens (thanks to the reduction of multi-frame noise), the use of algorithms to better stabilize the images and get more quality in the pixels.

As a curious detail, it was also mentioned that this new chip will cause the cameras of the new phones to exceed 100 points for the first time in the controversial DxOMark.

Snapdragon 845
Image Source: Google Image

Facial recognition and biometric security

It is clear that Face ID has marked a path and the high-end Android will follow without doubt in 2018. The new Snapdragon 845 opens the doors to facial recognition to unlock the phone and to make mobile payments.

Do you remember the famous 30,000 Apple mapping points with your Face ID? Qualcomm raises the bar with 50,000 points of mapping in the 845, which will make it more accurate when it comes to detecting your face and, therefore, also more secure against possible replicas or attempts to deceive you.

Continue Reading: The Snapdragon 835 promises in almost everything, but it has an ace well kept in the sleeve

And just in safety Qualcomm has emphasized. Sy Choudhury, senior director of architecture at the company, explained that the Snapdragon 845 will include for the first time what they have called a “secure processing unit” (SPU).

The 835 included two levels of security and this secure process unit adds one more. It is a kernel with its own memory, processor, key generator, etc. What is this for? In this “safe island”, as defined by Sy, we will include our fingerprint, the mapping of our face, our Facebook password or our security code for mobile payments.

“There are different degrees of security depending on what operation you are doing,” Sy added, referring to this way of separating more sensitive data and information from others.

That is, each file in that secure processing unit will be encrypted independently and isolated from the rest of the terminal information. As always in these cases, we must be cautious: it will be harder to hack, but surely not impossible.

Snapdragon 845
Image Source: Google Image

A step towards 5G and better autonomy

The new X20 modem that includes the Snapdragon 845 is considered by Qualcomm as “a new step towards the 5G”. They assure that it improves 20% the average speed and tip of the devices, and here already they think in speeds of more than a gigabit.

They also affirm that it will be 30% more efficient when connecting or broadcasting streaming content thanks to 11 ac Wi-Fi, which, in the same way, translates into more connection capacity for the same bandwidth.

They add that their TrueWireless technology will allow sending and receiving HD quality content via Bluetooth and with up to 50% energy savings. And here they gave us the example of bluetooth headphones. It seems that Apple’s AirPods will not be alone next year.

The autonomy is one of the crucial elements and Qualcomm here assures us that the Snapdragon 845 is more efficient, although they still speak of “a full day of battery”. Some information in this regard that they gave us …

  • More than 20 hours of video playback
  • More than 4 hours of 4K UHD video recording
  • More than 3 hours playing in virtual reality
  • 15 minutes of charging equals a 50% charge of the terminal thanks to Quick Charge 4.
  • System Cache of 3MB, which reduces access to memory between 40 and 75%, which makes the terminal consume fewer resources and save more energy.

We take note of all these data because we are sure that we will see them reflected in the presentations of the high ranges of next year. Are bets accepted?

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