Qualcomm has finally unveiled its flagship mobile chipset, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, at the annual Snapdragon Summit 2023. This chip is going to power most of the top-tier Android smartphones in 2024. But has the chip maker done anything new with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3?
Are we finally going to experience the power of Nuvia-designed cores on Android smartphones? To find out answers to all these questions, let’s go through everything we know about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Specifications
|Octa-core, Kryo CPU
|1x 3.3GHz (Cortex-X4)
3x 3.2GHz (Cortex-A720)
2x 3.0GHz (Cortex-A720)
2x 2.3GHz (Cortex-A520)
|TSMC’s 4nm process
|New Adreno GPU
Unreal Engine Global Illumination
|LPDDR5X, up to 4.8GHz
|Machine Learning and AI
|New Hexagon AI Engine
Generates up to 20 tokens per second
Run on-device AI models
|New Cognitive ISP
|Semantic Segmentation up to 12 layers
Dual Camera experience
Dolby HDR Capture
|Night Vision for Darker scenes
|Snapdragon X75 5G modem
Up to 10 Gbps Peak Download
Up to 3.5 Gbps Peak Upload
|AV1 Codec Support
Qualcomm continues to shine in the gaming department as well, calling attention to its “console-defying” prowess in its announcement. This year’s Adreno GPU boosts performance and efficiency by 25 percent respectively, and looks to compete with the likes of the iPhone 15 Pro for the best mobile gaming experience you can find outside handheld PCs. That includes improved hardware-accelerated ray tracing, the option to output at 240Hz for supported displays, and support for Unreal Engine 5’s Lumen lighting rig.
Of course, AI is the big buzzword this year, and Qualcomm is looking to compete head-to-head with Google in this space. It’s difficult to sum up just how much focus Qualcomm has placed on AI this generation, especially since it’ll be up to OEMs and developers to support these tools in their hardware. Still, if you’re bullish on AI, there’s a lot to look forward to with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
These tools include the world’s fastest on-device stable diffusion, generating images from prompts in fractions of a second — not a minute, but a second. A new Video Object Eraser from Arcsoft looks to act like Google’s Magic Eraser for videos, automatically deleting background elements from each frame after a single touch. The Sensing Hub now supports new personalization efforts relying on the sensors already on your phone to accurately and securely track data like fitness, activities, and location.
Like Google, Qualcomm will only support 64-bit apps this year, meaning some older legacy software will no longer run on modern flagship phones. It’s a transition that’s been a long time coming — Qualcomm’s 32-bit support was something of a surprise last year — with the company telling Android Police in a briefing that it feels like the time is right.
What devices will the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 power?
Although the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is official, we’ve only seen one company specify a device that will be running on Qualcomm’s hardware: the Xiaomi 14 series. That said, Qualcomm has listed a handful of other hardware partners confirmed to use this SoC throughout the next year, with some pretty familiar names that might fulfill your next smartphone. These include ASUS, Honor, iQOO, Meizu, Nio, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Redmi, RedMagic, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.
We also know a handful of devices that definitely won’t be powered by Qualcomm’s latest chipset: Google’s Pixel lineup. The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro just launched running on Tensor G3, and we’d expect any future smartphones — such as the Pixel 8a — to follow suit. Google and Qualcomm aren’t mortal enemies, though; the Pixel Watch 2 uses the Snapdragon W5 chip to power its array of Fitbit utilities. But when it comes to smartphones, don’t expect to see Qualcomm under Google’s hood.
Just because Samsung isn’t on that list above doesn’t mean the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 won’t be in the Samsung Galaxy S24 series; the company is rarely included in Qualcomm’s initial press releases. However, Samsung is looking to make another big play with Exynos again, after completely bypassing its in-house chipset with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Last year’s Galaxy S23 announcement saw Qualcomm appear on stage with the Korean smartphone giant to announce Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a repeat of that in-house branding for its US models.
However, Samsung does want to return Exynos to its smartphones, likely with international models of the Galaxy S24 and S24+. If you’re buying a Galaxy S24 Ultra in Europe though, don’t worry — rumors indicate it’ll keep its Snapdragon SoC worldwide.
Also Read: Everything need to know about Xiaomi HyperOS