Smartphones are likely to be a top choice for Christmas gifts, but it might be worth not buying an expensive new Android phone right now.

Indeed, a new high-end Snapdragon processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, will be available on a bunch of new handsets by spring 2023.

When announcing the new mobile chip on Tuesday (November 15), manufacturer Qualcomm said it will be adopted by brands including Motorola, Sony, OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, ASUS Republic of Gamers, and more – with the first devices expected by the end of this year.

To help you decide whether to wait or buy now, we’ve broken down the key features you can expect in upcoming phones that feature the new Snapdragon powerhouse. Before we start, it’s worth mentioning that Google and Samsung use their own chips in their latest phones, the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22 series. But that could change with rumors suggesting that Samsung could switch to Snapdragon with the upcoming Galaxy S23 series.

What is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2?

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and 8+ Gen 1 tracking are available in some of the best Android phones, like the OnePlus 10 Pro and Motorola Edge 30 Ultra, respectively. The new mobile chip outperforms its predecessor in every way – on paper, at least, although we’ll have to test it to see how it actually performs.

Skipping technical jargon, Qualcomm is basically saying that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 offers 35% faster performance and 40% better power efficiency than the 8 Gen 1 processor, thanks to its Kryo processor. And its graphics processing unit supports modern gaming technologies, such as Unreal Engine 5 and hardware-accelerated ray tracing, which means photorealistic game characters and more natural in-game lighting. Watch the video below to see the kind of visuals you can expect.

Qualcomm also claims the chip has more AI magic. It’s the first of the company’s chips with an AI-powered camera processor, which allows it to differentiate between the layers that make up an image, such as faces, hair, clothing and the sky, in time. real. It can then apply color, tone, sharpening, and noise reduction to each part separately at the pixel level to deliver a better shot.

Its “always detected” camera feature can also read QR codes without requiring you to wake up the phone and open the camera.

Qualcomm has already revealed that the processor will be the first to offer 8K HDR video at 60 frames per second (fps), which may be better for recording fast-moving scenes, but it’s not the most crucial feature for most users. Comparatively, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra can record 8K with its main camera, but only at 24 fps.

Which phones will include the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2?

Including the multitude of brands mentioned above, there are also a bunch of phones that are confirmed to carry the new chip. We’ve listed which ones are expected to be available in the UK below, along with their rumored or planned release dates. Keep in mind these will all be pricey flagships that can range from around £750 to over £1000.

  • Xiaomi 13 (December – February 2023)
  • OnePlus 11/11 Pro (March 2023)
  • Oppo Find X6 (March 2023)
  • Motorola X40, probably called Edge 40 Ultra in UK (December – February 2023)
  • Nubia Red Magic 8 Pro (February 2023)

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs Android competition

So how does the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 compare to the competition? It’s hard to say until you test it, but here’s how it compares to Google’s Tensor G2 and Samsung’s Exynos 2200.

Theoretically, Snapdragon’s claimed faster performance and better power efficiency should help rival 8th-gen processors – such as the Samsung Exynos 2200 and Google’s Tensor G2 – with day-to-day tasks, such as opening and scrolling. fast use of applications and web browsing.

As is the norm these days, all three processors (the Snapdragon, Tensor G2 and Exynos 2200) offer eight cores in three clusters, although the configurations differ. The Snapdragon also offers a clock speed of 3.2 GHz, which is higher than the 2.8 GHz maximum on the Samsung Exynos 2200. There’s no way to discern whether the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will outperform its rivals, but it should beat its predecessor, the 8 Gen 1.

Additionally, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has this new GPU, with ray tracing support, which should appeal to gamers. Oppo has already confirmed that the feature will be available on its Find X, but it’s still up to developers to actually use the feature to create ray-traced mobile games. In particular, Samsung’s Exynos 2200 chip, available on its Galaxy S22 series, already integrates ray-tracing.

The new Snapdragon processor’s AI camera tricks also bring it closer to the Pixel 7, which offers features like photo blur, active stabilization, and magic eraser to crop unwanted people or things from footage. Additionally, it delivers higher resolution 8K video at 60 fps compared to the Pixel’s 4K at 60 fps. Ultimately, it will depend on how Android phone makers use the new Snapdragon chip which could see it compete or fall short of the competition.