5 special new Snapdragon 855 features may land in the S10, which one gets you most excited?


Snapdragon 855 is out and could be the best thing that happened to your future Galaxy S10 this side of actually having a nationwide 5G network up and running at the time of its release. 

Qualcomm has scored plenty of firsts this time around and filled in the blanks on existing features like dual-frequency GPS and other nuggets, for what is shaping up to be the best all-around system-on-a-chip for Android phones next year. Here are 5 of those that come in addition to the increased speed, efficiency and "gigabit everything":

First with HDR10+ video and "true" HDR gaming


The newest HDR10+ format for recording and displaying high dynamic range video is barely a twinkle in TV makers eye still, but Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 855 is already supporting it on the system level so you can shoot like a pro. 

True HDR gaming is also a notable first, though you'd have to have titles that support for that as well. For now, marvel at the Physically Based Rendering support in the graphics department that allows devs to skin realistic textures like a breeze.


3D Sonic in-display finger scanner


The era of in-display everything is upon us, and the Galaxy S10 is widely expected to make finger scanners embedded in the screen itself a mass market phenomenon. Qualcomm is coming to the rescue here, as it will reportedly supply its superior second-gen ultrasonic reader to Samsung while at the same time now offering system-level support for faster readings and secure authorization info storage. 

The 3D Sonic biometric subsystem will learn your scan and improve on recognizing your finger patterns over time for faster readings, too. Check out the promo video of the first iteration which by now is able to pierce through a cover glass that is 1mm thick.


Dual-frequency GPS


While already present on the Xiaomi Mi 8 EE and Huawei's Mate 20 Pro with additional chips like Broadcom's BCM47755, Qualcomm is now bringing full dual frequency GPS support to all future phones with Snapdragon 855. That means they will be way more accurate in crowded cities with tall buildings or at highway interchanges. Android Nougat landed support for satellites outside of the U.S. GPS system, like the Russian GLONASS, the Japanese QZSS, the Chinese BeiDou, and Europe's Galileo constellations.

Android Pie, however, lets developers test and use extra measurements for more accurate positioning, like the ones from the accelerometer, or the barometric sensor for altitude. It also introduces the above-mentioned "dual-frequency" support, so that the GPS receiver can track more than one radio signal from each satellite, and on different frequencies at that. 

For the U.S. GPS system, those channels are L1 and L5, and that's what Snapdragon 855-equipped phones would support, greatly reducing GPS soul-searching and lock-in times, while improving placement accuracy, without having to tack on extra chips. Here's an exaggerated video of what dual-frequency GPS accuracy might be.



8K 360 VR video playback


The detail that is depicted in a virtual reality video depends on many variables - from compression to the VR device lens quality - but one thing is for sure - an 8K definition is better detailed than a 4K one, all other things being equal. Snapdragon 855 will be able to process 8K 360 VR video playback which a recent test on Galaxy S9 with Gear VR showed is superior to the usual 4K VR vids. It's still a niche usage, as we can imagine the size of those 8K videos but it's a cool testimony to the raw Snapdragon 855 power nonetheless. You can always use 8K VR streaming services like Visbit, of course, and here is the difference in detail you will get compared to the ones rendered in 4K.



4K portrait mode video bokeh


Snapdragon 855 has a new ISP (image signal processor), dubbed Spectra 380 which should usher phones equipped with the chipset in the era of computational photography that is already bestowed on Google's Pixels and Apple's iPhones with the A12 processor to a great success. Qualcomm says it's thanks to a so-called CV-ISP (Computer Vision Image Signal Processor) which also extends to video recording. 

The Spectra 380 ISP, for instance, can do video bokeh like on the Mate 20 Pro, blurring the background behind a person or an object by simulating a larger aperture, and render the video portrait mode in 4K HDR shot at 60 fps. Cool, and here is how the this works with the other 7nm Android system chip, Kirin 980.



5 special new Snapdragon 855 features may land in the S10, which one gets you most excited?

HDR10+ video recording and "true" HDR gaming
23.28%
3D Sonic in-display finger scanner
45.22%
Dual-frequency GPS
13.65%
8K 360 VR video playback
3.44%
4K 'bokeh' video portrait mode
14.41%

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25 Comments

1. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 930; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

I'm going to say the True HDR gaming thing will be a gimmick.

11. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

I’m going to say all of the above will be gimmicks.

23. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

How can you say the under the screen finger print scanner is a gimmick? I guess all iPhones the use FaceID or a finger print scanner are also a gimmicky.

24. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

I think the under the screen finger print scanner is most definitely cutting edge.

2. Kaostheory

Posts: 16; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

Camera improvements in general, don't care about bokeh.

3. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

Most of features wont be realize to 99% android phones

9. cmdacos

Posts: 4199; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Someone didn't read the title...

18. cmdacos

Posts: 4199; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Also, they'll be available on 0 iPhones.

4. Sparkxster

Posts: 1228; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

HDR10+, True HDR Gaming, and the 3D ultrasonic fingerprint scanner are the best of the new features in the 855.

5. bucknassty

Posts: 1337; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

i thought samsung high end phones already used the barometric sensor for altitude long before android pie.... right?

15. blastertoad

Posts: 40; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

They do, they also have also had access to glonas since the galaxy s5. A lot of android rnd is done by samsung for under the hood improvements that they never advertise.

17. bucknassty

Posts: 1337; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

Yes i knew that.... but it seemed... misleading in this article that it didnt exist yet

6. libra89

Posts: 2280; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

It all sounds great, but the GPS one sounds like a potential game changer for those who have to use it often.

7. japkoslav

Posts: 1505; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

That finger print sensor is really nice in the age of disapearing bezels, more accurate GPS is really nice touch as well - dedicated GPS is almost dead after all. But the rest? Useless or just a gimmick.

8. xfire99

Posts: 1205; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

None. If Samsung decides price tag over $1000 and they will end like Apple. No features will matters.

10. cmdacos

Posts: 4199; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

All of them.

12. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

A simple thing like 10% battery improvement will be more useful in daily life.

13. mike2959

Posts: 694; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

What’s not a gimmick is 8K. For the people that say we don’t need it. We don’t need 12GB ram on a phone. We don’t need 4K on a phone. When you say “we don’t need”....well you’re finished. My dad couldn’t get past Led Zepplin, just like you can’t get past Nirvana. You’re finished.

14. ALMBO6

Posts: 195; Member since: May 28, 2018

Frankly, I'm interested in none. All those so-called features will be useless to me, I either won't use them again after the first week or won't need them at all.

20. libra89

Posts: 2280; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

So I guess you never use Maps?

16. ALMBO6

Posts: 195; Member since: May 28, 2018

I don't know, is it so hard to put a 5000 or 6000 mAh battery in a flagship? I've gotten to a point where I don't even need an excellent camera on a phone anymore, I'd rather just buy a DSLR Camera. But what I do need in a smartphone is a big battery. Can't those OEMs make their so-expensive flagships last a week on a single charge? Flagships nowadays have become so fragile and expensive, but those OEMs keep on adding useless stuff that they call "features" to explain their high prices.

19. monoke

Posts: 1161; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Hdr gaming? People know games are made up colors right? Lmao.

21. epdm2be

Posts: 822; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

PA you forgot the "none"-option. Manufacturers should concentrate on the true usefull features like callrecording, notification-leds, battery life, speaker loudness etc. We don't needs those stupid gimmicks. Many people don't use navigation on their phones nor play games. For many its still a phone first!

22. cozze02

Posts: 128; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

Where is the none button

25. Vagabondjonez

Posts: 160; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

To too bad most developers will only make games that won't use a fraction of the chips potential for mobile.

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