Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1 comparison: what are the differences?

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1
Qualcomm has just taken the cover off the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that is expected to power most flagship phones in 2023, and it's an impressive piece of silicon that delivers big time improvements to both performance and power efficiency.

But how does it compare against the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 from last year?

We have summarized all the important differences in the table below:

While both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and the 8 Gen 1 are manufactured using 4nm technology, Qualcomm will no longer rely on Samsung's inferior 4LPX node and is switching to a TSMC 4NP manufacturing. This is the same node that Apple is using in its A16 Bionic chip and this in itself is a very promising change.

Snapdagon 8 Gen 2 CPU performance

On the CPU side, Qualcomm quotes up 35% better performance and up to 40% in power savings, and while most of this will be felt in multi-threaded tasks, those are big numbers that we rarely see in a yearly chip update.

It is still an 8-core CPU design, but this time, the Prime core runs even faster at up to 3.2GHz, and the configuration is tweaked: instead of three performance cores, you now have four of them, while the efficiency cores are reduced from four to three.

Snapdagon 8 Gen 2 GPU performance

Gamers are also treated to quite a few important upgrades. The new Adreno 740 GPU in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is 25% faster and 45% more power efficient, again big numbers.

It also adds support for hardware-based real-time ray tracing with support for the Unreal Engine 5, which means light, shadows and reflections will look more realistic in games and these features would be quickly implemented in the new crop of gaming phones (think Asus for example).

This is also the first mobile chipset to support Vulkan 1.3 APIs.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 ISP

We have a bunch of improvements with the Image Signal Processor (ISP), which now supports new Sony and Samsung sensors with up to 200MP resolutions (cough, "Galaxy S23 Ultra", cough).

You also have support for 8K, 4K120 and 720p960 video capture, but it's up to the phone makers whether they will implement those capabilities. All of these sound super impressive, so here's to hoping.

Last, but not least, the new Snapdragon X70 modem now comes with its own AI processor which will help for better 5G coverage and speed. You now also have Dual Active SIM support, so you can have two SIMs running a 5G network at the same time.

We have already seen a few leaked benchmark results from this new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, and it looks very impressive.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Modem and Connectivity

The new Snapdragon X70 modem inside the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 gets its own AI chip which will help for better and more reliable 5G coverage.

You also get support for Wi-Fi 7 which supports speeds of more than double that of Wi-Fi 6. Users should get max Wi-Fi 7 speeds of around 5.8Gbps.

In the image above, you can see a summary of all the improvements that come with that. 

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones

The first devices with this new SoC are coming by the end of the year, and we have already heard about phones like the Vivo X90 Pro Plus that should be using them.

List of upcoming phones with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip:

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 series*
  • Vivo X90 Pro Plus
  • Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro
  • Oppo Find X6 Pro
  • OnePlus 11
  • Motorola X40 (aka Edge 40 Pro)
  • iQOO 11 series
  • Red Magic 8 Pro
  • ZTE Axon 50 Ultra
  • Nubia Z50 Pro

*Unlike the other phones, the Samsung Galaxy S23 series were not officially mentioned as upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 launches. It's possible that this is because those phones may use a slightly different variation of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.

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