Snapdragon 845 chip rumors and expectations: what we know so far



Fun fact: a modern smartphone has greater computational capabilities than a typical home computer from a decade ago, yet requires only a fraction of the electrical power. Okay, maybe that's not a statement we'd file under "fun", but it is definitely a fact, and smartphones are only bound to get better – faster and smarter than they've ever been before.

Hardly a surprise, the boost in performance brought by each consecutive smartphone generation comes thanks to a newer and better system-on-chip solution (a.k.a. SoC). This is the "brain" of your smartphone, containing the central processing unit (GPU) and the graphics processing unit (GPU), as well as an image processor, sound output circuitry, and a small amount of super-fast memory called cache, among other goodies – all on a single piece of silicon smaller than a penny. 

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 is one of the fastest SoCs you'd find in an Android smartphone today. It powers a number of high-end models, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the LG V30, the HTC U11, the Sony Xperia XZ1, and the OnePlus 5T. Qualcomm, however, may have already developed an even better chip, and its announcement could be nearing.

The Snapdragon 845: what we think we know


Qualcomm's next flagship Snapdragon platform, likely to be called the Snapdragon 845, could be similar to the 835 in a number of ways. For starters, it is rumored to stick to a similar octa-core arrangement: where four high-performance cores handle heavy loads and four energy-efficient cores are responsible for lighter duties. The system then decides which and how many cores to utilize, depending on the task at hand. 

Yet a boost in performance is to be expected. The high-performance cores inside the Snapdragon 845 could be 20% faster in single-threaded tasks compared to the ones inside the 835. Meanwhile, the energy-saving quartet in the 845 could be comprised of cores that are 18% more powerful and 15% more power efficient. These improvements are likely to come as a result from Qualcomm switching to new processor cores, based on ARM's high-end Cortex-A75 and mid-range Cortex-A55 processor designs. For reference, the Snapdragon 835's cores were based on the Cortex-A73 and the Cortex-A53.


Rumors also suggest that the Snapdragon 845 could be built on a 10nm process, though there's no clarity on whether first-gen 10nm manufacturing would be applied, or the newer, 10nm LPP method would be utilized instead, bringing considerable improvements in power efficiency.

Cores and nanometers aside, the Snapdragon 845 is expected to be optimized for advanced applications, such as biometric authentication, speech recognition and artificial intelligence. The Adreno 630, expected to be the new chip's GPU, is projected to be not only great for 3D gaming, but also for rendering next-generation AR and VR experiences.

No less importantly, the Snapdragon 845 could feature Qualcomm's X20 LTE modem. This particular component is already official, which is why we're already familiar with its specs which include 1.2Gbit download and 150Mbit upload speeds. 

When is the Snapdragon 845 coming and in which phones?


From the looks of it, the Snapdragon 845 could be announced on December 5 during the Snapdragon Summit – an event hosted by Qualcomm. Then the chip should make its way into a commercial device before the end of Q1 2018. That could be the Samsung Galaxy S9, rumor has it, as the company may have reserved the first batch of chips, or at least a great portion of it. This is believed to have been the case when the Galaxy S8 launched, which is why at the time competitor LG released its G6 flagship phone with the older Snapdragon 821 chip. In 2018, however, LG could launch a G7 powered by a Snapdragon 845, if reports are to be trusted. And it would be only a matter of time until players like HTC, Sony, and Xiaomi release their Snapdragon 845-powered offerings.

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32 Comments

1. w1000i

Posts: 242; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

I'm disappointed it is not build on 7nm

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7209; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It's not from 10 years ago. It's only like 5 years or less. Especially when I see smartphone SoCs including GPUs, multiple DSP and ISP, plus AI or neural processing engines as well. Not to mention smartphones are using DDR4 Ram now, which only arrived on the market less than 2 years ago. Oh, and how many desktop or laptops include AI chips? Don't bother I will tell you. None of them. For instance the new Pixel 2's come with a 3 teraflop machine learning processor (AI) with on board DDR4 ram. The 845 has its own on board machine learning processor as well. It's no wonder why the sale of laptops and desktops continue to decline in sales.

24. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

It's funny. They make more or device sold with smartphones in the high end than they do laptops... No wonder they won't improve laptops with these capabilities!

2. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Are they going to delay the sequel again, forcing the oems to use the 845 in H2?

3. nitefire

Posts: 13; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

Whats funny is everyone expects it to be 845. I think there is a very good chance its going to be the 850, Which would make more marketing sense. the 821 jumped to 835, so there is no reason to think they wont do it again

25. bambamboogy02

Posts: 837; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Don't think so. Reason why the jump from 821 to 835 was, quad core to Octo-core. 14nm structure to 10nm structure. So staying with Octo-core and 10nm structure, this would be an iterative upgrade. Not a substantial one that would need a significant jump in naming.

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Get it into a Note 9, then get me into a Note 9.

5. Arashmahmoodi25

Posts: 130; Member since: Apr 07, 2017

I don't get this. why in benchmarks top Android flagships(2017) can't completely beat iPhone 6s or even 6(in Jetstream benchmark). !! Anybody knows the answer. ?

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Real world usage matters most. The iPhone X beats the Note 8 in benchmarks, but its also the one I returned. Why? Real world usage.

27. Trex95

Posts: 2380; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

iPhone X needs more ram. Still fast with 3 gig of ram, but still needs more ram since Apple increasing the apps size.

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7209; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The CPU is one part of a mobile SoC in today's smartphones. There is also the GPU, ram controllers, cache and the levels of cache. DSP, ISP, and more. The funny thing about Apple and their iOS, compared to Android. Is Android is a real multitasking OS with split screen multitasking. Something that all iPhones are still missing in 2017. As soon as you leave one app and switch to another in iOS, then the previous app is halted. That is not so for Android. With Android multiple apps can and still do run in the background without any extra coding needed, like you do with iOS apps.

12. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Actually, if we are being honest, the real OS that was the best at multitasking was Blackberry 10. It could run YouTube videos in the background (remember this was before the days of YouTube Red) while you typed up an email and had a video chat. And did it on hardware that was considered outdated. I just wish they could’ve solved the lack of app problem.

10. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

You'll have to ask Qualcomm but benchmarks like battery life tests are not indicative of real world usage. Any top Android phone will fly through any task people use on a daily basis.

14. worldpeace

Posts: 3127; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

First of all, Jetstream is a bunch of javascript that almost never used it any websites. in Jetstream main page they write "benchmark suite focused on the most advanced web applications." and I tried to run it in chrome (desktop), and my chrome CPU usage is always lower than 10%, and the end result is 140.32. And I doubt that Jetstream can use 100% of CPU power in iOS or android Jetstream is just useless benchmark if you use it for comparing daily usage performance. Check youtube video and you can see android flagships load page faster than iOS in the same wifi connection, and Note8 can load webpages much faster than iPhoneX if both connected to 4G.

29. Chrusti

Posts: 100; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

Because Qualcomm is greedy. What really matters is the die size. The bigger the die the more transistors are there. And the more transistors you have the more powerful the cpu. The apple cpu is much larger than any Qualcomm cpu.

8. vliang86

Posts: 337; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Most android fanboy’s thinking: Benchmark matters the most when their phones’ benchmarks (single and multi-core) are better than iPhone’s. Real world usage matters the most when their phones’ benchmarks are worse than iPhone’s. iPhone X’s A11 is a generation ahead of Snapdragon but it’s multi-tasking (eg keeping background apps opened) is not as good as Note 8 and One Plus 5T because it doesn’t have enough ram/many of the apps are not optimized.

11. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

It doesn't need to be as good as the Note 8 or 5T because no one uses their phone in a way to take advantage of 6GB of RAM.

15. worldpeace

Posts: 3127; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Check iPhoneX vs 5T speedtest in youtube.. iPhoneX reload everything in second lap

17. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Saw that last night and was genuinely pissed. Not because the iPhone lost, but because iOS 11 has such s**t RAM management compared to iOS 10. Make no mistake, the amount of RAM isn't why the X lost, it was s**t software.

20. ph00ny

Posts: 2026; Member since: May 26, 2011

But added memory might have fixed that s**t ram management issue

22. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

I've seen it. My point is no one uses their phone in a way where they're opening eight games and trying to multitask between the eight of them. It's similar to benchmark tests. It's not indicative of real world usage.

16. worldpeace

Posts: 3127; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

But OP5T open most apps faster than iPhone X

28. Trex95

Posts: 2380; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Don’t know but I think the next iPhone X 2018 might be the plus model comes with 6 gig of ram and ordinary X comes with 4 gig of ram?! Unless Samsung announced that the note 9 comes with 6 or 8 gig of ram ddr5! One plus 6 and 6T for sure 10 gig of ram lol.

13. mike2959

Posts: 694; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Umm. My iPad Pro I had Amazon music in the background, while working on spreadsheet. Receiving emails from 3 accounts. Isn’t that multi tasking? Oh..I forgot, it’s not multi tasking because of the split screen. I love how the definition just changes to suit you.

18. sgodsell

Posts: 7209; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

If you write an app for Android it can run in the background without any extra coding or needed APIs. With iOS you have to code specifically for multitasking, and use specific iOS APIs to run a process or service in the background. BTW an iPad pro does support split screen multitasking. The iPhones do not support split screen multitasking. No iPhone does.

21. UglyFrank

Posts: 2193; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

It's so stupid that if I use Dropbox/Google drive, I have to keep the app open to upload pictures that would upload in the background on android

19. Anchor

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 16, 2017

I like how we turned this thread from a SD845 thing to a Ram management thing+ comparison with iOS

23. mikehunta727 unregistered

845 is gonna be really powerful. 835 in my Note 8 already absolutely flies and tears everything apart thats thrown at it with very quick ease All these other components on the SoC(ISP, DSP, etc) are all gonna see big improvements alongside with new things like onboard machine learning/other stuff added to the SoC, good times. We need apps to start really leveraging Qualcomm SoCs top down, from the DSP all the way to the GPU

26. NickSDC

Posts: 26; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Hope it shoots 240@1080. Qualcomm is late to that game.

30. GrosseFatigue

Posts: 204; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Will it be faster than the iPhone x??

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