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Qualcomm Snapdragon 855: 3 major improvements over Snapdragon 845

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The Snapdragon series from Qualcomm has been the pioneer for chipsets in Android phones. They have been manufacturing chipsets for phones since November 2007.

Most smartphones at the time were using 500 MHz processors. The first generation of Snapdragon products supported a 720p resolution, 3D graphics, and a 12-megapixel camera.

By November 2008, 15 device manufacturers decided to use Snapdragon chipsets in their consumer electronics products. According to CNET, Snapdragon’s claim to fame was having the first 1 GHz mobile phone processor.

Qualcomm has come a long way since then and now make a range of processors for phones with different requirement. Their 800 series is renowned to be used in flagship smartphones, 600 series in mid-tier budget smartphones and the 400 series in the entry-level smartphones and smartwatches.

Also read: OnePlus might release 5G smartphone with Snapdragon 855 in first half of 2019

The 800 series chipsets are the ones with their latest innovations and often pack the most power.

The recently announced Snapdragon 855 is the successor to their last flagship chipset – the Snapdragon 845. We are going to stack them up against each other and tell you how and why the Snapdragon 855 is better.

Below are listed some of the major upgrades and improvements that come with the Snapdragon 855 SoC.

CPU performance

Both these processors are octa-core CPUs. In the 845 SoC, the chipset boasted a Kryo 385 octa-core CPU, where four Cortex A75-based cores were clocked at 2.8GHz, and four Cortex A55-based cores were clocked at 1.7GHz. (Based on a 10nm architecture).

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 vs Snapdragon 835 Processors
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

Whereas in the 855 SoC, the chipset features the next-gen Kryo 485 octa-core CPU featuring a tri-cluster design. From of the eight cores, one is a prime core clocked at 2.84GHz, then you have three performance cores clocked at 2.42GHz, and the last four are efficiency cores and have a clock speed of 1.8GHz. (Based on a 7nm architecture).

According to Qualcomm, their new 855 SoC chipset should offer the biggest ever performance improvement of 45 percent over the Snapdragon 845 SoC, which is a big deal.

GPU and performance

The new Snapdragon 855’s GPU has been upgraded to the Adreno 640 from its predecessor — Adreno 630. According to Qualcomm, the newer version has a 20 percent performance boost and supports 4K HDR video recording with a 30 percent power consumption reduction.

It also supports HDR10+ playback at 120fps and 8K resolution playback as well.

The Snapdragon 845 SoC is equipped with the Adreno 630 which is very capable and has a 30 percent performance boost over its predecessor.


The Qualcomm keynote where they announced the new 855 SoC was very focused on support for 5G connectivity. The new SoC comes with an in-built CAT modem for 5G network support but the carriers will have to upgrade their modems in order to enable 5G speeds.

The 855 has a peak speed of 2 Gbps. It also has newer Wi-Fi connectivity options such as support for 802.11ax and 60Hz 802.11ay, which offers speeds up to 10Gbps.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 vs Snapdragon 845: 3 improvements

The Snapdragon 845 comes with an X20 LTE Cat.18 modem which supports speeds up to 1.2Gbps.   It also supports multi-Gigabit Wi-Fi with 60GHz range.

Various other aspects such as the Camera and Imaging Enhancements, Artificial Intelligence(AI), Security have got massive step-ups in the new SD 855 SoC.

It comes equipped with a new Spectra 380 ISP, much deeper integrated AI for depth based facial recognition, object detection, speech recognition, single camera bokeh effects, and landmark detection among a few and it now also has support for ultrasonic fingerprint scanners which will take security to the next level.

The Snapdragon 855 is a big upgrade over its predecessor and it will provide a much more advanced user experience.

Smartphones powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 are expected to release in Q2 of 2019 and OnePlus claims to be the first manufacturer in Europe to power its flagship device with it.

Also read: 5 best Snapdragon 845 phones and which one should you pick

Rajiv Kulkarni

Rajiv Kulkarni