Snapdragon 855 details leak ahead of announcement

Qualcomm will shortly be announcing its next flagship mobile chipset in Hawaii, but it seems that one website jumped the gun and published many of the details ahead of the official unveiling.

The article was apparently published by TechCrunch and quickly taken down, but not before copied the details, which include the fact that this chipset will apparently be called the Snapdragon 855 rather than the Snapdragon 8150 (a name which had recently been rumored).

Apparently the Snapdragon 855 is an octa-core chipset with three clusters of cores. There is said to be four 1.78GHz power-saving cores, three 2.42GHz high-end cores and one 2.84GHz core that should offer even greater performance.

That's a configuration that we've heard rumored before, as is the fact that this is apparently a 7nm (nanometer) chipset, meaning it's smaller and likely more efficient than the 10nm Snapdragon 845 powering the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S9 (in the US) and the Sony Xperia XZ3.

The Snapdragon 855 is also said to have a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU), which will help it carry out AI tasks up to three times faster than previous Snapdragon chips.

Improved gaming, AR and photography

The chipset also apparently supports 5G and has been optimized for both augmented reality and gaming, going so far as to have a new feature dubbed "Snapdragon Elite Gaming", though it’s not yet clear what that does.

Shooting photos and videos on phones using this chip should also be improved, thanks to a "specialized computational vision engine" that processes computational photography. Finally, the Snapdragon 855 chipset is said to have an Adreno 640 GPU, which will offer an undefined performance increase.

It all sounds very promising, and notably both the small size and support for 5G could give this Snapdragon chip a boost over Samsung's new Exynos 9820. Indeed, early benchmarks for the two chips suggest Qualcomm's is more powerful, but we doubt there will be much noticeable difference in use.

And of course, while this information on the Snapdragon 855 sounds convincing you should still take it as a rumor until Qualcomm officially announces the chipset.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.