Modern smartphones impress us with their bright displays, multiple cameras, sophisticated biometrics and more. But while those features naturally require specific hardware components to be present, they still depend on support from the brain and heart of the phone, the processor. Or as Qualcomm would like to call it, the mobile platform. To enable and the next generation of smartphones, Qualcomm has just taken the lid off the Snapdragon 855, not 8150, with a generous serving of acronym on the side.

Gartner predicts that one of the elements that will push the smartphone market forward in the next two years or so will be 5G. Unsurprisingly, Qualcomm will be putting its first 5G modem to the front of the lines. And to make sure that isn’t all for naught, Qualcomm has partnered with mobile operators, infrastructure providers, and device makers all over the world to make a concerted push towards upgrading the world’s networks to 5G.

AI is still one of the smartphone market’s biggest buzzwords and it shows no signs of changing any time soon. The Snapdragon 855 is ready to take on the challenge with its fourth-gen multi-core AI engine. In fact, it’s throwing in CV (Computer Vision) capabilities for that sweet intersection of AI and photography, the two darlings of the mobile market.

VR and AR didn’t really take off for mobile the way it did for PCs and standalone experiences. Everyone seems to still be willing to give it a shot and with the Snapdragon 855’s XR (eXtended Reality) and Elite Gaming (EG?) support, it’s going to be ready when the time comes.

There is, of course, also the usual staples of improved performance and power efficiency, as well as support for Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Sensor for ultrasonic fingerprint scanners. Just in time for Samsung’s rumored 2019 flagship. That schedule, as well as finer details about the chip, are promised to land in the days to come.


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