I won't lie, I have been fawning over Huawei a lot recently with the Kirin 980 SoC being the most powerful mobile processor on the market, and the Mate 20 Pro being what I think is the best phone currently on the market.

This has largely been due to the fact that the Qualcomm flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 845, is nearly a year old now which is positively ancient in the mobile space.

However, the tides could be set to turn with the launch of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 on the 4th of December in Hawaii during the Qualcomm annual tech summit (I think my invite got lost in the mail).

As it currently stands we are unsure if it will retain the existing naming convention and go with Snapdragon 850 or use the oft rumoured new branding of Snapdragon 8150.

Rumours suggest that the new chip will adopt a similar core layout to the Kirin 980 and the recently announced Exynos 9820, where they move into a tri-cluster arrangement with eight cores in total.

The recent leak suggests a slightly different approach to the other companies and this will have:

  • One Kryo Gold Prime core with a 512KB L2 cache clocked at 2.842GHz
  • Three Kryo Gold cores with a 256KB L2 cache per core with a maximum frequency of 2.419GHz
  • Four low-power Kryo Silver cores with a 128KB L2 cache per core clocked at 1.786GHz.

It is extremely likely that the Gold Prime and Gold cores will be based on the ARM Cortex-A76, while the silver cores are probably Cortex-A55 based.

If this is true this would give a similar arrangement to the Kirin 980 which also uses four A76 cores in total with four A55 for its low powered cores.

The main difference is that the Snapdragon 8150 will have a single core clocked at 2.842GHz verses two at 2.6Ghz on the Kirin. Then three middle cores are 2.419GHz versus the two 1.92Ghz. So this should theoretically offer much better single core performance over the Kirin.

Early leaks indicate that the Snapdragon 8150 is fractionally behind the Kirin 980 in single core but ahead in multi-core using the GeekBench test. The leaked scores being:

Geekbench multi-core

  • Snapdragon 8150 – 10,084
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro w/Kirin 980 – 9,712
  • Google Pixel 3 XL w/Snapdragon 845 – 8,088

Geekbench single-core

  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro w/Kirin 980 – 3,291
  • Snapdragon 8150 – 3,181
  • Google Pixel 3 XL w/Snapdragon 845 – 2,363

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