I have already covered the new technology in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system on chip (SoC) but that doesn’t mean a great deal without some real-world results.
Qualcomm has finally started demoing units built on the Snapdragon 845 SoC to selected press. The tests are not ideal as the hardware is Qualcomm's demo units, so you don’t know what has been done to tweak the results. However, it is nice to see in the absence of any new products running the chip.
This new chip is very likely to be in the new EU Samsung Galaxy S9, the upcoming new Sony flagship, Xiaomi’s next flagship as well as potentially the Nokia 9 at MWC.
Regardless of the hardware set-up, the initial impressions look very positive for the latest Snapdragon.
The specs of the reference phone include:
- 5-inch LCD screen with 2,560×1,440-pixel resolution
- Dual rear cameras: 12-megapixel and 13-megapixel
- Front-facing camera: 12-megapixel
- 8GHz Snapdragon 845 processor
- 6GB RAM
- No headset jack
The benchmarks carried out were only able to test the CPU, GPU and the system memory, and to some extent power efficiency. One important test that can’t be carried out with these benchmark results properly is the battery. Qualcomm claim there will be significant battery improvements, but in reality, it depends on the manufactures implementation on how well this does.
In Geekbench 4, which records the raw power of the CPU and GPU on a chip, the Snapdragon 845 achieved 8401 which is around 30% higher than the previous generation. However, it is quite a bit behind the SoC in the iPhone X which scores 10330.
In Antutu, which records the performance of UX, GPU, RAM, CPU, I/O and more the Snapdragon 845 scored 267,556 which is a comfortable lead over every other system including the iPhone X which scored 226,844
The GFXBench benchmark app is a key one to measure a phone’s gaming capabilities. In this test, there are no significant improvements. It scored joint top in the easiest T-Rex test and then was behind the iPhone X and Huawei Mate 10 on Manhattan, the iPhone X and Galaxy S8 on Manhattan 3.1 and behind the OnePlus 5T on Car Chase.
In 3DMark the results are very different, with the 845 jumping ahead in all the results with 30% better performance and a 30% improvement in power.
In reality, the phones all perform so well there isn’t much room for improvement. The T-Rex test shows all the phones capping out at 60FPS.
The last test was PC Mark, this is Android only and benchmarks the overall performance of a phone. It takes in web browsing, photo and video editing and how it deals with documents and data. Within this test, there are no noticeable gains at all. Again, it would seem that it is no longer the processor that holds a phone back.
The results are impressive; there are evident improvements in the performance and some indication of power improvements. With some results coming in similar to the previous generation it shows just how good the 835 is and how powerful modern system on chips are now.
For me at least, I am still more than happy with the performance of the 820/821, my current phone isn’t even using a high-end chip.
What I am more excited about is all the other features the chip brings to the table, and how companies implement them. I really want a high-end phone that can easily last a full day of heavy use, and hopefully, the Snapdragon 845 can help achieve this.