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Qualcomm Announces Next-Gen Snapdragon 805 “Ultra HD” Processor and Adreno 420 GPU

snapdragon processor

This morning, Qualcomm introduced the world to the Snapdragon 805, the next generation in its S800 tier of processors. The new S805 is specifically designed to deliver image and graphics experiences at Ultra HD (4K) resolutions, both on your smartphone and while connected to your HDTV at home. Built inside of the S805 is the all new Adreno 420 GPU, which delivers up to 40% more graphics processing power than its predecessor. 

According to Murthy Renduchintala, the executive VP of Qualcomm Technologies, “Using a smartphone or tablet powered by Snapdragon 805 processor is like having an UltraHD home theater in your pocket, with 4K video, imaging and graphics, all built for mobile.”

Snapdragon 805 highlights:

  • Blazing fast apps and web browsing and outstanding performance: Krait 450 quad-core CPU, the first mobile CPU to run at speeds of up to 2.5 GHz per core, plus superior memory bandwidth support of up to 25.6 GB/second that is designed to provide unprecedented multimedia and web browsing performance.
  • Smooth, sharp user interface and games support Ultra HD resolution: The mobile industry’s first end-to-end Ultra HD solution with on-device display concurrent with output to HDTV; features Qualcomm Technologies’ new Adreno 420 GPU, which introduces support for hardware tessellation and geometry shaders, for advanced 4K rendering, with even more realistic scenes and objects, visually stunning user interface, graphics and mobile gaming experiences at lower power.
  • Ability to stream more video content at higher quality using less power: Support for Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) for video post processing, first to introduce hardware 4K HEVC (H.265) decode for mobile for extremely low-power HD video playback

According to Qualcomm, the new chip is already being sampled in handsets and should be seen in consumer devices within the first half of 2014. Maybe just in time for launch with the Galaxy S5? We shall see.

Via: Qualcomm

  • Daistaar

    While 4K is awesome, albeit pointless on a screen with PPI already so high it’s discernable, I’d really appreciate if more focus went to audio. I’m not talking speaker placement, but I’d really loving audio processing speeds that could deliver realtime audio as opposed to buffered audio. I used to love how a CD would progress to the next track. The iPod mimicked this really well but it seems Android audio players always have to take a second to buffer the next song in your playlist. Also, what kind of care is going into audio processing. I’d hope you can output THX audio if you’re doing 4K. Definitely something better than equalizers.

  • Jason B

    4k2k is just a stop-gap anyway. Not sure why everyone is pushing 4K. 8K is true 4K, as it’s 4320p rather than 2160p, if we go by the traditional naming standard (720p, 1080p, 2160p, 4320p, etc).

    They’re marketing it to try to confuse everyone.

  • wtfsss

    This will be the S4 Pro of this year. The best for the 2-4 random superphones that are released at the end of the year and then quickly forgotten when the newest line comes out for all the fall flagships

  • joejoe5709

    <— Throws his brand new G2 out the window.

    Piece of crap. We just can't win, can we?

    OK in all seriousness this doesn't seem like quite as big of a bump from the S600 to the S800 – even the name is incremental. So all those with S800's shouldn't be too butt hurt just yet.

    • interstellarmind

      I don’t know… 40% increase in GPU seems more than an incremental step up!

  • I agree with the general consensus: Better battery tech first! Then we can worry about advancing in screen tech. Just seems like that’s not gonna happen anytime soon.

    • Adrynalyne

      The problem with that is everyone focuses on the wrong things. Battery tech isn’t as interesting as say, speed. Look at automobiles. Gas mileage kept getting worse and worse, and it took a while before it became a focus for auto makers. Its going to take a battery “crisis” to get improvements in battery tech, seems like.

      • zurginator

        Trust me, it’s being focused on. Whoever makes the breakthrough will not only rule the phone market, but also the laptop market, and the car market. Battery research is a multi-BILLION dollar field. The issue isn’t the investing, it’s the “we need ideas” part.

        Even then there have been ideas but they’re working out kinks, and this requires even more ideas.

  • balls

    I’d rather have better batteries

    • tgom222

      I agree that better battery life would be better, but developing faster processors and better batteries are not mutually exclusive. I can welcome any performance increase.

  • enigmaco

    I am happy with my moto x and the kit kat it received.

  • T4rd

    What’s the TDP on these new chips though? For some reason Qualcomm keeps omitting this spec on their newer chips. I couldn’t find a definitive answer on the S800 with a quick search the other day, but some articles said that the TDP raised from the S600 to the S800, which IMO is a step backwards despite the considerable performance gains that don’t do much for real world performance outside of games. They need to prioritize power savings over performance right now. It seems the newer S800 phones don’t fair as well as the S600 and older phones with the same battery capacity (most notably the Nexus 5 vs the One, Moto X or N4). But it’s also hard to compare a stock Android phone to a skinned one.

    • Adrynalyne

      Its like the old SUV MPG numbers.



    • Dave

      If you run an 800 and 600 equipped devices side by side, the 800 is quicker, but the difference is near negligible for everyday use.

  • Chris Knepper

    Adreno 420 eh? Should be smoking and blazing fast.

  • Tyler James Edward Hills

    Bring it on. Just means I can get a phone with an s800 at a midrange price. Or free on contract

  • interstellarmind

    I think higher than 720p is a waste on mobile devices.

    MY N5’s 1080p is nice, and I like the screen more than my N4’s… but I would have gladly traded in the 1080p for 720p in order to preserve battery life. I wish company’s would invest more in battery tech than screen tech.

    • Your last sentence is spot on. The rest, not so much.

    • John

      1080p is only useful on screens bigger than 5″

    • zurginator

      Battery research is a multi-BILLION dollar field. The issue isn’t the investing, it’s the “we need ideas” part.

      Even then there have been ideas but they’re working out kinks, and this requires even more ideas.

  • Kenneth cox

    According to some people’s logic this makes the note 3 and g2 mid ranged phones now *cough* moto x haters

    • interstellarmind

      And it makes the MotoX a low-range, feature phone, haha.

      Your analogy is a doubled-edged sword


      • Kenneth cox

        A low-range, feature phone that is running android 4.4 when most are still on 4.1-4.2 lol right…Use a moto x before you bash it.

        • interstellarmind

          Hahaha one of the features Google touted about KitKat is it’s compatability with low range devices. I can totally see how MotoX was able to make the cut.

          • Kenneth cox

            I can’t tell if you are being serious or just trolling…since when is 2 gigs of ram, krait 300 cores, and adreno 320 gpu “low range” hardware? if thats the case then the htc one and galaxy s4 are low end as well and should be running kit kat as well but they aren’t. There is no reason to bash the x at all, it keeps up just fine with any of the competition.

          • interstellarmind

            “since when is 2 gigs of ram, krait 300 cores, and adreno 320 gpu “low range” hardware?”

            Since the snapdragon 805 with Adreno 420 was announced.

            Look dude, don’t try so hard to validate your purchase of the MotoX (in lieu of the N5). You made a bad purchasing decision*, it happens, c’est la vie. Just let it go.

            *I’m willing to bet you got suckered into buying it when it was $200 ON-CONTRACT, as well. Ouch.

          • Kenneth cox

            being the first to kit kat validates it enough. Besides im on verizon so i can’t even get a nexus 5, i sold my galaxy s4 to get a moto x and I don’t ever plan on leaving. The moto x by far is the best phone i’ve ever used. Instead of throwing more useless cores into a phone samsung should spend more time optimizing like motorola. You enjoy your phone and i will enjoy mine. Have fun waiting another year for your kit kat update, assuming u ever see it.

          • interstellarmind

            Hahaha I’m using an N5 (you know, the phone that was half the price of the MotoX* off-contract, and better screen resolution and better SoC). I left VZW a while ago to get in on the Nexus action.

            Pretty sure I’ll see updates to Android before you. Every. Single. Time. Hahaha!

            *at the time of the MotoX’s launch

          • Kenneth cox

            Funny how on the other articles people are sending back their nexus 5s for a moto x due to poor battery life and a weak camera. Optimization goes far. Not bashing a nexus because i love nexus phones but seeing as its not even an option for me i can’t even consider a nexus. Its too much wasted power, nobody needs a quad core 2+ ghz processor to play candy crush and check twitter. Its all for marketing.

          • kg2152345

            Lol +1 to this. Getting a little tired of Motorola fanboys trying to justify crap hardware. “Oh you know my Moto X or droid mini or droid ultra is just as fast as the Note 3/Nexus 5/G2 because of um optimizations! Yea that’s it optimizations!” Better hardware is better hardware, they try to act like all the real flagship phones have lag but Motorola magically doesn’t. Lag in android in general is exaggerated but if the real flagships have lag, the Motorolas have lag and then some. Hardware does not lie. It’s like people with 150 hp 4 cylinders cars saying it’s just as good if not better than 500hp v8 cars because it’s been “optimized.” Newsflash, it’s not, more power is more power. Stop making excuses, the moto x being fast enough is not the same as being just as fast or faster than the real flagships. I would love it if Motorola would make a real flagship phone, because I’ve always liked their build quality and reception. But it hasn’t happened yet and based on the Motorola X it might be a long time before they try it.

          • Kenneth cox

            well not all of us like a phone with the buttons on the wrong side. Besides its my money, if i want a moto x and its right for me why complain? I don’t do anything on my phone besides read, youtube, and text. I don’t need a snapdragon 800 or 805 to do that lol. The main reason i sold my s4 was because of the terrible battery and the moto x proves that it is much more efficient despite only having 2 cores. Honestly i can say i don’t miss it nor do i notice it being any slower because of the fact.

          • kg2152345

            Since last year

          • kg2152345

            And don’t you dare act like the galaxy s4 and htc one are the same as the moto X. They have 1080p screens and quad core not dual core.

          • Kenneth cox

            So the more cores a phone has the better? Even if the OS can’t even utilize 4?

    • Timo Kuerten

      I don’t see why there is so much Moto X hate… I got one 3 days ago and I love it! I had the option of this or the S4, went with this because of all the positive reviews. Hell, even MKBHD recommended it. And I’m no first-time user. I prefer having a great software experience over the fact that an app loads .5 seconds faster, or a game loads 5 seconds faster. I’m absolutely okay with a 720p screen. That makes it an amazing phone for my needs. Is it for everyone? Ofc not. Is it right for me? HELL YEAH. LONG LIVE THE MOTO X. LONG LIVE TRUE INNOVATION! 😀

  • Eric

    Andddddddddddddd I just got a G2………

    • Adrynalyne

      It takes about a year from announcement before anyone thinks about using it…8 months at the very least.

      • Eric

        Well thats good because thats when I can upgrade again.

    • joejoe5709

      Same boat. Sitting in my office I actually said out loud, “Son of a…”

      Like Adrynalyne said, let’s hope it’s a few months before this hits smartphones. If a smartphone can be relevant for six months, you’ve got a winner.

  • kixofmyg0t

    Move over Galaxy Note 3 and G2/N5 with your “last year” specs.


    Now this is a chip I’d like to see in a gaming focused tablet. Smartphone? It’s getting to be overkill now.

    • Adrynalyne

      IMO, it started getting overkill after the S600.

      • Adrynalyne

        A specboy downvoted me. Oh noes.

        • T4rd

          I got ya, bruh! =p

          • Adrynalyne


          • No love for me, DOWNVOTE ALL POSTS!

          • Adrynalyne

            Upvoted, to protect myself 😀

      • gtg465x

        Some could argue after the S4. The Moto X is just as fast and smooth as S800 phones, even with its lowly dual core S4. Software optimization is more important than raw specs at this point. You can throw all the specs you want at something, but if the software is crap it will still run like crap.

        • T4rd

          Well in the Moto X’s case, it helps that it *only* runs 720p and has the same Adreno 320 GPU as the S600 to drive its display.

        • Adrynalyne

          Thats been my argument for a while too. I want to see new software innovation and increases in other tech areas like batteries over SoCs that for the last two versions haven’t come to close to being tapped.

          Heck, lets see some multi-core improvements to Android so that we see even bigger benefits from hardware.

        • GentlemanScholar

          The Moto X uses the S4 Pro, which is essentially a dual core S600. It has Adreno 320 GPU (same as S600) and Krait 300 (same as S600). Only it uses two cores instead of four. It’s basically an S600. Nonetheless, Moto X has definitely proved that Android can be fast without the fastest processor.

    • joejoe5709

      True story. In a tablet -especially 10″ and above- 4K resolution and an insane processor for movies and gaming won’t seem quite so unnecessary. For a 5-6″ phone? Eh… I’ll take the faster processor, but 4K is debatable.

  • mustbepbs

    Shh, shh…hear that?

    It’s the sound of the Snapdragon 800 not being good enough anymore.

    • Adrynalyne

      S800 is old tech. Any phone shipping with it now that this was announced is outdated and not worth it.


      • mustbepbs

        Can’t wait for the reviews to say “only has Snapdragon 800”.

        • Adrynalyne

          I’d be more excited to hear about a change to Android to actually utilize quad cores properly than the 805.

          • Kevin

            Exactly. Optimization is better than more cores. Just look at the Moto X and the iPhone 5s they’re both dual-core and yet their still faster than any phone right now. Android can’t even take advantage of 4 cores so why even bother? I’d rather have a strong dual-core chip like the A7 than a chip with 4 or 8 cores. Adding more ram and adding more cores isn’t going to fix the problem Android has it’s just going to hurt it. I think Motorola did a great job proving this when they made the Moto X. Qualcomm should go back to making dual cores. Even in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdauwqhmsas&feature=youtube_gdata_player Qualcomm says better cores not more cores and said that the top 25 apps in China only even use two cores not four or eight just two. And by that this video also seems to favor more Apple than Qualcomm.

    • John

      The Snapdragon 800 is still very fast, the 805 does not make the 800 any slower.

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      Nexus 10 v2 4K confirmed.

  • R

    Feed my addiction!!!!

  • Chase Chick

    How much power is too much power for a mobile device? No one is going to be running Adobe After Effects or Autodesk Maya on a phone screen. What we do on phone screens is find stuff around you, call people, text, surf the web and that’s it. As the Moto X proves, you can run an OS silky smooth and quick without a monster processor. So at what point do we ask what is the point of this?

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      I think it’d be nice to have this on a phone that can be docked and used like a almost full blown pc/mac. Like the old moto lapdocks

      • Chase Chick

        Yeah but the problem is, just like with laptops versus desktops, that there are thermal limits no processing power. I could be wrong but I don’t think we’re going to be seeing Nvidia 780ti desktop class performance in a phone, even 20 years down the line, just because of the thermal constraints of being in a confined space like that. Of course I would like to get proved wrong, but even still, like I said, I’m not going to be doing high def video editing, motion capture, high end photo editing, or anything computationallly intensive on a phone screen, so again, what would be the point?

        • Big_EZ

          If you have desktop capabilities in your pocket, then any monitor becomes a desktop. These products will become more powerful and efficient, along with other new innovations that aid in making a all in one mobile device. The point will be that I won’t do any of that with my phone, but I will when I hook it up to my 55″ monitor.

    • Dave

      Guess I’ll have to wait until next year, so I can begin AutoCAD and designing 20 acre commercial fully automated warehousing systems on my Galaxy S5 then….LoL

    • WhatCanYaDo

      Being able to video out 4k (Which i’ll never use but its been mentioned)
      Being able to emulate higher gen consoles on our phone (and emulate the current ones faster/better) (which would be my use)
      Perhaps emulating an OS, linux, windows (just a guess)
      More power hungry games for android

      And that is about all I got. I wish I could turn off screen mirroring on my S4 when I do HDMI (assuming this would help with the battery life)

  • possomcrast1

    This begs the question….Do we really need 4K on a smartphone?

    • Droid Ronin

      I thought 1080p was kind of overkill for a smartphone, let alone 4K.

      • possomcrast1

        1080p kind of is overkill but there’s a noticeable difference between 720p and 1080p, this on the other hand will probably be indiscernible and pointless.

      • Big_EZ

        1080p is overkill on screens smaller than 5″, but 1080p is perfect for the 5-7″ screen size

      • Eric R.

        4K means even more dead pixels

    • mmoreimi

      I would say yes, for a smartphone display, but not if using video out to a 4K display…which are quickly becoming more affordable.

      • possomcrast1

        True, I guess. It’ll be like 5 years before 4K TV’s are common enough,though.

        • Adrynalyne

          It will be 1-2 years before this comes out as well.

          Edit: Maybe not that long, but it will be a bit.

        • DoctorOta

          Maybe not that long only 1-2 years in 5 years we may be seeing 8k TVs that japan has already started to test and introduce.

        • Robert Boluyt

          4K TVs are under 600 dollars now, probably won’t be 5 years. Might be 5 years for decent selection of content though.

    • Greg

      Was that a retorical questions? Yes!

    • joejoe5709

      Overkill, yes. But you’ll still feel outdated when 4K hits. I guarantee it. These tech companies know our desires better than we think.

    • Big_EZ

      I like that it can output 4k, that’ll be useful in a few years.

  • Godzilla

    Galaxy S5