The Galaxy S24 hasn't arrived yet, but in some corners, attention is already turning to the Galaxy S25 — and specifically toward the system-on-chip likely to power it.
That would be the unreleased Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip, which we likely won't see until later this year. Nevertheless, a Weibo post from leaker DCS has some information to share about the future chipset, which sounds like quite an upgrade over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 that's powering phones like the OnePlus 12 and most likely the Galaxy S24 Ultra when that phone debuts in 2024.
That's because the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will be built on a 3-nanometer process, according to the leaker. That compares to a 4nm process for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. That means the new chip will be denser, which usually means a big leap in both power and efficiency.
The only 3nm chip currently powering mobiled devices is the A17 Pro inside the iPhone 15 Pro. Not surprisingly, iPhone 15 Pro benchmarks are way ahead of other phones. Android phones have been crying out for an equivalent.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 reportedly has an octa-core CPU featuring two high-performance Phoenix L CPU cores and six power-efficient Phoenix M cores. This is quite a different set-up from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which uses one prime core, five performance cores and two efficiency cores. Presumably, this new octet of cores makes for better and more efficient performance, as DCS suggests.
Another tipster, @revengus, claims that the Adreno 830 GPU inside of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 is 10% more powerful than the Apple M2 chip that's found inside devices like the iPad Pro and the MacBook Air. This chip is now being phased out since the Apple M3 chip's introduction in October but it's still impressive that a chip designed for smartphones can in theory beat laptops and tablets.
However, it's uncertain whether the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will be in every Galaxy S25 phone in 2025. Samsung may only use the Qualcomm silicon for phones released in North America, while other markets could see the Galaxy S25 and S25 Plus installed with the Exynos 2500 processor. This matches what's been rumored for the Galaxy S24 series, where only buying the Ultra model guarantees you the same chip and therefore consistent performance worldwide.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 likely won't be the only improvement Samsung has planned for its 2025 flagship phone. There have been some indications that Samsung is aiming to decrease the size of the internal bezel on their future phones, the Galaxy S25 included.
It is also likely that Samsung's Galaxy AI will undergo further development after its rumored debut on the Galaxy S24 series, benefitting from the apparently much more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 4.
It is important to note that these are only rumors at the moment, and there's more than a year between now and the likely launch of the Galaxy S25 series. We'll keep a lookout for more rumors to see if this rumor changes or develops, and of course check out what the Galaxy S24 series' assumed Snapdragon 8 Gen 3-powered performance is capable of when it arrives.
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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.