Skip to main content

Snapdragon 845 Unveiled: Here's What to Expect

Qualcomm today (Dec. 5) took the wraps off the Snapdragon 845, its next mobile platform that will no doubt power the next batch of flagship Android smartphones coming our way in 2018.

Qualcomm senior vice president Alex Katouzian holds up a Snapdragon 845 mobile processor. (Credit: Qualcomm/YouTube)

(Image credit: Qualcomm senior vice president Alex Katouzian holds up a Snapdragon 845 mobile processor. (Credit: Qualcomm/YouTube))

While not revealing every detail about the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm said the newest mobile processing platform would focus on six features: cameras that could take 360-degree photos, VR and AR immersion, artificial intelligence, security, Gigabit LTE and, of course, more power. Qualcomm didn't disclose how much faster the Snapdragon 845 would be relative to this year's top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835, but that chip was significantly faster than its predecessor when we tested it at the start of 2017 while consuming less power.

The company says the 845 features "billions" of transistors and took three years to build. Qualcomm will be pairing it with its X20 LTE modem, which allows for gigabit speeds if a wireless network allows it.

Samsung will be make the chip, and Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said that it is working on a phone that will use the Snapdragon 845. It's unclear if that phone will be available in the United States, since Xiaomi's phones have yet to land on these shores.

Back in August, we detailed some of the work that Qualcomm is doing on its system on a chip to accommodate cameras, including better image quality, depth-sensing, facial recognition and mixed reality features.

Numerous flagship smartphones are expected to use the new chip, including the still-unannounced Samsung Galaxy S9, which is rumored to be the first phone to ship with the new Snapdragon processor in the U.S.

At the event, Qualcomm also showed off new laptops from HP and Asus running Windows 10 on the existing Snapdragon 835. It's possible Windows laptops will use the latest Snapdragon in the future.

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.