Qualcomm today did its usual mid-year update to this cycle’s mobile flagship chip with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, and the 7 Gen 1 was also announced. The chipmaker additionally unveiled a new reference design with the Wireless AR Smart Viewer.

Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 features a Kryo CPU (based on Geekbench 5 MT score) and Adreno GPU (clock speed) that are both 10% faster than its predecessor from November. There’s 30% improved CPU power efficiency and an identical reduction in GPU power. Another improvement is how the 7th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine delivers up to 20% better performance per watt. In terms of day-to-day usage, this manifests as:

  • +60 minutes of gameplay
  • +80 minutes video streaming
  • +5.5 hours talk time
  • +25 minutes 5G WeChat video calling
  • +50 minutes social media browsing
  • +17 hours music playback 

This chip is still 4nm but now built by TSMC instead of Samsung, which explains those battery gains — Qualcomm specifically touts 15% SoC power savings. The first commercial devices should be available by Q3 2022 from Asus ROG, Black Shark, Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, Osom, realme, RedMagic, Redmi, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.

Snapdragon 7 Gen 1

Meanwhile, Qualcomm’s new naming scheme is expanding with the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1. Compared to the Snapdragon 778G, there’s over 20% faster graphics rendering, and up to 200MP photo capture. This is the first time the Snapdragon 7 series adds a dedicated Trust Management Engine and Android Ready SE support for IDs and digital car keys. You also get the 4th Gen X62 5G modem (up to 4.4 Gbps downlink) and the 7th Gen AI Engine. 

Making the jump to Samsung’s 4nm (from 6nm), the first Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 devices from Honor, Oppo, and Xiaomi are coming in Q2.

Wireless AR Smart Viewer

Qualcomm today also announced the Wireless AR Smart Viewer reference design powered by the Snapdragon XR2. It’s meant to help manufacturers build AR glasses that are not connected to phones via USB-C cables. Computing workloads are split between the Smart Viewer and paired mobile device with under three millisecond latency.

Compared to the wired/tethered Smart Viewer XR1 reference design, this model — developed by Goertek — is 40% thinner and better balances weight (115g). The FOV is around 39 degrees.

SeeYA provides the dual micro-OLED binocular display enabling 1920 x1080 per eye and frame rates up to 90Hz and a no-motion-blur feature to deliver a seamless AR experience.Dual monochrome cameras and one RGB camera on the smart viewer enable six-degrees of freedom (6DoF) head tracking and hand tracking with gesture recognition to achieve AR precision.

Other specs include two 6DoF tracking cameras and a single RGB lens, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 6/6E, and 650mAh battery. It is available for select partners, and wider availability is expected in the coming months.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com