Qualcomm’s crazy new Snapdragon chips are a lot more than just faster

It’s almost hard to believe that in under a century, computers have advanced from occupying hundreds of square feet, to fitting into the palm of your hand. Even wilder is that the tiny machinery in a smartphone can process far more data, far more quickly than the behemoths of old. Don’t spend too much time marveling at the advances of the past, however, because the future is only going to get more wild. Among the most exciting things coming to smartphones soon is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845, a mighty chip that will enable the next generation of mobile devices to do miraculous things.

Qualcomm showed off the Snapdragon 845 — the successor to its already popular and powerful Snapdragon 835 — at its Snapdragon Technology Summit in December, and it boasts a suite of remarkable features. First, the technical details: The Snapdragon 845 sports a Kyro 385 central processing unit (CPU), with eight cores and a clock speed of up to 2.8GHz, and an Adreno 630 graphics processing unit (GPU).

A Snapdragon 845 device can take pictures with far more shades of color.

For virtual and augmented reality, the 845 supports room-scale tracking to render immersive environments, accurate hand tracking, and “Adreno foveation,” which detects the specific area you are looking at and renders it in more vivid detail (this last feature looks nice, and allocates resources more efficiently).

Shutterbugs (professional or otherwise) will probably love the incredible capturing capabilities of the 845. The chipset supports high dynamic range (HDR) playback, as well as HDR recording. This means you can take photos with far more data in them. For example, instead of capturing 256 shades of a primary color with 8 bits, the Snapdragon’s 10-bit color palette offers over a thousand. Instead of the Rec. 709 color standard, which contains 16 million colors, the Snapdragon 845 supports the Rec. 2020 standard, which encompasses more than one billion colors.

If you like shooting video, the Snapdragon 845 also supports filming 720p video at 480fps. The chip can also create cinemagraphs, still photographs in which certain portions are animated.

Of course, the chipset is largely about potential. It will be up to smartphone manufacturers to take advantage of the 845’s robust suite of features.

David Cogen — a regular contributor here at Digital Trends — runs TheUnlockr, a popular tech blog that focuses on tech news, tips and tricks, and the latest tech. You can also find him on Twitter discussing the latest tech trends.

Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Computing

Microsoft’s Always-Connected PCs gets more powerful with 64-bit app support

Microsoft announced that developers can start creating 64-bit apps for Always-Connected PCs powered by Snapdragon processors. The Windows Store will also begin to accept 64-bit app submissions for Microsoft's Windows on ARM.
Mobile

Samsung patents show what Infinity-O display could look like on Galaxy S10

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

Samsung made a $2,700 flip phone with the brains of a smartphone

The Samsung W2019 is a high-end flip phone that comes with flagship specifications such as 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845. The device features a pair of S-AMOLED displays, a dual rear camera setup, and an eye-popping price tag.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Computing

Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 
Mobile

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.