Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Qualcomm readies next big chip as Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with WiFi 7, spatial audio

We’re getting a taste of what we can expect from the next flagship Android phones as Qualcomm talks up what’s coming next.

The year may well be almost over and all of the major phones out from the typical players, but that doesn’t mean the news about what’s coming closes and shuts up shop.

With the year drawing to a close, smartphone makers aren’t so much the ones talking up their next wares for the holiday season or ahead of the new tech season in 2023. Rather, it’s the makers of the stuff that goes on the inside of phones, as chip and chipset producers talk about what you can expect in those new phones.

We saw it only a few days ago from MediaTek in a WiFi 7-ready piece of silicon, and next up is Qualcomm, easily one of the largest and most commonly found chip makers in phones found in Australia.

You can find a Snapdragon in so many phones, with most of the flagship devices launched locally in 2022 not made by Apple seen with one inside, and based on what we’re hearing the next big Snapdragon will have, that will probably continue.

Next up is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the third model in the “8” series, after the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 launched this time last year, and then the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which we’ve seen in the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, among others.

The next variant will take what worked in both of those models and upgrade things again, sporting a faster chip complete with ray-tracing in games, making it possible for mobile games to look more like they might on a desktop or console, complete with optimised support for the Unreal Engine 5 Metahumans framework, a system designed to created photorealistic human characters in games.

There will also be support for 5G and that new WiFi 7 technology gradually rolling out, while Qualcomm will upgrade the camera tech to support camera sensors as high as 200 megapixels, tune the image processing features, and use a degree of artificial intelligence to optimise pictures you capture to make things look that much better.

And if you’re a fan of sound, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will also support lossless music streaming, complete with spatial audio and dynamic head-tracking.

Yes, head-tracking may stop being just an Apple feature only, which it currently is, as head-tracking comes to Android devices with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside. Qualcomm hasn’t quite said which platforms will support the tech, but we know that the feature can be found from a hardware level, which is one step in the right direction.

“We are passionate about enabling people to do more, so we design Snapdragon with the user at the centre,” said Chris Patrick, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Handsets at Qualcomm.

“Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, will revolutionize the landscape of flagship smartphones in 2023,” he said.

Interestingly, it might not take until 2023 for those phones with the new chip to arrive. Qualcomm notes that brands already in Australia such as Asus, Motorola, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi are set to use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but have said the first devices to sport the chip are expected by the end of 2022.

With not much time left in the year, it could mean a new high-end phone is on the cards very shortly, with more high-end goodness to come next year.

Read next