7/11/2016

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 will come loaded in smartphones, VR headsets this year


More than 115 flagship smartphones and tablets out this year run Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 820 processor, but the company has dethroned the 820 for a new successor, the Snapdragon 821.
The Snapdragon 820 was already heralded for its speed and processing power when it was announced late last year — it has proven itself as the industry leader as it powers flagship devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge, the LG G5, the HTC 10, and the Sony Xperia X.

But starting this fall, expect to see more devices packed with the Snapdragon 821, which Qualcomm says “delivers faster speed, improved power savings, and greater application performance.” To be a little more precise, the Snapdragon 821 offers a 10-percent performance increase over the Snapdragon 820.


It features a Kryo quad-core CPU and can reach speeds of up to 2.4GHz, but apart from that it doesn’t look like there’s much else new with the new processor. While that may be the case, it doesn’t mean that the Snapdragon 821 can’t offer a dramatic performance boost. We’ll have to wait to find out, but not for long — Qualcomm says we can expect the new processor to come loaded in commercial devices beginning in the second half of 2016.

It won’t be powering just smartphones and tablets though. The company says we’ll find the Snapdragon 821 in “mobile VR head mounted displays, and other new devices.” It’s likely this means the Snapdragon 821 will be deployed in the vast array of Daydream-ready VR headsets set to release this fall. Daydream is Google’s upcoming virtual-reality platform, and the search giant provided manufacturers with a reference design so they could build their own headset and remote. Google is also building its very own VR headset to accompany its Nexus devices.
It’s unclear what “other new devices” will be powered by the Snapdragon 821.