Qualcomm's new chip hints at future smartphone features

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 3:15 PM ET

Qualcomm has just given the first official demos of its latest smartphone and tablet processor, the Snapdragon 805. And as Qualcomm is the go-to company for pretty much every company that makes flagship Android devices, what this chip can do will dictate what features are going to be on your phone or tablet next time you upgrade.

Re-defining video
The biggest feature, and the one that Qualcomm is making sure everyone is aware of, is support for ultra-high definition (UHD). It calls the chip the first "end-to-end full 4K mobile experience". What that means to normal people is that they'll be able to stream and to create 4K UHD content to their handsets, and even take HD clips and upscale them, just like the latest 4K TVs do.

Just like the DVD, which exploded in popularity thanks to the DVD-ROM drive on computers, rather than because of standalone DVD players, Qualcomm is convinced that phones and tablets are going to usher in the age of ultra-high definition because we upgrade our phones every one to two years while we're happy to hold onto a TV for up to a decade, unless it breaks.

Pro-level photos
In 2012, when Nokia crowbarred a 41-megapixel image sensor into a smartphone -- the 808 PureView -- many thought that the company was mad. But two years on, a smartphone's camera performance has never been more important.

There's a whole generation of consumers out there that have never owned any other type of camera except the one integrated into their handset. And as such everyone from Samsung and Sony to HTC and Nokia are each trying to outdo each other in the camera department.

Knowing that the camera wars have only just begun, Qualcomm has made sure the new chip is capable of supporting a 50-megapixel sensor and of the processing needed to stitch images together to create panoramas and to apply a host of effects and filters.

New levels of gaming
With each new iteration, mobile processors get a bit closer to console gaming performance and the Snapdragon 805 is no exception. Anyone whose smartphone gaming habits don't extend beyond Candy Crush Saga won't notice the difference and probably won't care, but for those that like 3D-rendered landscapes, depth and layers as well as a fast-paced gaming experience, the new processor should be a cause of some excitement.

Pointing towards the future
Last but not least, support for extra types of sensors and operations are baked into this chip so that phonemakers can add simple features like automatic dimming of the screen in direct sunlight or voice commands or much more complex things like support for gestures and waves as well as tapping and swiping on the screen. And because the chip also allows for faster charging, better power consumption and efficiency, all of the new features shouldn't kill the battery.

Best of all, consumers won't have to wait long to see how good the new processor is: the LG G3 smartphone, which launches on May 27, is expected to be the world's first phone to be powered by a Snapdragon 805.


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