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Snapdragon 821 offers an extra boost in performance

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As we enter the second half of the year, Qualcomm has updated its top-tier Snapdragon 820 family with another member. Following the success of its Snapdragon 820 processor, they have just introduced a newer Snapdragon 821 processor for flagship smartphones launching for the rest of the year.

So what’s new with the Snapdragon 821? Based on the same Snapdragon 820 processor that’s powering the Xiaomi Mi 5, HTC 10, Xperia X Performance and selected Galaxy S7/S7 edge variants, the new version offers faster speeds and better power savings. Using a similar Quad-Core set up, the Snapdragon 821 claims to offer 10% performance increase over the current Snapdragon 820.

Based on a 14nm Samsung FinFET fabrication, it still uses their custom 64-bit 4x Kryo cores (2+2). The Snapdragon 820 tops at 2.15GHz while the new Snapdragon 821 pushes higher up to 2.4GHz. In the graphics department, the Adreno 530 GPU is likely to be the same and there’s no mention if it is getting any speed bumps. For connectivity, it retains the same X12 LTE modem that supports Cat 12 4G LTE with download speeds up to 600Mbps.

According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 821 isn’t a replacement but rather a complement to extend its Snapdragon 800 series line up. For the upcoming Galaxy Note7, Samsung is likely to use the Snapdragon 821 processor for its US market and it could also make its way to ASUS’ top of the line ZenFone 3 Deluxe.

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Alexander Wong