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  • Snapdragon 845 lacks Huawei-style AI silicon, here’s why

    The Snapdragon 845 processor packs some solid specs on paper, set to power next year's crop of flagship smartphones. But what's the deal with its AI capabilities? Qualcomm says it's actually got third-generation AI hardware in the form of its Hexagon 685 digital signal processor (DSP). The first iteration of this silicon was delivered on last year's Snapdragon 820, being used to offload tasks such as sensor-related activities. But Qualcomm claims the DSP has been refined to deliver better AI performance. In fact, the company's Gary Brotman says the Snapdragon 845 delivers a three-fold improvement in AI tasks over the Snapdragon...

  • Snapdragon 845: all the major details here

    Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 845 processor yesterday, set to power many smartphones next year. But now, we actually have more details on the processor, being built on a second-generation 10nm process. For starters, the chip uses eight semi-custom cores, dubbed Kryo 385 CPU cores. The heavy lifting cores top out at 2.8Ghz while the lightweight cores top out at 1.8Ghz. The cores are customised versions of the A75 and A55 cores, Qualcomm confirmed in a later Q&A. Qualcomm is claiming a 25-30% performance improvement for the heavy cores, while the lightweight cores see a 15% improvement. We also see proprietary tech for Bluetooth...

  • Snapdragon 835 PCs: what about games?

    Qualcomm and Microsoft have been really keen to point out the battery life in their upcoming Windows 10 PCs, touting up to 20 hours of juice for these Snapdragon 835-powered laptops. But what about games? It stands to reason that these devices aren't as powerful as Intel's Core range, given the fact that they use power-efficient mobile processors. But what can you get away with playing? Should older PC titles run fine? Microsoft Windows general manager Erin Chapple and Qualcomm's Miguel Nunes told Snapdragon Summit attendees that while you shouldn't expect a hardcore gaming experience, they did test a host of...

  • 4 game franchises celebrating their 20th birthday in 2017

    The video game industry has always been one of uncertainty, fragility, and ephemerality. Through the years, many titles have vied for that theoretical digital crown, and while some might have thrown mighty and notable punches, only a considerable few still draw breath today. In this piece we will celebrate these few champions, four gaming franchises that all had their humble start in 1997, exactly twenty years ago, and today can still claim to stand with their heads held high. Gran Turismo Gran Turismo is one of the most iconic racing games in video game history. Since its release in late December 1997,...

  • Hands-on: HP, Asus reveal two Snapdragon Windows PCs

    HP and Asus have announced two new convertible Windows 10 laptops, powered by Snapdragon 835 processors, and set for 2018 launches. First up, we have the Asus NovaGo, a two-in-one design that packs the Snapdragon 835, 4GB or 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. The firm is also claiming up to 22 hours of video playback and over 30 days of "modern standby" time. Otherwise, expect a $599 price tag for the 4GB/64GB entry-level variant, while the 8GB/256GB model packs a $799 price tag. HP also offering device HP also stepped onto Qualcomm's stage, revealing the Envy X2. Inside the 6.9mm...

  • Snapdragon 845 official, Xiaomi to use for next flagship

    Qualcomm has officially revealed the Snapdragon 845 processor, set to power scores of high end smartphones in 2018. Details of the silicon weren't revealed just yet, as the company has opted to hold a separate event for the chipset tomorrow (6 December). However, Samsung Foundry's ES Jung appeared on stage, confirming that the company was working with Qualcomm on the next chipset. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun also made an appearance, confirming that the next Xiaomi flagship would use the Snapdragon 845. It's unclear whether Xiaomi's phone will be the first with the Snapdragon 845. This year saw Samsung's Galaxy S8 being first to...

  • Expect 5G ‘as early as first half of 2019’

    Qualcomm says you can expect 5G connectivity as soon as 2019. 5G "will happen as early as the first half of 2019", Qualcomm's Cristiano Amon told attendees at the Snapdragon Summit in Maui, USA. Qualcomm has been working on trials with various networks, Amon added, including Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE, Sprint, AT&T, Docomo and more. Otherwise, Qualcomm says we can expect "mass adoption" in 2020. 5G will enable or bolster uses such as social networks "in real time", "pervasive" cloud connectivity, augmented reality, public safety/emergency services, IoT and more, Amon explained. The firm has also claimed that 5G-related goods and services will be a $12-trillion market...

  • Follow Qualcomm’s 5 December event here

    Update, 11:30pm SAST, 5 December 2017: Qualcomm revealed a host of stuff today, including 5G rollout details, confirmation of the Snapdragon 845 (and Xiaomi's intentions to use it for their next flagship) and two Snapdragon-powered PCs. Original article: Qualcomm is holding an event in Maui today in order to showcase its latest wares. But what could it be? Could we see the Snapdragon 845 today? All signs certainly point to that, along with a better look at Windows 10 laptops/convertibles powered by Snapdragon processors. "Snapdragon is the premium tier mobile platform of choice. We look forward to sharing for the first-time exciting...

  • Smartphones in 2017: how many predictions came true?

    Almost a year ago, we gazed into our crystal ball to pick a few features we might see on 2017's smartphones. Now that the year is almost over, how many predictions actually came to fruition? 6GB of RAM to be more widespread? We saw several smartphones pack 6GB of RAM in 2016, predicting a modest increase for 2017. "2016 saw 6GB of RAM become a thing and, while it might seem like overkill at first, we definitely expect more manufacturers to get in on the action," we wrote. "This doesn't necessarily mean that 6GB will be the starting point for flagships though. But I...

  • Don’t buy these games for Christmas, no matter how cheap

    I know the temptation is great. I really do. Your kid or friend wants a video game for Christmas but you have a million people to buy for and you really can't afford to buy them that R1000 game. Believe me, I feel your pain. But I promise you, they will hate you more if you get them a crap game. Rather give them a gift card or money towards the game they want, than buy them any of the games on this list. 1, 2 Switch The worst part about 1, 2 Switch, is that it's being sold as a standalone...