Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 821

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 821

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Qualcomm has finally raised the curtain and revealed its new powerful mobile processor — the Snapdragon 821 with Kryo cores. This new unit will also be known as the Snapdragon 821 or MSM8996 Pro, and it is a revision of the Snapdragon 820 released earlier this year.

Rather than a formal announcement full of information, this is more of an acknowledgement on Qualcomm’s part. The new chip has a clock speed that’s 200 MHz higher than the Snapdragon 820 on the big CPU cluster, with a final clock speed of 2.4 GHz and a promised performance boost of 10% that aligns closely with that number. However, the 821 is not considered a replacement, but rather an evolution. Qualcomm states that “the 821 is designed to complement and extend the competitive strengths” of its current technology, and it ultimately 821 seems to be an interim solution until the next Qualcomm chipset gets released.


It will also use a new CPU power cluster set above 2 GHz (as opposed to the 820’s 1.6 GHz clock speed in its power cluster) and a new or modified Adreno Chip, with clock speeds set at 650 MHz. The Snapdragon 821 will still use 820’s 600 Mbps X12 LTE modem for fast internet speeds, Ultra HD Voice for superior call quality and Upload+ for faster downloads and uploads of your favorite custom ROMs (or other things, of course!).

Qualcomm believes that its new chip will deliver not only a performance bump, but also better battery life. We heard that already, so it’s a good idea to verify these claims, which we’ll do once we get a hands-on. It remains uncertain which devices will use the 821, but we can guess that we’ll start seeing this chipset pop up a few months down the line and by the end of the year at the earliest. We have to wait and see, but keep in mind that, considering how good the 820 is already, this likely won’t be a must-have upgrade — in that sense, the 821 is to the 820 what the 801 was to the 800, a final refinement with bumped clock speeds and a few changes that ultimately make for a stabler and more efficient chip.

Will you get a new device with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, or wait for the new chip to come along? Tell us in the comments!