Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 855 processor with 5G and performance improvements

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Qualcomm's next flagship smartphone processor will start showing up in 2019, and unsurprisingly it should offer better all-around performance than its predecessors.

In terms of more traditional specs, the Snapdragon 855 is expected to be a 7nm, octa-core processor with Adreno 640 graphics and a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem as well as a Snapdragon X24 LTE modem.

Qualcomm's upcoming flagship mobile platform will carry a more conventional branding and not the 8150 branding as previously rumored.

This is due to the fact that the 3D Sonic Sensor utilizes the ultrasonic method in order to scan fingerprints. 5G won't be widespread until the end of 2019 or early 2020. It's also likely this chipset will be included in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 later in the year too.

AI Performance Boost: The Snapdragon 855 includes Qualcomm's 4th-gen multi-core AI engine, which should deliver a 3x performance boost in artificial intelligence features over the Snapdragon 845. As result, Qualcomm says the tech is capable of authenticating a fingerprint more quickly and accurately.

We don't know a lot of details about the Snapdragon 855 - more information will be coming later this week during Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit here in Maui.

Qualcomm is, of course, talking up the Snapdragon 855's 5G capabilities as we get ready to head into the new frontier of the latest and greatest wireless networks.

"5G is going to be about more than just a network". You'll also be able to download a year's worth of TV shows to watch on a flight right before you board. Currently, most in-display fingerprint sensors use optical sensors, so they shine light up through the screen to read your fingerprint on the display. The feature is also available in phones like Vivo's Nex S and Xiaomi Mi 8, but those phones aren't officially supported in the U.S. Nevertheless, Qualcomm has stated that the 3D Sonic Sensor will appear on new devices within the first half of 2019. Those companies include HTC, Samsung, Google, Asus, LG, OnePlus, and Motorola. The energy efficiency ratio of the Snapdragon 855 will be more prominent.

The other big new feature that was announced was the Spectra ISP, which will have the world's first computer vision hardware integrated with it.

Alex Katouzian, Qualcomm senior vice president of mobile, unveils the Snapdragon 855 during an event Tuesday in Hawaii. That will let the ISP adjust camera parameters to capture a better shot.