Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855- What’s New?

Snapdragon 855 launched a year back and since then Qualcomm started working for the next best, Snapdragon 865. In the Annual Tech Summit, the naming and the existence of 865 has been confirmed. Unlike past few years, last year Qualcomm brought 2 flagship chipsets named Snapdragon 855 and 855+. This year, they decided to follow their tradition and go with Snapdragon 865 which will be used in the upcoming 2020 flagships. Also, two chipsets other than the might 865, 765 and 765G were also announced for the midrange, but that’s a debate for another article ain’t it? Here we discuss and compare Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855 / plus.

Snapdragon 865 Vs Snapdragon 855- Specifications:

Firstly, we list all the differences in a tabular format below and later discuss some interesting things we noticed.

SoC Snapdragon 865 Snapdragon 855
Model/ Part Number SDM865, SM8250 SDM855, SM8150
CPU Cores Octa-core, Qualcomm Kryo 585 Octa-core, Qualcomm Kryo 485
CPU Clock Speed Up to 2.84 GHz Up to 2.84 GHz
CPU Combination 1x Kryo 585 (ARM Cortex A77-based) @ 2.84GHz
3x Kryo 585 (ARM Cortex A77-based) @ 2.4GHz
4x Kryo 385 (ARM Cortex A55-based) @ 1.8GHz
1x Kryo 485 (ARM Cortex A76-based) @ 2.84GHz
3x Kryo 485 (ARM Cortex A76-based) @ 2.42GHz
4x Kryo 385 (ARM Cortex A55-based) @ 1.8GHz
CPU Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
GPU Adreno 650 Vulkan 1.1 Adreno 640 Vulkan 1.1
Process 7nm (TSMC’s N7P) 7nm (TSMC’s N7)
Memory Type LPDDR5 @ 2750MHz LPDDR4 @ 2133MHz
Storage Type UFS 3.0 UFS 3.0
5G Modem 2nd Gen Snapdragon X55 4G LTE and 5G multimode modem Snapdragon X50 5G &
Snapdragon X24 4G LTE Modem
Download Speeds 7.5Gbps over 5G(X55) & 2.5Gbps over 4G LTE(X55) 5Gbps over 5G(X50) & 2Gbps over 4G LTE(X24)
AI 5th generation AI Engine
Hexagon 698
15 TOPS*
4th generation AI Engine
Hexagon 690
7 TOPS*
ISP Dual 14-bit Spectra 480 ISP Dual 14-bit Spectra 380 ISP
Camera Single: Up to 64MP; ZSL or Up to 200MP
Dual: Up to 25MP; ZSL
Single: Up to 48MP; ZSL or Up to 192MP
Dual: Up to 22MP; ZSL
Charging Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+
Qualcomm Quick Charge AI
Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+
Display Max On-Device Display: 4K @ 60 Hz, QHD+ @ 144 Hz
Max External Display: 4K @ 60 Hz
HDR: HDR10+, HDR10
Max On-Device Display: 4K Ultra HD
Max External Display: 4K Ultra HD
HDR: HDR10+

*TOPS:- Trillion Operations Per Second

CPU- Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855:

Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855
Block Diagram of SD 865

In terms of raw specifications, there are no noticeable differences. However, the architectures have changed, which implies stability, lower power consumption which cannot be described in “numbers”. The single primary core of 865 and 855 both are powered at 2.84Ghz, 3 supporting cores are clocked at 2.42 GHz, 4 power-efficient cores are clocked at 1.8 GHz. There’s no difference in Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855 here. Although, the ARM architecture has been upgraded from A76 to A77-based cores. Careful, don’t be fooled by the numbers here, the architecture boosted 25% more performance improvement alone keeping low heating, better stability, and lower power consumption.

GPU- Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855:

Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855
Image credit: GSM Arena

This is a portion where Qualcomm has actually upgraded a lot- like a lot! Tables turn in the Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855 comparison with the new Adreno 650 GPU over Adreno 640. Qualcomm last year announced Elite Gaming Suit in their chipsets for better gaming performances. Now, Qualcomm added 5 new tricks to enhance everything up and lead the Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855 comparison.

  • Desktop Forward Rendering
  • Snapdragon Game Performance Engine
  • Game Color Plus
  • Adreno HDR Fast Blend
  • Updatable GPU drivers like updating apps from the playstore.

Read More: Upcoming 5G phones in December 2019.

Manufacturing Process- Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855:

Snapdragon 865 is built on the TSMC-improved 7nm “N7P” node which is the same process used by Apple’s A13 Bionic chip whereas Snapdragon 855 was manufactured using TSMC’s first-generation 7nm “N7” mode. This boasts more power efficiency of Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855 when compared side-by-side.

Display- Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855:

Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855

Razer-phone started the 120Hz display trend which was adapted by Oneplus in 2019. The Oneplus 7 Pro came with a 90Hz display. This quickly got the attention of OEMs and Realme X2 Pro, Pixel 4XL and many others came with 90Hz refresh rates while a lot came with 120Hz, including the iPad Pro. This year, in the specification list of Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855, we can see that the newer supports QHD+ 144Hz displays! That’s going to be insanely smooth and bringing that to such a small device is a great achievement by Qualcomm! Not to forget, similar to 855, 865 also supports HDR10+ content.

Camera- Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855:

Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855

The Spectra 480 ISP on Snapdragon 865 has made improvements to the camera performance and it can process images up to 200MP (or 64MP ZSL) in size. The “Gigapixel speed” of the Spectra 480 ISP allows capturing of  64MP burst images and 4K HDR video simultaneously. On the other hand, Qualcomm Spectra 380 image signal processor on 855 supported up to 48MP shots with zero shutter lag.

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The impressive thing to notice about the Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855 in the camera department is the image capturing capability while shooting videos. Wait, I know what you’re thinking, that your phone can already do that! But here’s the catch, while shooting a video, your phone doesn’t actually capture an image but saves a single frame in JPG/ JPEG format. On the other hand, Snapdragon 865 can capture a complete 64MP still while shooting something simultaneously.

AI- Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855:

Snapdragon 865 comes with a 5th generation AI engine, which is twice as powerful as the Snapdragon 855’s 4th generation AI engine. The 865 SoC manages 15 TOPS while the 855 SoC manages only 7 TOPS. The biggest improvement in the 5th generation AI engine might be for Hexagon 698 DSP over the 690 one that comes with Hexagon Vector eXtensions and new Hexagon Tensor Accelerator.

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Memory- Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855:

For Snapdragon 865, we have support for LPDDR5 memory at up to 2750MHz for RAM, better than the current Snapdragon 855’s LPDDR4 2133MHz RAM support. Again in terms of internal storage, both SoCs support UFS 3.0 storage for faster read and write speeds.

5G and connectivity- Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855:

Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855
Image Credit: TRAK

Like last year’s Snapdragon 855 SoC, the latest chipset 865 also uses an external 5G modem. The expected integrated 5G modem might be worth a wait of another year. However, Qualcomm has unveiled 765 & 765G processor with a built-in 5G modem which gives an advantage than 865 in case of lower power consumption.

The change, however, stands in the 4G department, which is quite obviously, more popular than 5G and will remain so for a couple of years. The new X55 modem in the Snapdragon 865 not only supports 5G but also 4G and so on. This implies that the extra X24 modem in the Snapdragon 855 is of no need. Hence, the 4G top download speeds increase from 2Gbps to 2.5Gbps and the 5G speeds jump from 5Gbps to 7Gbps. So instead of an X50 5G modem+X24 4G modem, now we have one X55. In addition to everything, X55 supports SA/NSA 5G networks both unlike only NSA in X50 to ensure more 5G band support.

Benchmarks- Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855:

In the GeekBench benchmarking website, the Snapdragon 855 SoC scores up to 3,400 points for single-core and a multi-core score of up to 10,000 points. Recently, an unknown device code-named “QUALCOMM Kona” which is believed to be powered by Snapdragon 865 SoC spotted on the Geekbench that reveals 4303 points for the single-core performance and a multi-core score performance of 13344 points. So, according to Snapdragon 865 vs Snapdragon 855 benchmark test, there’s no doubt about the winner.

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