Qualcomm Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 unveiled: Premium performance, personalized experience

Qualcomm just announced the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3, the company’s latest flagship SoC, as it had promised. This uses the same architecture as the 8 Gen 3, but with different clock speeds.

The platform has support for powerful on-device generative AI features, an always-sensing ISP, hyperrealistic mobile gaming, breakthrough connectivity and lossless high-definition sound.

It supports a broad array of AI models including popular large language models (LLM) such as Baichuan-7B, Llama 2 and Gemini Nano, said the company.

There are changes in the modem since it uses Snapdragon X70 modem instead of X75 in the 8 Gen 3, has 4K HDR video capture instead of 8K HDR capture even though it retains the 18-bit triple ISP from the 8 Gen 3. The 8s Gen 3 also retains the Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 Mobile Connectivity System with Wi-Fi 7 offering up to 5.8 Gbps speed and dual Bluetooth connectivity for sustained immersion.

There is Real-time Hardware-Accelerated Ray Tracing, but it lacks Global Illumination, and also doesn’t have support for Unreal Engine 5 Lumen Global Illumination and Reflections System present in the 8 Gen 3 since there is change in the GPU which offers similar performance as the Adreno GPU present in the 8 Gen 2.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 (SM8635) specifications
  • 1 x Kryo Prime CPU (Arm Cortex-X4 based) at up to 3.0GHz, 4 x Kryo Performance CPUs (Arm Cortex-A720 based) at up to 2.8GHz, 3x Kryo Efficiency CPUs (Arm Cortex-A520 based) at up to 2.0GHz, ARMv9 architecture
  • 4nm TSMC Process Technology
  • Built-in Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 5G modem-RF system
  • 5G speeds of up to 5Gpbs down, 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz, standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes, standalone mmWave and
    mmWave-sub6 dual connectivity, FDD, TDD, mmWave: 8 carriers, 2×2 MIMO, Sub-6 GHz: 4×4 MIMO, Qualcomm 5G AI Suite, Qualcomm AI-Enhanced Signal Boost, Qualcomm 5G PowerSave Gen 3, Qualcomm Smart Transmit 3.0 technology, Qualcomm Wideband Envelope Tracking, Qualcomm 5G Ultra-Low Latency Suite, Global 5G multi-SIM, including 5G-5G/4G Dual-SIM Dual-Active (DSDA)
  • Qualcomm Adreno next-gen GPU, Real-time Hardware-Accelerated Ray Tracing, Snapdragon Game Super Resolution, Adreno Frame Motion Engine 2.0, Snapdragon Game Post Processing Accelerator, HDR gaming (10-bit color depth, Rec. 2020 color gamut), Snapdragon Shadow Denoiser, API support: OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 FP, Vulkan 1.3
  • Hardware-accelerated H.265, VP9, AV1 decoder, HDR Playback Codec support for HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision
  • Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec, New Qualcomm Aqstic smart speaker amplifier, Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N), Playback: -108dB, Qualcomm Audio and Voice Communication Suite, Spatial Audio with Head Tracking
  • Up to 36 MP triple camera, Up to 64+36 MP dual camera, Up to 108 MP single camera with ZSL, Up to 200MP single camera, Qualcomm Spectra Image Sensor Processor (Cognitive 18-bit triple-ISP)
  • Rec. 2020 color gamut photo and video capture, Up to 10-bit color depth photo and video capture, 4K HDR Video Capture + 64 MP Photo Capture
  • 10-bit HEIF: HEIC photo capture, HEVC video capture, Video
  • Capture Formats: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, 4K HDR Video Capture @ 60 FPS, 4K Video Capture @ 60 FPS, Slow-mo video capture at 1080p @ 240 FPS, Bokeh Engine 2 for Video Capture, Pro Sight video capture, Snapdragon Low Light Vision (LLV), Video super resolution, Multi-Frame Noise Reduction (MFNR), Locally Motion Compensated Temporal Filtering
  • On-Device Display Support: 4K at 60 Hz / QHD+ at 144 Hz, Maximum External Display Support: up to 8K @ 30 Hz, Up to 1080 @ 240 Hz, Variable Refresh Rate support for 240 Hz to 1 Hz, 10-bit color depth, Rec. 2020 color gamut, HDR10, HDR10+, HDR vivid, and Dolby Vision
  • Qualcomm Hexagon Processor, Fused AI Accelerator, Hexagon scalar, vector, and tensor accelerators, Hexagon Direct Link, Upgraded Micro Tile Inferencing, Upgraded power delivery system, Support for mix precision (INT8+INT16), Support for all precisions (INT4, INT8, INT16, FP16)
  • Support for LP-DDR5x memory up to 4200 MHz, Memory Density: Up to 24 GB
  • Wi-Fi 7 Peak speed: 5.8 Gbps, Wi-Fi 6E 802.11be, 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) Multi-gigabit, Integrated 802.11ac 2×2 (2-stream) MU-MIMO, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6GHz, Bluetooth 5.4, LE Audio, Dual Bluetooth antennas
  • Bluetooth audio: Snapdragon Sound Technology with support for Qualcomm aptX Voice, aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive, and LE audio, NFC
  • GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, NavIC capable, Dual Frequency GNSS (L1/L2C/L5), Sensor-Assisted 6.0,With global map aiding, Urban pedestrian navigation with sidewalk accuracy, Global freeway lane-level vehicle navigation
  • USB Version 3.1 Gen 2; USB Type-C Support, UFS 4.0
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 technology

Qualcomm has confirmed that Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 platform will be adopted by global OEMs and brands including HONOR, iQOO, realme, Redmi and Xiaomi with the first device expected to be announced in March.

Commenting on the launch, Chris Patrick, senior vice president and general manager of mobile handsets, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. said:

With capabilities including on-device generative AI and advanced photography features, Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 is designed to enhance user experiences, fostering creativity and productivity in their daily lives. We’re elated to introduce the latest addition to our premium Snapdragon 8-series, our most premium mobile offering, bringing a host of exceptional specially selected capabilities to more consumers.

Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram