Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Google Tensor: Is the Pixel 6 outdated already?

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Snapdragonm 8 Gen 1 vs Google Tensor hero

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The accomplishment of Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 inevitably calls into question whether current-gen hardware is wholly outclassed oregon not. While we’re good past the constituent of “good enough” smartphone performance, caller hardware drives innovation guardant and it’s often the lone mode to acquisition caller cutting-edge usage cases. So we’re already eagerly anticipating 2022’s flagship smartphones.

Google besides has caller hardware successful the marketplace successful the signifier of its archetypal semi-custom Google Tensor SoC. Boasting in-house instrumentality learning smarts, Google’s introduction into the mobile spot marketplace has already produced immoderate standout features successful the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. But has Google’s silicon already been eclipsed by Qualcomm’s upcoming flagship processor? Read connected to find out.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Google Tensor specs

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1Google Tensor
CPU Config

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

:

1x Arm Cortex-X2 (3.0GHz)
3x Arm Cortex-A710 (2.5GHz)
4x Arm Cortex-A510 (1.8GHz)

Google Tensor

:

2x Arm Cortex-X1 (2.80GHz)
2x Arm Cortex-A76 (2.25GHz)
4x Arm Cortex-A55 (1.80GHz)
GPU

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

:

Adreno

Google Tensor

:

Arm Mali G78 MP20
848 MHz (shader clock)
996 MHz (tiler clock)
AI

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

:

Hexagon DSP

Google Tensor

:

Google TPU
RAM support

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

:

LPDDR5 @ 3,200MHz

Google Tensor

:

LPDDR5
4G/5G Modem

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

:

X65 LTE/5G (integrated)
10Gbps down (mmWave)

10CA successful 5G
4x4 MIMO
Up to 256-QAM successful sub-6GHz

Standalone and Non-Standalone

Google Tensor

:

Exynos Modem 5123 (external)
7.35Gbps down (mmWave)
5.1Gbps down (sub-6GHz)

8CA successful 5G
4x4 MIMO
Up to 256-QAM successful sub-6GHz
Up to 64-QAM successful mmWave
Up to 1024-QAM successful 4G

Standalone and Non-Standalone

Other networking

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

:

Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), 802.11a/b/g/n

Google Tensor

:

Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), 802.11a/b/g/n
Process

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

:

4nm (Samsung)

Google Tensor

:

5nm (Samsung)

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Defining the adjacent generation

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 notation   telephone  successful  hand

Browsing the spec expanse examination determination are immoderate wide and evident plan wins for Qualcomm’s flagship processor. The CPU setup embraces the latest Armv9 architecture, implicit with a much almighty Arm Cortex-X2 CPU, 3 Cortex-A710s, and 3 much businesslike small Cortex-A510 cores. With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 touting 20% CPU show gains and 30% energy-efficient improvements implicit its predecessor, owed successful portion to the upgraded Samsung 4nm process, Qualcomm’s spot volition champion Tensor successful benchmarks.

Although we shouldn’t discount Google Tensor’s show here. The Arm Cortex-X1 halfway is inactive perfectly fast, and Google’s spot has 2 of them, which, successful immoderate workloads, could outperform the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s azygous beefy halfway approach.

Read more: Arm Cortex-X2, A710, and A510 heavy dive

We’re anticipating a likewise competitory show successful the graphics department. Benchmarks enactment the ample 20-core Mali-G78 Google Tensor a small up of the Snapdragon 888. But with a 30% graphics boost connected the cards, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 volition regain that crown. We’ve besides seen immoderate aboriginal signs that the Pixel 6 doesn’t prolong highest show for long, portion Qualcomm’s chipsets historically just amended here, though we’ll person to spot what the concern is similar with its latest spot and existent smartphones earlier drafting conclusions.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 benefits from the latest Armv9 CPU cores.

Broadly speaking, we’re expecting the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 to outperform Google Tensor successful the halfway metrics but not by a immense amount, and Google’s spot intelligibly excels successful immoderate circumstantial usage cases that leverage the chip’s much unsocial instrumentality learning-oriented design. Comparing instrumentality learning chops is precise hard owed to the assortment of usage cases and antithetic integration strategies. Benchmarks besides often conflict to seizure the requirements of real-world usage cases. Google leans connected its ain in-house TPU, portion Qualcomm offers dedicated ML capabilities successful its ISP, DSP, and different departments. Either way, some are precise susceptible here, though we should enactment that third-party developers presently can’t pat straight into Google’s TPU to marque the astir of it.

There are besides immoderate cardinal similarities connected the information side. Tensor features Google’s Titan M2 information enclave for tamperproof credential retention and processing. Qualcomm present offers its ain Trust Management Engine with enactment for Android Ready SE, which opens the doorway to akin usage cases, including on-device ID retention and iSIM support.

See also: What is an SoC? Everything you request to know

Where the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 does instrumentality a much clear-cut pb is successful the 5G networking department. With a Release 16-class modem sporting 10 bearer aggregation and mmWave and sub-6GHz set blending, Qualcomm’s chipset offers highest downloads of 10Gbps. Google Tensor isn’t acold disconnected the people though. Its Exynos Modem 5123 offers accelerated 7.35Gbps mmWave and 5.1Gbps sub-6GHz speeds, arsenic good arsenic 1024QAM 4G/LTE for users extracurricular of 5G coverage. However, Google’s Pixel 6 bid features a cut-down implementation connected the vigor broadside and is locked to sub-6GHz successful astir of the world. Outside of 5G, some chipsets athletics the aforesaid Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E capabilities.

Feature-wise, determination are tiny plan wins for some chipsets.

There’s besides tons of imaginable successful Qualcomm’s improved 18-bit imaging pipeline that could instrumentality spouse smartphones beyond what we’ve seen from Google Tensor. The Pixel 6 caps video seizure astatine 4K 60fps, though Tensor whitethorn beryllium susceptible of 8K successful theory, portion the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 tin bash 4K 120fps and 8K 30fps with HDR. Qualcomm besides packs a 4K video bokeh motor into the chip, enhanced AI look detection capabilities, and 30 framework multi-frame HDR and nighttime capabilities. Not forgetting entity segmentation and ace res zoom features to rival those you’ll find successful the Google Pixel 6. The question volition beryllium whether Qualcomm’s partners leverage these capabilities for next-gen user products.

When it comes to multimedia, Qualcomm’s partners tin besides instrumentality vantage of aptX Lossless and Snapdragon Sound for improved Bluetooth audio quality. However, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 doesn’t person it each its ain mode successful this segment. Google Tensor packs an AV1 video decoder for the latest streaming video compression. The latest Snapdragon does not.

Google Tensor: Bespoke for Pixel

Pixel 6 unrecorded  caption

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 whitethorn person the newer processing chops, it’s down to Qualcomm’s partners to get the astir retired of the chip, either by leveraging Qualcomm’s oregon third-party IP and bundle oregon by gathering their ain handset-specific features connected apical of Snapdragon hardware.

Historically, this has been a root of disappointment, arsenic smartphones person seldom leveraged each the champion technologies Qualcomm’s platforms person to offer, beryllium that with 5G capabilities, audio quality, instrumentality learning usage cases, oregon imaging smarts. 2021’s Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders showcased galore of Qualcomm’s technologies seldom seen successful different handsets, including aptX Adaptive, Quick Charge 5 charging, and entity tracking video autofocus. However, adjacent with Qualcomm astatine the helm, the acquisition wasn’t precisely brilliant, proving it’s easier said than done to marque the astir retired of a mobile platform.

Much similar Apple, Google is reaping the benefits of customized hardware to powerfulness unsocial mobile usage cases and widen updates.

Google has nary specified problem. Tensor and its dedicated TPU are built specifically to powerfulness Google’s instrumentality learning and imaging technologies, and they’re already evident crossed the Pixel 6 idiosyncratic experience. Google’s renowned HDR+, Night Sight, and Magic Eraser photography tricks each tally connected the spot without the request for an net connection, arsenic bash voice-enabled features specified arsenic Live Caption, Live Transcribe, and an assortment of different Google Assistant features.

Another constituent to see is updates. With customized silicon, Google is promising 3 OS updates and 5 years of information updates for the Pixel 6. That’s the champion committedness you’ll find successful the Android space. Qualcomm already pledged to supply 3 OS updates and 4 years of information patches with the Snapdragon 888 and we presume a akin committedness for the 8 Gen 1. That’s the aforesaid arsenic Google’s pledge successful presumption of OS updates but offers a small little longevity connected security. Again, we’ll person to spot however partners instrumentality Qualcomm’s offering arsenic well.

Tensor’s capabilities are precise overmuch astatine the bosom of Google’s mobile ambitions and the institution is making the astir of the spot to fulfill that imaginativeness and nutrient unsocial selling points. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 looks precise promising connected paper, but we’ll person to spot if and however smartphones leverage their awesome capabilities earlier drafting immoderate definitive conclusions astir the wider platform.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Google Tensor: The aboriginal verdict

Google vs Snapdragon logos

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There’s nary question that erstwhile we yet get to spot benchmarks and different metrics similar imaginable 5G information speeds, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 volition instrumentality the crown. The chip’s usage of the latest Armv9 CPUs and beefed-up components crossed audio, imaging, graphics, and instrumentality learning departments undoubtedly outshine galore of the Google Tensor’s specifications erstwhile placed side-by-side. However, idiosyncratic experiences are conscionable arsenic important successful the modern property of heterogeneous computing. And we don’t yet cognize however galore of these Snapdragon features volition onshore successful consumers’ hands.

While the Google Tensor, and Pixel 6 bid by extension, mightiness not support up successful presumption of earthy benchmarks, they’re inactive much than performant for day-to-day and heavier mobile workloads. More importantly, the customized processor enables Google to powerfulness the instrumentality learning and imaging technologies it requests to physique unsocial idiosyncratic experiences and unsocial selling points. Those features are bound to stay applicable passim 2022 and apt good beyond. We’re yet to spot if Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered smartphones tin lucifer Google’s level of heavy integration to supply comparative and competitory experiences. The imaginable is surely determination but we await the proof.

We're expecting benchmark wins for Qualcomm but next-gen user usage lawsuit wins whitethorn beryllium a person affair.

It’s besides worthy remembering that though we whitethorn spot a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 telephone announcement earlier the extremity of 2021, we’re expecting that the astir popular, ample measurement handsets won’t onshore successful consumers’ hands until precocious Q1 oregon aboriginal Q2 2022. For instance, the OnePlus 10 and Samsung Galaxy S22 are inactive galore months away. You’re apt inactive successful for a agelong hold earlier Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 handsets get successful earnest. Google Tensor and the Pixel 6 are inactive precise applicable contiguous and volition proceed to beryllium good into 2022.

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