You may have noticed that Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series of phones have a special version of Qualcomm’s most powerful mobile chip, called Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy.
Awkward name aside, in its promo materials(Opens in a new window) Samsung says the new chip offers “more than 40% GPU and NPU,” and that it’s been “exclusively optimized for Galaxy.” But what, exactly, does that mean?
Samsung Galaxy S23 price, release date, and preorder details: How to get the S23 Ultra, S23 Plus, or the base model
In a press release (via XDA Developers(Opens in a new window)), Qualcomm shared(Opens in a new window) more details about the chip’s exact specs. First, its primary clock speed has been increased from 3.2GHz to 3.36GHz, and the GPU clock speed has been increased from 680MHz to 719MHz. In plain terms, the new chip is faster than the regular Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and you will see it in benchmarks, but in real life the difference likely won’t be very noticeable.
There are other improvements. The new chip uses Snapdragon Cognitive ISP tech to enable real-time Semantic Segmentation for image processing. This is a technology that uses deep learning to identify various objects in the image, which should hopefully result in better quality pictures.
Finally, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy appears to have an upgraded Snapdragon Hexagon processor, which should improve AI performance overall. One area in which this should be noticeable, Qualcomm says, is better noise cancellation during calls.
It’s hard to say how noticeable will all these changes be in real-life usage, but they definitely amount to something. Qualcomm typically launches a “Plus” variant of its flagship chips every year, and XDA Developers points out that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is improved enough to essentially be called Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2, though it’s unclear what the company’s plans are at this point.