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Meet Snapdragon 821, the processor that will be inside 2017’s best Android phones

Published Jul 11th, 2016 3:05PM EDT
Galaxy Note 7 Google Nexus 2016
Image: @evleaks

We’ve got at least three hot Android smartphones launching in the coming months, including the new Galaxy Note 7 and two differently sized but otherwise similar 2016 Nexus handsets made by HTC. They might not be official just yet, but we pretty much know what to expect from both the Galaxy Note 7 and the new Nexus models. In fact, a series of rumors said these devices will all pack a new, supposedly better processor… and Qualcomm just made that particular processor official.

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The Snapdragon 821 is Qualcomm’s next high-end mobile processor – and you can probably tell it’s a variation of the Snapdragon 820 that powers many of the top flagships Android handsets available in stores at this time.

As AnandTech explains, the Snapdragon 821 is supposed to be slightly faster than the Snapdragon 820 (see the comparison in the graphic below). We’re looking at clock speeds of up to 2.4GHz for the CPU. The GPU has also received a bump in speed, going from 624MHz to 650MHz. It’s not a lot, but it’s definitely an upgrade.

qualcomm-snapdragon-820-vs-821Image source: AnandTech

“It’s important to note here that while these changes may seem to be small that improvements in the implementation of a SoC can have a dramatic effect on performance and power,” AnandTech notes.

Reports that are yet to be confirmed said a few days ago that both the Marlin and Sailfish Nexus phones might have Snapdragon 821 processors inside. The same processor was also listed in a leaked Galaxy Note 7 specs sheet.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.