New Snapdragon chipset set to improve smartphone photography

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm has announced its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile processor, a new chip it says will revolutionize flagship smartphones from the end of this year. The chip features what Qualcomm is calling Snapdragon Sight - the first Cognitive ISP (image signal processor), which the company says “defines a new era of professional quality camera experiences.” 

With Snapdragon Sight, the new chip automatically enhances photos and videos in real-time with semantic segmentation. This is done using an AI neural network that the company explains makes the camera contextually aware of faces, facial features, hair, clothes, skies, etcetera – and is then able to optimize individually, essentially giving all details customized image tuning. 

Another great feature of the newly announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is that it is tuned to support new image sensors. Qualcomm has announced that Sony Semiconductor Solutions is the first to develop quad digital overlap HDR technology – which is fine-tuned for Snapdragon. 

The company has also stated that the Samsung ISOCELL HP3, the first 200MP image sensor optimized for Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, is set to deliver professional-quality photos and videos. The new chip is also the first Snapdragon to include an AV1 codec with support for video playback up to 8K HDR at 60 frames per second – impressive stuff. 

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 features 

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Aside from the photography specific features of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Chip, there is plenty more to be impressed by. The company says that Snapdragon Smart enables ground-breaking AI experiences, which includes faster natural language processing with multi-language translation. There’s also a Snapdragon Elite Gaming feature that includes real time hardware-accelerated ray tracing for life-like light, reflections, and illuminations in mobile games. Lastly, Snapdragon Connect enhancements promise excellent connectivity and features the world's first 5G AI processor in a mobile platform. 

“Revolutionize the landscape of flagship smartphones in 2023”

Chris Patrick, Qualcomm

"We are passionate about enabling people to do more, so we design Snapdragon with the user at the center. Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, will revolutionize the landscape of flagship smartphones in 2023,” said Chris Patrick, senior vice president and general manager of mobile handsets, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Indeed, it seems we won’t even have to wait until next year – as flagship smartphones released before the end of the year are expected to launch with the new chip.

Want to know the latest speculations when it comes to camera phones? Check out our phone rumors (opens in new tab)hub, which is updated regularly as new intel comes in.

These are the best camera phone (opens in new tab)s and best budget camera phone (opens in new tab)s if you're on the lookout for a new device.

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Rachael is a British journalist with 18 years experience in the publishing industry. Since working on www.digitalcameraworld.com (opens in new tab), she’s been freelancing, and contributing to some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including T3.com and TechRadar.com and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. She's currently acting as editor of 5GRadar.com - a website specializing in the latest cellular technology.