Samsung Galaxy S5 And The Features It Missed; What The Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 And Snapdragon 810 Chipsets Tell Us About Future Smartphones

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The Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 And Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 are the upcoming high-end chipsets. Screencap/Qualcomm

The Samsung Galaxy S5 just released to global markets, but there is already an inkling of the types of features the next Galaxy S device might possess.

Qualcomm recently announced its Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 chipsets, detailing that the processors will be built-in with new devices starting in the first half of 2015. Considering Samsung’s schedule of releasing new Galaxy S devices in the early months of each year, it is possible that its next flagship could include either of Qualcomm’s upcoming chipsets. With these chipsets, future devices to be released as early as 2015 could include features consumers were expecting to see in the currently releasing 2014 flagship devices.

64-Bit Computing

Prior to its launch, many rumors suggested that the Samsung Galaxy S5 would feature a 64-bit processor; however, the device released with a Snapdragon 801 chipset, which does not include 64-bit functionality. The Snapdragon 801 does not differ much from the Snapdragon 800 chipset that was featured on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. In fact, they are considered the same chipset with only slight tweaks within their components, like clock speed for example.

The Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 would introduce 64-bit processing to Qualcomm’s high-end chipset line and devices using these processors would be among the first Android devices to implement 64-bit computing. The chipsets would also introduce hexa-core and octa-core processors to the Qualcomm line respectively. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 features a CPU with 2 Cortex A57 cores and 4 Cortex A53 cores, while the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 features a CPU with 4 Cortex A57 cores and 4 Cortex A53 cores.

Since Apple introduced the 64-bit A7 processor with the iPhone 5s, there has been a push for Android manufacturers to follow suit. Notably, the Android operating system is based on Linux code, which has had 64-bit functionality for even longer. Android based software simply needs the compatible hardware in order to adopt 64-bit support as the framework is already within its code -- compatible hardware like the Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 processors.

Increased RAM Capacities

Many expected the Galaxy S5 would feature 3GB of RAM after Samsung began producing its own LPDDR3 modules and introduced them on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3; however, the device instead features 2GB of RAM like its predecessor the Galaxy S4. But the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 will allow devices to have up to 4GB of RAM. In addition to increasing computing speed, another feature of 64-bit CPUs is that they maximize the memory capacity on devices to beyond 4GB of RAM.

With the current 32-bit standard, devices can support between 3GB and 4GB of RAM. Smartphones in particular have long been manufactured with 1GB to 2GB of RAM; with 3GB RAM modules recently hitting mobile markets. Samsung has also introduced LPDDR4 modules in December, which the manufacturer says will be introduced within devices during 2014 at the earliest. The Qualcomm 808 will support LPDDR3 RAM.

Display Upgrades

Samsung displays are known for being the most expensive components on the manufacturers’ handsets, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 is no different with its 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display costing $63 according to the market analysis firm IHS. However, the display on the Galaxy S5 does not differ much from the 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display on the Samsung Galaxy S5. Because the Galaxy S5 display slightly larger, its pixel density, which determines how clear a display is without pixels visible to the naked eye, decreases from 441 ppi to 432 ppi. Prior to the Galaxy S5, Samsung had upgraded its display in each generation of the Galaxy S series.

Pre-release rumors proposed that the Galaxy S5 would also have a more technologically advanced display, likely a 2560x1600-pixel resolution, 2K display; some rumors also suggested that Galaxy S5 might feature a 3840x2160-pixel resolution, 4K display.

Displays with 2K resolutions contain twice the amount of pixels seen on a 1920x1080-pixel HD resolution display, the current standard, while 4K resolution contain four times the pixels seen on a standard HD display. Such an increase in pixel density would result in more vivid and dense display images. Currently, 4K resolutions are the upcoming display technology for television sets, while 2K resolutions are the standard for displaying major motion pictures. Neither has been introduced on mobile devices; however, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 will support display resolutions up to 2560x2048-pixels. There is no

Meanwhile manufacturers have been experimenting with 4K video capture, a feature which is on the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note 3. Both the Snapdragon 810 and 808 also have this capability. The chipsets will also allow devices to project images onto supported 4K external displays.

Verdict

It appears that Samsung forwent major hardware upgrades with the Samsung Galaxy S5 in order to introduce other features such as its 16-mepagixel camera, its water and dust resistance and its finger print scanner. However, the manufacturer will have to come back and provide the hardware upgrades that consumers were expecting to quell criticisms that its newest devices are too incremental in their technology.

At this point, it is hard to say exactly what features the next Samsung Galaxy S device will possess; however, consumers at least now have an idea that many long rumored features are actually possible with the proper hardware. While not confirmed, it is likely the next Samsung Spring flagship will be called the ‘Samsung Galaxy S6.’ Additionally, other 2015 flagships featuring Qualcomm chipsets may also contain these features. By name only, we might be able to predict such handsets as the ‘HTC M9,’ ‘LG G4,’ ‘LG G Flex 2,’ and the ‘Sony Xperia Z3.’

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