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The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is the crowning of a new king: this is the best processor of the moment for cell phones

ByPeter Thiel

Oct 24, 2023
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is the crowning of a new king: this is the best processor of the moment for cell phones

Qualcomm has just made official the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. On paper, we are by far the best processor that can mount a phone today. We are talking about a processor that renews each and every one of the cores that compose it, although it is still manufactured in the four-nanometer process seen in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

These are all the features and specifications of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, a beast that debuts architecture, modem, supports WiFi 7 and will be the new rival to beat in 2024.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 data sheet


Manufacturing Process 4 nanometers, TSMC
CPU 1 x Cortex-X4 @ 3.3GHz
3 x A720 @ 3.2GHz
2 x A720 @ 3.0GHz
2 x A520 @ 2.3GHz
GPU Adreno 750 with Raytracing
Artificial Intelligence Integrated Generative Artificial Intelligence

Support for Multimodal Language Models (LLM)

Qualcomm AI Stack

Snapdragon Sight

Modem X75 Modem (mmWave + Sub-6GHz)
Connectivity and Location Compatible with WiFi 7

WiFi Bands: 6 Ghz, 5 GHz, 2.4 GHz

Bluetooth 4.1

5G Sub 6 GHz

ISP Spectra Triple 18 Bits + 12 AI layers
Camera Support Qualcomm Spectra™ Image Signal Processor

Cognitive ISP Triple 18-bit ISPs

Real-time segmentation for 12-layer photo and video

Cameras up to 200 MP

Support for Google Ultra HDR


Pro Sight video

Night Vision video capture with RAW AI Noise Reduction in

4K 60 FPS

Video super resolution

Multi-Frame Noise Reduction (MFNR)

Display Support Up to Quad HD+ 144 Hz

Up to 4K 60 Hz

Audio Support Qualcomm Aqstic™ audio codec

Qualcomm Aqstic smart speaker amplifier

Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N)

Playback: -108dB

Qualcomm® Audio and Voice Communication Suite

Spatial audio with head-tracking

AI as the main protagonist


Talking about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is talking about artificial intelligence, this is the main focus in Qualcomm’s new SoC. The company has collaborated with Meta to make the processor compatible with Llama 2, its multimodal language model. The processing done with that model is on-device, so no data of any kind is sent to Meta.

The Hexagon neural processing unit (NPU) promises to be up to 98% faster than the previous generation, and up to 40% more efficient. What’s the point of so much AI in a phone? To process more information in real time than ever before.

At the photographic level, it opens the doors to night mode in video, to remove objects from the scenes we have recorded, or to segment in real time the elements of the image to optimize them (buildings, trees, water, subjects, hair, etc.).

Other interesting functions are Photo Expansion. As Photoshop does, we can complete frames in a photograph by means of AI, artificially generating content in it. As always, it will depend on the manufacturers themselves whether or not to implement all these capabilities in the native recording app.

The Sensing Hub of the processor is capable of collecting information from all the sensors to adapt its response to the user’s needs. In other words, this AI exercise will act together based on and according to the hardware that the device itself has.
A beast that sets a new benchmark

Although it is manufactured in three-nanometer process, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is the most powerful processor in the world, above Apple’s A17 Pro, at least after what the first benchmarks say. It has a large Cortex X4 core, accompanied by five other cores subdivided into 3 + 2 for high efficiency and two other low-power cores.

  • 1 x Cortex-X4 up to 3.3GHz
  • 3 x A720 up to 3.2GHz + 2 x A720 up to 3.0GHz
  • 2 x A520 up to 2.3GHz

We are talking about this processor scoring over 2,300 points in single-core on Geekbench and over 7,500 points in multi-core. That’s a score well above the 7,000 that the A17 Pro hovers around.

It’s a processor up to 30% faster than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, big words. The GPU is up to 25% faster and more efficient, opening the doors to 240 FPS mode gaming. It is also compatible with Unreal Engine 5, and is capable of accelerating gaming performance in real time.

The 5G modem, the X75, is also improved. Each and every element in this processor has been redesigned to reduce power consumption, latency and to boost performance over the previous generation.