A new wave of powerful smartphones is coming. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 is getting outdated and being replaced by the new Snapdragon 821 chip. While the rumored Snapdragon 830 hasn’t been announced yet, the smartphones equipped with Snapdragon 820 SoC become the best options at the moment.
The Snapdragon 821 is a revision of the 820. You might realize that the design of the chip is similar, and it has the same clock speed on some phones. So what are the benefits of the new chip?
The Snapdragon 821 features improved yields and they could slightly increase the performance of the system. There are 2 variants of the SD 821, one running at the same clock speed as the SD 820 (2.15 GHz CPU and 624 MHz GPU) but consumes 5% less power, and one is tuned to run at maximum clock speed (2.34 GHz CPU and 653 MHz GPU).
Another notable improvement is that Snapdragon 821 takes advantage of the Qualcomm’s Hexagon DSP to process HDR+ photos faster.
Following is the list of smartphones coming with the Snapdragon 821.
Xiaomi Mi MIX
The Xiaomi Mi MIX is powered by quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and it comes with 4GB of RAM. The phone packs 128GB of internal storage cannot be expanded. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Xiaomi Mi MIX packs a 16-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 5-megapixel front shooter for selfies.
The Xiaomi Mi MIX runs Android 6.0 and is powered by a 4400mAh non removable battery. It measures 158.80 x 81.90 x 7.90 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 209.00 grams.
The Xiaomi Mi MIX is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM and Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, Infrared, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include Compass Magnetometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Gyroscope and Barometer.
Google Pixel & Pixel XL
The duo is not the first phones announced with the SD821 but they are obviously the most desirable ones. Most users agree that these are the best Android smartphones of the year, especially after the unfortunate Samsung Galaxy Note 7 incident.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are the first phones with built-in Google Assistant, the first Daydream ready phones, the highest-rated phone camera (89 DxOMark Mobile score), and offer free unlimited storage at original quality on Google Photos. Both of the phones run on Android Nougat on top of a custom skin called Pixel Launcher.
The Pixel and Pixel XL are available starting at $649 and $769 respectively.
Price in India Pixel at Rs.57,000 and Pixel XL at Rs.67,000
Xiaomi MI Note 2
Xiaomi Mi Note 2 smartphone was launched in October 2016. The phone comes with a 5.70-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is powered by quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and it comes with 4GB of RAM. The phone packs 64GB of internal storage cannot be expanded. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 packs a 22.56-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 8-megapixel front shooter for selfies.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 runs Android and is powered by a 4070mAh non removable battery. It measures 156.20 x 77.30 x 7.60 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 166.00 grams.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, Infrared, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include Compass Magnetometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Gyroscope and Barometer.
Xiaomi Mi Note 2 4GB RAM/ 64GB Price at CNY 2,799 (roughly Rs. 27,600)
Xiaomi Mi Note 2 6GB RAM/ 128GB Price at CNY 3,299 (roughly Rs. 32,600)
and the Global Edition 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage model priced at CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 34,500)
Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe Special Edition
The Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe is not a new phone, it was actually announced in early summer 2016 but now it is revised with the Snapdragon 821 chip. In terms of specs, this is one of the most powerful smartphones on the market. It is also equipped with 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, a 23MP camera with laser focus and OIS, USB-C, and a beautiful 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display.
The Zenfone 3 Deluxe is available now in the US for $799.
LeEco Le Pro3
The Chinese manufacturer LeEco has announced the LeEco LePro3 for the US market. It sports sports the latest Snapdragon 821 processor, 64GB of internal storage, 4GB of RAM, USB-C, a 16MP f/2.0 rear camera, a 5.5 inch Full HD (1920x1080p) IPS LCD display, and a 4,070mAh battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charging 3.0.
The Le Pro3 is available in Gold and Grey color. It is priced at $399 but you can take an instant rebate and buy it for just $299 till the end of 2016.
Xiaomi Mi 5s & Mi 5s Plus
The Xiaomi Mi 5S and 5S Plus are revised versions of the Mi 5 released earlier this year. And of course, it comes with some enhancements. The Mi 5S is the first phone equipped with a fingerprint scanner under 400 microns of glass while the Mi 5S Plus is also the first one taking advantage of the Clear Sight technology on Snapdragon 821. The dual image signal processor (ISP) will process image data from the 2 sensors to create photos with more accurate contrast and detail levels, especially in low-light conditions.
Both of the phones sports an all-metal unibody design, fullHD display, 12MP rear camera with f/2.0 and runs on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Pricing ranges from $300 to $400 in China.
Upcoming phones: Lenovo’s ZUK, OnePlus 3T
Smartisan M1 And M1L Handsets
The Smartisan M1 and M1L actually resemble the latest iPhone devices, at least when you look at them from the front. The circular home button is placed below the display, and the general shape of these two devices (identical design) also screams ‘iPhone’, though things are somewhat different when you flip them over, as the back side looks completely different. Let’s kick things off with the Smartisan M1, shall we. This is the smaller one of the two, this device sports a 5.15-inch fullHD (1920 x 1080) JDI display, along with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB of UFS 2.0 internal storage. This phone is fueled by the Snapdragon 821 running at 2.35GHz, while it packs a 3,050mAh battery (Quick Charge 3.0 included). The 23-megapixel shooter (Sony’s IMX318 sensor, PDAF, OIS) is placed on the back of this device, and a 4-megapixel snapper (OmniVision’s sensor) can be found up front.
The Smartisan M1L, on the other hand, features a 5.7-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) display by Sharp, 4GB / 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB / 64GB of UFS 2.0 storage. This phone is also fueled by the Snapdragon 821 and it packs in a 4,080mAH battery with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0. The 23-megapixel camera by Sony is also present here (same sensor as on the Smartisan M1), while the front-facing snapper is also identical to the one on the Smartisan M1. Both of these smartphones ship with Smartisan OS which is installed on top of Android, and both of them come with two nano SIM card slots (hybrid dual SIM setup). The Smartisan M1 and M1L come in White Matte Aluminum and Coffee Gold Leather color variants, while the Smartisan M1L has a third variant (6GB RAM + 64GB of storage) which features a ‘mirror finish’, though we don’t know what exactly that means considering we haven’t seen that version of the device just yet. The Smartisan M1 is priced at 2,499 Yuan ($371), while the two Smartisan M1L comes in three variants. The 3GB RAM + 32GB storage model is priced at 2,799 Yuan ($415), while the 6GB RAM + 64GB storage model costs 2,999 Yuan ($445). Now, the most expensive model (6GB RAM + 64GB storage & ‘mirror finish’) can be purchased for 3,299 Yuan ($490).